Can Graphic Designers Design Clothes?

Graphic Design is primarily about communicating a concept to a target audience through design elements such as color, shapes, typography, and so on. In graphic design there has to be an understanding of marketing to utilize skills to satisfy clients looking for logos, book covers, brochures, flyers and more that will appeal to their customer base. Because graphic design extends to so many kinds of fields, it begs the question of what more a graphic designer could do?

Although all graphic designer could design clothes, not all of them are trained on designing clothes. Using pre-made design templates help all graphic designers expand their area of training, and create professional designs in any area, including clothing graphic design.

The most notable graphic design templates for clothing is by, which has over 90,000+ pre-made templates that you can customize to your specific needs.

There is a difference between selling an original t-shirt with a design and creating a whole line of clothing that will be seen on the runway of fashion week, which begs the question of how far a graphic designer could go in fashion? There are a few factors in how graphic design can translate to fashion design. Keep reading to discover how graphic design can translate into clothing or fashion design.

How Graphic Design Translates to Fashion Design?

Nowadays fashion designers have to dip their pens in several creative fields in order to expand their design perspective. This includes photography, digital media, information design and so on. Graphic design is accustomed to creating a powerful visual identity that is synonymous with branding for fashion design.

When considering the elements of graphic design translating to clothing/fashion design, there are few factors that make the transition seamless.

  1. Personal Aesthetic
  2. Branding
  3. Niche

Looking into each one of these factors would give a greater understanding of how the skills used to do graphic design could translate to fashion design and to what degree.

1. Personal Aesthetic

Graphic designers are already utilized in the fashion industry when it comes to logos, fonts, marketing and social media. Having an understanding of basic design that allows a designer to create logos can easily translate into making a design for a t-shirt or hat. It depends on your personal aesthetic and if that aesthetic is suited for a basic sweatshirt that can be made by any manufacturer or if it involves creating your own garments from scratch.

Perhaps the easiest jump would be to make designs that go on products rather than taking the time and energy to learn fabrics and silhouettes to create their own garment. Regardless, what makes them appealing to a client as a graphic designer is the same appeal they would have to a potential customer with their clothing. The unique aesthetic that only that designer brings to a brand.

2. Branding

With graphic designers already being such an integral part of branding for many industries, any graphic designer would have a leg up on branding for any clothing brand of their own. Not only would they be able to create the clothing or designs for the clothing, but they would be able to take their brand a step further with their own logos, website and social media posts.

Having a cohesive branding journey allows for a seamless and professional experience for a customer that may be the deciding factor between purchasing a t-shirt or sweatshirt from them as opposed to a different clothing brand. Being a graphic designer that has had a great deal of experience branding clients, it would allow them to choose the best of the best of the skill set they’ve honed to set their clothing brand apart from others.

3. Niche

Being both the graphic designer and the fashion designer, it would allow for total control over all design elements, including the garments themselves. Even if the garments are not created from scratch, a designer could still choose how a garment could be created and by whom.

Environmentalism has been growing in fashion but is still a niche market that a designer could easily take advantage of. It would be a way to show that they are dedicated to such issues as ethical farming, minimizing carbon footprint and giving fair wages for labor.

In graphic design work, finding a niche for clients to set them apart from their competitors is already an integral part of the industry, so it wouldn’t be a far stretch to translate that experience from clients to a clothing brand of their own. So, even if it’s not environmentalism, a niche in the market of fashion can be found and utilized by someone with the know-how.

How Can a Graphic Designer Design Clothing?

Luckily, the same design tools a graphic designer would use for their existing work can be used to create designs for clothing. If creating designs for clothing products is the route a graphic designer wants to go then half of the process is already accessible and learned.

Once you create some designs on a program like Illustrator or a site like, then the next step would involve finding a company that would take those designs and place them on the clothing options they offer and give you the flexibility to choose from a variety of garments.

The final step would be to tackle some of the logistics like determining pricing, filing business documentation, opening a business bank account and marketing the clothing brand. In terms of marketing, a graphic designer already has ample experience in doing just that for clients in an array of industries. Creating a website, marketing campaign and social media presence.


Though there is already a great deal of work that translates from graphic design to fashion design, there will always be a learning curve when switching from one creative field to another, regardless of previous experience.

The most ideal transition would be creating designs to place on ready made clothing pieces, anything further would no doubt require further education and a greater learning curve when going from graphic design to fashion design. Either way, these are two industries that are already closely related and have great potential for movement in between.