Top 20 Creative T Shirt Design Trends 2020

Minimalism t shirt design trend 2020 tiny small text design

What’s new and popular in t shirt design trends 2020?

It may be a new year, but the continuous challenge of coming up with new and creative t-shirt designs is nothing new. The key to creating great t-shirt designs that will sell, is to research current trends and styles that are selling best and gaining popularity each year. And let’s face it, that’s no easy task with fashion trends changing so often! That’s why it’s essential to stay on top of t-shirt design trends and changes to keep up with the fashion industry and have more success with your t-shirt business.

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Many of the same t shirt designs trends of 2019 will continue to be favorites in 2020 (with a few new twists) along with some new trendy design ideas. So, put on your creative hat and see how you can make these top 20 t shirt design trends 2020 work for you and your business!

1. Mountains & Love of Nature

Mountains are often symbolic of challenges, setting goals and achieving them, or just being outside in nature. The wonder of mountains and the various ways they can be drawn or represented artistically makes them a favorite selection for t shirt designs. Add inspirational text for extra impact.

Mountain T Shirt Design Trends 2020
Mountains are often symbolic of challenges, setting goals and achieving them.

Designs that represent nature, saving the planet or going green are trends from 2019 that are sure to stick around for some time. Offer these designs on eco-friendly shirts and they are sure to be a hit!

2. Hand Drawn Floral Designs

Hand drawn floral designs are also becoming more popular. Put “flower power” to work in your t-shirt designs to symbolize growth, beauty, new beginnings or a fresh start. A flowy, organic design can be the main focus of your t-shirt or used as extra elements in a typographic design.

3. Minimalism & Bold Statements

Minimalistic, basic typography designs are very popular. Just say what needs said, boldly and clearly. Typography design allows for inspirational, motivational, or funny messages to be conveyed creatively through text. It’s always on-trend and a best seller.

Some creatives have recently decided to follow the “less is more” theory, creating designs that only feature small text, usually across the chest. It’s a stripped-down, minimalist approach to say only what needs to be said…nothing more.

Top 20 Creative T Shirt Design Trends 2020 2

4. Side-Aligned Typography

While we’re talking about typography, another emerging trend is that of aligning text to the left or right side of the shirt. This technique works well for text-only designs and keeps with the minimalistic approach to design. And we’re also seeing more use of all lowercase text.

Side-aligned typography t shirt design trend

5. Artwork on T-Shirts

Artists are starting to jump on the t-shirt bandwagon by moving their creations off printed pages and canvases and onto t-shirts. So, if you’re an artist, search through your Instagram for fan-favorites that could be easily translated into printable apparel designs. Consider the possibilities for incorporating original artwork into t shirt design trends 2020.

Artwork on t shirts design trend
Design by Sylvie Demers

6. Checkered Patterns

There has been an increasing love of checkered patterns in recent years, partly due to the popularity of Vans shoes and apparel that often incorporates the checkers in their designs. Mix it up with different colors and even a contrast of textures for a look that people seem to really love. Try incorporating one of these new t shirt design trends into your work.

Vans style checkered pattern t shirt design trend
Photo credited to

7. Plaid Pattern Designs

Not to be confused with checkered designs which consist of colored blocks repeated in a checkered pattern against another solid color, plaid designs are generally made up of 2-3 colors in a criss-crossing pattern of varying widths. The areas where 2 colors cross each other usually form a gradient (dot pattern) combination of the 2 colors, creating the classic plaid fabric look. Plaid patterns are being incorporated into various shapes, images and text for some cool t shirt design trends. Plaid patterns work especially well for winter holiday and cold weather designs.

Plaid pattern t shirt design trends
Design by Ootdclothes

8. 90’s Vibes Inspiration

I’m not sure if credit should be given to the VSCO girl internet pop-culture craze, but in 2019 t shirt design trends headed back to the 80’s and 90’s, and those 90’s vibes are still alive and well heading into 2020. Nostalgic designs using bright neon colors, geometric shapes, and MTV vibes are popular with Gen Z’ers and Youtubers when creating merch for their followers. Incorporate bright, primary colors, basic shapes, and zig-zaggy doodles into your 1990’s t-shirt design inspiration.

1990 Vibe nostalgic 80's and 90's t shirt design trends
Design by Native East Apparel

9. Color Blocks T Shirt Design Trends

The 80s and 90s also brought something else back – color blocks. Bright, contrasting blocks of color against solid colored shapes creates a bold look that’s extremely popular for t shirt design trends 2020.

Color block t shirt design trends
Design by

10. Repeated Text Designs

Saying it once is seemingly not enough these days! Repeating your message is a great way to get your point across and result in a well-designed t-shirt at the same time. This t shirt design trends 2020 idea is right if you aren’t super design-savvy, but still want to create an aesthetic tee on your own.

Stealing hearts Valentine's Day t shirt design heart breaker

And we’ve made it super easy for you to try this technique for yourself…check out our Repeated Text Custom Design T Shirt Template. Simply download and insert your own custom text!

