Give your buyers what they want this year with the hottest t-shirt graphics, shirt colors and styles. Savvy t-shirt shop owners check out what’s popular, from the runways to retail, as they ideate their new t-shirt artwork and what styles will hang on their cyber-racks. We’ve rounded up some of the top trends you can’t afford to ignore, from pixel art and statement tees, to purple hues and fiery reds, to crop tees and longline styles.
T-Shirt Graphics We’re All Talking About
Got your supply of on-trend blank tees? Great! Now, check out the six artwork trends for 2023 that you’ll probably want to offer in your shop.
Statement or Text-Based Designs:
If you’re like everyone else these days, combining your feelings with fashion, plan out some great text-based t-shirt designs for yourself and your shop. You’ve probably also seen lots of high-profile designers sending statement t-shirts and hoodies down the runways in recent seasons – not to mention all the statement tees available at retail. Now is a great time to jump on the trend with some word or phrase designs that will appeal to your target audience. We’re noticing that serif fonts and large block fonts are in demand with lots of buyers.
We don’t have to tell you that there are virtually limitless options for text-based t-shirts, so the key is identifying what your target audience responds to, based on their demographics. Positive vibes-only messages are definitely trending. (We’re drawing inspiration from some of these designs: “Truth is sacred,”“Be Bold,” and “The Dream Is Free, The Hustle Is Sold Separately.”) You can also offer personalized text options in unique or hand-written fonts for birthdays, anniversaries, family trips, work retreats and more.
Retro or Vintage T-Shirt Art:
During the pandemic, people started waxing nostalgic about the good old days, in this case, the early 2000s as a time when life was happier and more care-free. Whatever your version of the “good old days” of childhood or teenage years, you’ve got an audience who wants to wear ’90s or 2000s retro statements to ’80s bold, vivid fashion and nostalgia, to the ’60s and ’70s hippie or flower child vibe. All-over prints and tie-dye motifs are high up on shoppers’ wish lists as well.
With the explosion of cryptocurrency, lots of shoppers want crypto- or NFT- inspired graphics on t-shirts. In case you didn’t know, NFT art is digitized artwork that a vendor or artist has tokenized onto a blockchain. Typically, these digital files don’t have physical versions – art collectors or investors buy and sell them solely in cyberspace. However, apparel designers have started transitioning some of this cloud-only work onto custom t-shirts so people can wear these coveted graphics.
Just take a quick glance around Etsy, and you’ll see pages upon pages of pun t-shirt designs, like “Omelette It Slide” (with eggs cooking in a pan), “Let It Gogh” (with a painting of Vincent Van Gogh), “Romaine calm,” (with a head of lettuce), “OverWHALEmed” (with a worried whale), and so on. You can create funny or cringey pun designs, whether they’re just text-based or incorporate funny images.
Pixel Graphic Tees:
Not just a favorite of gamers anymore – like a retro-style Pac-Man in a pixelated box – pixel art is making a big comeback in part because of the popularity of NFTs. Turn almost any art (like this cute T-Rex) into pixels and add a statement message. You can even turn a text-only design into a must-have pixelated t-shirt graphic. Some t-shirt designers create video-game inspired pixel number t-shirt designs for birthdays and team jersey numbers. Three-D effects are a close second behind pixel graphics.
We can’t get enough of the Great Outdoors this year. A strong contender for top t-shirt designs in 2023 include natural elements, like trees, mountains, animals or earth-inspired patterns. Don’t leave this graphics category out of your lineup this year! The sky’s really the limit on this one.
Viva Magenta All Year Long
Pantone’s Color of the Year, Viva Magenta, is a vibrant, raw, passionate, pulsating and self-expressive shade in the red family. This empowering, transformative color for everyone promotes exuberance, joyousness, excitement for life and hope for the future.
As a bright crimson shade, Viva Magenta symbolizes strength, which we can all draw on coming out of several years of a pandemic – as well as gives us some “verve” or fearless swagger. You can wear this shade as a full-on statement t-shirt, or in an accessory. We love that this versatile shade is universally flattering for all ages, genders and skin tones. Don’t be afraid to stand out in this hot hue!