• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

Best Places to Order Custom T shirts Online 2024

Have you ever gotten on an airplane or walked into a restaurant and encountered a whole crowd of people sporting the same t-shirt? While the effect may seem a bit cheesy, there’s definitely something fun and appealing about custom t-shirts that elevate celebrations and special occasions to the next level. They make the perfect swag gift at weddings, too, providing your guests with a unique (wearable) memento.

Custom t-shirts also offer an excellent method of marketing and branding your small business, as well as building community and morale for charitable organizations and local sports teams. Or, they can serve as the perfect, unique, one-of-a-kind gift for your bestie, soul mate, or favorite sibling (not that you play favorites).

Whatever your custom t-shirt needs are, there’s a place online to fulfill them. 

Table of Contents

What to keep in mind when order custom t-shirts online

Custom t-shirts are an excellent way to make a statement with your business, special event, or organization. To make sure you end up with the best results possible, though, there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s not just as simple as finding the best white t-shirts for men or women; you need to make sure you have a quality design to put on them.

Design

To ensure your design is of a high enough quality for printing (and won’t come out all pixelated), save it in a high resolution, preferably vector format. Also, do not use anything that may have copyright issues. Most online design editing tools allow you to experiment with different placements of your artwork on the shirt as well as adding in any text. Make sure to choose an ink color that goes well with the color of the shirt.

Shirt quality

If you’ve spent considerable time creating a graphic, you probably don’t want to put it on a cheap, low-quality t-shirt. Consider the weight and fabric type you want, as well as the color. Most of the sites included here offer brand name t-shirts of good quality in a wide size range for your custom needs. 

Printing method

There are a few to choose from, including screen printing and direct-to-garment  printing. Each has its own individual limitations and advantages (described below in the FAQs). If you’re unsure which is best for your needs, contact the customer service department of the site you are ordering from. 

Timeline

While many companies offer rush production and shipping times, these services often come with a pretty steep cost. Endeavor to plan ahead and allow enough time for printing and shipping.

Our top picks for the best places to order custom t-shirts online

There’s something here for every budget and every level of design assistance you may need (including having someone completely design your artwork for you). There are even a couple sites that offer speedy production and shipping times if you’ve left your ordering to the last minute.

Custom Ink

The Custom Ink site features an excellent online tool called Design Lab to create your artwork, which includes images and fonts you can incorporate into your design. Plus, their Custom Creations team is available to assist seven days a week. They’ll even send you a sample upon request for complicated designs.

The other cool feature of the site is its fundraising tool. If you’re involved in an organization or cause (small business, charity, school) that you think people would be interested in supporting, you can design a t-shirt and sell it on the site where you’ll raise funds with each sale (buyers can also add donations). Custom Ink takes care of all the logistics and fulfillment of orders for you.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: YXS – Adult 4XL
  • Shipping: Free for 2-week shipping, rush shipping for a fee
  • Returns: Refund within 15 days if your product differs from what you created, is flawed in some way, or arrives late
  • Best for: Complicated designs when you might need some input from a professional
  • How long it takes: 2 to 14 days
  • Prices starting at: $11.40 each for 25 items

What we like:

  • Customer service is available 7 days a week
  • Carry brand name t-shirts
  • Free shipping and design review

What we don’t like:

  • Website can be a bit overwhelming with so many options

Custom Ink

The Custom Ink site features an excellent online tool called Design Lab to create your artwork, which includes images and fonts you can incorporate into your design

Vistaprint

Vistaprint is a huge company that offers custom printing of paper products as well as t-shirts. You can choose to have your design printed in a variety of ways, including direct-to-garment and screen printing. 

In direct-to-garment printing the ink is sprayed directly onto the t-shirt and absorbed into the fibers, which means you have unlimited colors and virtually no design limitations. Plus, there’s no minimum order, so if you simply want to create a one-of-a-kind t-shirt with your own custom artwork, you can.

