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Custom Screen Printed Transfers & More

Sizing Designs Across T-Shirt Sizes: Should They Stay The Same or Differ?

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Hey friends, Dave here with Transfer Express and today, I want to talk about something that comes up quite often when I'm talking to up-and-coming apparel businesses, and that is: should you adjust the artwork sizing for different sizes of apparel?

So let’s dive in and chat about what’s common practice, and then I’m going to print a whole range of tees with some great reference points on the art we can look at, so, you can confidently setup and knock out those print jobs across a whole range of sizes! Ready? Let’s go!

Before we get into our discussion today, I do want to mention that we have a great guide linked here all about artwork sizing and some great methods you can use to dial it in and visualize what it’ll look like on a garment. If you’re brand new, that might be a great place to start.

But, with over 10 years in the printing industry, the print sizing rarely changes across sizes. 11” standard width on extra smalls and 11” on extra large? Bingo.

Artwork is always sized to fit on the smallest sized t-shirt in the order and printed the same all the way up to largest size, for a few reasons:

#1. Saves time and money: setup in different screens for traditional screen printing would ruin profitability, and the same goes for bulk quantity discounts when ordering screen printed heat transfers. If you’re sizing artwork for each size, you’re not getting a quantity discount.

#2. Shirts wrap around a body, and the “front” of a person stays on the front regardless of size (it's the 3D sides we need to account for with larger garments) so it doesn’t look all that different on the actual front of a t-shirt.

#3. Gauge based on artwork and average apparel size. If the majority are XL and up, with just one or two smalls or XS, size for the majority unless restricted by seams (most commonly it’s the shoulder seams).

#4. Different sizing is evident in team photos/family gatherings with matching shirts or group employee pictures. Keep them the same size for nice consistent looks!

#5. There are exceptions to this rule, typically between youth and adult sizes. 9” max on youth tees can look ok on adults depending on your specific artwork, but this is where the print sizing will likely change, if it all.

I hope you feel confident in your next apparel project keeping the artwork the same size across all of your sizes for more profit and more efficiency running your job.

As always, be sure you’re subscribed to our Transfer Express YouTube page to stay up to date on all of the t-shirt business tips, tricks, and inspiration we’re dropping every single week! But, until next time, I’m Dave, happy pressing!

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