Let’s find out how big a logo design should be on a printed t-shirt!
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You've got your logo ready. You plan to use print it on custom t-shirts. The question is, how big should a logo design be on a T-shirt? Unfortunately, the answer is a bit complicated. How big it should depend on many factors. For example, the size of the T-shirt, placement of the logo, and your audience.
It is even more complicated if you intend to use T-shirts as one of your marketing materials. If that is the case, the shirts become a walking advertisement. And like any other advertisement, you want it to look good and make a good impression.
Suppose that sounds difficult, well, because it is. No need to worry, though. We are here to help. We will discuss the top 8 print locations for T-shirt logo design, how big the logo should be on each print location, and a few things to consider before selecting a size.
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Top 8 Print Locations for Logo Design on T-shirts
Technically speaking, you can print a logo on a T-shirt anywhere you want. However, just because you could, it doesn't mean you should. Also, since you want it to look good and make a good impression, knowing eight print locations that are tested and true will be very helpful.
1. Left Chest
The #1 print location is the Left Chest, for a good reason. It is such a classic because of how versatile the location is. T-shirts with a logo on the left chest are suitable for employees, staff for an event, and just about anything.
Let's say you want to print your brand's visual representation here. How big should it be? The standard dimensions are somewhere around 3.5 x 3.5 inches (width x height), with 3 to 4 inches between the logo and the collar.
You can print smaller or bigger if you want. If you want to print smaller, make sure it is not smaller than 2.5 x 2.5 inches. If bigger, don't exceed 4.5 x 4.5 inches.
A logo design between 3 to 4 inches wide looks good. It is not too small. It is unnoticeable but not too big it looks overwhelming.
However, as good as it sounds, Left Chest does have a downside. Since the print is on the smaller side, a lot of detail will be lost. It does wonders for a simple image but isn't ideal for a complex one.
If your brand's visual representation has details in it and you want a Left Chest, consider simplifying the design, so it looks appropriate.
Note: the left here refers to the left from the wearer's perspective.
Created by Felipe Gottardello | https://www.behance.net/gallery/131386691/Ambicao-No-Borders-Collection
2. Center Chest
Think of Superman's "S" symbol. That's a Center Chest. Similar to Left Chest, Center Chest is also a classic print location. If your logo has lots of details and/or is wider than it is tall, Center Chest is a good option.
Size-wise, Center Chest is a moderately sized print. It is bigger than a Left Chest but smaller than a Full Front. The logo printed is almost always visible even if the wearer is wearing an open button-down shirt, hoodie, or jacket. It is great for visibility.
Center Chest is the middle ground between Left Chest and the Full Front. It can accommodate more details than Left Chest but doesn't occupy as much space as the Full Front would.
The standard dimension of a Center Chest is 8 x 8 inches. Can a Center Chest be smaller? Of course. If you want to go for a smaller Center Chest, don't go lower than 6 x 6 inches. On the flip side, if you want a bigger Center Chest, don't go more than 10 x 10 inches.
Ideally, the distance from the collar is somewhere between 3 and 4 inches.
Created by Mahmoud Shenawi™ | https://www.behance.net/gallery/126641129/Oreed-Identity
3. Full Front
Full Front is the most common print location. This comes as no surprise. If you want people to notice a print, what better choice than printing it big and putting it on the front of the shirt? After all, who would miss a big print on the front of the shirt? No one can miss such a print.
Full Front is so common that when people say "front," more often than not, they mean Full Front. A standard Full Front has dimensions of 12 x 12 inches. The distance from the collar is 3 to 4 inches.
As with the other print locations, you can print Full Front in smaller or bigger dimensions than the standard. For smaller Full Front, don't go lower than 10 x 12 inches. For bigger Full Front, don't exceed 13 x 15 inches.
For certain designs, Full Front can look very big even if it is on the smaller side. Depending on your designs, it may or may not be suitable.
If you are getting screen printing and a lot of ink will be involved, you may end up with shirts that aren't breathable. It might not be a problem if the shirts are intended for people who won't sweat much while wearing them. It is a big no for people who will, however.
