How to Design a T-Shirt in Photoshop
Wondering how to create a t-shirt design with a unique distressed texture? In this tutorial, I’ll show you some easy and effective ways to create designs for vintage distressed t-shirts. We’ll use a variety of texture, brush, and mask layers, and then combine these methods.
Complete methods T-Shirt in Photoshop
But what if you’re looking for ready-to-use Photoshop t-shirt designs? In that case, you can always visit Envato Elements to find hundreds of t-shirt design templates, like the ones below. Scroll down after this grunge t-shirt tutorial to find a great selection of photoshop t-shirt designs!
Do you prefer video tutorials to learn new Photoshop skills? Then watch this great video from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel to learn how to design a shirt in Photoshop:
What You’ll Learn in This Distressed Texture Photoshop Tutorial
• How to create your distressed textures and brushes
• How to create a distressed t-shirt design using transparent PNG textures.
• How to create a distressed effect in Photoshop using JPEG textures.
• How to create distressed t-shirt designs with Photoshop brushes
• How to combine textures and brushes to design a distressed t-shirt
What will you need?
• Free metallic texture
• Typography hand lettering coffee quotes
• 24 distressed texture brushes
• 15 grandfather textures
• 14 distressed ink overlays
1. How to create your distressed textures and brushes
Step No. 1
Let’s learn how to design t-shirt graphics with the free textures I created for you. You can create your own by taking a photo of any metal surface (even with your smartphone!). Open the metal texture in Photoshop and then double-click the background layer to rasterize it.
Next, select the layer and press Shift-Control-Alt-B to convert the image to black and white.
Press Control-I to invert the image colors, and then go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and use the following settings: Brightness: 132; Contrast: 100.
Go to Select > Color Range, select white with the Eyedropper Tool, and set the Fuzzy to 50.
Once you’ve selected the white part of the texture, press the Delete key, and then press Control-D to deselect.
And for the final step, double-click the layer, tick Color Overlay, and select Black with Normal Blend Mode and 100% Opacity. After that, just save the texture as a transparent PNG file.
Now, let’s create a brush from our texture. Open the PNG file and use the Lasso Tool to choose a portion of the page (L). I’ve added a white background layer here to better see the texture.
Go to Edit > Select Brush Preset and press OK to create a new brush.
Let’s set up the brush. Click the brush settings icon and use the following settings:
• Shape Dynamics: On; Size Jitter: 100%, Angle Jitter: 100%
• Scatter: On; Scatter: 129%.
In the next sections, we will explore how to use these brushes/textures and others.
2. How to create t-shirt designs with png textures
Step No. 1
Before we start creating annoying vintage T textures, let’s create a new document with the following settings:
• 2000×2000 px
• 300 dpi
• Background Color: Black.
Go to File > Place and then select the characters for your distressed t-shirt design. Once you’ve placed the image, press Alt-Shift-Control-I to invert the letter colors.
We are now prepared to use Photoshop to produce a distressed texture effect! Let’s have a texture from one of the 15 Dada texture packs. I chose Distressed Photoshop Overlay #3.
As you can see, our vintage t-shirt design already looks great!
And here’s a variation with the structure we created earlier, implemented similarly:
It’s crucial to note that you should only use the distressed Photoshop overlay on the font layer in this case. If you make the background invisible, you’ll see that annoying texture applied to the entire document.
So, to add the Distressed Texture Photoshop effect to the desired layer only, you need to select the layer with your texture and then right-click > Create a Clipping Mask.
If you want to make your vintage distressed t-shirts look even older, let’s add another texture. I chose texture number 14. Create a clipping mask for this new texture, don’t forget to.
Our distressed t-shirt design now looks like this:
If that still doesn’t look messy enough, let’s add another texture (I chose texture #4) to our vintage shirt design.
3. How to create a vintage t-shirt design in Photoshop using JPEG textures
Step No. 1
Now, let’s try using JPEG textures from another pack and apply them to our vintage distressed t-shirt design. Place texture #13 from the 14 Distressed Ink Overlay Pack over the lettering and create a clipping mask.
Change the texture blending to Hard Light to make our distressed effect Photoshop design less obvious.
Now, let’s add the Distressed Texture Photoshop effect again. I believe Chose number 3 and replace Ble. Multiply the blending mode and set the opacity to 50%.
Here is our vintage t-shirt design with JPEG texture.
4. How to create a distressed effect in Photoshop with a brush.
Step No. 1
Now, we’ll use the distressed Photoshop brush to create designs for distressed shirts. Let’s create a new layer with the Alt-Shift-Control-N shortcut.
If you want to learn how to install distressed Photoshop brushes, check out this awesome tutorial:
Select any subtle distressed brush on this new layer and paint with black. Combine a few brushes to make your designs truly unique for distressed shirts, and don’t forget to create a clipping mask!
Here’s what the distressed graphic t-shirt design looks like with our custom brush applied to it:
Another way to use a brush to add texture to a distressed graphic t-shirt is with a mask. Select the layer with your characters and hit Add a mask.
Let’s grab a heavy grunge brush from the pack and then select the layer mask (or use Alt-Right Click to open it) and add a few strokes.
My retro t-shirt design now looks like this:
And another variation of the last distressed graphic t-shirt design with our brush:
5. How to combine textures and brushes to create a distressed graphic t-shirt
Step No. 1
To design a distressed t-shirt, we’ll use all the methods we’ve explored before. Let’s add a mask to the layer.
This time, we won’t use a brush on the mask, but we will paste the texture onto it. So keep the JPEG texture number 1 and resize it.
Now, we need to select the entire texture using the Rectangle Marquee Tool, and then press Control-C.
Next, Control-Right clicks to open the layer mask, and then press Control-V to paste the texture.
Delete the layer with the texture, and then select the layer mask and press Control-I to invert the image.
Select the layer mask again, go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast, and use the following settings: Brightness: 105; Contrast:-15.
Now, let’s add a layer with PNG texture number 2, and create a clipping mask.
And in this step of creating our retro t-shirt design, let’s add a distressed texture photoshop effect using JPEG texture number 12 with hard light blend mode and 50% opacity.
And finally, let’s save our vintage shirt design, make the background layer invisible, and then save the image as just a transparent PNG file.
Great job, you’re done now!
Today, you have learned how to create t-shirt designs using various techniques. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and now you have tons of retro t-shirt design ideas!
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