How to make text based t-shirt designs that sell

You can start your cool T-shirt design for free using either Canva or Placeit or even Envato Elelements. Alternatively, if you prefer using a stand alone software you can download to your computer without eating up your wallet, then, my favorite is Art Text Design for Mac, though you may still use softwares like WordArt or simply check out Envato Marketplace for some cool and affordable products that may be used for the same purpose. You may also use free print-on-demand websites like Teepublic to sell items with your artwork designs printed on them and make some cool money from that.

Please don’t forget to share this on your social media platforms and bookmark this website for future tutorials! You can also join us on Telegram at https://t.me/T_ShirtsChannel

I Come With Peace and Love Pullover Hoodie

Remember Safety – A campaign Safety Officers Slogan T-Shirt

Be Safe Always! – Safety Campaign Slogan Wear T-Shirt

Be Careful Carelessness Can Hurt You – Safety Slogan T-Shirt

Before You Start Be Safety Smart – Safety Slogan Sweatshirt

Before You Start Be Safety Smart – Safety Slogan T-Shirt

Safety First – Safety Slogan T-Shirt

I’m a Safety Champion – Safety Slogan T-Shirt

Follow Proper Work Procedures Sweatshirt

Safety Is My Goal, What’s Yours? – Safety Slogan T-Shirt

No Racism, No Terrorism, No Islamophobia T-Shirt

Kiss me I’m Pretending To Be Holy Sweatshirt

Simenual Bandage Tie Dye Hollow Out Rompers Womens Jumpsuit

Simenual Bandage Tie Dye Hollow Out Rompers Women’s Jumpsuit

Simenual Women's Workout Ribbed Rompers Jumpsuit Active Wear

Simenual Women’s Workout Ribbed Rompers Jumpsuit Active Wear

Laamei Women High Waist Fitness Workout Push Up Leggings

Laamei Women High Waist Fitness Workout Push Up Leggings

Laamei Winter Loose Denim Women Oversized Fur Collar Plus Velvet Padded Jacket

Laamei Winter Loose Denim Women Oversized Fur Collar Plus Velvet Padded Jacket

Women's Casual Large Size Fashion Long sleeve Sexy Turn-Down Collar V-Neck Print Loose Zipper T-Shirt

Women’s Casual Large Size Fashion Long Sleeve Sexy Turn-Down Collar V-Neck Print Loose Zipper T-Shirt

New Fashion Women's Sexy Off-shoulder Long-sleeved Solid Color T-Shirt

New Fashion Women’s Sexy Off-shoulder Long-sleeved Solid Color T-Shirt

You can start your cool T-shirt design for free using either Canva or Placeit or even Envato Elelements. Alternatively, if you prefer using a stand alone software you can download to your computer without eating up your wallet, then, my favorite is Art Text Design for Mac, though you may still use softwares like WordArt or simply check out Envato Marketplace for some cool and affordable products that may be used for the same purpose. You may also use free print-on-demand websites like Teepublic to sell items with your artwork designs printed on them and make some cool money from that.

Please don't forget to share this on your social media platforms and bookmark this website for future tutorials! You can also join us on Telegram at https://t.me/T_ShirtsChannel

219 comments

  1. Fabulous! Several really good ideas here. I’ve been struggling along with Redbubble for a couple years now and it’s so great to find someone that shares a few simple pointers that can be easily and immediately implemented. Thanks very much!

  2. Great video! Thank you. I am designing tees that have few words only in a single line. What would be the best dimensions? I designed on Canva using 1200×300 or 2400×600-resized to 60% on RB, looks great. But are these dimensions good enough for printing? RB says on their knowledgebase that 2875×3900 is best for apparels but I don’t need so much free space. Please advice.

  3. Thank you very much! Check out some of my Text Based designs free for anyone to use. Slightly gritty dark humor, but fun!

  4. I just got so convinced with this idea that I subscribed right away because I knew I’m getting some useful information

  5. Yes I really appreciated this video. One must not solely rely on these designs, but they can be funny.

  6. Thank you for reminding me & validating that There’s Still a very viable market for Text-based designs… It really ‘Found’ me at precisely the Absolute Best time… that being at a time that I really needed the motivation that it gave to me to ‘pick myself up, dust myself off & get back into the ring … thank you P.Owl ,sincerely.

  7. Hey, thanks for this! I have a question: I feel many phrases can be used in a lot of different styles & fonts that appeal to different people with different tastes. If I made several -but contrasting- designs all around the same phrase or idea, would you say this “dilutes” the effect of the phrase and the appeal of having a t-shirt with it?