Created by Júlio Cesar Gomes | https://www.behance.net/gallery/111774361/Necso-Brand-Identity-Logo-Design
4. Oversize Front
Perhaps Full Front isn't big enough to your liking? In that case, consider Oversize Front. Oversize Front is much like Full Front but bigger. Indeed. The "over" in the Oversize refers to the print that is over the size that should be printed on a T-shirt.
Many people like Oversize Front, which is why it is one of the top 8 print locations for logo design on T-shirts. Unlike others on the list, when it comes to size, there are no exact dimensions for an Oversize Front. Anything that is bigger than a standard-sized Full Front can be considered an Oversize Front.
Since the Oversize Front print is large, the distance between the image and the collar is only 2 to 3 inches. That shows how large it is. If you want your shirts to make a statement and/or grab attention even from a distance, an Oversize Front can be a good option.
While it is great to make a statement and grab attention, Oversize Front does have its limits. Some designs can look good when printed Oversize. Some others, not so much.
Also, you are restricted based on the size of the garment. For example, you can't print 14-inch wide on youth sizes or smaller women's sizes. V-necks and tank tops are not suitable for Oversize Front, either. For these, you would need different print sizes.
Created by Victor Berriel | https://www.behance.net/gallery/143385173/Remotips
5. Small Upper Back
Initially, Small Upper Back or Collar is an alternative print location. Then, it became very popular, and today, it has become a standard. It is hardly surprising. Why? Because the upper back or collar is an excellent place to put a logo.
A Small Upper Back tends to be small. The standard Small Upper Back has dimensions of 3 x 3 inches. Meanwhile, the smaller one has dimensions of 2 x 2 inches, and the bigger one has 4 x 4 inches. The distance from the collar is just 1 to 2 inches.
So yes, even the bigger ones are quite small. Due to its inherent smallness, Small Upper Back is rarely obtrusive. The image grabs attention, yes, but doesn't do it in an unwelcome way. It makes a statement while leaving most of the space empty, thus preventing it from becoming visually overwhelming.
The location also plays a role in why Small Upper Back doesn't need to be big. Since the image is right at eye level, anyone behind the wearer can see it immediately. That is why even if it is small, it is effective as far as a logo design is concerned. Better still, a Small Upper Back can be combined with a Full Back.
A small Upper Back is best left for simple designs. For intricate ones, consider Full Back.
Created by Izan G.| https://www.behance.net/gallery/111465727/APPAREL-COLLECTION
6. Upper Back
The Upper Back is a print location located across the shoulder blades. Have you ever seen a T-shirt that says "EVENT STAFF" or "SECURITY" on the back? That's the Upper Back. It is far bigger than a Small Upper Back but smaller than a Full Back.
An Upper Back occupies more space than a Small Upper Back. The standard dimensions are 12 x 5 inches. If you want to go smaller, limit it to 10 x 4 inches. That should be small enough but still noticeable.
The Upper Back is great if you want to print text. At such a size, the text is still readable by people from across the crowd. Not to mention it can accommodate a logo design with intricate details, too. It has better visibility than Small Upper Back while still leaving room to breathe.
If you want to go bigger, we suggest no more than 14 x 6 inches. Remember, a logo shouldn't be too small or too big. If it is too small, it can be difficult to make out. Likewise, if it is too big, it can look overwhelming. Neither is ideal, of course. You want to get it right.
On an Upper Back, the distance between the image and the collar is 3 to 4 inches. Since it is close to eye level, the Upper Back is great for making a statement.
Created by Rafa 'Molbo' Moll | https://www.behance.net/gallery/150390965/Costa-Sur-by-Sizexcellent-2022-Summer-Collection
7. Full Back
Full Back is the opposite of Full Front. Interestingly, it is quite a popular print location, second only to the Full Front. Unlike Full Front, however, Full Back is usually printed larger and a bit lower.
The standard Full Back has dimensions of 12 x 14 inches, which is quite big enough. For a small Full Back, you can reduce the dimensions to as small as 10 x 12 inches. For a larger one, 14 x 16 inches at maximum. The distance between the print and the collar is 3 to 4 inches.
