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You can wear your creativity by customizing your own apparel with just a few easy clicks. Whether it be for business marketing, a family reunion, your sports team, or just because you wanted a shirt with your cat's face on it, custom t-shirts are a staple part of everyone's wardrobe. The sky's the limit when it comes to choosing what is displayed on your clothing with online t-shirt design companies.
Not only is t-shirt design extremely easy with the use of the internet, but it can be really fun too! You'll get the creative liberty of choosing a shirt color, font, picture, and sizing. If you want a picture of yourself on a t-shirt to give your grandmother for her birthday, you got it. Playing around with the different features to make your one-of-a-kind t-shirt may prove quite enjoyable. It might be hard to stop at just one!
Wednesday, April 14th
Shirts are the main product for sale at Design a Shirt. They do not sell hundreds of unique products for customization, but rather specialize in just apparel. They have options for men, women, juniors, children, athletes, business professionals, cold weather, and some specialty items as well. The website is easy to use and allows you the freedom to design your shirt however you would like.
Before getting to the nitty gritty of t-shirt creation, the idea gallery might excite customers looking for some inspiration. We really like this feature on the Design a Shirt site because it shows what is possible with the style functions. You can browse examples for shirts with funny quotes, birthday sayings, family reunion prints, or just cool shirts for everyday wear.
In the design studio, customers first choose the article of clothing they want to print on, then choose to add clip art and/or images, and lastly add text. Multiple graphics can be used and clip art options seem limitless. Some clip art categories include animals, holidays, mascots, interests, military, nature, sports, and more. All images can be enlarged, shrunken, rotated, and moved around the shirt (front or back) in whatever pattern is pleasing. For orders of six or more items, custom embroidery is even an option for customers who might be looking for a more professional design.
Once a design is made and ready to go, Design a Shirt gives the option of sharing the t-shirt via email with someone else for feedback or a second opinion. Once you've confidently finished your unique t-shirt, it can be sent off for printing. The standard turnaround time for orders is 10 calendar days and shipping is free. If your purchase arrives and you find it unsatisfactory, Design a Shirt will offer a refund if they are contacted within 10 days.
The Better Business Bureau gives Design a Shirt an A+ rating. This is not surprising considering their user-friendly website, great t-shirt options, and thorough design features. You can't go wrong creating custom apparel here. We recommend Design a Shirt as our highest-rated custom t-shirt company.
It would be easy to spend hours sifting through the shirt options and designs offered at Uber Prints. Luckily, this website has sleek filtering features to help you get exactly the product you are looking for. You can sort by desired quantity (the more you buy, the cheaper each product is), fit, features, color, fabric, and brand. Depending on the print type and product, there are either no minimum purchase requirements, or a minimum of 12.
Some unique apparel styles we found at Uber Prints include cropped hoodies, wide neck tees, sherpa vests, long body tees, camo tees, baby blankets, onesies, hats, bags, dog t-shirts, and aprons. Trendy fits can be found at Uber Prints as well as timeless, classic t-shirts. Customers report being happy with the quality of the material and end print result after receiving their orders.
If you're unsure where to begin in the design process, Uber Prints' handy dandy design templates might be your friend. You choose the general topic you're looking for, browse their many options, then substitute your own text where they have placeholders, and voila! You have a cool t-shirt within seconds. You also have the option to start from scratch using your own uploaded images and/or using some of their hundreds of clip art graphics.
Pricing and shipping differs between digitally printed items and screen printed and embroidered items. Digital printing allows for no-minimum orders and costs anywhere from $5.99 to $23.99 for shipping if you don't meet the $100 purchase requirement for free shipping. Screen printed and embroidered products require a 12 item minimum, but always come with free standard shipping. To return any items, an email and phone number is provided to contact the company within 30 days to discuss options with customer service.
It is safe to say we are impressed with Uber Prints. Besides their positive customer reviews, the Better Business Bureau gives them an A+ rating. Their plentiful options for t-shirt designs cater to customers young and old. Despite their vague return policy and order requirements for some apparel, we suggest considering Uber Prints for your next custom t-shirt order.
Custom Ink has just about every product you can think of available for customization and caters to individuals looking to buy in bulk. Their t-shirt selection covers most styles and many color options are provided. Unless you select a "no minimum" item, you will need to purchase at least six of the shirts you are buying. This could be a disappointment for someone looking to design a single article of name-brand clothing including Nike, North Face, Champion, Under Armor, Adidas, or Carhartt since they require a minimum purchase.