  8. greetings Brother…that’s some great advice. I will definitely incorporate text based tee’s into my shop. Thanks again, Peace …The S.O.I.L Man

  9. Hi! Thank you for the video! Can I upload the same designs to Redbubble and Merch by Amazon? Thanks!

    1. Yes you can! As long as they aren’t designs specific to the Redbubble partner program – i.e. using copyrighted material from the shows they’re partnered with. Also bear in mind that Amazon are a lot stricter when it comes to using any copyrighted/trademarked content to the point that they even check keywords you’ve used to describe your design, so while something might be fine on RB, it could be a strike against your Amazon account. See my latest vid about RB vs. Amazon 🙂

    1. Might be some ideas right in front of you at your job hiding in plain sight. I know the struggle though – hope you can find some time my friend.

    1. @Passive Owl I wrote that comment before seeing some of the similar ones you found. Some of them are a pretty good match!

    2. Thanks for that – not sure how I didn’t recognise that since it’s so iconic. There are many free alternatives that look the same 🙂

    1. 𝐂𝐚𝐧𝐯𝐚: “𝘼𝙡𝙡 𝙛𝙧𝙚𝙚 𝙢𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙖 𝙤𝙣 𝘾𝙖𝙣𝙫𝙖 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙗𝙚 𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙛𝙧𝙚𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙣𝙤𝙣𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙪𝙨𝙚”.
      Check what you’re using if you upgrade to the Pro licence as the agreements vary. Contact them if you’re unsure. Link to full info here: https://about.canva.com/license-agreements/

    1. Technically, it’s “allowed” if the person hasn’t registered the trademark/copyright for their design, but it’s frowned upon/not nice to copy the work of others. I’d recommend against it as you’re building your success on quicksand – it probably won’t last.

    2. @Passive Owl Ohh😍, thanks for replying. I had one more question!
      So, basically if anyone copies a new trending quote of someone else’s and run a campaign through fb ads to get sales, he will not get into troubles?

  10. I do think it’s kinda sad that this is what fashion has come to. There’s no creativity in these designs except a 1-liner joke.

    1. If you think that’s bad, you should see the top sellers on Amazon 🤮 that’s what people want though I’m afraid. It might not be to your taste but if you want to cash in then you have to meet the demand.

  11. Hi, is it really ok to use Canva’s free fonts and elements for print on demand use? I heard that there might be some copyright issues. :/
    Thanks for the video!

    1. @Passive Owl thank you, so if I am using only elements that are from for example “sketchify” or “twemoji” and avoid using Pexels art, then I should safe?

    2. Hey – yes! Here’s the licencing agreement: “𝘼𝙡𝙡 𝙛𝙧𝙚𝙚 𝙢𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙖 𝙤𝙣 𝘾𝙖𝙣𝙫𝙖 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙗𝙚 𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙛𝙧𝙚𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙣𝙤𝙣𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙪𝙨𝙚” https://about.canva.com/license-agreements/free-media/ – the problem comes when you use media that isn’t from Canva – for example, they also supply media from Pexels and Pixabay under the “Photos” tab. The licences vary for these.

  12. Thanks for this. I have made over 170 designs . Learned photoshop and still not a single sale. I hope this will help me move a bit forward now as i need to really get off my bills somehow 😔

  13. Its kind of strange, because I wouldn’t think to use text in that format of leaning to one side like that. Yet, its interesting that they’re popular, showing maybe layout isn’t the most important aspect of a design like I tend to overthink.

  14. what if I think and design a slogan which I think is original and that may be already used by someone before by chance so will that be a copyright issue??

    1. @Passive Owl but is there someway to know about copyright of the design and will they also close the account if some copyright happens??

    2. Possibly… if it’s registered by someone then you might get your design removed, but if not then it might go unnoticed.

    1. Thank you Esther! I haven’t had a notification about a stolen video in a while so that’s nice 😀

    1. 1) Hang on. Let me overthink this.
      Joke – Reference to being a worrier/overanalyser

      2) Sorry I’m late. I didn’t want to come
      Introvert joke – the person doesn’t want to be wherever they are

      3) In my defense, I was left unsupervised
      Joke – the implication being the person wearing it will caused some sort of trouble without proper supervision

      4) “Nah.” -Rosa Parks, 1955
      Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat for a white passenger. It’s funny because she didn’t actually say “Nah”, but the most people understand the cultural reference since Rosa Parks action that day is so iconic. Shirts tend to sell well when they’re a covert reference to something that only people “in the know” would understand.

