T Shirt Color & Ink Combinations for T Shirt Printing.

Choosing the Right T Shirt Color

How to select the right t shirt color and inks when printing, to avoid common mistakes.

In this article we will discuss how choosing the wrong t shirt color along with the wrong ink color can create an undesired effect in the way your graphic prints and looks. 

Why should the t shirt color and ink color matter?

To make your design or logo stand out from the background color of the t shirt.

Perhaps your design can work best on a different color t shirt, from what you originally had planned to use or you’ve found your design looks better on a different shade of color ink?

Whatever the case may be, we’ll do our best to help you get the best result for your printing. 


T Shirt Color and Ink Color Selection

T Shirt PrintingWhen the t shirt color is light and so is the ink, the print will most likely blend into the t shirt because of the similarities in color shades.

Unless this is the look you are going for we wanted to give you a heads up when picking out your t shirt colors to print your design.

The aim is to have contrasting colors so that your logo pop’s out against the shirt color you choose. 

Because not all color combinations work well together when printed.

Light colored t shirts print best with a Dark Inks and Dark Color garments print best with Light Colored Inks. 

However when you print a light color ink on top of a light color garment there wont be enough contrast to truly bring your design out to it’s full potential.

Take a look at the image above and you will see that white or light color inks will read better against dark t shirt colorsWe printed these t shirts for www.JohnChow.com. John Chow is a World Famous Internet Blogger and Online Marketer.


Colorful High quality t shirts His order was simple, he wanted good quality premium t shirts with his domain name printed on front of the t shirt.

I’m not sure if we suggested to print on multi color t shirts, but some how we selected 24+ different colors to print his domain name and logo in white ink.

Knowing how to pair colors together can improve your t shirt design and make it stand out in a unique way.

This makes for a clear message that your audience can easily read and a natural way of bringing the eye to focus on the graphic or logo.

Although the shirt order had 6+ different t shirt colors we chose to print in White Ink because white ink suited this job better than any other color ink.

Some of the blank t shirts we recommend is the Bella Canvas 3001 unisex t shirt and for women’s we recommend the Bella Canvas 6004 because of the diverse color selection and quality this brand offers.



Before You Print Your T Shirt

The very first thing to have before any printing gets done is the mock up design with the t shirt color you want. 

The mock up will provide a visual proof on how the colors, location and placement will look on the t shirt before you send your t shirts to print.

Your graphic designer or the print shop providing you printing services can also create these mock ups in Photoshop for you.

Once you have the mock up done you can ask the designer or print shop to change the size, color, locations or placement of the logo very easily before printing.

The mock up will give you an opportunity to make any last changes before it go’s to print.

If after you receive the mock up with your design and you feel it still dose not feel right for some reason, we suggest trying a contrasting t shirt color to change the background color and see if the logo sits better on top of different color.

Go with your gut.

Next Level T Shirt - Tan ColorIf 2 or 3 different t shirts colors still don’t work or feel right, you may have to re-design your logo to make it work better on the color that you want to print.

This rarely happens but it’s an option to try before printing something you do not feel right with.

Changing the color of t shirt in the mock up is a lot easier than re-designing the logo and can save you lots of time.

The main problem when both t shirt color and ink are similar shades, the design will get lost and blend in with the shirt color instead of standing out.

If you take a look at the two images in this section you will see that the design is the same however the color of the shirt dramatically changes how the printed design looks.

In my opinion for this case the Black t shirt color with a white print stands out the most then against the black print with the Tan shirt. The black t shirt seems to make the logo pop out and read better when looking at both t shirts.

However, you make the final decision on what colors work well for your brand, so it’s completely up to you on what looks good and what dose not.


T Shirt & Ink Contrast for Readability

T Shirt Print Take a look at these two images, for example, same color logo printed on 2 different color t-shirts.

You can see how the Heather Grey t shirt on the left side hides most of the details in the logo.

This is because of the little contrast between the T Shirt Color and ink color used.

Although you can still see the outlines of the hair in the logo when printed on the Athletic Heather T Shirt Color,  the black t shirt reveals the lines in the logo a lot more clearly.

The same ink color was used on the Athletic Heather and Black t shirt, but if you notice the ink color seems lighter when printed on the Black T Shirt because of the high contrast between the ink and t-shirt color.

Depending on the t-Shirt color the ink color

In this case you can see the black t shirt works better for this logo design because of its natural contrast.

This is why selecting a t shirt color and testing your logo against different colors is so important.

On the black tee we can see the details in the logo better and we are able to read the same design with a lot more clarity than with the Athletic Grey Heather t-shirt color.


Here are some color ink and t-shirt visuals we made to show what colors work well or compliment the t-shirt color. We’re sure there are many more color combinations, for now, we just went with the colors that have the most contrast.


T Shirt Color Combo


Black T Shirt Color Combo


Blue T Shirt Color Combo

 Yellow T Shirt Color Combos

  Red T Shirt Color Combo



Choosing Ink for Your T Shirt Color

T Shirt Ink Color

A simple way of finding color combination and ideas to help you better choose t shirt and ink colors is to look at what is already working in the fashion or in any sports teams color combination.

By this we mean look at a sports teams Jersey and the color combinations that they use.

The Los Angeles Lakers colors are Purple, Gold with a White color scheme. The LA Dodger Blue and White color scheme works well on a grey background. 

These are two teams that have very different color looks.The shades of color and contrast are very clear that when combined work well together.

These color schemes are instantly recognizable by hundreds of thousands of people in the city of Los Angeles.

Were not saying to rip off designs or color schemes from other brands, however we do encourage you to use them as guides and inspiration to create your own color combination and brand identity.

And if all fails go with the tried and true, Black t shirt White Logo or White T Shirt and Black Logo.

To find the right color combination for your design is easy, just have contrast between the t shirt and the ink you select.

However to find your own unique color combination you’ll have to experiment with different colors.


Questions or Placing Your Order

If you would like to place an orderour minimum order quantity for printed T-shirts start at 24 pieces per design

This is a great way to test out a small batch of printed t shirts before placing a larger order in the future.

If you would like to try out our blank t shirts our minimum is 12 blank items.

With this order you can try 12 different colors, sizes, styles and brands we have available to find that t shirt that you love.

if you have any questions about our printing services feel free to email us at info@laprintanddesign.com and we will reply within 24 – 48 hrs.


Blank T Shirt Templates

You can save and use these t shirt templates to create your own mock up designs or you can visit our online catalog right click on any image like the Next Level 6210 Save Image as JPEG.  

Now you have the image of the actual t shirt to know exactly how your designs will work with the color you choose. You can save the Front Side and Back part of the t shirt to place your design on the specific location you want.

The t shirt used in this example is the Bella Canvas 3001 one of our Best Sellers. You can right click and save these for your personal use or refer your designer to use these as shirt templates.

Black T Shirt Color