Tips and Tricks for T-Shirt Designing

We've had a ton of great entries to our T-Shirt Design Competition so far. We love them all (it's going to be a tough decision!), and hope you guys keep up the good work.

But I thought I'd let you in on a couple top-secret hints to help you get your designs past our panel of judges.

  • Use photographs sparingly. This is incredibly important because you have to bear in mind that your design will be printed on a T-Shirt (we'll probably use it on other things too). Although the printing process is capable of doing full-color photographs, it does not always work well on a T-Shirt, especially after repeated washing.


  • Areas of solid color print best. This is the converse of the previous pointer. Areas of solid color work really well on a shirt, both from a visual perspective and from a printing/technical perspective. Gradients also work well.


  • Use transparency. There's no reason you have to fill the entire allowed area with color. In fact, any areas of white in your image will not print at all (the T-Shirt color will come through). We've seen a lot of designs using black backgrounds, and that's fine, but printing this to a white shirt will result in a big black box.

  • We like slogans! We like them so much that we don't have very many of them ;) We've already come up with the Moon 2.0 thing, or It's time to go back, but we're looking for something witty, creative, maybe even humorous. You want to really knock our socks off? This is how.

  • Spelling and syntax. We state in the rules that you may not use the logos of the Google Lunar X PRIZE or Google, but we encourage you to use those words. Please spell them correctly, exactly as they are written here.

  • Go crazy! This business of sending vehicles to the Moon is serious, but T-Shirts are fun. Liven it up a little. A little wit can go a long way.

  • If you're short on ideas, check out some others. is full of awesome T-Shirts of all kinds. Browsing around there will give you an excellent feel for what types of things work well on a shirt and what doesn't.

As I said before, keep the awesome designs coming in. There's only a week left!

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