Taking charge of your family reunion t-shirt order should be an exciting experience. Presenting custom order t-shirts to the members of your family should invoke a celebratory atmosphere worthy of your family gathering. But most importantly your family reunion t-shirts should appropriately commemorate to the occasion. You can design family reunion t-shirts which brothers, sisters, cousins, mothers, and fathers will be delighted to wear on other occasions, even if it’s just a trip to the grocery store. That’s IF you design it well and choose the right apparel products.

What are the principles of good t-shirt design? There are plenty of opinions out there based on the type of t-shirt and the target audience so let’s take it back a notch and view good design through graphic design principles.

Asymmetrical composition- Why would you want to incorporate asymmetry in a design? It’s simple, it adds interest. Not just in t-shirt designs. Many creative people take advantage of the transformative effect asymmetry can add. Professional photographers will also place their subject either off to the left or right of the center of their photograph. Even modern professional headshot photographers are known to ask their subject to not look straight at the camera with the standard forward facing, head on full smile as to avoid monotony and create balance and harmony.

asymmetrical composition

With asymmetrical designs you can call attention to important elements and create movement or action in your design.

Focal Point-What is the main element of your design? You can create a focal point in many ways. Make it larger, or arrange other elements in the design to “point” towards the focal point. You can arrange more details around the focal point and conversely, less detail around the focal point can punctuate it.

focal point composition

Color Use-Choosing the right color or combination of colors can make or break your family reunion t-shirt design. In-depth explanations of color theory can be found around the web but there are three color wheels you should be aware of, primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary color wheel consists of yellow, blue and red, and the secondary color wheel is comprised of colors which are created when mixing primary. These are orange, green, and purple. All other tertiary colors are combinations of these.

color wheels

Choosing a color palette for a family reunion t-shirt order should involve the intended recipients. You can mix and match colors if you want to consider gender in your design or you can choose a color that is universally acceptable. Popular apparel colors for family reunion events are grey, white, black, and blue. If the event will be outdoors, think about the weather when choosing black as any dark color t-shirt will absorb sunlight and may be uncomfortable after a while.

color palette

Font Pairing- Some basic design principles should be adhered to when pairing fonts for your design. Typically you don’t want to pair two fonts from the same family although in some instances they can be paired beautifully when mixing a very heavy face with a thin version. Think about contrast when doing this. Two scripts should not be used together. Using two serif fonts together should be avoided. And two fonts that have really strong personalities typically do not fit well together because they are both arguing for the same amount of attention. There are of course exceptions to these rules where designers have blasted the rules with impressive results.

font pairing

Alignment-This element of design can impact readability and overall success of the design. You’ll need to make decisions on whether your text will be centered, left, right justified, or varied. Alignment also refers to objects in relation to one another within the design and can impact the flow and movement of your concept.

Texture-Many people don’t think about texture when it comes to a printed t-shirt design but you can use this design principle to make an impact. Texture can be translated in many ways using screen printing techniques like halftones and distress printing. Texture can also be achieved with the application of specialty inks that result in texture like puff inks, glitter, and crystalline.

Repetition-In t-shirt design, if you’re going to use a lot of art illustrations, you should try to keep the feel of the art consistent. A bad choice would be to combine a cartoon inspired illustration with a watercolor inspired illustration. Instead keep the general theme of your art inclusion in the same family.

Now that we’ve covered some basic design principles to keep in mind, let’s go over some other key aspects you’ll want to consider before placing an order for custom family reunion t-shirts.

Budget-Most family reunion organizers will be working within a specific budget. This will impact the type of t-shirt product you choose, the placement of the print, and the number of colors you incorporate in your design. For recommendations, you could not have found a better resource than DesignAShirt’s customer service crew. They are highly knowledgeable in a vast number of products and with a few questions answered, can provide you with recommendations that will not only fit your budget, but appeal to wide variety of personalities.

It’s possible to order an assortment of apparel products at no extra charge beyond the per piece cost if your needs require junior fit, infants, and even curvy products as long as the design remains the same. If you need the design to be fitted to multiple sizes an extra fee for different sizes of art will apply because we will need to burn additional screens and setup the t-shirt printing presses accordingly.

In screen printing, color equates to cost. Each color, or ink application, in the case of specialty inks requires an additional screen. For this reason, when designing, you must cast a balance between design aesthetic and your budget. We can offer ways to stretch your color budget with applications like halftone printing, but often this will require either expertise in a graphic design program such as Illustrator or Corel Draw or additional art fees from our in-house Art Department.

ink colors

Timeline-If you’re new to organizing a family reunion, you’re likely already in panic mode about timelines. Fortunately, we have one of the fast turnarounds in the custom t-shirt printing industry. It only takes 10-days for your order to be printed and delivered once your order is placed and all artwork, apparel products, and delivery date is confirmed. We mention artwork specifically because if you require a proof, you will need to approve that proof before we begin production.

Family reunion logo styles-The type of design template or original design of your own can be as varied as the members of your family. It can be text focused with use of interesting typography, or it can incorporate a lot of digital art. Themes are very popular for family reunion t-shirts which can be based on the location of your event, or the timing to coincide with a holiday. Themes can also be extracted from popular T.V. shows, movies, games, or even books. The later examples have to be tempered with trademark and copyright laws to mitigate the improper use of protected property. So unfortunately, if you’re planning a Disney themed family reunion, printing a design with Mickey is out of the question and this remains true for any ethical t-shirt printer.

Some other styles and themes to consider are religious, country, state, or city of origin based, military, patriotic, ethnicity, collegiate or sports themed, family coat of arms, specialty family recipe, really whatever defines your family. For an extensive selection of family reunion t-shirt templates check out our library of family reunion t-shirt templates and customize easily for your family.

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