11 kinds of shirts
Some of the unique apparel categories available for custom design include workwear, pants, corporate apparel, and uniforms. As far as t-shirts go, there are 11 different categories of shirts you can choose from. They include:
Online design lab
Once customers have selected their product for design, they are taken to the online design lab. Here you can add text, art, or a graphic of your choice. The art feature includes emojis, shapes and symbols, animals, mascots, nature, military, colleges, occupations, and more. We like that you can add symbols, text, and graphics on the shirt wherever you'd like instead of having only one or two places for them to go. Some products allow for adding a name and number on the back of the shirt, usually for a sports team or company. Names are an additional $4.50 and numbers are $2.50 for each item.
The higher quantity of any given product purchased, the greater the discount. Overall, the pricing of products sold at Custom Ink is comparable to their competitors. One perk is that they offer free shipping, so you don't have to worry about that additional cost. If you end up receiving your t-shirt and decide it is of lesser quality than what you expected, Custom Ink offers a money-back guarantee. Within 15 days, custom goods can be returned for a full refund. To initiate the return process or to get help on any other matters related to your order, Custom Ink advertises that you can talk to and/or chat online with a real person whenever you need.
Customers are generally satisfied with their experience using Custom Ink, and the business received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The main reason they did not earn a higher rating from us is due to the fact that Custom Ink is more suited for bulk ordering than single unit purchases. If you choose to order less than six of a product with a minimum purchase requirement, you lose a lot of color options. The bulk ordering will be great for some shoppers, but not everyone. If you're looking to design just a few products, we suggest using one of our higher-rated t-shirt customization sites.
Younger audiences will find Spread Shirt appealing for t-shirt creation and purchases. Custom products can be designed, or buyers can browse the marketplace for apparel designed by other artists. Trending marketplace categories include funny, vintage, funny gym, geek, couples, science, 50th birthday, vegan, dogs, cats, and best friend t-shirts. Shirts with sayings like, "Good Friends Don't Let You Do Stupid Things Alone" are prevalent on this website, so customers looking for more professional apparel will find they are barking up the wrong tree.
Apparel is sold for men, women, children, groups (bachelor party, college graduation, family reunion, etc.), accessories, and home. Some of the apparel style options reflect popular trends among young adults including high-low shirts, knotted shirts, tie-dye shirts, baseball tees, and more. We appreciate that reviews are available for the listed products to get an idea of color exactness, material, and overall order satisfaction from others.
The pricing for both the custom t-shirts as well as the marketplace products is fair and similar to their competitors. When you buy six or more of any item, a 10% discount is applied. Shipping costs will vary between $5.99 to $11.99 per order depending on quantity, so that's an added expense to factor in. Spread Shirt has a 30-day return guarantee for customers who are unhappy with their purchases. Rather than issuing a full refund, customers will either have the option of exchanging for a new product or receiving in-store credit towards their next order.
For customers looking for edgy, trendy, youthful designs and t-shirt styles, Spread Shirt is the place to go. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and receive positive feedback from their customers on the quality of their products. The reason Spread Shirt has not earned our highest rating is simply because they don't necessarily cater to all ages like the higher-rated companies do. Some customers looking for business attire or less flashy everyday apparel might not find what they are looking for at Spread Shirt. If this rings true for you, we suggest our higher-rated custom t-shirt sites.
Underground Printing offers screen printing, digital printing, embroidery, personalization, online group ordering, and promotional products. There is nothing about their products that makes them much different than their competitors. However, their design features are simple and straightforward, which is what most customers want. Everything you would need to customize a unique t-shirt is offered at Underground Printing.
Catalog of products
With brick-and-mortar stores in 24 states, products can be ordered online and either shipped or picked up in-store. The full catalog of products found at Underground Printing includes:
Templates or full customization
Products can be designed using a pre-made template or fully customized from beginning to end using uploaded images, text, and/or clip art provided. Some of the featured brands for printing include brands like Nike, Champion, Under Armor, The North Face, Hanes, and more.
Shipping costs extra
Periodically, sales are featured on the Underground Printing website for around 40% off using a discount code. Individual product prices are based on the garment chosen, quantity, locations for printing, and how many colors are printed at each location. On top of the end product purchase price, shipping is calculated at check-out and will add to the overall cost.
Lack of return policy
An account must be made in order to save and submit a t-shirt for printing. This could be seen as an unnecessary step rather than just submitting your shirt for purchasing and printing. After the shirt is designed and an account made, a final price is given. Nothing on the Underground Printing website covers the procedure for returning or exchanging products. We suggest contacting them via the phone number or email address provided by Underground Printing if you run into an issue with an order.
