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How To Create A T-Shirt Mockup

kokou adzo



T-Shirt Mockup

If you want to print images or logos or some other kind of art on t-shirts, you do not just draw up the images and go straight to print. You need to design t-shirt mockups that are as realistic as possible to show how your 3D designs will look in real life. This process saves time and money that would have gone into creating several trial product runs.

However, how does this work? How can one create a t-shirt mockup? Well, there are multiple design tools out that with different modalities and processes. But, there is a general process that we shall explain below.

Process for creating a t-shirt mockup

Step 1: Choose or create your t-shirt design

Of course, the very first thing that you want to do is to design your t-shirt. It is going to be the foundation for your mockup, and you need to make sure that you create a design that fits well with your intended mockup design.

You can either search the templates in your preferred mockup designer tool, or you can customize one from scratch. There are some tools that allow designers to upload their designs, rather than having to make do with a pre-set template.

Step 2: Prepare your mockup template

The next thing to do is to prepare the template for your work. First, you want to decide on an appropriate design tool, depending on your needs at the time. As we have said before, in deciding on a design tool, you want to consider the volume of templates that you’ll have access to and the amount of creative freedom that you’ll get to make your designs as you wish.

Then, you will select and ready your t-shirt template; either by buying one online from a mockup marketplace like Yellow Images or by choosing one from the template library provided by your design software, or by uploading a photo, as we have said earlier.

Step 3: Add your design

The next step is to import your design onto the t-shirt template. Open up the template within the design software, import your logo, art, or other design, and position and scale it until you are satisfied with the result.

One thing to look out for is layer organization. Most mockup design tools have some sort of hierarchy system that tells the software how the layers of design are stacked. So, you want to make sure that your t-shirt design ranks above the t-shirt template in this system. This is very important for making sure that the design blends perfectly with the template.

Step 4: Finetune everything

Next, you want to use the different tools available to ensure that your design blends, as naturally as possible, with the template. This may include warping or distorting things around to make the images align with the natural contours of the t-shirt. You may also want to experiment with the opacity of the design to achieve the best balance of transparency/boldness, as you’d like.

Step 5: Simulate realistic fabric texture

Another way to ensure that the eventual result looks as natural as possible is to overlay the design with a natural-looking fabric texture. You can typically find these design elements on online marketplaces like Yellow Images, or you can also create one manually.

Step 6: Adjust shadows and other design elements

Another step in finishing is to adjust shadows and highlight edges to make the design look even more realistic and natural. Adjusting shadows, in particular, will allow you to play out how the design may look when under light from varying directions. All in all, this step helps to add depth and dimension to your work.

Step 7: Work on the background and presentation

The next step is to work on the background of your t-shirt design. For example, if the t-shirt in your mockup is black, you wouldn’t want to continue with a grey background or some other color that does not complement the black of the shirt. You also just want to generally clean up the screen, to make it fit for presentation.

Another thing that you can do is add models or mannequins, to make everything look even more realistic. Instead of having a t-shirt just hanging there, a model or a mannequin would really help visualize how the design would look in real life.

Step 8: Export and save your work

Finally, when you are satisfied with the product, you can try to create varieties using different t-shirt colors, styles, or angles—just to demonstrate the versatility of your design. When you are satisfied with the varieties that you have created, you can then go ahead to save it in a high-resolution format, typically PNG, PSD, or JPEG.

Wrap up

Creating t-shirt mockups that accurately convey the original thought is a most necessary art form. This process bridges the gap between design concepts and tangible visuals; ensuring that, at every step, designers can get reality checks on their intended t-shirt designs and see how they would look out in real life, rather than in just a 2D format.

Regardless of your design tool of choice, by following the steps outlined in this guide, you too can today begin to create outstanding t-shirt mockups that will leave your clients, customers, or social media audience more than satisfied.

Of course, t-shirt mockup design requires some level of technical skill. It is hardly something that anyone can pick up on a whim and immediately produce professional-level results. However, with only sufficient practice and experimentation, you can quickly begin to master the art of t-shirt mockup creation.


Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at

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