If you are an up-and-coming designer, t-shirt printing is a great way to build your portfolio and showcase your talent. If you are looking to create a print-on-demand business, wholesale t shirt printing is the way to go. In this process, all you need to do is team up with a supplier to print your designs on t-shirts, mugs, or blankets, whichever is your pick. However, depending on the service, customization options might be limited. So, always make sure to ask your question before finalizing the contract. 

Some basics about t shirt designs

It can be pretty hard to predict which design will click on a t-shirt. Keep in mind that it is all about the perspective; so, what might appear artistic to you, might disagree with your customers. Also, there are thousands of designs and motifs already flooding the market, and this means you need to pay attention to market trends and popular culture elements to create the best design. 

T-shirt design ideas

T-shirt designs fall under categories and niches. It is vital to understand that every nook has its particular following. As a designer, it is essential to keep tabs on all the niches to design the best t-shirt there is – here is a sneak peek into the major categories that are trending.

Pet themes

The pet theme is prevalent. If you are looking for cool t-shirt designs, some of the best motifs and designs should include dogs, cats, or birds. Keep in mind that there is a market for novelty pets and large animals, including wolves, horses, and hedgehogs. If you don’t have any pet niche ideas, you can always use the internet to look for standard templates to customize. 

Jokes and humor quotes

Statement shirts, t-shirt quotes, and humor-related designs are incredibly trendy. Therefore, the inherent “cool” factor is an instant conversation starter and, thus, quite popular with the young crowd. You can create a brand image based on funny, punchy, nerdy, and memes merchandise. Print in one-liners or quotes, you can customize to your heart’s content. 

Designs based around jobs

People are usually proud of what they do. Most of us wake up in the morning and rush to the workplace, which provides us with sustenance. You can design t-shirts for different kinds of jobs. Remember that millions are working in several under-appreciated fields of work, including nurses, firefighters, and lawyers. The trick is to design your inventory around different types of jobs to capture the imagination of a broader demographic. 

Sports and hobbies

Sports, hobbies, and lifestyle niches are the three most popular t-shirt design ideas for 2021. Custom printed t-shirts got popular riding on the wave of demand from customers who want to show off their love and passion for sports teams, hobbies, and lifestyle. Here are some ideas for you to ponder. 

Sports niche

Think about the most popular sports, and we have the following. 

  1. Baseball
  2. Basketball
  3. Hockey
  4. Football
  5. Cycling


With the ability to custom print, the choices are endless. However, here are our top picks.

  1. Crocheting
  2. Gaming
  3. Fishing
  4. Bookworms
  5. Gardening
  6. Manga fans
  7. Vintage and Sportscars


  1. Travel
  2. Tech-Nerd
  3. Entrepreneurs
  4. Vegetarians
  5. Work from home
  6. Travelers

Design centered on relationships

Graphic design t-shirts that proudly proclaim love and relationships are a best seller as well. The very plain and simple “World’s #1 Mother” sells thousands of copies during and around Mother’s Day. Keep in mind that every other day is a celebration day. So, there are several options out there for you to try. 

Location and travel theme

Tourist destinations and travel locations always make for the best t-shirt design ideas. It is nothing fancy, yet a simple reminder of local attractions or just a call towards your inner adventurer. You can use quotes, buildings, cuisines, or just a simple map; choices are plenty. 

Design around seasons and holidays

There is no need to stress the importance of seasonal designs. It is the most common promotional campaign run by every enterprise all across the world. Seasonal designs make for some of the most fantastic ideas. The limited-run also adds a bit of exclusivity to the mix. Keep in mind to include all the major ones and the lesser-known ones like National Pasta Day, for example? Remember, holiday designs are the best type of promotion there is-don’t miss out on it. 

It is vital to remember that custom printed t-shirts are quite novelty items. Yes, these can be readily available but are only bought on an impulse. As the designer, you have to generate the buzz. You might even need to walk against the trend. Design around the basic motifs and elements, but do not be afraid to think outside the box. All the best!