5 T-Shirt Design Trends for 2021

Posted by Printed Kicks Team on

5 T-Shirt Design Trends for 2021

The t-shirt industry has always been heavily influenced by trends in society and pop culture. When something monumental in history happens, you can almost always expect to see a representation of that event on a t-shirt. For instance, when a popular celebrity passes away, it seems like every kiosk at the mall is selling “R.I.P.” shirts for that person within a week. Similarly, for every big holiday or event that occurs throughout the year, the t-shirt industry will reciprocate these themes. 

When something important happens, people feel the need to express their feelings about it. A personable t-shirt fits that need perfectly. When there is a demand from consumers for a specific message or image on a shirt, that shirt will be produced in the millions. 

With everything going on in the world recently, apparel companies like us at Printed Kicks have had quite a lot of inspiration to draw from for content. In nearly every facet of daily life, there has been no shortage of interesting stories the past twelve months. Fortunately, a lot of these events make for great t-shirt trends. We’ve analyzed some of these trends and have put together a list of our favorites for the year. Without further ado, here is our list of the best t-shirt design trends for the year of 2021. 

Powerful Statements

One trend that has always existed and continues to grow stronger in 2021 is putting powerful statements on shirts. In a year where division amongst people has reached its highest peak, people are longing to stand up for their beliefs and proclaim their values proudly. With how customizable t-shirts have become, now you can say exactly what is on your mind without even uttering a sound. Just throw a t-shirt on! This design trend is commonly used for political efforts, social movements, charity events, as well as more trivial aspects of life (“Dogs are better than cats!”). 

One of our favorite shirts that exhibit a powerful statement is the All Faster Than 911 t-shirt.  The shirt comes in colors of black, navy, royal blue, and grey and reads across the chest, “.22, .380, 9 mm, .40, .45, ALL FASTER THAN DIALING 911.” It comes in sizes of small to 4XL.

Our second amendment gun rights are one of the more controversial issues in modern politics. This shirt is a great conversation-starter and provides a light, comical take on an otherwise pretty grave subject. If you love your guns and aren’t afraid to show it, this shirt might be the perfect match for you. Protect the second amendment with this clever, fashionable tee. 

Vibrant Colors

In 2021, one trend that continues to grow is the use of vibrant colors in t-shirts. Brands are learning to better incorporate bright, eye-catching colors to grab the attention of consumers. T-shirt designs overall are becoming more creative and experimental, as the fashion industry itself begins to lean in that direction. 

Our Thin Lines Flag t-shirt will brighten up any room, featuring a vertical, multicolored American flag, with each stripe in the flag listing a different type of essential worker. The shirt reads from left to right: Corrections, Dispatch, EMS, Nurse, Firefighter, Police, Military.

Each stripe on the flag is designed to represent the occupation they hold. For instance, the stripe that says “Military” has a camouflage design. The shirt is available in colors of black, navy, royal blue, and grey and comes in sizes of small to 4XL. 

Witty Humor

Along the same lines as t-shirts displaying powerful statements, another trend that has been popularized is the utilization of humor. Nothing you wear can draw eyes to you quite like a hilarious t-shirt can. By wearing a funny shirt, you can not only put a smile on your own face, but on the faces of everyone you interact with that day. 

One of the funniest shirts we’ve seen this year has got to be the Not the Bill of Feelings t-shirt. The shirt has a big American flag plastered on the front, with text that hovers above and below it saying, “It’s the Bill of Rights, Not the Bill of Feelings.” It is available in colors of black, navy, royal blue, grey, and red and comes in sizes of small to 2XL. 

With this shirt, you’re sure to get a hearty laugh out of your friends and family. The next time you open your drawer, imagine seeing this humorous jab of a t-shirt tucked neatly inside. You’re guaranteed to have a good day wearing this one, all while celebrating your rights. Now you can represent your country and your beliefs, and look good while doing it! 

Animated Drawings & Cartoons

Brands have really begun to stretch the boundaries of t-shirt designs and started to redefine what a t-shirt can be. Nowadays, you can find full-fledged hand-drawn masterpieces on regular t-shirts. More and more, we are seeing animated drawings and cartoons on shirt designs. As the digital art market expounds and artists become more capable of creating art online, this trend is bound to continue in the future. 

One shirt that comes to mind is the Your Last Ride t-shirt, which shows a cartoon skull surrounded by two drawn pistols pointed upward. The shirt reads, “NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP, BESIDE MY BED A GUN I KEEP, AND IF I WAKE AND YOU’RE INSIDE, THE CORONER'S VAN WILL BE YOUR LAST RIDE.” This dark, epic shirt paints a vivid picture in the viewer’s mind, both mentally and physically. Furthermore, the shirt acts as an advocating statement for upholding the second amendment. 

The shirt is available in black, navy, royal blue, grey, and red, but all versions of the tee contain elements of black, white, red, and blue. The images on the shirt are accented by blood splatters all over. It comes in sizes of small to 2XL. 

Provoking Content

One of the more daring trends in 2021 for t-shirt designs is the use of provoking content.  The old days of regular, plain jane tees are gone. Now, people are willing to literally put anything on a t-shirt. Some brands have gone as far as to include explicit content on their shirts. 

However, we’ve decided to keep our recommendations PG for now. One of our absolute favorite provoking shirts this year is this hysterical Sounds Like Liberal B.S. t-shirt. The shirt comes in colors of black, navy, royal blue, and red and is available in sizes of small to 2XL. 


With all that has happened this year, it is expected that the t-shirt industry would capitalize on some of these events. From the unprecedented effects of the pandemic to the increasing political strife in America to everything in between, the past twelve months have been a goldmine of t-shirt content. Printed Kicks is one brand that has taken full advantage of this outpour of news. What better way is there to remember this crazy year than by wearing a t-shirt to commemorate it? 

For many, this year has been taxing. Countless people have lost their loved ones due to COVID-19, and many businesses have gone under. People all over the world are fighting just to maintain their current situation. Physically, emotionally, and financially, we’ve all been hit. 

Despite all the struggles that humanity has faced recently, it is important to take a moment every once in a while and allow yourself to vent. Sometimes, you need to take a step back and get things off of your chest, whatever way you choose to do so. Perhaps you do this by putting your thoughts on a t-shirt.

Hopefully, some of these examples brought you a chuckle or two and gave you some inspiration for what you’re looking for. Whether you are just looking to make your friends laugh, or you really want to stand up for a cause you believe in, t-shirts have always been a great way to express yourself. 

This year, learn to treat yourself. Take careful notice of your physical and mental condition every day. And most of all, persevere! It has been a wild ride for all of us this year, and God willing, it will be over sooner than later. Happy t-shirt hunting! 



Second Amendment - Right to Bear Arms | The National Constitution Center

Bill of Rights (1791) - Bill of Rights Institute

Categories of Essential Workers | COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC

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