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How To Create Custom Printed Tags

October 21, 2020

Custom printed tags for your t-shirts are a great way to separate your t-shirts from the rest. They are stylish, comfortable, and give your brand a lot of extra authority.

Customers ordering t-shirts are not aware that a custom printed label is available to them, but in fact it is. This article will tell you why custom printed tags are worth investing in, what information you need to include in your labels, and 10 custom tag pointers.

When creating your custom t-shirt tags, it is important to know exactly what you are going to print onto the t-shirt. You want to make sure you have:

  • RN number
  • Your company or brand name
  • Wash or care instructions
  • Fabric composition
  • Country of manufacturing origin

Here are some helpful tips to think about and remember when creating custom tags.

Use an Ink That Doesn’t Bleed Through the Back

When creating custom tags (labels), it’s very important to use an ink that doesn’t bleed through the backside of the t-shirt, especially if you are using light colored t-shirts.

There are 3 methods you can use to add custom labels to the inside of your t-shirt, hoodie, or tank. These 3 methods are:

  • Pad printing
  • Screen printing
  • Heat transfer

Each of these three methods have their pros and cons that I will cover below.

When to Use Each Method

Several reasons to use the pad printing method include:

  • The most economical choice
  • Great image clarity even with small point sizes
  • Generally resistant

The cons are:

  • Ink color choices are limited to black, tonal white, and medium grey
  • Image size is limited to 2.5”x 2.5”
  • Not always a great choice for fleece or other items that don’t have a smooth inside fiber

Screen printed tags are another option to consider.

A few pros with using this method include:

  • Larger range of color choices
  • Larger image area with a maximum of 4”x 4”
  • Flexible in terms of print material
  • Ideal for high print volume
  • Durable

The cons are:

  • More expensive than pad printed tags
  • Requires high print volume
  • Takes much longer than other methods
  • Less efficient from a time and material standpoint

Heat transfer is another method to use when creating custom labels.

The pros are:

  • Great for fleece or items that don’t have quite as smooth inside print surface
  • Great for hoodies and pullovers as it provides the most image clarity
  • Photo prints can be transferred in full color
  • Allows for a variety of colors and placements
  • Software allows graphics to be altered with unlimited options
  • Unlimited colors
  • Maximum image size is 4”x 4”

The cons are:

  • Prints fade after several washes and do not last long
  • Prints are stiff, making the fabric firm
  • Cost is high because of the time required with transfers
  • Prints appear better on light colored t-shirts
  • Ironing the prints will ruin the image

Remember That You Are Working with a Limited Amount of Space

It is crucial to keep in mind the size of anything you are adding to your custom t-shirt tags. The image size will vary depending on the method you chose. The smallest image size for pad printing is 3 points. The smallest image size for screen printing and heat transfer are 6 points.

Custom tag designs that are smaller than the recommended image size will be hard to read the image will lose clarity.

A few pointers and guidelines for custom tags are:

  • An average starting size image is 2.5“x 2.5” you can use a smaller or larger size if needed
  • Tags are often done in one single color so keep your artwork simple
  • Any color can be used on labels, but grey is the most common color of choice
  • Grey colored tags are visible in most colored t-shirts
  • Grey will not show through the back of thin white t-shirts
  • Use a bold font

Don’t Forget the RN Number

RN stands for Registered Identification Number. This number is associated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to U.S. businesses that manufacture, import, distribute, or sell products covered by the Textile, Wool, and Fur Acts.

You can apply for an RN number online. Follow the legal guidelines for relabeling your t-shirts tags if you remove the manufacturer’s label. It is crucial that you read and understand the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations on labeling and include a registered identification number before designing your custom printed labels.

Know Exactly Which T-Shirt Blanks Have Tearaway Labels

All t-shirts come with manufacturer labels. Some of these tags are tearaway and can easily be torn out, others are not tearaway and will need to be removed by a sewing machine.

It is recommended to buy t-shirts with tearaway tags because they can save you money and can easily be removed. Keep in mind though that tearaway tags will sometimes leave small pieces of the tag inside the seam.

Custom Inside Tag Pointers

Below are pointers of custom tag designs to guide you in making the best custom t-shirt tags.

  1. Use a light ink color on dark t-shirts so the tag is easily readable.
  2. Always include the RN number inside your tags if it’s necessary for your company (add the RN number at the very bottom of your label)
  3. Include instructions of how-to best care for the t-shirt
  4. Include the fabric composition so that customers know they are wearing a high-quality t-shirt (add the fabric composition in the right corner of your tags)
  5. Make sure people can easily read and find the size of the shirt
  6. Add an icon that represents your brand
  7. Make a statement by using your logo in the tag
  8. Call out how and where the t-shirt was made
  9. Remind your customers about the impact they made by buying and wearing your t-shirt
  10. Include a partnership or collaboration with another company

Now you are ready to start creating custom t-shirt tags. If you are ready to start an order, request a quote to get your project started. We would love to help make your t-shirt project come to life.