Custom printed labels are an awesome way to put your t-shirts one step ahead of the rest. They’re comfortable, stylish, and give your brand a lot of extra authority. When a lot of people are ordering custom t-shirts, they don’t know that a feature of this quality is accessible to them, but it is!
We’re here to show you why custom printed labels are worth investing in, what information you need to include, and show you 10 beautiful custom tag examples.
Download your free custom inside tag templates and tools before you get started! Download the tools
When planning to create your custom t-shirt labels (tags), it’s important to organize all of the content needed first. You’ll want to make sure you have the following:
We have a lot of info about tag printing on our custom tag printing page, so that's another resource, but here are some things to think about and remember...
Use an ink that doesn’t show through the back. For your custom tags, it’s important to use an ink that doesn’t show through the backside of the shirt, especially with light colored shirts. To help with this, we have three methods we can use to add custom tags to the inside of your shirt, hoodie, or tank: pad printing, screen printing, or heat transfer. Each have their pros and cons which we'll cover below.
When to use each method: We recommend our pad printing method 9 out of 10 times. There are several reasons for this. First off, it's the most economical choice. Second, it has great image clarity even with small point sizes, and lastly, it's generally pretty resistant to showing through the other side of the garment. However, ink color choices are limited (black, tonal white, and medium grey), the image size is limited to 2.5" x 2.5", and it's not always a great choice for fleece or other items that don't have a super smooth inside fabric. Screen printed tags are another option. A few pros to screen printed custom tags is a larger range of color choices and a larger image area, but they're also more expensive than pad printed tags. Lastly is our heat transfer tag option. This is generally a great fit for fleece items or items that don't have quite as smooth of inside print surface.
Remember you’re working with limited space. You’ll want to keep in mind the size of anything in your custom t-shirt labels. The max image size varies based on the method you choose. The smallest type size for pad printing is 3 points while screen printing and heat transfer is 6 points. Designs of custom t-shirt labels that are smaller than that can be hard to read and lose image clarity.
Remember the RN number. We get a lot of questions about the RN number. As far as that goes, Real Thread strongly recommends following the legal guidelines for relabeling your garment’s tags if you remove the manufacturer’s label. It’s important for you to read and understand the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations on labeling and including a registered identification number before designing your custom printed tags.
Know which t-shirt blanks have tearaway tags. All t-shirts come with manufacturer tags. Some are "tearaway" and can easily be torn out, while the others are not "tearaway" and have to be removed by our in-house seamstress. You can learn more about removing manufacturer tags here. Or, ask your account manager ahead of time which shirt blanks have tearaway tags, and which don’t, because tearaway tags can save you money!
Here are 10 examples of companies that organized their content and design perfectly to create the best custom design tags! We’ve included pointers about each to help guide you in making your best custom t-shirt labels yet.
1. Use a light ink color on a dark shirt so your tag is easily readable.
2. Always include the RN number in your tag if it’s necessary for your company (very bottom line of the tag below).
3. Let people know how to best take care of their shirt by including care instructions in your tag. And be sure to download our free tag care icons here!
4. Including the fabric composition is a nice way to let people know they are wearing a quality shirt (bottom right corner of the tag below)!
5. Make sure people can easily find and read the shirt size in your tag.
6. Add an icon that represents your brand well to your tag design.
7. Make a statement by using your logo in the tag.
8. Call out where and how the shirt was made in the tag.
9. Remind your audience about the impact they made by buying and wearing your shirt in the tag.
10. Include a collaboration or partnership with another company in the tag.
Ready to create custom t-shirt labels for your shirts? Be sure to download these two free sets of custom shirt tag templates to get started.
Custom Tag Template (Set 1)
Custom Tag Templates (Set 2)
If you have any further questions or are ready to start an order, let us know! We’d love to help make your next t-shirt project come to life.
Editor’s Note: This guide to creating personalized clothing labels has been updated for accuracy and freshness as of 6/2021.