When designing your t shirt there are many things to consider before you begin. Can I print that? Where can I find art that is not protected by copyright or trademark? Will I need to get permission to use certain images?
Public domain images. These are images labeled for public use without modification when you use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo.
Custom designed art. This is the best art. You made it, so its all yours to use as you wish!
Quotes. Be sure to use quotation marks and credit the person being quoted.
Logos and photos of sports teams, schools, movies, books games and bands.
TV, movie or comic characters
Trademarked company logos
Viral content such as memes
Copyrighted material such as song lyrics, or book passages
If you use an image that has been copyrighted or has a registered trademark this could lead to legal troubles. This could be a cease and desist notice or costly fines. No one wants that! It’s better to be safe than sorry, so be sure your artwork is ok to use. If you must use something you are unsure of, it’s best to contact the owner of the image and request to use it. If you get permission, great! If not, don’t use it and move on and find another route.
There is a difference between copyright and trademarks. Be sure you know what they are.
A Copyright protects literary and artistic works, such as books and videos. A trademark protects items that define a company brand, such as a slogan or logo.
Remember, if you have to ask yourself “Can I print that?”, you should be sure you have answer before you doit!
Below are links for more information on trademarks and copywrited material