T-Shirt Design & Logo Placement GuideBy Shirtspace | Oct 26, 2017 | Updated Jan 17, 2022
When you are making merchandise for your brand’s logo, placement is key. There are many factors to take into consideration when designing apparel for a brand or business. The main factors that you need to figure out are, which decoration method you prefer, garment type, colors and most importantly position of your logo design. For more information about brand logo colors, check out our blog, “How to Pick Your Brand’s Color Palette.”
Hero Image Source: Parker Burchfield
Placement Guide for Logo Designs
Apparel decorators have to inevitably spend time determining the placement of their designs. Not too high, not too low, not too far left or right, and placement of dreaded chest prints. Eyeballing is an ok way to do it, but a more efficient way is to measure. We at ShirtSpace do not just carry blank apparel for your creations, but we are also proud to help with the placement of your designs!
Image Source: Naomi August
Below is a helpful guide that takes the eyeballing out of design placement.
Front of T-shirt
Taking into account the size and shape of your design, as well as the size of your garment, the top of the design should begin 4”-6” from the neck. Center the design between the left and right seams, and you’re good to go. Kids tees are slightly different and should be 1.5”- 3” below the neck and centered between the left and right seams.
Image Source: Annie Spratt
Back of T-Shirt
Designs placed on the back of shirts should be approximately 5” from the collar and centered between the left and right seams. This option for logo placement is best for maximum exposure. Due to this part of the shirt, it has the largest real estate for your brand’s design. This spot is one of the favorites for Screen printers due to the wide range and space they have for their designs. Other decorators such as embroiders might steer away from this position for reasons ranging from how much space they have to work with, their design aesthetic or how pricing a large embroidery design can be.
Image Sources: Miguel Bruna & Aman Upadhyay
This is the most common position for logo placement, making it the most recognizable to the consumer eye. From the left shoulder seam, measure 7"-9" down and center between the center and side seam of the shirt. Another option is to measure 4"-6" to the right of center. The latter is a bit easier, but both are good options.
Image Sources: John Paul Henry & Luis Villasmil
Left Chest with Pocket on T-shirt
This one is really straightforward. Center the design either directly above or on top of the pocket.
Image Source: Nathan Dumlao
Left Chest on Polo Shirt
From the left shoulder seam, measure 7"-9" down and center between the placket and side seam. Another option, and arguably easier, is to measure 4"- 6" to the right of the placket.
Image Sources: Manny Moreno & Clement Vatte
Left Chest without Pocket on Button-down Shirt
From the left shoulder seam, measure 7"-9" down and center between the placket and side seam. You can also measure or 4"-6" to the right of the placket.
Image Source: Moon
Left Chest with Pocket on Button-down shirt
Similar to the pocket t-shirt, center the design directly above or on top of the pocket.
Image Source: Divine Effiong
But What About Hoodies?
Of course, we couldn’t forget a hoodie logo placement guide! For hoodies, you follow the same standards as you would for t-shirts, but you have the added benefit of the sleeves and a hood to work with! Follow the same guidelines as t-shirts for placement on the chest and back of a hoodie. For designs where you typically would measure from the collar down on the back of the garment to determine proper placement, measure from the seam where the hoodie and the body meet, along the back neckline.
Designs Placement On The Hood
There are three places we suggest you might place a design on the hood of a sweatshirt (or even a jacket):
1. On the hood edge, facing down
2. On the hood edge, facing up
3. On the side(s) of hood
Each of these design placements have their own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, 1 looks great when you are wearing your hood on your head, but when it’s resting off your head, 2 looks more attractive. If you want space to put a larger design, or perhaps something besides text, 3 is a smart choice. Avoid putting vinyl or prints across seams, not only for best results but also for longevity of the design.
Design Placement on the Sleeves
We have noticed more and more sleeve designs in recent years when it comes to apparel decoration (t-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets!). Since it’s still a growing trend, it’s a simple addition that will leave people saying, “You don’t see that too often!” Differentiators like this can make your brand stand apart and get you the sale! There are a handful of placement possibilities for decorating a sleeve:
1. Designs placed evenly spaced along outer portion of sleeve
2. Vertical text evenly spaced along outer portion of sleeve
3. Full arm print
4. Horizontal text placed evenly along outer portion of sleeve
5. Small design(s) or text - best on sleeve near top of wrist
A few more tips to consider with designs placed on the arm:
Make sure that you think about how a design might change when you put the hoodie on versus when it’s lying flat before adhering it to the fabric
Consider avoiding joint areas that will experience a lot of natural wear due to friction (elbow, arm/shoulder socket)
Don’t overdo it—sometimes simpler looks a lot cleaner. Try to choose no more than 3 designs per hoodie (but keep in mind that rules are also sometimes meant to broken. Thinking “outside the box” can pay off too!)
