When you’re designing a T-shirt, there are so many elements to keep in mind. The size of the image, the colors used, and the font all make a difference in how your final design will look.
So before you dive into making that perfect T-shirt design, it’s helpful to know which fonts are the best choice for T-shirts. Finding the right font is an essential step to creating a great t-shirt. Whether you want something bold and casual or something simple and modern, there is a font out there for you.
But not every font works when it comes to adding text to your t-shirt design. Some fonts just don’t look good on clothing due to their small details or thin letters. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of some of the best t-shirt fonts out there.
What to Look For in a T-Shirt Font
For starters, you’ll want to make sure the font is easily readable. You don’t want to choose a font that’s too small or too difficult to read. Plus, you’ll want to make sure the font is easy to work with, whether you are using Canva or Photoshop for your designs.
You don’t want a font that is too thin or delicate and will break easily when the shirt is ironed or laundered. When shopping for the perfect t-shirt font, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, you’ll want to think about the style of font you want to use. Do you want something casual and bold? Or something simple and modern?
Next, you’ll want to think about the weight of the font. Do you want a thin or thick font for your design? Which will work best with your next t-shirt creation?
And lastly, you’ll want to think about the font’s letter spacing and how much space exists between each letter. Where the letters sit on the t-shirt will make all the difference. This distance between letters is called “kerning”. Kerning can be easily manipulated in Photoshop and other design tools.
Sans Serif Fonts
Sans serif fonts are fonts that do not have any extra decorative details at the ends of the letters. These fonts are best used for bold, simple designs. So they are an excellent choice if you’d like your t-shirt to be bold and casual. Examples of sans serif fonts are Helvetica and Arial.
You can browse the most popular custom sans serif fonts like Lemon Milk, Coolvetica, and Bebas Nue on DaFont.
When choosing a sans serif font for a t-shirt design, look for something that is easy to read but isn’t too basic. Sans serif fonts are best for short phrases or short sentences. If you try to add a long paragraph of text in a sans serif font, it might be hard to read.
Canva has a large selection of fonts like Zing Sans Rust on the shirt mockup below.
Serif fonts have a decorative stroke at the end of the letters. This is a great font for books and magazines due to its readability. Serif fonts are also great for just the right t-shirt designs.
Serif fonts are also very popular for company logos. To get an idea if a Serif font will work for a t-shirt design, click the “serif” category on your favorite fonts site and browse the Serif fonts by the most popular.
Serif fonts are a lot of fun. With the many different decorative strokes that each serif fonts offer, the design possibilities are endless. While these font examples are unedited (yet) they look great on the shirt even with their default settings.
Script & Display Fonts
Script and display fonts are fonts that have decorative features at the ends of the letters. These fonts are best used for designs that are creative and playful. So they are an excellent choice if you’d like your t-shirt to be playful and creative.
These fonts are often fun and quirky. They are best used for single words or short phrases. When choosing a script or display font for a t-shirt design, look for something that is easy to read but isn’t too basic. Script and display fonts are best for short phrases or short sentences.
Here is a great example of a Canva script font, Amsterdam one on a t-shirt:
If you try to add a long paragraph of text in a script or display font, it might be hard to read.
Some of our favorite script and display t-shirt fonts include Lobster, Anthony Hunter, and South Australia.
Hand Lettered Fonts
Hand lettered fonts are fonts that mimic the look of handwriting. These fonts are best used for vintage or retro designs. So they are an excellent choice if you’d like your t-shirt to be vintage or retro.
If you want your t-shirt to look like it has a handcrafted feel to it, then using a hand-lettered font is a great choice. When choosing a hand-lettered font for a t-shirt design, look for something that is easy to read but isn’t too basic.
If Canva is where you create your designs, there are a good number of handdrawn style fonts there like Homemade Apple:
One of our favorite sources for hand-lettered fonts is Envato. There you can browse and buy the best hand-lettered fonts available. Some of our favorite hand-lettered t-shirt fonts from Envato include Amithen, Buffalo, and The Traveller,
How to Visualize a Font Design
We use DaFont for many of our font ideas. Just go to DaFont.com and search for font styles using a “word” or a category. You can then type a word that you plan to use in your design. In the below example, I selected Vintage fonts, then I typed “Vintage Tee” to visualize these words in different font styles.
One way to collect font ideas for your own t-shirt designs is to save images of other shirt designs in a folder. Use these designs to generate ideas for your own t-shirts. Pinterest and Etsy are great places to get ideas for t-shirt designs.
Whether you want something bold and casual or playful and creative, there is a font out there for you. But not every font is the best choice for designing a t-shirt.
Bryan E. Robinson is the former owner of TshirtGrowth. He has sold t-shirts since 2006 through dropshipping, screen printing, vinyl printing, DTG, Print on Demand, and more. Bryan has created his own t-shirt designs through Photoshop, Canva, and other platforms, as well as worked with freelancers to create many of his designs. Besides t-shirts, Bryan has over 18 years of experience in online marketing with eCommerce, B2B SaaS, B2C products, and more.