      5) I paused my game to be here
      Another introvert joke indicating that the wearer must play a lot of video games

      6) “That’s what” -She
      Another wordplay joke which references another joke “That’s what she said” in reference to anything sounding slightly sexual. Popularised by Michael Scott in The Office (US).

      7) Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change
      Stephen Hawking quote, but adapted to have numbers rather than letters, the implication is that if you’re able to decipher the quote, you’re intelligent as you’ve adapted

      8) Science is real, black lives matter, no human is illegal, love is love, etc etc
      Probably doesn’t need much explanation. People that tend to believe one of these statements believe all of them and are often activists. It’s about anti-oppression, anti racism, anti discrimination, anti homophobia, anti sexism.

      9) NO
      Could have many meanings in many situations. Just funny and probably useful for people who’ve had enough of everything.

      10) Surely not everybody was kung fu fighting?
      Pop culture reference to famous song by Carl Douglas which starts out with “Everybody was kung-fu fighting. Those kicks were fast as lightning”.

      Hope this helps 🙂 took me long enough but maybe you aren’t the only one feeling confused. Many are cultural references.

  15. Hi Owl, how do you feel about having quotes on a t-shirt, by famous writers or playwrights? I want to do an attribution (crediting of the source) with smaller letters on the bottom of the design (such as: “George Bernard Shaw”, or “Mark Twain”, or “derived from Oscar Wilde”). Why nobody does attributions on t-shirts, though a lot of the t-shirts quotes are obviously derivations of famous quotes by famous people? Of course I wouldn’t touch modern celebrities’ quotes, to avoid trademark violations, plus their “quotes” are usually devoid of any wisdom, just vacuous, patented garbage.

    1. @Passive Owl Thanks, Mr. Owl, I was mainly questioning the”coolness” factor than the intellectual property stuff.

    2. The answer is… possibly. I would think famous names such as those you mentioned would still be protected by people who manage their intellectual property. I know some quotes and resources are so old that the law has expired on them but has to be looked at on a case by case basis. However, with that said, there are hundreds/thousands of designs on Redbubble with famous quotes on. They risk being removed at any moment, but they’re there.

  16. Your content is BRILLIANT!!! I tried to sign up on RedBubble the other day, but it wouldn’t let me complete the process because I didn’t enter a GST/VAT number, but I don’t know what that is or how I get it in the first place. Please help. Also, would you recommend getting someone on Fiverr to create my shops and manage them for me as a beginner?

    1. Nice working with joe7hacker on Instagram, he help me out, i can now pay my house rent and train my beautiful children mary and jane through redbubble, i really thank him, you can try him he will help you out i think is a professional…..

    2. Thank you! 😀 the GST/VAT field is optional so you should be able to ignore that if it isn’t relevant. As for Fiverr – no no no no! You can outsource the design process to Fiverr if you’d like, but don’t let people create/manage stuff for you as it can result in your account being banned, plus they probably won’t do a great job at it anyway. I’d recommend creating your own designs at first anyway so you can get used to it. I’m releasing a video TOMORROW avoid how you can do this as a beginner without any skills 🙂 hopefully it’ll help you.

  17. Thank you Passive Owl! I’d been struggling a little with art block recently, but you’ve just given me some great places to get some inspiration that I’d never have thought of.

  18. I’ve got a few designs that just sit in my store and I get a few looks but no one buys,…. Feeling kinda discouraged…. 😔

  19. Hello
    to be found on redbubble can I use the merch titans tags generator ??
    Would that be helpful ?
    THANK you

  20. You can’t copy designs like that. That’s copyright infringement. Changes must be made to make it ok. Change the font and change the way the text appears at the minium. You should also change a word or two.

  21. Thank you for this video, it was really helpful. I started a RB account but haven’t done much with it and I have a lot of material to use. I am a new subscriber and have seen a few of your videos and they are always extremely well prepared, easy to follow and just very informational! 👍

    1. Thanks so much! Really appreciate you saying that. Hopefully my info pays off and helps you make some money 🙂

  22. Thanks . Yours and wholesale Ted channel are the two channels which I really find genuine. Thanks a lot for the efforts 😊

  23. “6:30”
    Yeah I’ve been getting paid daily with *p p l o n c a s h . x y z*
    I’m making over $1000 a week with them!

    είναι ένα εργαείο ερσίας για όλ

  24. Do you recommend using images from pixabay.com/pexels.com, editing them a little,
    And then uploading them to redbubble?
    All images are free and commercial license too

  25. Very decent video. Question for POD, do you design using CMYK color mode? And making sure you are within “gamut for printing” range? thanks

    1. Thanks! It varies as I had no idea what I was doing when I started out, so many of my designs aren’t optimised in this way. It’s never caused a problem (that I’m aware of) though. It’s my understanding that CMYK is a good idea, but it’s still confusing as different POD sites use different colour profiles, so it depends what site you’re using.

