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4 design tips to create your Hawaiian shirt

The design process might be a bit daunting for some us when it comes to translate an idea for a concept to a finished template.
Alysha, our Graphic Designer, will share in this interview the good practices and tips to successfully kickstart your Hawaiian shirt design project.

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What are your recommendations for submitting a design brief for a custom Hawaiian shirt?

The best way to start is for the client to be really clear about how they would like the shirt to look.

They don't have to be really specific and it probably gets better if they're a little bit loose with their requirements, but ideally the best thing for me is to know what colors they want and roughly what kind of style those clients will go for.

If not, they can convert the colors themselves or we can convert them. If the Pantones are not provided, I will usually include the Pantones in the initial mockup file, so the client is able to check the codes on the Pantone website and ensure they are completely happy with them.

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custom hawaiian shirt delivery

What are the file requirements for the design process of a Hawaiian shirt?

Ideally any assets provided by the client should be in vector format. This ensures that we have no issues with poor resolution, and it’s also easier to make adjustments to the color / size as needed.

Vector files such as AI or PDF are accepted (please ensure the PDF is saved as a vector, not flattened). If the client doesn't have a vector version of their logo, then a transparent high quality PNG is also fine. We don't accept JPEGs, screenshots or any kind of low quality files.

There is no need for the client to provide general assets such as flowers, leaves etc. However if a client has very specific assets they would like on their shirt, for example an image of their product, they will need to provide the asset.

For the best and quickest results, all the necessary assets should be provided in the correct format from the beginning.

How do you manage changes and adjustments in the design process?

We send the design to the clients by email and a back and forth process of feedback will begin until the clients are absolutely satisfied with the look of the Hawaiian shirts. Those changes usually take just a couple of days, but during the busy period it can be longer.

Sometimes we have to make some adjustments to our clients' requests mainly because the Hawaiian shirt is made with a material that has been printed with a repeating pattern. So we can't be overly specific about the placement of different things. For instance some clients want the logo on the pocket, but unfortunately that's not really possible: it's a repeating pattern that is printed onto the material and the material is used to make every part of the shirt. In that case we can offer a good compromise by making a custom label with the brand logo on it instead.

Adjustments might also be needed if the client requests are not feasible. For example if our client wants something that's really dark in color, but their logo is also really dark, I might have to say, "Oh well, your logo is not going to stand out if everything is dark, do you want to proceed there? Or maybe you want to give me a light version of your logo?" :). For that reason, the brand logo sometimes might need a bit of adjustment.

custom hawaiian shirt fabric
branded hawaiian shirt

What type of design works best for clients?

The most popular design is the classic Hawaiian style. Most of our clients will go for leaves, palm trees and flowers, and they mix in a little bit of their branding, corporate colors, and some elements that have to do with their industry.

Some clients request more of the Hawaiian elements and less of their branding, but some others want mostly their branding and not very much of anything else. So that's just up to the client how much they want to balance the Hawaiian elements with their corporate elements. We find the best results have a mix between the two with smaller brand elements.

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