Or, if you want a durable, value option for bulk orders, choose a screen-printed design where ink is applied to the garment through a mesh screen. This creates a design with a smooth, slightly raised feel that you’re likely familiar with in mass-produced  logo t-shirts.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: S to 3XL
  • Shipping: Starting at $8.99
  • Returns: If items arrive damaged or defective, you can receive replacements free of charge
  • Best for: Bulk orders of simple designs
  • How long it takes: 10 days
  • Prices starting at: $7.95 each for 150; $11.95 for one

What we like:

  • Simple design creation interface
  • Comprehensive catalog of images to add to your design

What we don’t like:

  • Customer service wait times can be long (it’s a very large company)

Vistaprint

You can choose to have your design printed in a variety of ways, including direct-to-garment and screen printing

Zazzle

You can create your own designs or shop products made by other Zazzle members (similar to an Etsy type experience) on the site. Zazzle also allows you to customize your t-shirt with your favorite logos and images from television, movies, and pop culture, like Sesame Street characters or the Batman logo.

They offer “classic” printing or “vivid” printing. In classic, no white base layer is used and any white present in your design will be printed transparently, allowing the color of the t-shirt to show through. Vivid printing utilizes a white base layer.

The site also includes tutorials and articles to assist you in making your own designs look as professional as possible.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: S-3XL
  • Shipping: Unlimited free standard shipping with a Zazzle Plus membership (419.85 a year with a free 30-day trial).
  • Returns: Yes within 30 days for defective or damaged products (they ask for images to be uploaded as documentation)
  • Best for: High-quality t-shirts with ultimate customization options
  • How long it takes: 2 – 10 days
  • Prices starting at: $16.11 each

What we like:

  • No minimum quantities
  • You can edit pre-existing designs
  • Many color, style, and fabric options

What we don’t like:

  • Can be expensive compared to others

Zazzle

Zazzle also allows you to customize your t-shirt with your favorite logos and images from television, movies, and pop culture, like Sesame Street characters or the Batman logo

Underground Printing

Underground printing offers a range of t-shirts that you can add your custom design to including, heavy cotton, women’s scoop neck poly-cotton, cotton heritage garment dyed, and a unisex ultra-blend tee from a variety of brands including Gildan, Hanes, Nike, and many more.

Their online design editor is equipped with a catalog of clip art and design ideas to facilitate your creative process. They have in-person locations in 24 states if you think you’d benefit from some hands-on design assistance. Select t-shirts are also available for a fast two-day turnaround.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: XS – 4XL depending on specific t-shirt used
  • Shipping: From free to 10 days to $5.95 each for 4 days
  • Returns: 100% satisfaction guarantee; must contact them within 15 days
  • Best for: When you’ve waited until the last minute to order
  • How long it takes: Quickest turnout is 2 days for select t-shirt styles; most are 10 days
  • Prices starting at: $8.89 each for 64 items (some t-shirts have no minimums or minimums as little as six) 

What we like:

  • Wide range of colors and styles
  • Excellent customer service
  • Quick turnaround time

What we don’t like:

  • Some may not like that you have to set up an online account in order to save your designs

Underground Printing

Their online design editor is equipped with a catalog of clip art and design ideas to facilitate your creative process

Canvas Prints

Canvas Prints has an easy process to upload images and add text. They use 100% cotton t-shirts with no minimum orders. One of the biggest reasons to use them is if you have a design that entails printing in both the front and back of the t-shirt. You can print on both sides for the same price

They offer blind shipping, which removes any Canvas Print logos from packaging and the finished product.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: S -2XL
  • Shipping: 1-5 days
  • Returns: Yes, if the product is defective; must document with photos
  • Best for: Designs on both front and back
  • How long it takes: 3-5 days; you can also select priority production so that your order will ship the day after it is received
  • Prices starting at: $26.99 

What we like:

  • No minimum order quantities
  • 100% cotton t-shirts
  • Simple, easy to use design editor

What we don’t like:

  • Shipping costs a bit high compared to others

Canvas Prints

Canvas Prints has an easy process to upload images and add text. They use 100% cotton t-shirts with no minimum orders

