Design Your Own Hoodie: The Guide to Creating a Wearable Design

Hoodie design is one of the most fun projects you can tackle. Whether you're designing a hoodie for your brand, an event, or a best friend, you want it to be stunning when you're done. A well-designed graphic hoodie pops in a crowd and somehow makes the wearer look more sophisticated in the most comfortable garments in a modern wardrobe.

Hoodies can be impactful and great hoodie design can turn a comfortable hooded sweater into an artistic statement. From logo hoodies to funny hoodies to stunning modern graphic design, here's how to create a wearable design that will make every wearer look and feel amazing.

Choose your design program

When designing apparel, it's useful to have a program that can help you represent the product you're designing. This way you can visualize what the front and back of your hoodie will look like as you design it.

Before you start designing…

Before you crack open your graphic design program, know your hoodie. The garment itself matters when it comes to your design. The weight of the fabric, how it is cut, and the appearance you want to strike with the designed hoodie all matter. If you are familiar with fabric printing inks, take note of your chosen ink's qualities and strengths as well.

  • Your Hoodie Style Goal
    • Sporty
    • Casual funny
    • Casual cute
    • Dressy Graphic
    • Comfy business casual
  • Your Hoodie Fabric and Cut
    • Heavy or light
    • Close or loose
  • Build Your Color Palette
    • Fabric is your background color, the most powerful element in your color palette
  • Screen Printing Ink
    • Puffy, Shiny, or Holographic

What type of hoodie design are you planning to create? This will determine the proportions of your design and how it fits onto the hoodie.

Logo hoodies

A logo hoodie might feature the logo in one of three places, the left lapel, the center of the chest, or across the back, in two of the three. Decide if you want a subtle lapel-style logo, a cute icon, or a bold and sprawling logo design.

Quote hoodies

Quote hoodies have their humorous or meaningful message usually along the front center or across the back of the hoodie. Sometimes, a quote is split in two halves, to be read front and then back with a punchline.

Graphic design hoodies

Graphic design hoodies often have an impressive and even metallic-shine design emblazoned across the front of the hoodie and may also have an impressive and larger design across the back. The hoodie is your canvas and your goal is to center the image toward the wearer's sternum and across their shoulder blades.

Front design: flattering size and spacing

For the front design, let your art speak for itself but always keep the goal of flattery in mind. Your design needs to look not just cool on the hoodie, but flattering on the wearer. To do this, pull your focus toward the front and center of the chest. You want eyes drawn approximately to the wearer's sternum - the center chest bone just above the ribs. Logos should center just above the sternum on the shelf of the chest while whole-front designs will center slightly lower.

Tall designs that span from the waist to the neckline benefit from a higher focus, using the lower half of the design for detail and setting. Quotes and word designs should focus slightly higher, ensuring the entire message can be read even if the hoodie buckles slightly at the waist.

Back design: spread across the shoulders

For hoodie back designs, consider the spread of the shoulder blades, Wing designs and designs that follow similar arcs are flattering for the wearer and accentuate your design. "Hang" your design from the wearer's shoulder blades, starting words just below the shoulder blades and topping your designs just below the shoulder level. Back designs often look great with reaching elements like branches or tendrils to provide greater detail and spread without cluttering your design.

Sleeve and hood detail design

Finally, you may even have the printing resources to do hood and sleeve designs. Wearers love a subtle design around the edge of the hood, it adds flair rarely seen in most printed hoodies. You can also add designs down the outer side of each sleeve, starting at the roll of the shoulder and down the wrist. You might choose a winding sleeve design or trim on the sleeve hem for style.


Designing a hoodie and other apparel can be challenging, but it can also be stunning when you do it right. Use great software like CorelDRAW and smart design strategies to create a hoodie design you'll be proud to wear or seen worn by others.

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