Ever hopped on a flight or entered a restaurant only to find a lively bunch wearing matching t-shirts? This seemingly quirky display can add a delightful touch to any celebration or special occasion, taking it up a notch. Custom t-shirts work wonderfully as swag gifts at weddings, giving guests a distinctive and wearable souvenir.

Beyond festivities, customized t-shirts serve as a powerful marketing tool for small businesses and an excellent way to foster community spirit and morale within charitable organizations or community sports teams. They also make for a thoughtful, one-of-a-kind present for your closest friends, beloved partners, or cherished siblings (without picking any favorites, of course).

No matter your custom t-shirt needs, rest assured there's an online platform out there to cater to them.


Custom t-shirts offer a fantastic opportunity to stand out and create brand equity, whether for your company, an event, or a non-profit organization. However, achieving outstanding results requires more than merely purchasing plain white t-shirts for men or women. The process includes discerning attention to the quality and appropriateness of the design to be printed. Here are a few things to remember when ordering custom t-shirts online:


1. Design

To ensure your design translates beautifully onto fabric, factoring in resolution, copyright, design editing, and color considerations is vital. Here's how to guide your process:

  • Resolution and Format: For quality prints, your design needs to be in a high-resolution format, preferably vector. This will prevent it from appearing pixelated when enlarged for print. Vector files (.AI, .EPS, .SVG) are preferred as they maintain the quality at any size without losing resolution.

  • Copyright Considerations: Steer clear of copyright issues by using original artwork or royalty-free images. Unlicensed usage of copyrighted materials can result in legal issues.
  • Using Design Editing Tools: Utilize the capabilities of online design editing tools. They allow you to experiment with artwork and text placements on the shirt. This will help you optimize the balance and aesthetics of your design.

  • Ink and Fabric Color Match: Last but not least, ensure that the ink color compliments your shirt color. This can significantly impact the overall look of your printed t-shirt.

Through careful consideration of these aspects, you're well-equipped to create a design that not only looks great digitally but also shines when printed on your t-shirt.

2. Shirt Quality

Investing significant time into crafting an impressive graphic certainly warrants pairing it with a quality t-shirt. The fabric type, weight, and color of your t-shirt are as crucial as the graphic it carries.

  • Fabric Type and Weight: Opt for a fabric that complements your graphic. The t-shirt's weight can reflect its quality and durability. A heavier t-shirt often suggests better quality.

  • Color: The color of your t-shirt should not only enhance your design but also be appealing in its own right. Ensure the color complements your graphic and matches your branding.

  • Quality and Size Range: Many online platforms offer high-quality, brand name t-shirts that come in a wide range of sizes to cater to your custom needs.

Remember, a great design is best showcased on a high-quality tee. By considering these elements, you can create a custom t-shirt that not only looks appealing but also stands the test of time.


3. Printing Method

Various printing methods, notably screen printing and direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, are available for your project. Each method comes with its unique set of advantages and limitations.

  • Screen Printing: This method is excellent for high-volume orders and simple designs. Still, it could have limitations when it comes to intricate multi-colored designs as it requires individual screens for each color.
  • Direct-to-Garment Printing: DTG is ideal for complex, multi-colored designs or photographs, but it might not be as cost-effective for bulk orders.

If you're uncertain which method best suits your needs, don't hesitate to contact the customer service department of the platform from which you are ordering. They can provide expert advice and help clarify your options to ensure you receive a final product that perfectly matches your vision.


4. Timeline

Numerous companies offer accelerated production and expedited shipping services. However, these rapid services often come at a significant additional cost. Therefore, it's advisable to plan ahead.

  • Planning Ahead: Begin your process well in advance of your deadline. This not only saves you from added stress but also enables you to avoid any costly rush fees.

  • Account for Printing and Shipping Time: Ensure your timeline has ample provision for both printing and shipping. This allows any unforeseen delays and still ensures you receive your order in time.

Remember, patience usually pays off in cost savings. Pocketing the additional cost of urgent orders could mean more budget for your creative initiatives. Hence, always endeavor to plan ahead.

Our Top Online Custom T-shirt Providers

The online platforms we've selected include options for various budgets and levels of design assistance, from minor tweaks to a fully-assisted bespoke design. Several of these platforms even provide expedited production and shipping services for those who might have left their ordering to the eleventh hour. Whatever your custom t-shirt design needs may be, rest assured there's something here for everyone.

1. Printfits

Printfits is a groundbreaking custom t-shirt company that breathes life into your personal style with its unique and quality offerings. With Printfits, you have the opportunity to turn your designs into wearable art or broaden your brand's reach with customized tees.

