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Finding Winning T-Shirt Designs & Niches Explained


Hey! Brad Stephens here…

Today I will be breaking down different strategies to finding the perfect designs and niches for selling t-shirts online.

This is something that a lot of people seem to struggle with and it’s the first step that ANYONE takes when beginning to sell t-shirts.

So I thought, why not start here…


If you’ve ever attempted to take shot at the t-shirt business, you will know how important it is to have a good design, and obviously the right niche to sell that design in.

Too many people get caught up in things that really do not matter and I think I know why. People are used to see “cool” and “creative” design that sell in physical stores.

Sure, these designs look cool and probably sell pretty well in physical stores but that’s not really the case when selling them online.

So the first thing people do when starting out is they get this AMAZING expensive design done with all the bells and whistles, only to find that that it doesn’t sell and then they get super pissed off and give up.

(If this is what you have done, don’t worry, I started out the same way).

The truth is that selling t-shirts through ads works differently.

You don’t need fancy design.

You don’t need to pay a lot of money for designs.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to find out if the design will sell.

These are all things you need to force into your mindset.


So before I jump into how I find my designs, I want to share a a few criteria that you must follow when finding designs.

  1. The design must be scalable.
  2. The design must be proven to sell.
  3. Don’t try and re-invent the wheel – keep it simple.

Follow those 3 criteria and I promise you, you are ahead of 80% of the other t-shirt marketers out there.

So what do I mean by scalable?

Let me explain…

Scalable Designs

I mean the designs you choose must be able to be adapted to several niches.

To show you an example of what I mean I have included 4 t-shirts below. I think this is the easiest way to explain exactly what I mean.

As you can see, I’ve selected one design, but notice how the same design has been scaled to 4 different sports.


The design is “I’m a football mom, just like a normal mom except much cooler.”

So why the scalable designs, right?

Well the idea behind this is that once you have found a winning design (it is profitable), you know you have a winning ‘concept’. Now all you need to do is apply the exact same winning design across as many niches as you want.

Think about how much time this saves…

Instead of finding one design for one niche over and over again, you can find a winning design and scale it to 10, 20, 30 niches!

Now this is one design I found and I have scaled it to all the different sports. All you have to do is replace one word for this design and you have another campaign.

The second criteria is finding proven designs that sell.

How to Find Proven Designs

      • Tee research sites:

      • Google
      • Fan pages (if you own any)

From all the sources above, you should be more than ready to rumble!

For the tee research sites, all you have to do is see what is already selling (proven to sell), and just remodel the design, perhaps make a few tweaks, change a few words etc. Don’t copy it 100% otherwise you might get your campaign shut down but just tweak it a bit.

Browse wanelo, etsy, amazon and ebay to find what other people are selling and use it for inspiration for your own designs!

One of the best sources to find cool designs for a specific niche is actually Google (duh!).

Use the process I’ve outlined below to find awesome t-shirt ideas.

  • {Insert niche here} cool t-shirts
  • {Insert niche here} funny phrases
  • {Insert niche here} funny t-shirts
  • {Insert niche here} funny sayings
  • Best selling {insert niche here} funny shirt

Just type the searches above into google images and voila!

You have instant access to hundred of concepts/ideas for t-shirts.


The third criteria is just to keep it simple…


Easy enough, right?


Well – you’d think so. Too many people seem to overcomplicate their designs.


I’d say 90% of my best-selling t-shirts were simple white text on a black t-shirt.


That’s it!


Nothing fancy or over-the-top. Just one or two different fonts, white text. BOOM! Best-seller.


And I promise you this, I am not the only one doing this. I’d say around 95% of successful t-shirt marketers are just using simple sayings/phrases.


Now get out there and start implementing this stuff 🙂

Drop any comments/questions you have below and I’ll try my best to answer them for you!

– Brad

Download My Full Case Study on How One Simple FB Ad Reached 442,000 People in a Few Days!




Hey! Thanks for taking the time to write this article! Great tips here! 🙂


Very good post. As we embark on our t-shirt business with a few sales under the belt using Spreadshirt, these tips and advice will help brilliantly thank you. Just wondering how you find your customers? Are you using a personal/business website or Facebook ads?


Great article. Really inspiring and brilliant tips .Thanks 🙂

Jorge Salcines

Very good article here.

Lester Lee

Great tips. I’m planning to start my own t-shirt business so these tips will be very helpful.

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