GotPrint

GotPrint is a large custom printing company (though they are still family owned and run) that offers a variety of custom items including stationary, signs, and apparel. Their online design editor is easy to use and they also have downloadable templates you can open in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Acrobat to create your custom artwork. They also have a reseller/broker program if you’re a graphic designer or print shop owner.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: XS – 2XL
  • Shipping: $9.56 for 2-7 business days, $16.61 for 1-6 business days
  • Returns: Yes, for first-time customers only; must notify within 6 business days
  • Best for: When you need a design template to start from
  • How long it takes: 3 to 5 business days
  • Prices starting at: $12.66 per shirt 

What we like:

  • Design editor is easy to use
  • Huge catalog of templates available
  • Reseller program

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviewers say the customer service isn’t the best

GotPrint

Their online design editor is easy to use and they also have downloadable templates you can open in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Acrobat to create your custom artwork

Shutterfly

Shutterfly custom t-shirts make the perfect personalized gift. It’s super easy to upload your photo and add text. There’s also an online photo editor that allows you to correct red-eye, crop, and otherwise enhance your photos before having them printed. Shutterfly (as you may know) began as a photo storage/photo book printing company. They’ve recently added custom apparel options to their site.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: S-3XL
  • Shipping: Free economy in 6-10 business days, faster times for a fee
  • Returns: Yes, returns for reasons other than Shutterfly’s error will incur a 50% return fee
  • Best for: Creating one-of-a-kind personalized gifts using photos
  • How long it takes: From 2-10 business days; faster production times cost extra money
  • Prices starting at: $26.99 each

What we like:

  • Easy to use
  • Good print quality
  • Online photo editor

 What we don’t like:

  • Not as many t-shirt colors available as some other sites

Shutterfly

Shutterfly custom t-shirts make the perfect personalized gift. It’s super easy to upload your photo and add text

Allied Shirts

Allied Shirts features an easy-to-use online design tool as well as no minimum quantities on orders. They have templates and a clip art library to use if you need some inspiration. And, if you require even more help, their design services are free if you order 12 or more shirts. With a variety of styles and colors to choose from, Allied Shirts makes it easy to create custom shirts for your local sports team or special event.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: S-4XL
  • Shipping: Free shipping; rush shipping available for a fee
  • Returns: Return policy says they are willing to work with you if you are unhappy
  • Best for: When you need shirts for a local sports team or graduation
  • How long it takes: 10 business days to arrive guaranteed for standard t-shirt orders
  • Prices starting at: $13.96 per shirt

What we like:

  • Good value
  • Will match price if you find a better one
  • Free shipping on full price orders

What we don’t like:

  • Print quality not as high as some other sites

Allied Shirts

Allied Shirts features an easy-to-use online design tool as well as no minimum quantities on orders

Printed Marketplace on Etsy 

Printed Marketplace is an Etsy based shop that sells high-quality t-shirts and hoodies printed with your artwork. After ordering, email your file and they’ll send you a proof within one business day. After your approval, your shirt will ship in one more day. There is no design editor tool, but they’ll assist you with your customization if needed. The shop owner is very responsive and helpful.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: S-2XL
  • Shipping: Free
  • Returns: No
  • Best for: When you already have your artwork/logo created
  • How long it takes: 2-8 days
  • Prices starting at: $23.99 each

What we like:

  • Excellent customer service
  • Small business
  • Free shipping

What we don’t like:

Printed Marketplace on Etsy

Printed Marketplace is an Etsy based shop that sells high-quality t-shirts and hoodies printed with your artwork

Discount Mugs

Discount Mugs is another huge online retailer offering a wide range of custom products and event swag. They’re great if you’re on a serious budget and need a large (we’re talking over 100) number of items (prices start as low as $2.69 each for 5000). Its online design tool is also powerful and easy to use. 

And, if you’ve procrastinated on your project, some items are available to receive within one day.

Specifications:

  • Size Range:S-3XL
  • Shipping: Free for orders over $75.00
  • Returns: No, unless an error has been made by Discount Mugs. Then they will replace for free
  • Best for: When you’re on a serious budget and need a lot of t-shirts
  • How long it takes: 6-10 business days
  • Prices starting at: $2.69 each for 5000 or more

What we like:

  • Can start from a template or from scratch
  • Powerful, intuitive online editor
  • Free shipping for orders over $75

What we don’t like:

  • Costume service not as good as at some other places

Discount Mugs

Discount Mugs is another huge online retailer offering a wide range of custom products and event swag. They’re great if you’re on a serious budget and need a large (we’re talking over 100) number of items

Design Crowd 

Design Crowd is a service that consists of a community of designers who use your design brief to pitch options for your company or event. When you submit your design brief, you choose your budget, which will determine how many pitches you receive. Then, you pick the one you like the best and have the option to ask for alterations to it.