Repeated text t shirt design trends 2020
So many possibilities from one t shirt design template!

11. Retro Typography & Colors

Incorporating retro font styles from the 60’s and 70’s and psychedelic reds, yellows, and pinks are on point for t shirt design trends 2020. This is no surprise since vintage and retro t-shirts have been gaining popularity in recent years, along with the trendy grunge style that can be used to dress up simpler t-shirt designs.

Retro typography t shirt design trend from the 60's and 70's
Design by Dazey LA

12. Off-Register Prints – Think Outside the Lines

Screen printers may shutter when they see these off-register designs because it goes against the perfect registration, they’ve always strived for in their printing business. But rest assured, these designs are off-register on purpose!

Rooted in 60’s pop art, this look of coloring outside the lines is a classic way to add interest to a design with blobs of color positioned off-alignment from the lines they were meant to fill in. A fun new idea for t shirt design trends 2020.

13. Collegiate Designs – Athletic Style

The traditional collegiate designs that evoke memories of years gone by are extremely popular for their athletic style fonts and simple, balanced design format. Collegiate designs have been one of the most popular trends in custom t-shirt designs for years, as it can be used for almost any occasion from sporting events to family reunions. And it’s a design trend that will probably be around forever.

14. Image or Shape Creative Lettering

Typography designs have been a huge t-shirt design trend for a while and designers can take it to another level with creative lettering. Formatting text inside of shapes or images is gaining popularity as t shirt design trends 2020 and creating some very interesting looks.

Creative lettering shape typography t shirt design trends

15. Geography Designs Make Your Mark

People love to show off where they are from or places they’ve been. Fundraisers or events happening in a certain geographic area are perfect for incorporating geographic designs for t-shirts. Whether a world map, country outline, city or even county marker, it’s very popular to reference a location. Find creative ways to mark a geographic area in your design. Use solid colors or an outline filled with text or images. You may even choose to mark specific location or a path of travel. There are many possibilities.

Top 20 Creative T Shirt Design Trends 2020 3
Make your mark by creatively referencing a location in your t-shirt design.

Learn more about incorporating regional or hometown elements into design ideas by reading, 30 T-Shirt Designs That Sell Best.

16. Heartbeats

The beat goes on! Simple heartbeat designs that started popping up years ago are still more popular than ever. You’ll want to put a unique spin on it though. You can do that by adding extra design elements that allow your customer to showcase their love of a sport, food, profession, or hobby.

Top 20 Creative T Shirt Design Trends 2020 4
Design by Peace & Blossom

17. Negative Space

The art of using the negative space in your design as a visual part of the actual design is a huge trend and produces wildly interesting designs. This technique works well when using a high contrast in colors like black and white. Colors can be used also, but it usually works best with a dark against a light or vice versa, as in the sample here which uses the non-printed areas in the design (negative spaces) where the shirt color shows through to create the appearance of tree trunks and limbs.

Negative space t shirt design trends 2020
Notice how the non-printed areas of the shirt were actually deliberate negative space in the overall design concept, creating tree trunks and limbs.

18. Faux Pocket Prints

We’re not talking about actual pocket tees here. Rather, printing a faux pocket design in the “pocket” printing location (usually the left chest area) became incredibly popular in 2019 and is expected to continue as cool t shirt design trends 2020. Small logos or designs that look like a pocket printed on tees is a subtle, creative way to promote your message.

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19. All-Over Prints

Bold, colorful prints and pictures that decorate the entire shirt in an all-over repeat type pattern are fun and modern. This design style is sure to become one of the top trends of the year.

All-over print t shirt design trends
Design by Fanatics Club

20. Abstract Expressions

The sky is really the limit when it comes to abstract designs. They express more emotion and feelings than more traditional images. Use a mixture of creative strokes, shapes, lines and colors to represent what you’re trying to convey in your design. Incorporate some of the other trends we’ve discussed here into an abstract or hand sketched design for even greater appeal to the masses!

Now that you know what is expected for t shirt design trends 2020, use it as inspiration for your own new t-shirt designs. Tried and true, old and new, I can’t wait to see what creative new designs emerge this year and what fun new trends will find their way into the fashion world for 2021 and beyond! strives to provide our customers with a continuous supply of new, unique, and on-trend t-shirt designs that will help you sell more t-shirts and other merch. Finding or creating new designs can be time-consuming and costly, but Designs4Screen makes it easy and affordable. Even if you like to create your own t-shirt designs, our templates and designs can help save you time and supplement your creative process.

#2020fashiontrends #apparel #fashion

4 thoughts on “Top 20 Creative T Shirt Design Trends 2020

    • Gina says:

      Awesome…thanks! Please be sure to follow my Facebook page for new updates and if you send me a link to your FB I’d love to follow you back!

    • Gina says:

      Thank you…I do my best to bring shops and printers valuable information to help in their businesses!

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