T-shirts. Every single person on the planet owns one, and their universal appeal serves a wide range of purposes and audiences. They can be amazing works of art, a corporate uniform, a canvas for advertising, a souvenir, or a personal and political statement.

Similarly, clients on 99designs need t-shirt designers for a wide range of purposes, they’re also one of our design categories that most often award multiple winners, so there’s a lot of potential rewards for competing in them! Wanna start designing t-shirts? Here’s inspiration from some of our talented t-shirt designers on 99designs:

Giulio Rossi

Designer Giulio Rossi uses a variety of styles in his designs but he really develops each stylistic approach fully, which results in very refined characters that stand out from the competition. His use of a vertical layout and stylized cartoon bears make this design so great.

rossi

zoelhenry

Skulls are a go-to concept for a lot of T-shirts designs, but here zoelhenry has taken his detailed illustrative style and put his unique spin on it. The monochromatic blacks also work extremely well for the skull concept.

zoelhenry

dibu

dibu‘s intense take on a traditional Chinese lion grabs your attention… and it definitely doesn’t let go!

dibu

vabriél

vabriel is a BEAST at illustration, and his fearless illustrations have won a bunch of T-shirt contests!

vabriel

welikerock

Here’s a nice graphic tee from welikerock; he has a great eye for striking type treatments and geometric, abstract elements.

welikerock

Arace KMD

Zombies are very in these days, and here designer Arace KMD uses a bold, spooky aesthetic to capture their mindless rage.

Arace KMD

buddy79™

buddy79™ has used an extremely intricate illustration to capture the philanthropic tone of the Wear Good for Haiti cause, and has made something serious look extremely hip and artistic.

buddy79

kinara15

I think we can all agree that Kinara15‘s mad design skills are even more real than Bigfoot. This sweet design is from the Discovery Store T-shirt Contest for the “Finding Bigfoot” show.

kinara15

beaniebeagle

Here beaniebeagle uses an all-over monochromatic pattern for a standout T-shirt design entry for an ethical apparel company.

beaniebeagle

girinath

Designer girinath has a really nice collage look going on here.

girinath

BATHI*

Designer BATHI* has had a lot of success in T-shirt contests because of his really distinctive, stylized illustrations. One of his specialities is drawing intricate waves made up of lots of sinewy, flowing lines.

bathi

_Trickster_

_Trickster_‘s design for a gothic pinup fashion line of shoes and corsets has just the right balance of edge and elegance.

trickster

Resources

Wanna get in on the action of t-shirt contests? Here’s more t-shirt websites that will give you some ideas of how to develop your style:

And here’s a great tutorial for making your own t-shirt mockup so that you can showcase to clients how your design will look when worn. There are also a lot of t-shirt mock-ups available for purchase online, but as always we suggest making your own.

Seen any cool t-shirt designers on 99designs lately?