How to Design Your Own Hoodie

Design Your Own HoodieWhile there are some differences in the technical aspects of printing designs on shirts and on hoodies, the design guidelines of balance, minimalism, and complementary colors remain. Let’s explore how you can create the best designs for custom hoodies, either for personal use or for retail.

Now, before we head over to the design guidelines, we know that you have the option of selecting a pre-made template design for your hoodie. This is completely fine, if you can find a finished design that suits your taste.

There’s a reason why custom hoodie and shirt websites have a database of designs – they want the process to be as painless as possible.

And not everyone will know how to create their own designs, so having ready-made designs is definitely a plus for casual custom shirt buyers.

Even in brick and mortar outlets, they will offer you several albums of designs to choose from, plus they’ll ask you if you want additional line/s of text to be added to the final design.

Getting inspiration

 Unless you already have an idea for your shirt design, this is usually the most challenging part of designing a custom shirt – where will the concept come from? Each shirt design is based on a concept, however small, and is expanded by through the art itself. In short, you can’t just throw in random objects into your design and expect it to look good.

Now that we have those out of the way, let’s talk about where you can get inspiration for your designs.

If you are creating a design from scratch, it’s obvious that you need to create the concept from bottom up. But do not fret; there are quite a number of potential sources of inspiration for hoodie design: real life, books, films, TV, comics, cartoons, popular culture and history.

These are massive areas of culture that have nearly bottomless archives for any shirt designer. Obviously, people love witty shirts (and you probably do, too), so that makes your job easier as a designer.

How to make your hoodie design work

  1. Answer the question – why? –

    Everyone has a reason for wanting a custom hoodie. And for the most part, the reasons why people want one revolve around some form or degree of self-branding.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with personal branding. Personal branding sets you out from the crowd, where other folks are wearing plain brands and art that are quite common in the shirt retail industry. Wearing a hoodie with a unique design can be such a powerful statement, indeed.

But then again, we need to answer the question – why do you want to brand yourself? What is the purpose of the design on the hoodie?

Think long and hard. For the most part, you can only drive home one message per hoodie or shirt. So the design has to be spot on, and it has to align with your main idea for the personal branding.

Still having a hard time? Get a piece of paper and list down words and themes that you think are appropriate for the design that you want to create. Remember – concept comes first before the actual design. A concept can be a theme, statement, word or even an entire story that you want to tell using your hoodie.

Play around with this new list of ideas. Cross out stuff that you don’t want and keep the ones that seem to be getting warmer to what you want to achieve.

Think hard: what exactly do you want to achieve with the design? This will reduce your list of ideas further until you finally hit that central concept that will allow you to finally create the design.

  1. Seek out the content of your design. –

    For the most part, art is a journey in experimentation. There has never been an art project that was straightforward. Even simple sketches are exciting to create because they will take you to various directions and spaces, before the actual art begins to manifest itself.

Don’t settle for your first sketch or design. Create multiple versions of the first design. Play around with the size and color. Add and reduce elements.

And don’t forget that your design is going to be printed on the fabric of a hoodie. Decide where you want to place the design – on the front or on the back? Also decide – how big is the design going to be?

The details of art can be changed to suit its final printing dimension. Art that has too many small details may not create the same impact as a toned down design with simpler elements and a more minimalistic streak.

  1. Promoting a product or service? –

    Hoodies are considered premium promotional materials because they’re highly functional, they can look great if designed well and everyone could use a new hoodie, right?

Design Your Own Hoodies

If you are designing a hoodie to promote a business, cause, charity or nonprofit, the main challenge here is to get people interested in what the branding is about. This applies most especially to nonprofit organizations and other cause-oriented groups that encourage people to volunteer for humanitarian causes and other worthy endeavors.

The safest and most effective route would be through humor. By humor, what we want is to make people smile when they see the design and at the same time, we want them to have an immediate, emotional response to the message itself, which is at the core of the branding.

Pure promotion of products and services works in the same manner. Your main aim is to create a strong emotional response from people that will attach them to the main message.

For example, there is this old advertisement for Pepsi where a small boy buys two Coca-Colas from a vending machine and proceeds to step on the two Coca-Cola cans so he can press the button for Pepsi. He takes the Pepsi afterward and walks away, leaving the two Coca-Cola cans unattended on the pavement.


Bigcity Sports Wear is one of the best custom design hoodies, t-shirts and shirt manufactures with good quality material and an affordable price. So come and Design Your Own Hoodie, t-shirts or shirt.