By merging innovative design tools with quality materials and superior print technology, Printfits ensures that every t-shirt becomes a novel canvas, expressing your taste and creativity. Whether you're seeking one-off unique pieces or bulk orders for your company or event, Printfits stands ready to make your custom t-shirt dreams a reality. Dive into the world of Printfits and discover the true joy of creating your t-shirt, your way.


  • Size Range: YXS – Adult 4XL
  • Shipping: Free shipping over $100
  • 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: 1-4 days
  • Prices starting at: $11.40 each for 25 items

What we like:

  • Customer service is available 7 days a week
  • High Quality Apparel 
  • Fast shipping 

What we don’t like:

  • Website can be a bit overwhelming with so many options

2. Vistaprint

Vistaprint, a renowned company, caters to your custom printing needs across a diversity of products from paper to t-shirts. It offers the flexibility to print your design via various methods, such as direct-to-garment and screen printing.

Direct-to-garment printing, a method where ink is directly sprayed onto the t-shirt and absorbed into its fibers, enables virtually limitless colors and design possibilities. With no order minimum, you can make a one-of-a-kind statement on a t-shirt with your exclusive artwork.

If you're looking for a cost-effective, hard-wearing option for bulk orders, Vistaprint's screen printing method is your answer. With this technique, ink is pressed onto the garment via a mesh screen, constructing a smooth, slightly raised design you routinely find in mass-produced logo t-shirts. This ensures both durability and a premium look for your custom t-shirts.


  • 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)


3. Zazzle

Zazzle is your creative playground when it comes to designing custom t-shirts. It allows you to create your unique designs or shop from an array of products crafted by other Zazzle members, providing an experience akin to shopping on Etsy.

Zazzle offers two distinctive printing options: "classic" and "vivid" printing. With classic printing, your design lacks a white base layer, meaning any white in your design is printed transparently, letting the t-shirt's color shine through. On the other hand, vivid printing employs a white base layer, resulting in a standout appearance.

Furthermore, Zazzle has an extensive collection of tutorials and articles designed to guide you in creating designs that mimic the refined aesthetics of professional designers.


  • 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

4. Underground Printing

At Underground Printing, you can customize a spectrum of t-shirts according to your style, ranging from heavy cotton tees, stylish women's scoop neck poly-cotton tops, cotton heritage garment dyed shirts, to unisex ultra-blend tees featuring well known brand names such as Gildan, Hanes, and Nike, among others.

Additional features that truly set Underground Printing apart include an advanced online design editor, complete with a library of clip arts and design inspirations to fuel your creative imagination. For those who prefer face-to-face design support, they have physical locations across 24 states where you can further shape your design ideas. A selection of t-shirts also comes with the option of a speedy two-day turnaround, granting you quick access to your unique, custom t-shirts.


  • 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

5. Canvas Prints

With Canvas Prints, customizing your t-shirt is exceedingly effortless. The platform allows for a seamless process to upload your preferred images and incorporate text to your designs. Their service revolves around 100% cotton t-shirts, accepting even single piece orders.

A standout feature of Canvas Prints is their double-sided printing at no additional cost. If your design is intended to adorn both the front and back of your t-shirt, Canvas Prints is your go-to solution, providing high-quality prints on both surfaces for the price of one.

They also facilitate blind shipping, ensuring that neither the packaging nor the finished product bears any Canvas Prints logos. This premium, discreet service elevates the overall professional look of your unique, custom t-shirt orders.


  • 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

6. GotPrint

GotPrint, a family-owned and operated custom printing company, boasts an extensive portfolio of personalized products, encompassing stationary, signs, and apparel. Their user-friendly online design editor makes crafting your custom masterpiece a breeze. For those who prefer working with Adobe applications, HotPrint also offers downloadable templates compatible with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat to help create your designs.


  • 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


7. Shutterfly

Shutterfly's custom t-shirts herald a heartwarming and personalized gift idea. The effortless process allows you to upload your chosen image and complement it with bespoke text. Further enhancing user experience, Shutterfly also provides an intuitive online photo editor that enables you to rectify common issues like red-eye, crop the images, and refine them before sending for printing.

Initially making a name for itself as a photo storage and photobook printing enterprise, Shutterfly has recently broadened its offering palette to include custom apparel options, ensuring customers can always find a personalized solution fitting their needs.


  • 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

8. Allied Shirts

Allied Shirts offers businesses and individuals an uncomplicated path to their perfect custom shirts. The online design tool is notably user-friendly and orders aren't bound to any minimum quantities. If in search of inspiration, you can utilize their comprehensive templates and clip art library.

For those requiring additional assistance, Allied Shirts offers complimentary design services when you place an order of 12 or more shirts. Combined with an impressive selection of styles and colors, customizing shirts for your local sports team or an upcoming special event becomes a delightful experience with Allied Shirts.


