It’s 2023 and you know what that means: new year – new t-shirt design trends! Here are our top 10 design trends we’ve seen popping up and popping off this year so far.
1. Strong Statements
- End Gun Violence Now Fundraiser
- Girls Just Want to Have Fundamental Rights
- Not Your Bun
- Stand With Ukraine
This design trend is all about taking a stand and saying what you mean, and that’s definitely the energy we all need in 2023. These strong statement shirt designs are bold and guaranteed to inspire important conversations.
There are so many causes to choose from when deciding what statement to focus on for your design. What are you the most passionate about? Simplify your statement as much as you can in order to be as clear and direct as possible.
2. Wavy Wording
- Always Be Humble & Kind
- Level the Playing Field
- Beast Beauty Brains
- Go Where You Feel the Most Alive
How fun is this design trend?! It’s giving playful, feel-good vibes and we are here for it! Adding a wave effect to your text can also give your design a retro, 1960s aesthetic, and we’re here for that, too!
This look works best with mostly thick, bold text designs, with maybe a few small illustrated icons here and there for decoration. What wavy wording designs will you create this year?
3. Mental Health Mantras
- Mental Health for All – Benefiting 1N5
- You Are More Than Enough
- It’s Okay to Feel Sad
- You Are Loved Collection
A design trend that advocates for loving kindness and mental health/wellness?! Yes please! We really hope this design trend is here to stay. We’re huge fans of the messages of self-care, acceptance, and empathy that we’re seeing Bonfire sellers showcasing in their designs this year.
These designs are usually text-driven and focus on one specific mental health mantra. Feel free to include an illustration in your design if it helps to convey your message. How could you use your custom merch to help encourage people to be kinder to themselves and others?
4. Hobby Highlights
This trend is all about celebrating simple, everyday things. These Bonfire sellers are taking their favorite hobbies and putting them up front and center in their designs. From thrifting, to knitting, to outdoor sports, these designs are helping to spread joy and bring people together through common interests.
Do you have a hobby that you enjoy? Start thinking about how you could incorporate that activity into your design. This trend is definitely up for creative interpretation, so be sure to have fun with it! Will your design be illustration, graphics, or text only? Or will your design include a combination of styles? It’s totally up to you!
5. Imaginative Illustrations
This trend is taking t-shirt imagery to a whole new level! These Bonfire sellers are using illustrative designs to really let their creativity shine. By featuring interesting subject matter, bright colors, and bold outlines, these designs are both attention-grabbing and aesthetically pleasing.
Creating your shirt design around eye-catching imagery is a great way to ensure it will stand out in a crowd. When people see the shirt, the image will be what pulls them in first, and then they will notice any words, logos, or brand names that you’ve included along with it. Are you ready to create imaginative and illustrative designs that are intriguing and engaging? We can’t wait to see what you come up with.
6. Bold Back Prints
Let’s reclaim the BACK of our merch this year with bold back prints! This trend utilizes the ample space that’s often left unused on the back of an apparel item. Since you don’t have to worry about your design overpowering the front of your garment, feel free to print your design as large as you want on the back.
Think big – big text and big imagery, and think bold – bold colors and bold statements. These designs challenge the way we typically think about clothes. By putting a small design on the front and the main design on the back, you are inviting more people to experience and enjoy your clothing – the folks in front of you, and the folks behind you. Can you think of a design that would look awesome on the back of a t-shirt or sweatshirt?
7. Book-Based Designs
This trend is for all the book enthusiasts out there! Let everyone know how much you love reading by rocking book-based designs. Whether you’re wearing a sweatshirt that supports your local library, or a tee that reps your new favorite bookstore – these shirt designs are ready to settle in with a good book whenever you are.
We can’t get over how cozy these designs are – in how they look and feel. What’s your favorite book? Your go-to reading spot? Or a genre of books you’d like to see more of? Include any of these in your very own book-based design!
8. Dog Drawings
This is by far the cutest t-shirt design trend we’ve seen this year. Please keep the dog drawing designs coming because we don’t think we’ll ever get tired of seeing them! Whether they are fundraising for an animal shelter, promoting a pet celebrity, or showcasing pet-parent life, these doggy doodle designs are stealing hearts left and right.
The drawings we’ve been seeing for this trend range from simple line drawings to incredibly detailed dog portraits, and we love them all! Have you wanted to include a dog (or animal friend of any kind) in your designs? Now is your chance!
9. Conservation-Centered Designs
We’ve been seeing a steady increase in conservation-centered shirt designs as folks pay closer attention to our planet’s needs. These designs aren’t limited to one specific type of conservation, but rather cover them all – from environmental, to wildlife, to marine, etc.
These designs include beautiful imagery that celebrates and draws attention to their conservation efforts. For example, they might feature illustrations of landscapes or animals that also act as a call to action. Are you aware of a conservation organization that could benefit from an apparel-based fundraising campaign?
10. Text Heavy Tote Bags
We have things to do and places to be in 2023, and these trendy tote bags help us get stuff done. Our sellers are putting out lots of text-heavy designs for their tote bags, featuring anything from witty remarks to important reminders.
Tote bags can be essential accessories, so why not spice them up a little bit with some text of your choosing? When trying out the text-heavy tote bag trend, be sure to choose a text color that shows up nicely against whatever fabric color your tote is. High contrast is your friend here – think light colors on dark fabric or dark colors on light fabric. What message would you love to see displayed on a handy tote bag?
As you can see, 2023 is already off to an incredible start. The Bonfire community is making big moves and these innovative design trends have us feeling inspired and ready for the year ahead. We hope you feel motivated to take these t-shirt design trends and add your own creative spin to make them your own and make this year the best!
Helpful tip: Excited to create a design but unsure where to start? Check out our free, customizable design templates!