Start your design adventure.

Explore the world of designing with Custom Decks in this tutorial journey.

Join Custom Decks in discovering the creative world of skateboard design. At Custom Decks, a skateboard is not just a board with wheels; it's a canvas for your creativity, a way to express yourself, and a ticket to a community full of other creatives. Whether you're designing for the first time or have some ideas you want to bring to life, our design tutorials are here to guide you through every step. But first, back to basics.

You have your ideas and inspiration—how do you bring them to life? This is where your creative journey begins. With Custom Decks, you'll not only learn how to create designs but also experience the joy of creating. From choosing your color palette to fine-tuning your final lines, we're here to guide you through the entire process. So grab your digital pen, open your canvas, and let's get started, step by step.



From your initial sketches to your first complete design, at Custom Decks, you'll learn everything you need to know about the basics of skateboard design.

With tutorials that facilitate a strong start in designing, we lay a solid foundation for the aspiring designer. Our lessons are divided into clear sections, each focused on a different aspect of the design process:

  • Basic Design Skills: Here, we lay the groundwork for a flying start in design.
  • Design Principles for Beginners: Start with simple principles and gradually build your knowledge and skills.
  • Graphic Software and AI Tools: When you're ready to bring your designs to life, we'll guide you with the tools you need.
  • Exploration of Design Styles: Just like skateboarding, design has various styles. Which style suits you best?

But at Custom Decks, it's not just about learning design skills and creating artworks. We invite you to be part of our creative community. Share your designs, celebrate your successes, and find support from fellow designers. We're working on a platform that's there for you to connect with others and grow together as creatives.

And we're far from done. Our tutorial page will continually expand with new lessons and interactive content to enrich your design experience. We're here to support your creative progress and ensure an inspiring and valuable time.

So what are you waiting for? Start your design adventure today, unleash your creativity, and let us inspire you. At Custom Decks, we're moving forward together.

Let's embark on this creative journey together!

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The Basics.

What do I need to know?

If you're new to the world of skateboard design, this is the perfect place to start. We begin with the basics - the fundamentals every designer should know before developing their unique style. Let's start with the basic principles of design, such as color theory, composition, and the significance of graphic elements. We cover:

  • Color Theory: Learn how colors interact with each other, influence emotions, and how to choose a color palette that aligns with your design vision.
  • Composition: Discover the art of arranging elements in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and functional.
  • Typography: Understand the impact of fonts and how text can make or break your design.
  • Branding: Grasp the fundamental principles of branding and how to create a consistent theme that speaks for a brand or personal style.
  • Print Specifications: Learn the technical side of design, such as resolution, file formats, and the importance of CMYK colors for the printing process.

Every step of this process is crucial to develop the skills needed to create a skateboard design that not only looks great but is also professional and technically correct. We provide you with interactive exercises and examples to put these concepts into practice.

With Custom Decks, you'll set your creativity on the right path, from initial ideas to a finished design ready to be printed and showcased on a skateboard. Let's embark on this exciting design journey!

Crucial Basic Knowledge:

Color Theory

What is it?:

Color theory is an essential guideline in design that deals with the creation of color schemes based on the color wheel. The color wheel is a circular illustration of colors that show their relationships and harmonies with each other. The basic components of the color wheel are primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), secondary colors (green, orange, and purple), which are created by mixing primary colors, and tertiary colors formed by mixing primary and secondary colors. Color theory helps designers choose colors that promote a certain mood or style, enhance the attractiveness of the design, and ensure readability.

Why is it important?:

Colors play a crucial role in design as they impact aesthetics, user experience, and brand perception. They can evoke emotions and responses, direct attention, and strengthen brand recognition.

How do you apply it?:

When applying color theory in skateboard design, start with a color scheme that aligns with the brand or message you want to convey. Experiment with different combinations:

  • Complementary colors (opposite each other on the color wheel) for a vibrant contrast.
  • Analogous color scheme (next to each other on the color wheel) for a harmonious look.
  • Monochromatic colors (different shades of the same color) for a subtle and uniform appearance.
  • Ensure you use contrast to highlight elements on the board and create hierarchy. Consider the usage environment; bright colors, for example, may stand out more in an urban setting.

Understanding and effectively applying color theory is crucial to creating a visually appealing skateboard design that leaves a lasting impression.


What is it?:

Composition in graphic design refers to the arrangement of visual elements on a canvas to create harmony, balance, and a clear layout. This takes into account aspects such as alignment, contrast, space usage, proportions, and visual flow.

Why is it important?:

A good composition captures attention and guides the viewer's gaze through the design in a way that supports the story or message. It provides an organized, aesthetically pleasing experience crucial for maintaining attention.

How do you apply it?:

Start with a sketch of your design to see how the elements relate to each other. Use guidelines like the rule of thirds to balance your design. Place key elements on focal points. Play with symmetry and asymmetry to generate interest. Ensure ample white space to avoid overcrowding and ensure clear communication.



What is it?:

Typography is the art of arranging text in a readable and visually appealing manner. This includes choosing the typeface, size, spacing (kerning, tracking, and leading), and text color.

Why is it important?:

Typography affects how information is conveyed. Well-designed typography can enhance readability, evoke emotion, and contribute to the brand's identity.

How do you apply it?:

Select a typeface that aligns with your brand's character or design. Ensure sufficient contrast between text and background. Adjust text size to establish hierarchy in the information. Consider readability at different distances, as skateboards are often seen in motion.


What is it?:

Branding encompasses all aspects that shape a brand's identity and image, from the logo to color schemes and the use of images to the brand's voice.

Why is it important?:

Consistent branding helps build recognition and trust with your audience and enhances the brand experience.

