Designing for Dark Apparel

To design your dark apparel shirt, start with our powerful Apparel Design Tool where you can add multiple images and text in hundreds of fonts and colors to your shirt.

Once you have started your shirt, simply select "Basic Dark T-shirt" as your shirt style on the "Apparel Info" tab and pick the color you prefer: black, deep forest, red, navy blue, dark grey. Please note the following:

  • When designing for dark apparel, you now have the ability to specify which parts of your image should be transparent, and which parts should actually be printed as "white".
  • When you design for our light apparel styles and colors, any 'white' in your design is ignored and not printed. It is treated as transparent, so that the color of the shirt shows through.

Designing with Text

You can easily add text in any color on your design. White text looks great on a black t-shirt!

For more information on transparency in Dark Apparel Images, please see the instructions below:

Designing with Images

Image Formats

As with all other products, Zazzle supports images in either PNG or JPEG formats. For dark apparel specifically, we recommend using PNG images with transparency.

Images with the color white

When you design for our non-dark styles and colors, any 'white' in your design is ignored and not printed. It is treated as transparent, so that the color of the shirt shows through.

When designing for dark apparel, you now have the ability to specify which parts of your design should be transparent, and which parts should actually be printed as 'white'.

PNG Images

For dark apparel, we recommend PNG images with transparency. For transparency to be supported, your images must be PNGs w with transparency.
Any areas that are supposed to be transparent will not be printed. White can be treated as either white or as transparent for dark apparel – after adding your image to the design, choose Advanced Options for the image and you may specify to show white as transparent if desired. All other colors will be printed as intended. Please note: partial transparency is not supported, if an area is not fully transparent, it will be printed as opaque.

Most graphics programs (e.g. Photoshop) support PNG images with transparency.

Please note that for designing on all styles aside from Zazzle Basic Dark T-shirts, white areas will not be printed regardless of image format.

JPEG Images

For dark apparel, JPEG images are also supported. With JPEG images, by default, any white areas or pixels will be treated as transparent. We do this because in many JPEG images, the "white" area is a background that should not be printed as part of the actual image. In place of the white, you will see the background color of the shirt.
Under the "Customize It" tab, if you uncheck "show whites in image as transparent" on the pod for your image, you will see the whites in your image appear as expected. This will ensure that the whites in your JPEG will print as expected.

In some cases this may not quite be perfect, for example if your image has anti-aliasing assuming a white background or if you have a digital photo that contains white (e.g. a picture of a snowman). In those cases, the white in your image will appear as transparent and you may see artifacts with the background color showing through.

To resolve this, we recommend you convert your JPEG image to a PNG image with transparency. That way your image will appear exactly as you'd like it.

To convert your JPEG to PNG with Adobe Photoshop:

  1. Open your JPEG file in Photoshop
  2. Select Layer -> New Layer from Background
    Your image should now be on Layer 0.
  3. Select Layer -> New Layer and click OK.
    This creates a new blank layer
  4. Reorder the layers so that the layer with your image is on top
  5. Select the layer with your image
  6. If there are any areas of your image that you would like to be transparent, clear those areas. You may do this using the "select tool" or the "magic wand" tool. When you have selected the area you want to be transparent, select Edit -> Clear to remove that image data and make it transparent. You should see the background "checkerboard" in its place.
  7. Once you are finished setting your transparent regions, save your file as a PNG by selecting File -> Save As... and choosing PNG as your output format.
  8. Upload the file to Zazzle and design your shirt!