If there’s one wardrobe staple that’s never going out of style, it’s the humble t-shirt. From its beginnings as a mere undergarment to its status as a bold yet simple fashion statement, the t-shirt has come a long way. Nowadays, t-shirts are not just a mode of comfort but also a canvas for self-expression and statement-making.
Here in the UK, there are a plethora of design trends that are currently dominating the t-shirt market. And if you’re wondering what those are, this quick guide is for you!
We’ll explore everything from vintage and retro designs to minimalist and typographic prints. Whether you’re a fashionista or just someone who likes a good old tee, you won’t want to miss out on these top custom t-shirt designs making waves in the UK.
What Are Custom T-Shirt Designs?
Custom t-shirt designs are a new trend (okay, not that new) that is sweeping the UK fashion industry by storm. They are personalised, unique and can be designed to suit every style and individual preference.
Custom t-shirts are popular among fashion enthusiasts and serve as great promotional tools for businesses, charities and other organisations. They are a great way to:
- Advertise your brand
- Create team spirit
- Provide a unique gift for an event
Basically, they offer a fun and creative way to express your unique style while also serving as an advertising or promotional tool that can help you stand out from the crowd.
How Custom T-Shirt Printing Works
Custom t-shirt printing is a process where the desired design is transferred onto the t-shirt using transfer paper, vinyl or screen printing.
Transfer paper printing works by printing the design on a special transfer paper, which is heat-pressed onto the fabric. It’s a popular choice for designs with a high degree of detail and colour, as well as photo-realistic prints.
Vinyl printing works by cutting the design on a vinyl sheet, which is heat-pressed onto the t-shirt. It creates a durable and long-lasting print, perfect for sports and team jerseys.
Finally, screen printing is a popular technique for large-scale printing. The design is transferred onto a mesh screen, and the ink is pressed onto the fabric. It’s perfect for t-shirts with bold, simple designs as it allows for the use of multiple colours.
10 Top T-Shirt Design Trends
In today’s world, t-shirts have become more than just a piece of clothing. They’re a statement. A reflection of our personality, beliefs, and style.
As such, t-shirt design trends have become just as dynamic and ever-changing as the fashion industry itself. Here in the UK, we have seen an influx of unique and creative designs, ranging from the vintage look of retro t-shirts to the simplicity of minimalist designs and the power of typographic prints.
So, let’s take a closer look at the ten top t-shirt design trends in the UK. Don’t see a design you love on the list? Don’t worry; it’s likely still popular and printable (we just only had so much space here to explore the top trends).
Vintage & Retro Designs
The vintage and retro look has returned in recent years, and it’s no different for t-shirt designs. Think old-school typography, faded graphics, and retro patterns. This is the embodiment of retro t-shirts and vintage t-shirts.
These designs tap into a sense of nostalgia and evoke feelings of simpler times. From classic band tees to throwback sports logos, these designs are a great way to express your love for vintage style.
Vintage t-shirts celebrating sports teams have also become increasingly popular in the UK. These t-shirts feature the colours, logos, and graphics of iconic sports teams from the past.
The designs of these t-shirts are often quite simple, using bold colours and large graphics to convey the team spirit. A popular vintage sports trend is the “throwback jersey.” These shirts feature the design of authentic sports jerseys from previous decades.
Sometimes, less is more. Minimalist designs have been rising in popularity. These designs feature simple and clean lines, solid colours, and an overall minimalist approach to conveying a message.
They’re great for people who like to keep things uncomplicated and straightforward. Whether it’s a bold symbol or a simple geometric shape, these types of designs convey a powerful message with simplicity.
The tie-dye trend has made a comeback, and it’s not just for festival-goers anymore. Tie-dye is now a fashionable design trend popular among the younger generations.
This trend features bold, bright colours reminiscent of the hippie era. The pattern is created by folding and tying the fabric before dipping it in dye. This means that to custom-print a tie-dye shirt, you’d have to likely first source the shirts, then create a customised t-shirt design to print on top of it.
