5 Simple design tips to enhance your customised products
Nov 03, 2016 - DESIGN
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Olivier Stapylton-Smith

You have a good design, but you’re a perfectionist. How do you know when you’re on the right road to perfection?


1. Feeling Font-astic

Perfecting your use of typography is key to creating the best design possible. Your designs deliver a message, and delivering that message is easy if you write it out. When you’re creating font-focused designs, you want to be able to grab people’s attention. If people are drawn in by your custom designed product, then they’re going to want to buy. 

There’s a wonderful world of fonts out there for you to discover. Take a minute or two to be amazed by the selection at 1001freefonts, go on, we’ll wait. Knowing more about fonts will stop you from using the default typeface which can end up looking dull and repetitive. Try mixing it up a little.

 Moteef shirt fonts

Make sure you use fonts that:

  • Are wildly different, or exactly the same (we know how this sounds, it’s explained below)
  • Make use of colours that are complementary to your image or shirt colour


There are no half measures when it comes to your font choice. Sticking to the same typeface is good for custom designs with less text and provides consistency. If you are using designs which only have a little text, remember to use font colours that complement your image.

However when you have a design which is a little heavier on the word count, you’ll want to mix up things up a little. Use fonts which are wildly different from one another and your clothes designs will be drawing everyone’s attention.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed way to learn about typography, it’s worth having a look at the documentary ‘Helvetica’. It’s an independant film which goes dives into the world of typography in graphic design. 

2. Balance In All Things

Keeping track of your design’s feng shui is a handy trick for enhancing products. Balance of design comes in two different forms, symmetrical and asymmetrical 

SYMMETRICAL BALANCE

 Moteef Symmetrical design 

This is the most simple form of balance. The design is a mirror image of itself and creates a well rounded, visually appealing product. This kind of balance is perfect for simple, image based, designs with limited typeface. 

ASYMMETRICAL BALANCE

 Moteef Asymmetrical design 

This kind of balance is a little more complicated because it involves breaking your image down into large and small pieces. If you have lots of smaller items on one side of your custom design, then you need to balance them out with a larger item on the other side.

It’s also essential to balance colour in your asymmetrical custom designs. You don’t want one side to be darker than the other. So if you have one large, dark item on the left; the right side should be balanced with lots of smaller, light coloured items.

Your image won’t immediately look balanced, but your personalised design won’t create visual tension like non-balanced designs do. This kind of symmetry is a lot better for images which feature text or a more complicated personalised design.

3. Designing With Colour

We’ve mentioned colour a couple of times already. However, knowing how to use colour well, and how to use it poorly, isn’t black and white.

 Moteef using colour to your advantage

When using colour, there are a lot of things you need to think about.

YOUR NICHE AUDIENCE

Each niche audience finds different colours appealing. Women generally like purple and blue tones, but hate greys and oranges whereas men prefer orange and greens. Knowing what colours your audience likes will go a long way to improving your designs for custom products. 

COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS 

These are colours which are on opposite sides of the colour wheel. Most of the time, this only involves two colours at a time, but if you want to get a little colour-crazy you can use up to three or four colours that are evenly spaced out around the colour wheel. At Moteefe we don’t charge you any extra for using more than 5 colours, so there’s no need to worry about going overboard.

Moteef colour wheel  

MONOCHROMATIC COLOUR 

If you just want to keep things simple you can stick to one colour. It’s possible to use different shades of the same colour, but it’s generally easier to stick to one option for the whole design.

PRODUCT COLOUR 

This is often overlooked because people focus on creating the best quality design possible. However if you want to take your custom design game to the next level, then you need to think about it. 

Your personalised product is going to provide the background, and frame, for your design. Make sure your featured product colour is complementary to your design. Plan ahead and see what works, there are lots of product colours to choose from.

Check out our blog post about how to use colour to your advantage in design if you want to learn a little more about winning with colour.

4. Think About How It Will Print

Spending hours, even days, creating the perfect design only to see it printed and look nothing like your image is one of the worst feelings. There tends to be a bit of a disconnect between designing an image and seeing it printed.

 DTG printers used by Moteef

Most of the time people don’t know how easy or difficult their design will be to print. This is where you can really enhance your custom product designs and be one step ahead of the competition. 

For the best print, it’s best to focus on:

  • Having clean bold lines
  • Keeping your colours, simple and clean
  • Having as little shading as possible
  • Staying away from gradients

Overall, the best policy is to keep your design simple, the more complex your design the more difficult it will be to print.

Of course, there are also a few technical options that will improve your print quality such as using RGB Colour mode and having a 300 DPI resolution. If you want to learn more about the technical side, read our blog How to Prepare a Photoshop Design for a High Quality Print.    

5. The Positives Of Negative Space

Negative space is the unused area in between different parts of your image. If this space isn’t used well it can leave your design looking empty, and no one wants that. But you shouldn’t fill negative space just to get rid of it either. It’s time to get creative. 

Reigning in negative space and taming it for your design will create a clever image for your custom products. Take a look at this movie poster for Peter and the Wolf created by Phoebe Morris which uses negative space to create the image.

Peter and the wolf    

Learning how to use your negative space in a positive way will improve your personalised product designs considerably, and the better your designs are, the more you’re likely to sell. 

Final thoughts...

These simple tricks will help you enhance your designs to the next level. With your shiny new designs your custom products will be five steps ahead of the competition. Just remember to...

  1. Be on top of your fonts
  2. Balance those designs 
  3. Use colour to your advantage
  4. Think about how it will be printed
  5. Use negative space in a clever way

If you have any questions, you can ask us at the Moteefe Hangout or if you want more tips and tricks for improving your campaigns, our blog is filled with useful articles to help you out.   

 

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