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Can I Make a Custom T-Shirt with a Trademark Symbol?

Trademark Image on Custom Shirts

Last Updated: 09-27-2021

Trademark Image on Custom Shirts



What is a Trademark?

A trademark refers to a recognizable phrase, word, symbol, or design that denotes a specific product and legally differentiates it from other products of its kind.



What is a Copyright?

Copyright refers to the legal right of protecting an owner of "original works of authorship." It's a type of intellectual property. This can include literary, musical, or graphic creations.


Will you print any image I upload?

We will if the image or design or its likeness does not infringe upon a copyright or trademark that is owned by another entity.

Some examples of trademarks that are definitely off limits to use are:  Professional and College Sports Teams (NY Yankees, LA Lakers, etc.), Consumer Brands (Nike, Adidas, etc.), Disney Images or Characters, Celebrities and/or Musicians (Beatles, Justin Beiber, Rolling Stones, etc.), Animated Characters (Anime, Pokemon, Dragon Ball z), Movie Posters, Album Covers, or TV Show Series to name a few.

Redrawing or regenerating a trademarked image in hopes that those changes will override the original copyright or trademark does not grant you free authority to make reproductions.

Below you will see how we used free images from our Bolt Printing & Embroidery design library to create a t-shirt design.  Can you recognize where our inspiration came from?

tshirt example for TM article

It is important to understand that it doesn't matter if you're purchasing just a few items for yourself or a friend, we cannot sell you merchandise that utilizes trademarked images owned by someone else.

When in doubt, ask.


And for more help, look at our Design Do's and Don'ts for graphic artwork and images.

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