image of full front t-shirt placement for heat transfers

Polo & T-Shirt Placement Guide

Full-Front Placement for: Embroidery Printing Transfers

You will typically see full-front images printed with DTG printers, or Digital Heat Transfers.  The maximum print area of some systems can be  larger than the entire shirt front…. 

… But it turns out that the chest area of most adults is about the same width from person to person.  So, most full front designs are less than 12inches wide.

The full-front design is typically taller than it is wide, and the width measurement is what tends to limit the size of this type of design.

Except for tall and skinny designs, you will most likely run out of width before you run out of height when placing the design

This placement is often the most important placement of the job.

You will want to take the extra time up front to make sure that you size the design correctly for each group of shirt sizes you use.

Most printers or embroiderers split their larger orders into two shirt front sizes. One size is created for the adults, and then a smaller version for the small and youth shirts.

Tips & Tricks:

Lots of printers will use the “two-finger rule” when placing full-front garments on a t-shirt. You will typically eyeball this design to be dead center of the area (represented by the person who will be wearing the shirt).

Some shirts are made taller and thinner while other shirts are shorter and fatter.

Make sure your design will fit on ALL the shirts in your shirt grouping! For example, if you have sizes 2XL all the way down to small in one “size group”, let’s say 12” wide. Then you want to make sure that your design won’t end up being so tall that the design ends up going below the belt line on the medium or small shirts. 

If the design gets too tall, reduce the width until it can easily fit on all the shirts in the group.

Once you have a workable size for that size group, place two fingers (about 1 ½” inches) just below the front collar of the shirts (2 fingers DOWN from the BOTTOM OF THE COLLAR).

That point becomes the top of the design placement. From there it’s just a matter of making sure the design looks best on each side.

Expert Level:

Some designs are LOPSIDED and DO NOT look best when they are perfectly centered. Make sure to take that into account when you place the transfer or produce a sample print.  You may need to cheat the design a little one way or the other to get it to look best.

There are lots of good tutorials on how to create mock-ups of your designs as they will look when printed. Consider learning how to produce good proofs and it will help inform all your placement decisions.

This one is hard to measure. There are no good reference lines to start with and your having to divide the distance.  If you decide to measure, but the design doesn’t look right on the shirt, go with your gut, or put the shirt on someone and then mark the best placement

Suggested Sizes:

Adult:8” to 12” Wide

Youth:6” to 9.5” Wide

Infant:4” to 6” Wide


Social Media

Most Popular


Related Posts