Family Reunion Shirt Design Tips

Are you wanting to do your own family reunion shirt design?

Even when you're working with a professional t-shirt designer, here are a few tips to keep in mind for maximum success.

less is more

In other words, keep things simple. The best family reunion shirt design is one that is easy to read and relatively straight forward.

things to include

Most personalized family reunion shirts include the following:

  • Event Title - Your reunion name, family surname or simply "Family Reunion."
  • Date - Anything from vague ("2015") to specific ("July 21-24, 2016") is appropriate.
  • Place - Again, both vague ("Louisiana" or "@ home") or specific family reunion destinations ("Squirrel Creek Ranch") work. 
  • Image or Saying - This could be your chance to show off your family reunion logo or heraldic crest. Or use family clip art. Or pick a couple fun genealogy quotes and have them printed in a fun font. You could also use a favorite scripture.

Custom t-shirt designs are your chance to highlight family reunion themes or family symbols. I love the shirts that don't quite make sense, as it's usually an indication of an inside family joke or "secret." Family sayings or t-shirt sayings are perfect for this!

insider info

Keep in mind that not all products and services are created equal.

Something about working with the designer - the file type, etc.

Be aware of minimum print runs, designer fees, shirt quality and printing time.

Allow plenty of time for printing and delivery. Three weeks or more is ideal. 

Use a spreadsheet to help keep track of orders and money.

vendor tips

As you're searching for vendors for family reunion shirts, be sure to ask lots of questions so there are no surprises. Be aware of -

  • Design fees. Even if you create your own digital image, there still may be some art charges if your file isn't in the correct format.
  • Set up fees. Know what they are and what they cover. Fees will vary from vendor to vendor and also with the complexity of your t-shirt design and number of colors you wish to print.
  • Quality of shirts. Sometimes it matters, sometimes not so much. For durability, go for shirts made from 50% cotton, 50% polyester. Shirts made from 100% will generally be cheaper. But remember - they'll shrink.
  • Minimum order. There is usually a minimum order of shirts. Sometimes the entire order must be in ONE t-shirt color. But, depending on your vendor, you might have the option of combining t-shirt colors within the same order. Sometimes you may even have the option of using the same screen set up for non-t-shirt items such as printed aprons, designer polo shirts or custom hoodies. 
  • Prices. Just like custom athletic apparel, the more shirts you order, the less money you will spend per shirt. Whenever you have an item customized, there are set costs associated with designing the artwork and setting up the printing screens. Since the set up costs remain the same regardless of how many shirts are printed, total cost per shirt goes down when you order more shirts.
  • Timing. Know how long the printing and shipping process will take. Vendors will not usually guarantee delivery dates since shipping is mostly out of their control. If you're in a hurry, you might be able to pay a rush charge (for printing and processing) and other additional charges for faster shipping. The sooner you order the better. My recommendation is to order AT LEAST 3 weeks in advance, preferably much earlier.
  • Colors. Multi-color prints are more expensive than single color prints. Keep in mind that colors vary from computer monitor to computer monitor so it's impossible for a vendor to show you the exact color online.

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