Apr 24, 2019 Hot Off the Grill: Screen Printed T-Shirt Designs For Your Company BBQ
Tis the season that all adults know: company picnic season. Or, if your company is extra cool and loves to embrace the summertime, it’s company BBQ season.
Because, let’s be honest: if you have to host an annual company-wide conference, there’s no good reason not to make the conference a good time while everyone talks shop and enjoys the fresh air.
Want to make your BBQ even more memorable? Why not go for a custom company BBQ shirt? If you need some ideas on how to get started, no worries. Here are some ideas to help you produce the best screen-printed company t-shirt designs for your BBQ.
Tips for Designing a Great Company T-Shirt
Before you head off to the company BBQ (or before you place your order for BBQ t-shirts) you should first know how to design a great shirt.
After all, nothing is quite as awkward as ordering 100 shirts that everyone hates.
Explore Your Concept
Before you start throwing ideas at the wall (or at your t-shirt order), it’s important to spend some time exploring your concept.
Think about what kind of vibe you want your t-shirt to have. Will it be fun? Funny? Quirky? Sleek and modern? Do you want to go with some of the newest trends?
To start, do a full brainstorming process. Leave no stone unturned. If you need somewhere to start, think about the theme of your BBQ. From there, you can start sketching a few ideas.
Don’t be shy about spending some time at this stage. Get something to eat. Come back to it again. Sleep on it. Then, revisit it again the next day. You never know when a brilliant idea might strike you.
Imagine How It Will Look on a Shirt
Once you have a few ideas in mind, think about how your design will look on a t-shirt.
This seems like a rather obvious statement, but the truth is, it’s more essential than most people realize. There’s a world of difference between a design on a computer screen and a design printed on fabric.
Don’t be afraid to mock up the design of your shirt on a t-shirt model. Or, if all else fails, print out your design to size and place it on an actual t-shirt so you can see what it looks like to size.
Detail Meets Simplicity
When designing a t-shirt, there are two things to keep in mind:
- Detail is king
- Keep things simple
On one hand, more detail gives you more opportunity to tell a story. It also gives you more opportunities to make the shirt memorable.
But if you put too much detail on a shirt, you’ll wind up with a cluttered mess.
If you need an idea of how to strike a balance, take a look at these great t-shirt designs.
Keep Your Humor Subtle
Regardless of how complex or simple your design may be, if you intend to use humor in your design, there’s one rule you should always follow: keep it subtle.
A joke might be hilarious among friends or family, but remember, this isn’t a friends-and-family BBQ. This is a company BBQ, and while you may be able to have some fun with your shirt design, you still need to keep it work appropriately.
So, sayings like “I’d Smoke That,” “Once you put my meat in your mouth, you’re going to want more,” or alcohol references probably aren’t the way to go.
When in doubt, use this guideline: if you’d be embarrassed to have your grandma see it, it’s a bad idea.
Know Your Market
This dovetails into our next point: you need to know your market.
It’s a lot like a marketer finding their target audience, except less taxing and time-consuming.
Are you designing for men, women, or both? How old are the people who will wear the shirts? Are they funky, funny, or more straight-laced?
Write down the exact person who will wear your shirt and what kinds of shirts would probably interest them. That way, you’ll have an easier time designing a shirt they’ll actually wear.
This can be especially useful if you’re selling the shirts rather than giving them as a company gift.
Know Your Printing Options
In addition to knowing your t-shirt design, you should also be aware of the various t-shirt printing options, as these can affect the ultimate result of your shirt.
For example, there are screen-printed t-shirts, which are the most affordable option for large orders. In screen printing, an individual screen is created for each color in your design and then printed one on top of another. It’s very reliable for standard printing and almost always produces high-quality shirts.
There are also vinyl graphics, which are a form of heated transfer. Vinyl transfers have a specialty vinyl with adhesive on the back that will react to heat and pressure. This adds a great texture to your t-shirts and helps protect them against wear and tear.
Finally, there’s direct-to-garment printing, which is a newer form of printing that uses inkjets to print an image directly onto fabric. This offers you the most color options out of any printing option, and the method offers highly customizable shirts. However, it’s also the most expensive, so it’s best for small batch orders.
Keep Your Budget in Mind
Last but not least, it’s important to keep your budget in mind throughout the design process.
Think of it in terms of these three questions:
- How many t-shirts do you need?
- How much can you afford to spend?
- When do you need the shirts?
As a rule, more complex designs with more colors are going to be more expensive and time-consuming to produce, so if you’re ordering shirts on a budget or in bulk (or both), it’s best to keep your design simple.