 If you don’t like any of the designs you receive, you can ask for a refund of your budget. This service is great for those who need a large number of custom t-shirts for their company or event and want to hire someone else to design them.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: S-2XL
  • Shipping: Standard and express for a fee
  • Returns: Yes, if items are damaged or not as described within 30 days
  • Best for: When you need a professional design for a large event or company
  • How long it takes: Design process: from 3 to 15 days, then 9-11 days once the design is chosen
  • Prices starting at: $99.00

What we like:

  • Receive multiple design ideas to choose from
  • Once you buy a design from the site, you own that design

What we don’t like:

  • User interface can be confusing
Design Crowd

Design Crowd

Design Crowd is a service that consists of a community of designers who use your design brief to pitch options for your company or event

Redbubble 

Redbubble is a marketplace similar to Etsy where you can find a wide range of unique and creative products made by small creators and businesses. It’s not necessarily a place where you can create your own design (though you can sell your artwork) but more a place where you’ll be able to find almost anything you can think of on a t-shirt and purchase unique apparel that you won’t see in traditional stores. Each one is custom printed for you when you order it, so shipping times vary. Each artist has a profile that you explore and shop from.

Specifications:

  • Size Range: S-5XL
  • Shipping: Depends on the seller; standard or express for a fee
  • Returns: Yes, if the item is damaged
  • Best for: Supporting small businesses
  • How long it takes: Everything is custom so it depends on the seller
  • Prices starting at: $19.00

What we like:

  • Unique designs
  • Dedicated to supporting small creators and artists
  • Quick delivery

What we don’t like:

  • Quality of some items is not as good as others

Redbubble

Redbubble is a marketplace similar to Etsy where you can find a wide range of unique and creative products made by small creators and businesses

How we selected the best places to order custom t-shirts online

We selected these best places by experimenting with the online editors of each as well as reading countless reviews and researching company profiles. I’ve designed and ordered a range of custom print projects throughout the years (for my small business) and have personal experience with many of the companies included here. Also, as a film and television crew member, I’ve received a ton of custom-printed t-shirts as wrap gifts throughout my 32 years in the business, so I know a thing or two about different print processes and t-shirt qualities.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) 

What is the highest quality t-shirt printing?

The answer to this question lies partially in what kind of image or design you’re printing. Screen printing, a stencil-based technique that has been around for a long time is best suited for designs with fewer colors. It’s also quite durable. Direct-to-garment  printing utilizes an inkjet printer and allows you to adorn your t-shirts with complex designs and photographic quality images – though they do begin to wash out over time.

Then there are heat transfer methods which are extremely durable and allow you to print a design that covers the entire t-shirt. There are various heat transfer methods, including all-over-printing, direct-to-film (DTF) printing, and CAD heat transfer vinyl printing, all of which offer excellent durability against fading. Each has its limitations, though. For instance, all-over-printing works best on synthetic fabrics, while DTF creates a print that can feel a bit plasticky and stiff.

What is a good price for a custom shirt?

A custom-printed t-shirt can cost anywhere from around $10.00 to $50.00 depending on what kind of t-shirt you’re printing on (fabric content, and weight as well as brand) and how complex your design is (how many colors; images and text or just text, etc.). 

Is 40 dollars a lot for a shirt?

No—after all, it’s an average price for the best men’s workout shirts. But I should clarify that, as a person who also has a sewing and pattern-making career, I believe that most mass-produced clothing is woefully undervalued and many of the craftspeople who work in factories are underpaid and underappreciated. 

How do you create a t-shirt design?

T-shirt designs are super easy to create using many of the online design editors available on the sites included in this article. For most, you simply upload your photo or image, then add text or other elements as needed. If you’re interested in a more complicated design or feel yours does not look as professional as you’d like, many of these companies also provide design services and consultations.

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