How to Print a Logo on Fabric?
Whether you’re a fashion label, magazine, tourist attraction or in fact any type of business at all, printing logos onto clothing is one of the simplest and best advertising methods out there.
Think about it: you provide people with a nice T-shirt, tote bag, face mask or scarf and then they walk around and advertise your company for you for free.
Done well, logo printing on clothes can be a marketing masterstroke. Done poorly, it can be an expensive blunder and your printed logo items will most likely end up relegated to messy workwear, pyjama tops or recycling.
Here we will take you through everything you need to know about how to print a logo on fabric.
We will cover everything from design tips to printing techniques, to make sure you know everything you need to do in order to make your logo printing venture a success.
How to print a logo on fabric?
- Think about placement
- Prepare the logo for printing
- Chose the right printing technique
Logo printing: Where to place it?
Placement is everything, especially when it comes to putting your printed logo on T-shirts and other garments.
If you can incorporate your logo into the garment in a tasteful way that appeals to your target market, then you have done the hardest part. If your logo looks misplaced, oversized or garish, then forget it. You can expect to see your products on the charity shop rails before long.
Printed logo placement ideas:
- On the front
- On the chest
- Making a logo pattern
Across the front
This is a real statement that will get your logo noticed. This type of design is ideal for those with big, bold and bright logos that would look ideal spread across a plain white or black T-shirt or on the body of a linen tote bag.
However, to do this effectively you need to invest in high-quality printing. This will ensure that all the different aspects of your logo are crisp and looking their best and that your print is durable enough to survive repeated washes and become an established part of your customer’s wardrobe. We’ll go into more detail about the types of printing available to you a little later.
On the chest
This is a more understated approach, but one that’s very popular. One of the benefits here is that having a smaller logo on the chest leaves more room for other designs without overcrowding the item. Whereas a full-frontal logo is best suited to a plainer coloured garment, a chest logo can look good on pretty much any colour, giving you the scope to create a whole range if you so desire. Also, if you’re thinking about designing a pocket T-shirt, then a chest logo is a great way to highlight this feature.
Incorporating your logo into a pattern
This is a really striking way of incorporating your logo into a design in an impactful way. It’s worked for some of the biggest brands in world fashion, so why not yours?
The real beauty of this is that it not only creates memorable pieces of clothing but can also be printed onto any type of fabric. Everything from tea-towels, to blankets, to face masks and lycra tights can incorporate this type of design and if it’s done well, a design like this can come to represent your entire brand.
Prepare your logo for printing on clothes
There are a few things you should always do to prepare your logo for printing onto fabric:
Always make sure that your logo is in the highest resolution possible before printing. This is especially useful if you have an intricate logo, because you want as much of the detail to be visible as possible. Some of the definitions can be lost when printing your logo onto fabric, so having it in the highest resolution you can is the best way to avoid this.
The CMYK colour format is specifically designed for high-quality printing and all good design platforms make it easy to create logos in this framework. Always bear this in mind when designing logos to print on clothes, because the RGB colour formats that look great on your computer screen are not guaranteed to look so good when printed on fabric.
Also, if your logo contains black, make sure it is designed with true black. This guarantees a crisp print and allows all the other colours to stand out.
If you have several designs in mind, then you need to make sure that your logo is easily scalable. This ensures that your printed logo doesn’t lose any quality when it's resized or adjusted. Vector images are a great option, but raster images are the best candidates when it comes to rescaling complex logos before printing.
Logo printing techniques
So your logo is looking crisp and you’ve got your printed clothing designs in the bag. Now how do you actually print a logo on fabric? Well, luckily for you there are a range of different options at your disposal:
There are many benefits to sewing your logo into fabric. Firstly, there is no chance of it washing out. Secondly, it adds new dimensions to the logo which helps it stand out. Finally, it shows a level of quality and class that can be really appealing. However, this is an expensive option and one that is best suited to simpler logos and thicker materials, like on a jacket or cap. You also need to make sure your logo is in the right file format for the embroidery machine to read. There are free online tools out there that can do this for you.
This is the most cost-effective method. All you need is some transfer paper and a standard printer. The process involves printing your logo onto transfer paper and then ironing it onto your fabric. Whilst this is budget-friendly, it does not produce the best results and we wouldn’t recommend this if you want to create long-lasting items.
Printing on roll
This is a great method if you’re printing your logo in a pattern. The method is simple, you get your design engraved onto an iron roller and then manually press the roller into the ink and apply it to the fabric. It can take a bit of practice to get right and produces a very specific effect, but it is also cost-effective and environmentally sustainable.
Appliques from printed fabric
Like embroidery, this technique is not technically printing, but is still a great way to get your logo onto clothing. It works by printing your logo onto a large swatch of fabric and then cutting it out and either ironing or sewing it onto your garment.
Screen and heat printing
These are the two most common ways of printing logos onto fabric. Heat printing is cost-effective and fast, but the caveat is that you lose all definition and the print runs the risk of coming off in the wash. Screen printing, on the other hand, is more environmentally friendly and produces more durable designs. However, screen printing is slow and requires a lot of specialist gear that you will most likely have to outsource.
If you’re trying to work out how to print a logo on fabric, then hopefully these steps have given you some good food for thought. Remember, what works best for you is what will resonate the most with your target audience. You should always bear them in mind when designing any item, most especially ones that have your logo printed on them.