Custom t-shirts, cool tees, statement tees, shirts with something to say, or shirts that do nothing but make you laugh – it’s safe to say that the fascination with t-shirt design runs deep in the human psyche. As a t-shirt creator, you have the chance to create something inspiring; something that will be recognized and known almost everywhere. Sometimes, a shirt just takes off, and the phenomenon of iconic shirt design blesses a t-shirt with its golden touch. The beauty of it all is that this occurs when nobody ever even dreamt of such an occurrence, and when the foresight for this happening was probably nonexistent, but even more so, when the shirt is as simple as simple can be.
Iconic t-shirt designs are symbols that we all share, and they can either tell a story, or bring forth a memory, but their impact on the human experience is beyond noteworthy — it’s, well, as the name implies, iconic. Below are a few examples of the simplest of designs being translated into culture storms that sweep through humanity like a tidal wave of notoriety and recognition.
I Love New York Tee –
It all started when a legendary graphic designer by the name of Milton Glaser decided to sketch a few simple shapes on a napkin whilst the arrival of a hot cup of joe was being anticipated in a New York coffee shop. This simple act of doodling would go onto produce one of the most iconic t-shirts in all of human history — the I Love NY shirt. It became a synonymous piece of imagery with not only the skyline of Manhattan, but of the US as a whole: from a foreign perspective, of course.
This trademarked tee would hence forth spur a worldwide movement of professing ones love on a shirt for not only other cities, but pretty much everything with a material (or non-material) existence. It would also become a staple to the tourist of New York; acting as a souvenir of all souvenirs for millions of people from all over the globe.
The simple, classic look of the white tee with the black and red print shows how simplicity rules in the game of iconic design. Simplicity, yet with a statement that is loud and clear — it can hit the hearts and minds of the masses so profoundly, that it’s almost incredible.
The Rolling Stones Tongue Logo Shirt – Bella + Canvas 3001C
After growing tired of having a roll of uninspiring and uncreative logos and designs spun their way via their label for their upcoming album, the Rolling Stones decided to
outsource their album designs in hopes a stellar logo would finally be procured. The duty fell into the hands of John Pasche, who was an art student at the time, and after finding some spare time from his studies, would find himself responsible for creating perhaps the most iconic music related symbol of all time.
At first it was used for the album Stinky Fingers in 1971, but the design would go onto be somewhat synonymous with the name “Rolling Stones” after thousands of adoring fans purchased t-shirts with the design printed on the front at concerts.
Ghostbusters “No-Ghost Sign” T-shirt –
Designed specifically for the ghostbusters film of 1984 by designer Michael C.
Gross, this iconic slice of imagery is now almost as American as apple pie. The inspiration for the design was from the No signs used throughout Europe, with theiconic ghost of the Ghostbusters series used in conjunction. Originally intended to be a logo for the first film, the design has since gone on to be an official logo of the film’s franchise, albeit with some refurbishments and redesigns taking place over the decades.
Everything from buttons to bumper stickers, to even temporary tattoos have all been stamped with this classic design, but the t-shirt will always have a special place in modern culture. This design also inspired other designs using the no symbol in their framework, with the first, and perhaps most notable, example taking place right after the film’s debut: for the presidential election of 84.
Reganbusters anyone? Or are you a Fritzbuster? Or, are you a millennial and have simply no idea whatsoever what any of these terms mean?
Vote For Pedro T – Bella + Canvas 3055C
After a low budget film was going through its final stages of production, and as the clock wound closer to the imminent release date, nobody involved would ever think