Unlike some print locations on the list, Full Back rarely exists on its own. More often than not, it is accompanied by another print on the front, sleeves, or both.
For a classic combo, combine a Full Back with a Left Chest. The simple and single-color print is for the Left Chest. Meanwhile, the elaborate and colorful one is for Full Back.
Full Back is a better option than Full Front if you want an extra-large print. Due to its location, Full Back can accommodate a bigger image. Not to mention it makes a better billboard than Full Front, too. If you want to make a statement, Full Back is worth considering.
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Last but not least, Sleeve. Like Small Upper Back prints, Sleeve prints are rather small. A standard Sleeve has dimensions of only 2.5 x 2.5 inches, a smaller one of 1.5 x 1.5 inches, and a bigger one of 3.5 x 3.5 inches. The distance from the hem is 1 to 4 inches.
Notice how even a bigger one is still small relative to the size of the shirt. Don't underestimate Sleeves, however. Despite the size, Sleeves can do wonders. Keep in mind that you should reserve Sleeves for a simple logo design. A complex one won't be good when printed on a sleeve.
Sleeves can exist alone and in combination with another print. Let's say you have a Left Chest. You can balance and complement it with a Right Sleeve. If you have a Center Chest or Full Front, either sleeve will work. It is a great location to grab attention in a subtle way.
Since it works in combination with other print locations, you can include both simplified and elaborate designs. The Sleeve is for the former, while the other print locations are for the latter. So if you have both designs, you won't have to choose. You can use both, just in different locations.
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These are the top 8 locations. Each location has its perks and limitations. There is no right one. Only one that works best for you.
A Few Things to Consider Before Selecting a Size
Now you know how big a logo design should be on a T-shirt based on the print location. Next, we will explain a few things to consider before you select a size.
1. Who Will Be Wearing the T-Shirt?
One of the factors that determine the best size for the logo on T-shirts is the target audience. That is the people who will be wearing the shirt. Who is your target audience? What kind of activities your target audience might participate in?
For example, if your target audience is people in a professional setting, you want to put your logo on the left chest side. This will result in a more sophisticated look fitting for the setting. Likewise, if your target audience is athletes, you want breathable and comfortable T-shirts.
If you want to widen your target audience, you will need to widen your T-shirt collection. Adjust the placement and size of the logo accordingly.
2. How Complex Is the Design?
You also need to put the complexity of the logo design in mind. A logo with professional-looking fonts and clean lines will also look better big. It wouldn't look as good if placed in a left chest position, either. If your logo is rather complex and/or includes lots of wording, it will probably look better big than small.
Created by Rafa 'Molbo' Moll | https://www.behance.net/gallery/124335609/APPAREL-COLLECTION-20202021
3. How Colorful Is It?
The more colors are involved, the bigger the logo should be. A logo that has multiple colors looks best big than small. If it is printed too small, it might lose the crisp and clean lines that make it appealing. It will lose what makes it attention-grabbing in the first place.
On the other hand, a logo with fewer colors will be just fine if printed small. It will still grab attention as intended since not many colors are involved.
4. What Sizes Will You Offer?
This relates to your target audience. If your target audience is men, you will need to offer bigger shirts than you would women and vice versa. Since the size of the shirt is different, so is the size of the logo.
For example, an 11-inch-wide logo will look different on a men's large shirt than on a women's small shirt. You will need to adjust the size of the logo based on the size of the shirt you offer. You can't print the logo at the same size on different T-shirt sizes.
What if you want to appeal to as many people as possible? In that case, you will need a couple of different-sized logos to accommodate your target audience.
Created by Marlon Carvalho | https://www.behance.net/gallery/120742313/SOPRO-LogoRebrand
Alright, so let's recap. How big should a logo design be on a T-shirt? That depends on various factors, including the T-shirt size, logo placement, as well as your audience, just to name a few. If the logo is too small, it can be difficult to make out. Conversely, it is too big; it can be visually overwhelming.
You want to get the size of the logo right. Ultimately, that is up to you to decide. Now that you know the top 8 print locations for logo design on T-shirts and the ideal size of the logo on each location, deciding the size will be much easier.