Your clothes say a lot about you—and whether you’re designing a t-shirt to wear on your next company retreat, a hoodie to promote your new product or a tee for your crew to rock at the next big event, you want to make sure that your shirt designs look fantastic. And that’s why you need to hire an experienced shirt designer.

The right t-shirt designers can bring your apparel idea to life in a way that makes the most impact.

How to get the best t-shirt design

When it comes to t-shirt design, there are a few different roads to take—and the road you decide to go down is going to be entirely based on what you’re looking for and how you prefer to work.

t-shirt design
Design contests give you options. By 80Kien
t-shirt design
By ABP78
t-shirt design
By 80Kien

Design contests

If you’re not 100% sure what you want your t-shirt design to look like, then hosting a design contest is definitely the way to go. All you have to do is put together a design brief and designers from all over the world will pitch you their design ideas for an awesome t-shirt. Once all the designs are in, you give feedback, get revisions, then choose the one you like best and BOOM—t-shirt design complete.

Learn more about t-shirt design contest ->

Working one-on-one with a freelancer

If you have a pretty clear idea in mind for how you’d like your t-shirts to look, then working directly with a freelancer can be a great way to bring that vision to life. Want to find a shirt designer with a style that matches your aesthetic? You’re in luck!

The 10 best freelance t-shirt designers to hire in 2018

Top Level
5.0
( 46 )
  • T-shirt
  • Logo design
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Poster
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Postcard, flyer or print
Top Level
5.0
( 96 )
  • T-shirt
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Poster
  • Other design
  • Logo design
  • Merchandise
  • Other web or app design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other packaging or label
  • Other art or illustration
Top Level
5.0
( 44 )
  • T-shirt
  • Logo design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Merchandise
  • Twitter background design
  • Sticker
  • Postcard, flyer or print
Top Level
5.0
( 137 )
  • T-shirt
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo design
  • Product label
  • Other design
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Poster
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Other art or illustration
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Icon or button
  • Product packaging
  • Logo & hosted website
  • Landing page design
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Banner ad
Top Level
5.0
( 48 )
  • T-shirt
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Infographic
  • Web page design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other design
  • Card or invitation
  • Logo design
  • Sticker
  • Merchandise
  • Icon or button
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Signage
  • Book cover
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Logo & business card
  • Landing page design
  • Character or mascot
  • Brochure
  • Banner ad
  • Social media page
  • PowerPoint template
  • Other web or app design
  • Other business or advertising
  • Other book or magazine
  • Business card
Top Level
5.0
( 112 )
  • T-shirt
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Logo design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Merchandise
  • Other design
  • Sticker
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Product label
  • Poster
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other art or illustration
  • Card or invitation
Top Level
5.0
( 50 )
  • T-shirt
  • Logo design
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Other design
  • Postcard, flyer or print
Top Level
5.0
( 35 )
  • T-shirt
  • Logo design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Product label
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Merchandise
Top Level
5.0
( 59 )
  • T-shirt
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Logo design
  • Merchandise
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Character or mascot
  • Cup or mug
Top Level
5.0
( 58 )
  • T-shirt
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Merchandise
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo design
  • Cup or mug
  • Sticker
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Other design

How did we choose these as the top shirt designers?

At 99designs, it’s our top priority to connect you with the best t-shirt designer for your project. And in order to make sure we deliver the best talent, we judge each designer based on a clear (and strict) set of criteria:

Skill

t-shirt design
By XZEQUTEWORX™

We want to make sure the designers we pair you with can walk the walk, so every designer on our platform goes through a portfolio review, where their work is reviewed by our in-house design team. During the evaluation, our design experts are looking for:

  • Technical skill and execution
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of design principles
  • Creative and conceptual thought

Once we’ve reviewed a designer’s portfolio, we assign them to one of three categories:

  • Top Level: the best of the best, these designers exhibit a high level of creativity and design expertise
  • Mid Level: these designers can easily handle most projects and are well on their way to establishing themselves as experts
  • Entry Level: the “rising stars,” these designers don’t have a ton of experience, but they show potential

Experience

Just because a designer can churn out amazing logo designs doesn’t mean they’re the right designer for your t-shirt project.

Different design types require different experience—so when we’re putting together our recommendations, we make sure we’re presenting a roster of designers who can walk the walk—and dress the part—of an awesome t-shirt designer.

Professionalism

We don’t just want to deliver designers with the design chops to complete your project. We want to deliver true professionals.

Creating a positive experience for our clients is important to us, which is why we factor professionalism—including a designer’s responsiveness, ability to adhere to deadlines and overall communication skills—into the equation when rating and recommending our designers. That way, you know not only are you getting a great designer—you’re getting a great designer you can work with on a professional level.

What to think about when hiring a t-shirt designer

Your t-shirts are like a walking billboard for your brand—which is why it’s important you choose the right designer to bring your t-shirt design to life. Here are a few things to keep in mind when hiring to make sure the person you choose is the right fit for you and your apparel project:

t-shirt design
By Daria V.
  • Choose your printing options from the get-go. There are a bunch of different options when it comes to printing your t-shirt (like screen printing and vinyl). Before you choose a designer—and before you start working with your designer to create your t-shirt design—know what printing style you’re going to use. That way, you and your designer can make the best design decisions based on your printing method.
    Not sure what you want? Check out our Ultimate guide to t-shirt design ->
  • Think about the end product. The right designer for your company uniform shirts isn’t necessarily going to be the same designer you’ll use for edgy merchandise sold at a concert. Before you choose a designer, think about the end product and the kind of impact you want it to have—then choose a designer you feel is the most qualified to create that impact with their design.
  • Find the right style match. People—whether it’s your team, your customers or yourself—are going to be wearing this shirt, so it’s got to convey the right style (otherwise, it’s going to end up in a pile in the back corner of a closet). Make sure when choosing a designer, you pick someone who has a similar style and can create something you’d be excited to wear.

Are you ready to hire a top freelance t-shirt designer?

The world of apparel design can be tricky. But when you’ve got the right designer in your corner it doesn’t have to be.

Didn’t quite find the right match on our top 10 list?
Take a look at the thousands of other designers we’ve got in our closet.