Company BBQ Shirt Ideas to Get You Started
So, do you think you’re ready to design a great company BBQ shirt?
If you still need a few ideas, here are some tips to help you get started.
You can never go wrong with an all-purpose, universal company BBQ shirt.
A shirt like this has wide appeal because it’s not targeted exclusively toward one person’s sense of humor or idea of a cool shirt. It’s a shirt that anyone, young or old, executive or intern, can happily wear.
For this kind of shirt, think of a shirt that’s cute and fun but still sticks to the essentials, like “Company BBQ 2019” with a fun take on your company logo.
Need a few ideas? Here are two to get you started.
A Clever Company BBQ Design
Let’s say your company BBQ isn’t a once-a-year event. Maybe you BBQ every Friday when the weather is good or your company hosts a BBQ every month in the warmer months.
In that case, you can order a shirt that everyone can wear on Fridays. But, you don’t just want a shirt that says, “Company BBQ 2019” if you hold several BBQs throughout the year.
Instead, you can go for a clever take on your company logo. Let’s say your company’s name starts with a B. You can create a clever BBQ t-shirt by making a shirt with a B made out of BBQ supplies, like sauce, tomatoes, a spatula, etc. It’s fun, it’s simple, and employees will be able to wear it anytime.
North Carolina BBQ Shirt
Now, let’s say you’re in a region known for their BBQ. In that case, why not pay homage to your local BBQ culture?
Let’s say you live in North Carolina. Any North Carolinian knows there’s a big difference between Eastern and Western-style North Carolina BBQ. How’s an employee to choose?
Give them the option with a t-shirt showing a split map of North Carolina, the west half reading “Tomato” and the east half reading “Vinegar”. It’s a great conversation starter–just make sure no one gets too heated about their BBQ!
Now, you have to toe the line with humor in a company t-shirt, but well-played humor can still be a success at the company BBQ.
All-in, 1000% humorous shirts aren’t necessarily a good idea, but you can go for t-shirts in the style of British humor: biting satire or crackling one-liners. It’s clever and gets a laugh (puns, anyone?) but it’s never crude.
Here are a few ideas to tickle the funny bone at your BBQ.
If you want a funny but work-safe t-shirt, a great way to go is BBQ quotes, such as:
- Meat is murder. Tasty, tasty murder.
- Animal rights: animals have the right to be tasty
- Gardening: cultivating a piece of land in order to BBQ
These kinds of quotes will still win you a laugh, but they won’t get you in trouble with HR either, which is the way any company BBQ should be enjoyed.
If you’ve got any company in-jokes, now would also be the time to spin them for BBQ (but, again, make sure to keep it work appropriate).
I Want You to BBQ
If you want an under-the-radar type of joke, you can keep it simple with a classic BBQ shirt that everyone can enjoy.
All you need is a basic t-shirt and the classic image of Uncle Sam, blue and white hat and all, pointing a finger with a serious expression, surrounded by the words, “I want you…to BBQ.”
As we said, it’s a classic joke, and Uncle Sam rarely gets old, especially if you’re having a BBQ around the Fourth of July. If your company works in government contracting (or, you know, you work for the government) this is also a great option to make everyone laugh.
If you want a bit of humor without an outright joke, you don’t necessarily have to dive face first into sarcasm, witty humor, one-liners, or outright satire.
Instead, you can stick to short, sweet, and cheeky shirts that will make people smile without necessarily needing to be funny.
This is great for those that like a fun shirt but don’t necessarily have the comedic gift in their bones (even after an hour of grilling). Here are two quietly cheeky shirts that you can spin for your company BBQ.
This one is simple: a plain green shirt that simply reads, “Collard”.
If your company is related to agriculture or the food industry, you can go a step further with fine print, like this: “Collard…and carrots and potatoes and corn oh my!”
If collard isn’t your green of choice, you can go for a shirt featuring a different green, like kale (cue the kale jokes). Just make sure it makes sense with your company’s BBQ and offerings.
Okay, this shirt isn’t as subtle, but there are plenty of ways you can spin it.
Picture this: a plain t-shirt, reading, “Guess what?” with a picture of a chicken and a block arrow. Remember that old middle school joke?
If you’re not that keen on chicken butt jokes on your company t-shirt, you can go with something else, like, “Guess what? It’s BBQ time!” or another cheeky aside that will make people chuckle when they pull on the shirt.
Ready to Rock the Company BBQ?
Ready to rock the company BBQ and leave last year’s event in the dust?
Hopefully, you’re prepared with your company BBQ shirts!
If not, no worries! You’ve still got time to order the best company shirt for your BBQ. Click here to check out our options for custom-printed t-shirt designs.