The combination of fonts and words has always been a powerful tool in creating great t-shirt designs. From catchy slogans to meaningful quotes, typographic prints feature words as the main design element of the customised t-shirt.
The right typeface can make all the difference in conveying the tone and message of the design. These types of designs are great for individuals who want to express their views or opinions without being too loud. However, rest assured; you can make a bold statement with the right typography.
Abstract designs are all about breaking the rules and creating something entirely unique. These designs can feature a mix of shapes, lines, and colours to create a non-representational image. They can range from simple to complex and are a great way to showcase a unique concept or brand.
The floral trend has been around for decades and shows no signs of slowing down. They’re especially prominent during the spring and summer, but the trend was recently made popular by the resurgence of interest in 2000s-era trends.
The designs usually feature colourful flowers or floral patterns that are both feminine and fashionable. One popular example? The iconic “tropical t-shirt.” These shirts feature bright, bold tropical floral patterns that evoke a sense of adventure and freedom.
All-over prints have been trending in the direct-to-garment printing space for a while now. The beauty of all-over prints is that the design is spread all over the shirt, creating an engaging and unique look. It could be an intricate pattern or a large graphic print covering the whole shirt.
The illustrated trend is about unique and artistic graphics that tell a story or evoke emotion. The illustrations can be digital or hand-drawn, often inspired by art from different cultures and histories.
The designs are often intricate and detailed, making for a visually stunning statement piece. One popular illustrated trend is the “animal t-shirt.” These shirts feature detailed illustrations of different animals, ranging from fierce lions to tiny hedgehogs.
Finally, we have embroidered custom t-shirts. Embroidered t-shirts are becoming increasingly popular among men and women and are a great way to add a touch of sophistication to your wardrobe.
Embroidery allows intricate designs to be sewn onto your t-shirt and done in any part of the shirt. From small, subtle designs to larger, more prominent ones, embroidery can add just the right detail to your outfit.
Embroidery is an incredibly versatile design trend that works with minimalistic and more elaborate designs. For instance, you can go for a single striking embroidery design to create a statement, or you can opt for several smaller embroidered logos printed all over the shirt to create a more subtle yet sophisticated look for a business event.
Tips for Choosing the Right Custom T-Shirt Design
Understanding t-shirt design trends isn’t just about knowing what to order for yourself. If you’re a business owner, these trends can also help you understand what to look for when designing print t-shirts for your brand. After all, investing in print-on-demand t-shirts doesn’t do much if they’re not on-trend (or at least in line with what your target audience is looking for).
But what if you’re not sure which of these design trends is best for your business? Where do you get started with print-on-demand shirts? Here are some tips to help you select a custom t-shirt design to attract and engage your audience.
Understand Your Audience
Knowing your target audience is key to creating a custom t-shirt design that appeals to them. Consider demographics such as age, gender, interests, and lifestyle.
If your target audience is younger, a design with vibrant colours and bold graphics may be more appealing. On the other hand, if your audience is more mature, a classic and minimalist design may be a better fit.
Keep It Simple
When it comes to custom t-shirt designs, simplicity is often key. A design that is too busy or complicated can be overwhelming, and it may not be easy to understand at first glance. Instead, opt for a clean, straightforward design that effectively delivers your message.
Choose the Right Colours & Fonts
Colour and typography are instrumental in creating a custom t-shirt design that is visually appealing and effectively captures your audience’s attention.
Bold, bright colours and clean, legible fonts work best. Go for colours that are on-brand and complementary, and choose a font that is easy to read.
From embroidered tees to minimalism, typographic prints to animal prints, and everything in between, the t-shirt industry is ever-changing. Whether you’re an individual ordering shirts for a special event or a business looking for unique ways to promote your brand, custom t-shirt designs can help you take your look to the next level.
Ready to print t-shirts? Browse our catalogue, select your shirts, customise the look, and then receive a free, instant quote!