  • 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



9. Printed Marketplace on Etsy

Printed Marketplace, an Etsy-based store, specializes in delivering high-quality t-shirts and hoodies adorned with your unique artwork. Upon ordering, simply email your desired design file, and the shop will provide a proof within one business day. Following your approval, your customized apparel will be shipped in just one more day.


  • 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:

  • No returns

9. Discount Mugs

Discount Mugs appears as a significant digital retailer, providing an extensive array of personalized products and merchandise for events. It becomes an attractive choice for large-scale requirements, where you need over 100 items even on a tight budget, with prices starting as low as $2.69 for orders totaling 5,000.

The platform features a robust and user-friendly online design tool to streamline your customization process. In case of last-minute requirements, Discount Mugs provides a quick turnaround with some items available for delivery within just one day, making it an efficient go-to for large quantities of custom items needed promptly.


  • 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


10. Design Crowd

Design Crowd operates as a unique, designer-centric service where your design brief is transformed into vivid and tailored options for your company or event. As you submit your brief, you set your budget, which influences the number of design pitches you receive. You ultimately pick your favorite from the options and can request further adjustments as needed.

In case none of the designs meet your expectations, Design Crowd offers the option of refunding your budget. This service emerges as an excellent choice for those requiring a substantial volume of custom t-shirts and prefer to entrust professional designers with the task of creating fresh and captivating designs.


  • 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


11. Redbubble

Redbubble operates as an eclectic marketplace, reminiscent of Etsy, brimming with a diverse selection of unique and artistically-driven products presented by small creators and businesses. Although it may not cater to personal design creation per se, it does offer an attractive platform for selling your artwork.

Redbubble stands out as a treasure trove for discovering highly original, one-of-a-kind apparel, differentiating itself from items usually found in mainstream stores. Each piece is custom printed upon order, consequently, shipping times may vary. Artists are given individual profiles, enabling customers to delve deeper into their work and shop from their collections.


  • 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

Our Methodology for Selecting the Best Custom T-shirt Providers Online

Our choices for the top places to order custom t-shirts online were meticulously selected based on hands-on experience with each platform's online editors, in-depth research into company profiles, and careful examination of countless customer reviews. As a small business owner, I have ordered numerous custom print projects over the years and have personally dealt with many of the companies featured in this list. Additionally, with over 32 years in the film and television industry, I have received various custom-printed t-shirts as wrap gifts, making me well-versed in different printing processes and t-shirt qualities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which t-shirt printing method yields the highest quality?

The optimal t-shirt printing process depends on the design you wish to print. Screen printing, an enduring stencil-based technique, works best for fewer color designs and boasts excellent durability. Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing employs an inkjet printer, allowing intricate designs and photographic quality images, albeit with fading over time.

Heat transfer methods are incredibly durable and facilitate full-coverage t-shirt designs. Techniques such as all-over-printing, direct-to-film (DTF) printing, and CAD heat transfer vinyl printing offer substantial resistance against fading but come with their limitations. All-over-printing, for example, is better suited to synthetic fabrics, while DTF produces prints that may feel plasticky and stiff.

What constitutes a reasonable price for a custom shirt?

Custom-printed t-shirts can range from approximately $10.00 to $50.00, depending on factors such as the t-shirt's fabric content, weight, brand, and the complexity of the design (e.g., number of colors, presence of images/text).

Is $40 too much for a shirt?

Not necessarily—$40 is an average price for superior men's workout shirts. However, drawing from my experience in sewing and pattern-making, I believe most mass-produced clothing is undervalued, with many factory workers being underpaid and undervalued.

How do I create my own t-shirt design?

Many online design editors available on the platforms listed in this article make t-shirt designing a breeze. Typically, you upload a photo or image, then append text or other elements as desired. If you prefer a more intricate design or seek a professional touch, numerous companies provide design services and consultations.



In the dynamic world of custom t-shirt printing, options are plentiful. Each provider we've discussed offers a unique blend of affordability, customization, and quality. Making the right choice depends on your specific needs, whether it's for a one-off occasion, a large-scale event, or your next merch line.

Remember, these platforms provide more than just transactional services – they offer creativity, personalization, and a unique voice to showcase your style or brand. Ensure you take your time to explore all the options, review the terms, and go with a service that aligns best with your budget, design requirements, and delivery timings.

Whether you're a small business, an artist, or someone hosting a memorable event, having your unique prints on t-shirts can indeed leave a lasting visual impact. Embrace the creative process and watch your vision come to life as you venture into the world of custom t-shirt design online. Happy designing!