How do you apply it?:

Ensure that the skateboard design incorporates elements that align with your brand identity. This can include the logo, as well as distinctive colors, graphic styles, or patterns. Branding should also be consistent with other marketing materials.

Print Specifications

What is it?:

Print specifications are the detailed requirements that a design must meet to be printed correctly. This includes dimensions, resolution (DPI), color mode (CMYK for print), and bleed settings.

Why is it important?:

To ensure that the final product looks exactly like your design, without unwanted surprises like color discrepancies or cropped elements.

How do you apply it?:

Ensure that you design with the correct dimensions (e.g., 9 x 33 inches for a skateboard) and use a resolution of at least 200 DPI to guarantee a sharp result. Convert all colors to CMYK. Normally, bleed is added to a design, but this is already accounted for in the 9 x 33-inch rectangular design. Check that the crop falls as desired in our upload tools.

Concrete instructions for printing a skateboard graphic at Custom Decks:

9 x 33 inch file size
Minimum 200 DPI
CMYK color profile

Your First Design.

Time to Start Designing!

Inspiration: Your Creative Fuel

Inspiration can come from anywhere. You might find it in the form of a graffiti artwork during your daily skate session, an impressive landscape, or an abstract painting you come across online. There's no 'right' or 'wrong' in what inspires you; it's about what personally resonates with you.
  • Exploring Possibilities:

    Art galleries, skate videos, nature, music, or even a colorful piece of clothing can be the starting point for your design story.
  • Tools That Can Help:

    From a simple note app on your phone to an advanced digital drawing tablet, every tool is valid.

Share and Inspire: Make Your Design Visible

  • Once your design is complete, nothing stops you from sharing it with the world. Whether you choose feedback from your friends or proudly display it on social media, every response can provide valuable insights and further refine your design.

Sharing Is Growing:

  • Use platforms like Instagram, Reddit, or a specialized skateboard forum to showcase your work and receive feedback.

The Power of Community:

  • Join our community of creatives and skateboard enthusiasts to exchange experiences and find inspiration.

Digitalization Possibilities:

  • Scanners, photography, vector drawing software, or even AI-based image editing can help you digitize your design.

Flexible Software Choices:

  • Use what's available or experiment with new tools; each has its own advantages and styles.

Digitalization: Making Your Design Production-Ready

  • Whether you start with a hand-drawn sketch or a digital illustration, the ultimate goal is a digital file ready for printing on your custom skateboard. There are many paths to get there.

Sketching: Visualizing Your Ideas

  • The sketching process is as diverse as skateboarding itself. Some love working with a pencil on paper, while others prefer a digital drawing tablet. The key is the process of shaping your vision.

Variety in Techniques:

  • Freehand sketching, collage making, photo compositions, or even 3D modeling - choose what best suits your ideas and skills.

Use What's Available:

  • Whether you opt for traditional art supplies or modern software like Adobe Illustrator, the goal is to translate your raw ideas into a coherent design.


Discover Your Style.

Developing your own style as a designer is an exciting journey filled with discoveries and self-expression. In the world of skateboard design, the possibilities are truly endless. Every line you draw, every color you choose, and every pattern you create contributes to your unique visual language.

Finding your style is not a destination; it's an ongoing process of experimenting, learning, and evolving. Don't be afraid to take risks and step outside the beaten path. Let yourself be inspired by everything around you, from classical art to contemporary street culture. Combine elements that may seem incompatible and find harmony in the chaos that surprises you.

Be patient with yourself because your style will unfold over time. Every design you create is a reflection of yourself at that moment. As you grow as a person, your design will also evolve. Celebrate every step in your design journey, from the initial concepts to the finished decks that find their way to fellow skateboard enthusiasts and art admirers.

And remember, your work as a designer is not just a personal artwork; it's also part of someone's skate experience. Your designs will come to life under their feet, in skateparks and streets all over the world. That's the true magic of skateboard design.

At Custom Decks, we encourage you to dive deep into the world of design and leave your mark on this dynamic art form. There are endless possibilities, and we're here to explore them with you.

The future of skateboard design is bright and vibrant, and it's waiting for your personal touch. So grab your tools, unleash your creativity, and create something amazing. Your style is your voice, and we can't wait to hear what it has to say.


How do I start designing a skateboard?

Start by getting inspired and then sketch your ideas. You can either draw manually on paper or design digitally using software like Adobe Illustrator. Ensure your design ultimately becomes a high-resolution digital file ready for printing.

What materials do I need to start designing?

That depends on your preference. For manual sketching, basic drawing paper and pencils. Digital design can be done with a tablet or computer with appropriate software.

Do I need to be good at drawing to design a skateboard? 

No, being good at drawing is not a requirement. There are many ways to create visually interesting designs, such as using photo collages or abstract patterns.

What are the most commonly used software programs for skateboard design?

Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are popular choices due to their versatility. Free alternatives like GIMP or Inkscape can also be used.

How can I make sure my design stands out?

Focus on originality and personal expression. Look at current trends but try to create something unique that reflects your personal style.

Are there certain colors I should avoid in my design?

Generally, there are no colors you should avoid, but consider how colors may change during the printing process and ensure your design looks good on a skateboard's material.

How can I get feedback on my designs?

Share your designs with friends, family, or online communities like skate or design forums and social media. Constructive feedback is essential for improvement.

How can I adapt my design for different skateboard sizes?

Make sure your design is scalable and that important elements fit within the boundaries of different skateboard shapes and sizes.

Can I incorporate elements other than drawings into my design?

Yes, you can integrate photography, typography, and even 3D elements into your design, as long as the final result can be digitally printed.

How do I protect my skateboard designs from being copied?

You can apply for copyrights on your work to have legal protection against copying. Additionally, you can use watermarks when sharing your designs online.

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