My First AI-Assisted T-Shirt Design
I’m sure there are bloggers out there who will tell you that AI art for designing t-shirts is a churn and burn operation that can net you big profits. I’m here to tell you that if you care at all about the quality of your shirt designs, the process is anything but hands-off. I’m still getting the hang of it, but this one design was pretty time consuming to produce. It’s fun as heck though, so I thought I’d write up how I did it.
The goal I set was simply to create a cool beer shirt, possibly using a quote or a witty slogan.
The Prompts in Midjourney
Obviously, the design itself is unusable as-is. I like the layout and the balance of the elements. It took about a dozen prompts and re-prompts to land on something I liked. I fell in love with the image of the glass and the 7-8 variants Midjourney generated. The fluffy foam came in all sorts of interesting shapes. I chose this one because of how nicely it flowed into the edge of the glass.
I ended up choosing a quote to use based on the real estate available and I think it would be tough to try to generate a design to fit the number of words you need to make fit. Luckily, I have 185 to choose from. In this case, I chose a quote from Paracelsus, “A little bit of beer is divine medicine.”
I have a template set up in Corel Vector for standard Amazon Merch shirt dimensions, so it was just a matter of opening that and dropping the layout into the template to start building up the elements.
I used Convertio Image Converter to convert the upconverted beer glass PNG I downloaded from Midjourney to SVG. Not sure how that site is free, but it’s REALLY good.
Once I laid out the text and chose the fonts (mostly freebies from Creative Market) I was happy with, I started to search Deposit Photos for beer ingredient imagery that felt had the same level of detail and black/white balance as the layout. I settled on this vector graphic of barley, hops, and hop leaves.
I followed the layout of the lines very closely to what Midjourney generated, but ultimately I know they wouldn’t have the character and quality I wanted from them without A LOT of work tweaking the paths. I grouped them in Corel Vector and switched the group off to see it without and I was MUCH happier with the balance of the design. No lines.
After that, it was all path tweaking, nudging, and duplicating the little effects. The stars are Corel polygons (a neat tool). All told, it was probably 10 hours of work.
You can buy this shirt (and my others) from Thirsty Bastards, Amazon, or Etsy.