Ideas for T-shirt Designs 

By  Cartess Ross

“What type of t-shirt designs should I sell?”… That’s a very common question we get all the time.

My advice — make t-shirts based on your hobbies or passion… I personally like motivational and/or inspirational type messages on t-shirts and that’s what we gravitate to.

If you’re into martial arts or hockey or even parachuting, then make designs around those topics. The goal here is to create based on the things you’re passionate about. Making t-shirts around the things YOU like is what makes this thing so interesting.

There’s a great possibility that others share the same likes and interests as you and it’ll be those people who’ll buy your stuff.

So if you’re into worms — then guess what??? With a few billion people in the world, there’s bound to be other people who are into worms too. And I’m serious about that…

Also, there’s plenty of opportunity around you to create from… The other day, I was at Ross and TJ MAXX department store and came across the following: (All Men are Idiots is what it’s suppose to say — I just caught the mispelling).

My wife laughed when she saw it and I took a picture of it so I wouldn’t forget what it said because I plan to make a t-shirt with that saying on it…

I imagine others have made tees with the same wording, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make money from it either… Not only that, I can make a variation about women too.

If I act on it, I could very well sell a few hundred or a few thousand of these over the course of a year. I can also choose to do nothing at all and sell absolutely nothing too!

The key is for you to take action.

Later on in the day, we went to the mall and saw these:

The lady in the store say they have a hard time keeping these in stock — they sell soooo many each week.

If they’re selling out like that, then I imagine these messages on a t-shirt will do well too!

So all in all, the thing to do is to keep your eyes open to the many opportunities around you… Just the act of taking action will put you on course to seeing and doing great things.

One day, I’ll tell you the story about how TshirtRiches got started… I never set out to teach a course on starting a t-shirt business.

It literally happened on it’s own because I was doing something ELSE for another purpose and this thing just blew up… So take action and the act of doing will set you on course to doing great things.

Download my eBook & Get Started Now: Click Here!

Or Sign-up for My Online Course by Clicking Here!


Cartess Ross

I will guide you through this process and provide you with proven strategies to help you build a t-shirt company. As one of the original pioneers to start selling t-shirts online 20 years ago, I've sold millions of dollars in t shirts to people all over the world. I founded TshirtRiches in 2007 to teach others how to turn their t-shirt ideas into a business. So if you're ready, hop onboard and let's make this money!

Cartess Ross

  • Do you offer LIVE seminars or conferences. I’m more of a hands on person and I would like to experience working the equipment. I personally believe that it’s more effective live opposed to a video. I ‘m not one to sit and watch a computer video for X amount of time.

    Thanks Again!

    • Hi,
      Not at this time. However, that is something we’ve discussed and there may be a possibilty for a conference in the near future in 2013. We’ll keep you posted!

  • I’m having a hard time finding a good design software to create my work, if you don’t mind me asking what software do you use?

    • Hi Warren,
      Graphic designs are usually created in adobe software such as photoshop, design, illustrator and whatever else the graphic artist feels most comfortable working in. If you’re asking which programs to use, I can only assume you have absolutely no design experience, or no knowledge of these programs. Learning such programs is a huge learning curb and they are quite complicated. Having the knowledge to use these programs effectively, takes on having another skill set within itself! The time it would take you to learn to use the software could be time applied growing your business. It’s taking graphic artist years to master these programs and create the art they do using these programs!

      My advice to you, you’ll be better off just hiring a graphic artist who does this for a living and who can create designs for you that people would actually want to buy from you.

  • A happy delay ted B day to you .

  • cecil agra says:




    I just want to ask about the business permit and obtaining a sales tax ID , since I live in Australia how I would go about it .

    Do I have to register in both countries or just one.


    • Hi Joseph,

      You’ll need to contact your country business administration on the laws and regulations. The laws will vary from the laws here in the US.

  • Hey Cartess would any of our designers be willing to work with me on some T shirt design ideas I have. My stuff is mostly on the offensive/edgy side, however I don´t have the ability to make the designs myself. If interested they could work with me and make the designs and then we would send the designs to places like threadless, ect… and then split the money

    • Hi Bill,

      Most or all designers will be willing to work with you as long as you’re willing to pay for their services. Most or all will not begin the work until they’re paid up front before beginning the work.

  • I was just on ypur viedo site and it was so interested and lively i really enjoyed watching and learning at the same time.This year i am planning on going full force into running my own apparel business.I am looking into buying a machine that does silk screening and i know that your machine be shipped outdoes that.What is the price of yoiur machines and also how long does it take for one to be shipped out THank you

    i always see you pressing nice Christian designs/Messages and would like to have them too, where can i buy them?
    please send or post the link of the company that does the design


    • Hi Patrick,
      We have a source list available for purchase. The source list includes various companies to purchase custom, and pre-made transfers from a list of transfer vendors.

      The price for custom transfers will be determined by the amount of colors you have in your design. If you are on a tight budget then I would recommend no more than 2 colors in the design. The more colors in the design the more it will cost to have the designs screen printed onto the release paper.

      If you would, please click the link below to purchase the source list.

  • Hello Cartess my question is when you first were getting started and getting your tshirts inside of stores what did you have to display them? For example was it some type of clothing rack, thanks

    • Hi Eric,
      It will depend on the store and what they will allow, etc. We had shirts display through stores, clothing racks, display tables, etc. Again, it will depend on the store and the space the have available. However, depending on your design and how well designed…and if the store owner really believes the shirt will fly off the shelves they’ll make a way and make it a point to make whatever arrangements you may need.

  • The SRDS and the idea of going from a t shirt designer to t shirt marketer were definitely worth my time. You really are cutting the learning curve for me. If you can afford it I highly recommend the t-shirt training course. Me and my partner are looking for a press right now and we can envision every step a lot more clearer because of it. Thanks.

  • Hi, I am very interested in starting a t shirt business but would like to gain some more knowledge before I actually invest any money.. I’ve been wanting to start one since I was young and watching these videos gave me motivation to take action. If you could please email me with some contact information that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • I am from East Africa but currently leaving in the UAE with little money to my budget plus i dont have a heat presser or no access to get the machine yet i am desperately in need of starting my tshirt business with the help of this machine.What can i do to get one at a very cheap price or 2nd hand one?Please i need your help.

    Thank you,


    • Hi Alfat,
      I would suggest looking on Ebay and Amazon for sellers who’ll ship to your country. As well, as looking for locals who may have a heat press machine for sale. That should be your starting point. Good luck!

  • Hey thank you so much for inspiring all of us to do something great and I like the t shirt ideas. I had a question about Marketing. I have t shirts and I have nice design but I don’t really know how to market it. Many of my designs are geared towards teenagers and young adults but I also have designs for all ages I guess but I’m not really sure how to go about marketing and how to get my name out there .thanks

    • HI Ines,

      Thanks for your post!

      The key for any business is marketing and honestly it determines if any business survive or fail. We have created a training course that will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. We’ve done all the hard work for you. All you have to do is take advantage of the blueprint we’ll provide, learn the material and apply it towards your business. This isn’t an easy task, this isn’t some get rich quick scam and it will require a lot of hard work if you expect to receive any type of results. Honestly, your results depend on you.

      Please click the link to check out the program we have created along with the pricing information.

      We also have bundle packages available as well. Please click the link below.

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