  26. Oowl, When i make a lot of designs like a 20 maybe , should i target one niche only with different keywords etc? or i target multiple niches? please i need an anser, and i love the videos, thank you so much

    1. Difficult to say without specifics. If you’ve found a niche with lots of demand then it’s fine creating lots of designs, but generally it’s best to spread your work across multiple niches and see what the results are. You can then focus on those that are profitable and explore further.

  27. I am a beginner, hopefully, found the correct place to learn more about designs for free. I am glad.’ SUBSCRIBED’ Thank you…!

  28. Great info! Especially for us newbies. I had read that if you get the design on RedBubble first you can report any imitators, but with 1,000s on there, it looks like unless you trademark it you’re out of luck. Thanks again, going to watch your Redbubbble tags now!

  29. Thanks for the great content.I just wanted to know ,how do you check for copywrites on some of the texts.

    1. After a lot of research I saw a redbubble store ranked on top page using 30 tags on it… And redbubble tells us to use 15 tags minimum.. 50 is too much dude… You will be downgraded as per redbubble.

  30. FYI – Chestify uses the classic Helvetica font. Great video as always – many thanks

  31. I’m going to make a shirt that says “Super Obscure Reference That Nobody Searches For”! LOL JK, but it goes to show that ideas are EVERYWHERE! Thank you. I appreciate your videos!

    1. “Super Obscure Reference That Nobody Else Gets” might actually be a wining t-shirt design. The hard part would be figuring out what someone would search for to find it 🙂

    1. @Passive Owl ok, I see… I used to know that the best number was 25… Now you suggest 15… I guess I will pick 20 relevant for my new designs and see how they perform!…

  32. I’ve uploaded a few different designs in my red bubble account but nothing seems to sell at all.. can you check it out please?

    1. depending on what you’re selling and where, may have something to do with it. Try teepublic, I find that they do alot of sales that encourages new buyers.

  33. Awesome and Simple Tips My Friend!
    I congratulate you, you will be Famous in no time.
    Keep up the good work
    👍😎

    1. @Passive Owl please give me an Indonesian translation or subtitles so that I understand when I continue your video on this channel give me a good response to my question, I wait, keep my enthusiasm🎉🎁🥰🎆

    1. @Passive Owl ..We’re in Tier 2 now -so ..we’ll have to wait and see.. ..I’m really grateful for your research and sharing – you’re the reason im still on RB – thank you Passive Owl..!!

    2. The great thing about Redbubble is that you don’t have to choose. The text based designs you make for t-shirts will also apply to masks and stickers. I don’t have access to the data but I imagine that stickers are still king in terms of top selling products. Masks and t-shirts is a tough one. Masks are trending but t-shirts are evergreen. Fingers crossed we don’t need masks for much longer.

  34. I can look at a text-based design and be able to tell if it was done by a designer or someone that has no design background.

    Text-based designs require a sense of design. Sure, crappy text designs sell but a designers text designs will out sell the non-designer’s text-based designs.

  35. Wait pretty sure you can still do more than 15? I am on it everyday and still about 15 to 20? Do you mean it is better to do it that way because it is way to spammy?

    1. @Passive Owl thanks yea I try to keep it 15 20 tops now. I use to have a little more when I first started maybe 30 35ish but I didn’t know it wasn’t recommended then

    2. Thanks for commenting about the tag situation. I was sure that I’d been limited to 15 recently, but it’s actually that RB **suggest** using 15 tags to get featured. This mental limit became fixed as far as I was concerned. It is bizarre that they allow 50 despite recommending 15, but it has been theorised that their algorithm places less value on people that choose to use more tags. Person A uses 15 tags and gets prioritised as “more relevant” than Person B who uses 50. That info hasn’t been confirmed by Redbubble as far as I’m aware but they do officially recommend using less tags.

  36. Thanks so much, Mr Owl. I started doing some text-based designs (of my own) but perhaps they’re not appealing enough, perhaps it’s my sense of humour or way of thinking (being autistic) maybe I’m not connecting properly but I feel encouraged to persevere thanks to your advice! Also, I had no idea that tags were now limited to 15 as I’ve seen so many mixed messages on this, including from Merch Titans who’s free tag tool is brilliant but there’s not an entirely clear message as to how many should/could be used. I went with some advice to go with as many as possible as that was what so many big sellers were doing on Redbubble but maybe that’s no longer the case and now I’m stressing at the thought of having to go through and change every single listing accordingly! If only this was clear from the start from Redbubble! Anyway, thanks again! New subscriber here, much appreciated.

