Choosing the best ink colors for your design

Choosing your ink and shirt color is one of the fun parts of designing, however it can also be a bit tricky. Sometimes, certain t-shirt/ink color combinations look more vibrant on a computer screen than they do in real life.

This is because lighting in the Lab is optimal (no shadows or dim light), and computer screens often have filters to make colors appear more vibrant. While this filter makes your daily computer use more visually exciting, it does alter the colors that you see in the Lab.

Our art team is very aware of this issue, and every order that comes through Custom Ink is checked for color contrast. If we spot a potential contrast issue that we think you might ultimately not be happy with, we will contact you to discuss it, as well as suggest an alternative color.

Here are some quick guidelines to choose color combinations that pop!

  • When using lighter shirts, be careful of pastel colors such as yellow, baby blue, or light pink. These colors are visible on the shirts, but may not be legible at a distance. Adding an outline of a darker color to a lighter color design can highlight the text, making it more legible!
  • Darker colored shirts look great with these lighter ink colors, however be careful about darker colors like cardinal, maroon, or forest. These colors may look great in the lab, but when they print sometimes the shirt color distorts the ink color, making them look more brown or dull than intended. When we see these colors on an order, we'll call and offer a color that will print like the color you chose in the Lab.

The following proofs are examples of color combinations that may look fine on your computer screen, but will look subtle or distorted when screen printed: