Wondering how you stack up in the world of t-shirt design? Looking for inspiration for your next apparel design? Maybe you’re just learning about the field of t-shirt design. This article’s here to help.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the leading t-shirt designers on 99designs and break down just what puts them ahead of the game.
1. Asael Varas
One crucial aspect of t-shirt design is understanding size ratio and placement. One designer who excels in this area is Asael Varas. Notice in the World Burger Tour t-shirt design how the burger fills the front of the shirt in a way that exaggerates the “whopping” feel of the illustration.
With that said, this isn’t the only thing that sets Asael Varas apart. Note the deeply creative typography and articulated imagination happening throughout the image.
The physical context which t-shirts exist within is hectic – in the streets, on trains, and in stores. For this reason successful t-shirt designs should pop out. BATHI created a signature style which accomplishes just that, and involves razor clean line work accompanied by meticulous color choices.
Another designer with ultra clean style and impressive attention to detail is REN:D. Notice the subtle textures and layers within the word “Gamer”, the white highlights on the soldiers uniform, and the reflection in the goggles.
All of these masterfully handled elements add up to a composition that really has a powerful impact, which the t-shirt medium demands.
Another form of impact that works on a t-shirt comes through simplicity and minimalism. In the example above _ELM_ created a simple composition of playful colors and shapes which invite the viewer into the design. The sizing and placement is also large which is appropriate for the shapeliness of the design.
Designer xzequteworx spans many styles in t-shirt design, one being retro. Retro design has been a strong-hold in t-shirt design for some time, thanks to fun “8 bit” designs like the one seen above.
There’s something that just works about a single color print on a t-shirt. It is perhaps a throwback to DIY silkscreening and may be the reason that designs such as the one above have such a hip, DIY feel to them.
Dudeowl utilizes the single color design well by working with negative space for the typography, and using a large solid shape where the ink can really make a visual impact.
Another designer that is pushing the envelope on how to make t-shirts “pop” is Executor. In the design above this is accomplished by using an aggressive color palette and angular line work.
In many senses, t-shirts are like the modern art gallery. They are a venue which walks the streets and showcases the artwork of various designers. Designer aldiandreas approaches the medium as such, and has recently created a series of designs in a unique, “neon-glow” style.
Perhaps the Mozart of vintage inspired t-shirt design, Barrios1 knows how to put together the pieces necessary for an old-school look. The faded texture is just right, the line work is solid, and the 2-color palette is squeezed for all its worth.
10. Gato – GDI
Finally, another designer existing in the “art gallery” of t-shirt design, Gato – GDI has the ability to create 2 tone compositions that fill the t-shirt with an imaginative adventure for the eyes.
There you have it! The cream of the crop in t-shirt designers at 99designs. As you can see, there’s no one right way to rise to the top. If any common thread can be sewn between the designers showcased above, it is that they all used something that the t-shirt medium offers exclusively and used that to inform their design. What can t-shirts bring to your design?
Have more t-shirt designers to add? Share them in the comments!