    1. @Passive Owl Well I’ve mainly played it safe and gone for about 15-30 of the most relevant tags imo. So I’ll have to see how it goes a bit longer! I appreciate the feedback regardless and you that may be a good shout re. neurodiversity themes – it’s been something I’ve pondered but never implemented – Maybe I should just go for it! All the best – Your channel’s a Hoot!

    2. You’re welcome Rob. Thanks for commenting about the tag situation. I was sure that I’d been limited to 15 recently, but it’s actually that RB **suggest** using 15 tags to get featured. This mental limit became fixed as far as I was concerned. It is bizarre that they allow 50 despite recommending 15, but it has been theorised that their algorithm places less value on people that choose to use more tags. Person A uses 15 tags and gets prioritised as “more relevant” than Person B who uses 50. That info hasn’t been confirmed by Redbubble as far as I’m aware but they do officially recommend using less tags. As for your sense of humour and being autistic – I think that’s actually quite a good niche to look into. Autism, neurodiversity, etc. Might as well target what you know and there’s definitely a big market for it.

    1. RhymeZone is the best! I should’ve mentioned that, so thank you for adding it. I usually just type “rhymes with cat” or whatever in Google and RhymeZone results show up without having to go to the site.

    1. @Brian Passive Income Yes exactly, using too many irrelevant tags doesn’t really help get your designs noticed.

    2. yea I am confused to i am on RB everyday uploading im pretty sure you can still d0 50. Maybe he means that they really only recommended doing 15 now because that is the best way to get optimized and not be spammy? I use to do more now I try to keep it no more than 20, but yea pretty sure you can still do more than 15

  37. Ppl download other people’s YT videos? Wow! Creators should add their logo to the screen so viewers can tell. Anyway – this is a very clear video 👌

    1. @Passive Owl Smh. Greedy and selfish. They sould disable the download video feature.
      I do see some channels put their logo on screen throughout, I can see why. Good luck with it – you’re good at this 🍀

    2. There are even guides/courses on how to do it! They go after my popular vids then try to monetize on their own channel. It’s quite easy to submit a takedown request, but gets annoying.

    1. @Backstage Cam the time you spend looking for copycats is the time you lose instead of creating new designs

    2. @Michael Taiwan MKTG It would be understandably hard task for sure. I have background in marketing and in media, so I know the laws are strict on those industries. As they ought to be.

    3. @Backstage Cam yes there are but in the ocean of copies, who is going to detect infringement then enforce the laws?

    4. I hate people stealing other people’s creative ideas. Isn’t there any ‘laws’ shielding immaterial creations on the POD industry?

  38. Why are your videos so awesome?! 😉 Every video adds so much value, it’s insane. I would subscribe to your channel again 🙅🏻‍♀️ Thank you!

  39. I have question….. we have to just make a design or buy a shirt print a t-shirt design then sell on rebubble??

    1. @Sohail Malik Oh also try Teechip.com, Threadless.com, (Teepublic.com this site is owned by Redbubble so be careful, or read the FAQ before you open your account.

    2. @Passive Owl haha I know Craig there’s too many questions and queries enough to give you a headache.

    3. @Sohail Malik Yes there are many sites but don’t rush, you should watch more videos from Passive Owl he explains things you should know like how to price your products and how to add tags, etc…

  40. It’s 10x more difficult than what they make it seem. Aren’t quotes copyrighted? And also it takes a comedy writing genius to come up with original and funny sayings like that.

    1. @Passive Owl Oh Craig or anyone from England speaking of comedy, there’s a hilarious comedy sketch show called Spitting Image, it’s back but only streaming on BritBox paid service, I’ve downloaded the first 3 eps if you want them I can upload to my google drive acct.

    2. I appreciate that you’re frustrated but I wouldn’t say that many of them are comedy genius. One of the best sellers is literally just the word NO! Some are funny but others, including my top sellers, aren’t as good. I guess humour is subjective though. Some of the Amazon best sellers are absolute trash in my opinion, but it’s what people want to buy. Get a free trial of MerchInformer and look at the top 500 – you’ll see what I mean, and yet they’re making so much money that it’s ridiculous.

    3. @John You know there’s already so many copyrighted designs or fanart on RB it’s ridiculous, if you type any movie title you will find at least one image which isn’t allowed and I’ve found almost 4,000 results for The Last of Us video game, none of their accounts have gotten suspended.

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