Design Placement on a Hoodie Pouch Pocket
Hoodies stand apart from other sweatshirts and long-sleeve shirts because they have a large pocket that falls on the lower abdominal that provides additional opportunities for customizations. Here are our top hoodie pocket design ideas:
Text or horizontal design on the pocket, along the top or bottom pocket seam
Text along the pocket openings
Clever character placement
You can also do this along the top seam so that the character looks like they are
You can easily do this with t-shirts that have breast pockets too!
A few more tips to consider with designs placed on the arm:
In attempts to not overcomplicate things, we recommend that if you choose to decorate the front pouch pocket, do not decorate the chest as well.
We do not recommend putting one large designs smack middle of the pocket, it usually doesn’t look good. Either print the entire pouch from seam-to-seam, or go with a smaller and more discreet design as shown above
How Placement of Your Logo Will Help Your Design
Apparel decorators and designers have to think about a lot of moving parts. Their creations are not just going to live on a blank canvas but instead on blank apparel. There are many factors that play into the result of your creations with decorating apparel. Design sizing and placement can make or break your creation, so using these tips and tricks will be very helpful.
Image Source: Gian Cescon & Brock Wegner
Your “canvas” is not always plain white, which will alter your color palette. You can find out more about how to use colors to compliment your apparel designs here! Your design becomes more dimensional than 2D, as it will be worn and take on the shape of the human body. This is why the placement of your logo or design is so important. Luckily, there are many tips and tricks like we have discussed in this article as well as in Advanced Branding Solutions article that will guide you to having the most successful logo design and placement!
Q: What are the measurements for a logo placement on the front chest of a shirt?
A: The measurements for a logo that is going to be placed on the front of a shirt should be centered between the left and right seams and begin 4”-6” inches from the neck collar. If you are working with kids apparel you will still need to align the design in the center of the left and right seams, however, the suggested measurements are for the design to begin 1.5”-3” below the neck collar line.
Q: Where is the most common logo placement on a shirt?
A: The most common logo placement on a shirt is on the left chest. This has become the most common placement due to the original handshake, which would force your right hand to extend and therefore cover up the right chest area and your logo. For this logo position, there are two options you can measure from the left shoulder seam that should be considered when choosing this placement. Either measure 7”-9” down the center between the center and the side seam, or measure 4”-6” inches to the right of center.
Q: What is the measurement for a logo placement on the back of a shirt, and what are the benefits for this placement?
A: Choosing the back of your garment for your design has many advantages. The main one being the amount of space you have to work with. Screen printers love this option because they can reduce the limitations to their designs. When choosing this option, the rule of thumb is to center your design in the middle of the left and right seams, and 5” below the collar neck line.
Q: What is the most common placement for embroidered logo designs?
A: The left chest placement is the most common for embroiders to sew logos. Due to the embroidery method, this position is the most beneficial and complimentary for their design aesthetic. The left chest also being the most popular placement option helps embroidered logo designs still get the attention they deserve!
Q: Is there a quick “cheat sheet” on how to choose the logo size on a shirt?
A: Here are some measurements that are a good general rule of thumb to go by for logo size on a shirt. These recommendations are determined by the area you choose for placement:
Left Chest - 2.5”-5” wide and tall
Center Chest - 6”-10” wide, 6”-8” tall
Full Front - 10”- 12” wide, 10”-14” tall
Oversize Front - 12”-15” wide, 14”-16” tall
Back Collar - 1”-3” wide, 1”-3” tall
Upper Back - 10”-14” wide, 1”-6” tall
Full Back - 10”-14” wide, 6”-15” tall
Sleeve - 1”-4” wide, 1”-4” tall
Q: What is the quick answer for how to put a logo on a shirt?
A: There a multiple methods that you can do to put a logo on a shirt including:
Screen printing - See our blog article, “How To Screen Print on T-Shirts”
HTV (heat transfer vinyl) - See our blog article, “What You’ve Been Missing Out On: Heat Transfer Vinyl”
Sublimation - See our blog article, “Sublimation Printing: What Is It?”
DTG (direct to garment) printing - See our blog article, “Why Shirt Quality Matters With DTG Printing”
DTF (direct to film) transfers - See this blog article by Resolute DTG, “What is DTF Printing”
Embroidery - See this blog article by Savanna Design Inc., “Digitizing”
Patches or Appliques