What trends should decorators consider for custom T-shirt designs?

Fashion trends come and go and come back again. T-shirts have always been an excellent medium for exploring trends because they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to produce. Anyone can get the newest, trendy T-shirt at a store, but what about incorporating trends into custom T-shirt designs for schools, businesses, or groups? With a little consideration, decorators can create trendy custom designs their customer will be excited to wear. Here are four trends, along with how and when to apply them to a group’s needs.


Natural elements are big for 2019. Whether it’s the beauty of a flower or the majesty of a mountain, natural design elements will bring a fresh, inspired look to any T-shirt design. This trend is a perfect fit for outdoor events, motivational business retreats, and anyone that wants to convey on-trend awareness in their group apparel.



Pop culture is pretty much the epitome of trendy. Whatever is trending is what you will see on T-shirts. A cool way to incorporate this into apparel is to display a group’s message in reference to a pop culture phenomenon (think about all those Got Milk? inspired designs, video game references, or even song lyrics). Pop culture trends are perfect for school groups.



The newest, hottest thing doesn’t have a monopoly on what’s trendy. Nostalgia can also inspire design work, and the decades of the 60s, 70s, and 80s are currently having a moment. Plus, the classic vintage, distressed look is still holding steady in apparel design. Utilize the retro trend for businesses and groups who are willing to present their brand in a different way for retro-themed events or groups who naturally lend themselves to a retro vibe.



Typography is an essential element to any design and the current trend of putting it front and center works excellent for apparel. Any group who wants to get a message across can benefit from bold typography. Incorporating quotes is a simple way to achieve the type-heavy look and help groups show their purpose and identity.

The beauty of decorating apparel is that people are wearing the designs, and the garment can become a part of the wearer’s identity. Consider the old, worn out concert T-shirt someone can’t stop wearing. It may look dated to whenever the concert was, but that is the appeal. It hearkens back to the fond memories associated with the event. For the right group at the right time, a trendy design can capture the mood of the moment and become a well-loved piece of clothing.

—Transfer Express

Heather Roberts

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Charlie Fox

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