Planning to print customised t-shirts for an upcoming event at your campus or workplace? Thinking of going with plain t-shirts as the base, but worried that they might look too dull and boring?
Plain tee shirts can be given a new lease of life by simply having a bit of extra colour painted on or even printed on to them. This idea and practice have been going on for as long as anyone can remember. However, the bigger question would be – how and where do you start?
Of course, the simplest solution would be to go to a screen print shop and have them print one of their designs onto your shirts. Should you, instead, feel that creative spark and would like total control over the design as well as the colour combinations used, we start by looking at a quick understanding of colour theory.
Now, we all know that colour can send messages and bring about emotions; red means danger or passion (or prosperity, for certain cultures), blue for depression or tranquility, green for earthly connections, et cetera, the list goes on.
We shall not bother you with the whole intricacies and philosophy behind colour theory, but we will have to start your printing journey with three concepts which are – Monochromatic, Analogous, and Complementary colours.
Let’s say you look at one colour in particular on the colour wheel, let’s pick…red? Monochromatic colours are the various shades of the same red. If you can’t quite picture it, we’ll give you several examples of monochromatic reds: Sanguine, Burgundy, Cherry, Rose, Blood, Ruby, and so on.
This is similar to the one before. It’s a range of similar colours or hues in the colour wheel. An example of it would be the red to orange or the blue to purple range of colours. These are colours that are next to each other on the wheel.
For this one, don’t let the wording confuse you. Complementary, in this sense, does not mean complementing each other, but they are literally for colours opposite to each other on the colour wheel. Examples include yellow and purple, red and green, or blue and orange.
Now that we got the basics out of the way, we can look at some combinations that you can use with your shirt.
As far as colours go, red can be quite an eye-catching and striking colour. For this particular option, a red tee as a base would go well with white designs, and the converse would work too, white tee with red designs. The red will catch all the attention of those who glance your way.
Ah, green. This earthly tone works well with darker shades like black or grey, especially if the green you are using is in the shades of Teal or Chartreuse. Easy on the eyes and a softer counterpart to the red we mentioned earlier. One combination that gamers would appreciate is that of Razer’s black and green aesthetics. Now, we’re not advocating for you to print their logo on your tee and call it a day, but we are saying that the combination of black and green is, for all intents and purposes, objectively nice.
This one is a very versatile number with options ranging from blue and yellow, blue and white, to even dark blue and light blue. Really, just about any combination would work with this as the cool blue does not vie for attention, but rather helps support the other colours that are added to it.
4. Black and Grey
While some may think that grey, black, and white don’t always pair off well, a grey shirt can serve as a base to adding black prints onto it. This is due to the grey being light enough so that the black can stand out.
5. All the Colours
Yes, you heard us right. Go wild and paint with all the colours of the wind! Yes, we just referenced a 1995 Disney cartoon and we are proud of it, but that’s not the point. What we are talking about is the combination of all of the colours of the rainbow on your shirt. If it works well in the sky, why should it not work well on your shirt? You could even bring the rainbow motif even further by using a sky blue shirt as a base and work your designs around that, using red, orange, yellow, green, blue (a different shade to your sky blue base), indigo, and violet.
In all honesty, there really is no right or wrong when it comes to creativity. It is your prerogative to wear what you want and have what you want on what you wear! We, on the other hand, are here to merely facilitate and advise you on what would stand out from the crowd.
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