Lack of transparency
Overall, we think you'd be able to create the custom t-shirt you want at Underground Printing. There are fewer customer reviews on their website than can be found on our highest-rated custom t-shirt sites. We wish they would be clearer and more upfront with shipping prices as well as their satisfaction guarantee policy (if there is one). If these are issues you are concerned about, it is a safer bet to choose one of our higher-rated sites when designing your next t-shirt.
Men's, women's, kids, or baby t-shirts are available for customization through Cafe Press. T-shirt types include v-neck, scoop neck, long or short sleeve, and even a maternity or long nightshirt. Some t-shirt styles say they have only four colors, but actually display around seven. Still, we found the color selection at Cafe Press to be more limited than their competitors. When it comes to a variety of color shades, this is something lacking at Cafe Press.
Simple design process
The design process is fairly simple. Customers choose the t-shirt style and color they want, select their size, then begin personalizing their order. You can upload an image and add text to the t-shirt, but each image appears only front and center on the shirt or just on the pocket. This goes for both the front and back side of the shirt. When adding text, this can be placed anywhere on or right around the image on the t-shirt. There are quite a few fonts, colors and text sizes to choose from. Before checking out, a simulated image of your design is shown and you can either accept the design for purchase or continue to make changes.
Cafe Press offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on their products. To return or exchange your items for a refund, a return request form is provided. After the request is reviewed, instructions are sent on how to return the items. For questions besides returns or exchanges, Cafe Press advertises the ability to get help from a team of professional design assistants. However, the link for this feature does not actually lead anywhere. This is one of a few errors on their website that left us disappointed in the lack of attention to detail on the site.
Few customer testimonials
Four testimonials are displayed on Cafe Press's website. While the fact that there are only 4 testimonials seems weak, we were further disappointed to see that they are filtered and date back to 2012. Since these are unhelpful, the Better Business Bureau redeems Cafe Press a bit by giving them an A+ rating. Customers on other third-party sites offer feedback about slow shipping processes, but are overall pleased with their products. Product manufacturing takes 1-2 days and then shipping takes an additional 1-9 days within the US depending on the chosen shipping method. The cost of shipping for one item is around $6 and then goes up from there with additional purchases.
Limited design features
Cafe Press has lots of products for sale, so they don't lack for selection. However, their design features are limited and this would be disappointing for people wanting a fully customizable experience. For a bigger selection of apparel styles, colors, and design features, we suggest going with one of our higher-rated sites for t-shirt customization.
Zazzle has many categories of pre-printed shirts to browse through if you aren't wanting to design your own t-shirt. We might even suggest doing this because Zazzle's design functions are not as easy to use as they could be. The custom t-shirts don't seem to be their main focus and therefore, customization options are both limited and a little more complicated. For example, you can upload an image and input text, but their pre-loaded graphics are mostly cartoon-looking with fewer relevant options than our higher-rated sites have.
Pricing a bit higher
Pricing for some of the most basic t-shirts are a bit more than we found on competitors' sites. T-shirts in sizes bigger than XL cost an extra $5 as well. In addition, shipping charges are only calculated during the checkout process after you've created an account. We would prefer to know shipping prices upfront. To help with some of the steeper pricing, at the time of this review, they were running a 15% off sale if you used their discount code.
100% satisfaction guarantee
Zazzle's 100% satisfaction guarantee means customers can return their products within 30 days for a refund or replacement if they are unhappy when they arrive. A few products are subject to special return restrictions, which can be viewed on the Zazzle website or reviewed with customer service. To chat with customer service online, you'll need to have created an account and sign in. Basically, getting straight to what you want on Zazzle's website is a bit tricky sometimes.
Product quality issues
Because Zazzle provides customization of so many items besides just t-shirts, there is quite a bit of customer feedback regarding their products. They receive average reviews and some recent customer complaints report that their products were low quality and printing on their items came back blurry even after using high-resolution photos. Customer service also seems to be hard to work with. Our suggestion is to use a higher-rated site that caters more specifically to t-shirt customization rather than trying to get what you need from a site that sells too wide of a range of products that are both pre-printed and customizable.
Custom t-shirt companies typically have low overhead, which makes designing and purchasing your shirt fairly inexpensive. Most of these companies operate solely online and don't have brick-and-mortar stores. Because of this, they can make sales worldwide without paying for a lot of employees. Customizing your own t-shirt is a win for you and for the company you choose to design with!
Before choosing a t-shirt design company, we suggest you keep the following criteria in mind:
To help you identify the best custom t-shirt company, TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked a variety of options to give you an idea of which choice might be best. We hope this information helps you find a t-shirt design company that will be both fun and easy to use!
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