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We’re all familiar with the standard print locations, we’ve seen them all. But when a T-shirt has a unique print location or placement, that can make a memorable impact, especially if you’re crowd is more fashion-conscious (or you would like them to be).
In this post, we’ll quickly look at those standard print locations, and then show you some alternative print locations you might consider to make your next T-shirt design stand out.
Here are some of the most common print locations. These are fine for most people– there’s a reason why they are popular. They work. And it’s good to know the terms so you know the right thing to order.
For a more detailed breakdown of the standard print locations and the types of shirts they’re commonly used for, see my post The Top 8 Print Locations and Why They Are Standard.
Now let’s look at some alternatives, and talk about what makes these locations different.
1. Right Chest
Left chest is the standard corporate logo print location, but why not the right? This can be nice if you want to give your employees and embroidered name on their left chest (we do that too), or just switch it up to be different.
2. Medallion / Upper Center
This an up-and-coming print location; uncommon but has some things going for it. If you’re wearing a hoodie that’s slightly unzipped, or a quarter-zip, or a dress shirt that’s slightly unbuttoned, people are going to see your logo.
Pro tip: Avoid printing an image of a medallion, that might be too literal.
3. Front Shoulders
Another up-and-coming print location, you could also call them upper left chest or upper right chest. You might have seen this print location on the latest UFC swag- and there’s a good reason for putting logos here. When fighters get interviewed, the sponsor logos are in the camera frame. Something to think about- even if you’re not a cage fighter.
4. Hip / Hem / Lower Front
This print location is either one or the other side. It’s a tasteful placement for a logo, down and off to the side, rather than front-and-center. And it’s always visible because nobody actually tucks in their T-shirts, right? Or do they?
5. Small Upper Back / Yoke
Yoke is a funny word for a print location, but it actually comes from the name of the extra panel on the back of cowboy shirts. Doesn’t explain it, but that’s where it comes from.
Anyway, it’s a good spot for a band logo, especially if you’re not trying to make your fans into walking billboards with a 14” print across their back. Plus if you’re at a show, you can only see the upper part of people’s backs.
I’d recommend this print location if you have a sponsor back shirt with only a few sponsors. Instead of arranging the logos in a grid or a triangle, how about stacking them. Why not?
7. Back Left or Right Shoulder
Similar to the front shoulder print location, except on the back. This is another one where it usually one side or the other. Unless of course, you’re a cage fighter.
8. Lower Back / Butt
This is one of the most overlooked print locations. Because it’s one of the most looked-at locations. I’ve seen some great logo prints going across the lower back, and I’ve seen some funny sayings going across the butt.
Here are the two most common print locations on sleeves, which would be considered standard. But surely there are more options than this?
Surely there are. Here are 4 more alternative print locations and why they’re a bit different.
9. Shoulder Sleeve
The standard sleeve print is about 2 inches from the hem of the sleeve. If you specify the shoulder, it will move the print location up higher for a different look. You can use a slightly larger size than you could get away with on a normal sleeve print. I’d recommend a circular design for this location.
10. Side Print / Wrap-a-Round
If you’re going with this location you need a shirt without a side seam, which is a little rarer these days, they are called “tubular”. Totally. Ask your sales rep to make sure you’re ordering the right garment for this print.
A nice thing about this one is you can go pretty big- usually as big as a full front or full back. And if your design is good, it will look good from the front, the back, and the side.
11. Wrist / Cuff
Surprisingly, this is not a popular print area. Seems like it should be. Tasteful placement and size for a logo, and high visibility: when you’re shaking hands, paying for a drink, or shooting craps, people will see it.
12. Lower Long Sleeve
This is very similar to a normal long sleeve print location, it’s just moved down as low as it can go- usually an inch from the hem of the wrist. The nice thing about this is if the person wearing it happens to be wearing a T-shirt over their long sleeve, people will be able to read ALPHA KAPPA WHATEVA.
Keep in mind, there is usually no additional or special charge when you order these- a print location is a print location. If you have a crazy idea you don’t see below, call a project specialist in the sales department.
About the Author
A graduate of the Multimedia program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Imri Merritt is an industry veteran with over 20 years of graphic design and color separations experience in the screen printing industry.