Design Guideline Update: Don't use the shirt color as part of the design!

Hey there, Shirt artists! Here’s an important update to our current design guidelines:

Tl;dr - Stop incorporating/relying on the shirt color in your design files!

In the future, we’d like to give customers the opportunity to choose the color they want a design printed on, even if we think their choice is a little odd (we’re looking at you, Lemon). The customer’s always right, right? This means that the print file will need to print consistently, regardless of the shirt color the customer chooses. So what does this mean for you?

From now on, please do not incorporate or rely on the shirt color in your design files. Your design will need to be shirt color-agnostic, so that it will print the same way, regardless of which color fabric it’s printed on.

Here’s an example of what this will look like:

In the old way, if you wanted a black outline around your kitty cat, you would create blank areas in the print file where the outlines were supposed to be, and then put the design on a black shirt (see example below).

In the new way, you will need to add the black outline to the art file so that there will always be a black outline around your kitty, regardless of which shirt color the design is printed on. Even if it’s Lemon.

Make sense? Good! When should you start? Now! What else should you know about our design guidelines? Click here for a quick overview! And post your questions below. Thanks!


Is this an indication that there may be multiple shirt color options in the future?

(I know a lot of past designs relied on the shirt color for the halftones, which probably means those designs will remain on its respective color.)

Edit: It’s helpful to fully read the write up first, right?

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I suggest a new database field to indicate the design can be run on different colors. You are monkeying a bit with artist’s work IMHO. You’ll do better to have certain ones available; others not.

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I use the shirt color so there’s less ink on the shirt making it more comfortable to wear. Would there be an option for an artist to choose the shirt colors that will be offered?


I’ll start by saying, I’m NOT an artist. I do love my many, many Woot! shirts (I wore my Bazinga shirt last night. Farewell, TBBT!). I like the idea of choosing a color, but I also like not having too much ink on a large design. So, maybe give the artist the option of submitting two files, one that uses the shirt color and one that doesn’t, then you can offer the “original” color with less ink and the “optional” colors with more. That might be too much work for the artists or for Woot!, I don’t know. But it sounds like the artists might want to maintain a bit more control over their designs. Just my 2 pennies. Thanks for the idea of options!!

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Being able to pick from a limited selection of different colors shirts when you’re buying a design has been working great for other sites for many years - it makes perfect sense for Woot. I hope that’s what’s happening!

Often a design will only look good on a few different shirts, even if the design is fully colored, so I hope the options are tailored on a design by design basis.


My biggest concern with this is something I noticed about the quality of the ink. There is a glossiness which can make dark colors appear lighter than they should, which is not a problem on light colored fabrics, but stands out on dark fabrics.

As an example, one of my designs included a dark brown which was meant to be darker than the brown shirt fabric. But due to the glossiness of the ink, it appears lighter when printed on the shirt, and kinda throws off the design as a result. I’d be worried that the necessity to make the design useable on all fabric colors (by having black be part of the design, as in the example) would make them look wrong on certain colors of shirt.

I would be much more in favor of making this an option for the artist. To design for a single color, a number of artist-selected colors, or for any/all colors.

  1. It would nice to see a real image of a real shirt. The art displayed as the image of a shirt is not always an accurate representation of the shirt as printed.

  2. Also the women’s shirts not infrequently have disproportionately smaller images which is not disclosed. Technology to scale images so that the are proportionally consistent as represented on the sales page would be a giant improvement.

  3. Love the idea of having a choice of shirt colors!