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Tonal Design Colors On Custom T-Shirts

Tonal Designs On Custom T-Shirts
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Tonal prints have become increasingly popular with their vintage aesthetic and subtle pop. This tone-on-tone printing style can make your art work look like a big brand with just a little attention to ink and garment color. What is tonal? Let’s dig in.

If there is one thing we know about tonal prints, it’s that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The concept is that your printed artwork is slightly offset from what you’re printing on. However, the direction of creativity is up to you. You may choose a darker print on a lighter tee or a lighter print on a darker tee. Because the look can vary, you might choose a different color shirt based on the end result. Let’s compare a standard print to a tonal print to get an idea.

Tonal T-Shirt Example

The image above shows how different your art can appear with just a tweak of color. This more vintage and “worn” look takes your print to the next level. Being able to visualize the impact before placing your order is important step. Let’s discuss how we proof this art style for you.

Achieving the right tone-on-tone look does require a few extra steps. Typically, our customers would choose the product they’d like to print on as a first step. Proofing can be a challenge because online product images and screen settings can affect how a proof looks. To account for this, we will often wait to receive the product before picking the actual ink color. That doesn’t stop us from creating a great proof for you. Using the same art above, here is the mock up we provided on a Bella + Canvas Heather Mustard tee, as well as the final ink color we printed. The customer was pleased with the proof and choosing the final color after we received the product was the right decision. The final step of color matching the product helped achieve the outcome the customer expected. 

Pantone Tonal Matching

The prints above illustrate the process in screen printing. Our direct-to-garment (DTG) printing affords virtually unlimited flexibility and helps with lower volume or single prints. Yes, you can accomplish this look with an order of just one t-shirt. You can see our available no minimum tees here.

This process works for darker prints on tees too as well as embroidery. The examples below show the flexibility of this design method.

Dark vs Light Tonal Matching

So how do you get started? DesignAShirt offers a few options for you. Our Concierge Service can take care of the entire process for you at no charge for most situations. Follow the form here to get started. If you prefer the DIY method, our Design Studio will let you choose your product and upload your artwork on your own. During checkout, you can place your order notes.

If you have any other questions on tonal prints or just want to reach to us, contact us here for help on your order. 

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