This is a guest post by Nina Ritz.



With the holiday season rolling in, everyone is raving about trends dominating the world of design. Tapping into them is not just about being “in”: it is the key to consumers’ minds and hearts. The opportunities and ideas abound and one thing is for certain: custom and standout tees will be selling like hotcakes. So, you might want to get inspired and unleash your imagination. Take a look at what is going to be hot during the coldest of months. It is time to capture the festive spirit and make your products retail-ready.

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Foil Prints

This trend screams “Holidays” like no other. Glitter and glitz can be almost sensed in the air, so why not let them ooze from the fabric? To make the magic happen, you can use a rather simple design process. Similarly to vinyl, foil design elements are cut and then ironed into the garment. You can also apply special glue to the T-shirt and then put the foil design on it. In any event, foil print is sure to make a T-shirt and its owner stand out.



Once a deadly fashion sin, logos are now a gleaming crown jewel of the mainstream. This resurgence has even breathed new life into classic brands like Champion. At the same time, high-end brands in the league of Gucci and Calvin Klein are leading the race, leaving everyone else playing catch-up. It seems that the most popular logos will be well-known cultural references and spawns of 80s and 90s nostalgia.





Striking collages

Come Holidays, playful and whimsical aesthetic becomes all the rage. Collages embody this design philosophy in the form of a hodgepodge of imagery, disrupting conventional design compositions. We expect both digital and DIY collages to steal the show. Various illustrations, patterns, and images will come together in puzzle-like, haphazard amalgams. Cut and paste approach is also going strong, including the techniques like ripping off, scratching, and splashing.



Type-centric design

Leaning toward the simplistic end of the spectrum, type-centric T-shirts are as popular as ever. Many people will decide to make a statement with catchy phrases and funny wordplay rather than illustrations and photos. They will put on letters that mean something and resonate with them. That is sure to turn some heads and cause laughter and giggles. Meanwhile, industry giants such as Benetton are doing something different. They are championing political statement slogans.


Geometric patterns

There is something utterly captivating about geometric shapes and forms. They have been around for quite some time and pose a nice, more laid-back alternative to vivid and cartoony prints. Nevertheless, sharp lines and other clean components add an extra dimension to the monochromatic T-shirt. They can also be blended with other design trends, such as typography. A definite must-consider in your design strategy.


Warm illustrations

Sure, illustrations are nothing new, but around the busy Holiday time, they manifest in a radiating new light. There is no shortage of brands killing it, but this time around, we think that hand-drawn illustration will be big. They can be real or computer-generated, but what consumers will seek beyond everything else are fuzzy and organic-looking designs. So, make it real and heartwarming.


Glitch holographs

Last year, holographs made big waves and in 2018 they continue to evolve. Most notably, they are imbued with a glitch effect, which creates distorted and pixelated color pigments. The result is often a futuristic and dynamic composition that ignites imagination with surreal lighting and holographic splendor. Bear in mind that it is possible to merge holograms with illustrations, images, and photography. Quite a versatile tool they turn out to be.


The art of layering

Furthermore, many designers will look to use layers of color on top of each other. One option is to layer flat colors and combine them with more complex design solutions. Contrast helps the design come alive and infuses the fabric with a spark of interest. The technique itself is quite simple, yet it produces an eye-popping effect. It is geared toward those who dare to go bold.


Bring colors

Brighter tones never really fall out of fashion, but with Holidays just around the corner, they come into the limelight. Tones like red are used for good reasons: they evoke cherry emotions, passion, and love. But, many will venture beyond the traditional Christmas palette, into the Miami Vice territory. When fleshing out this kind of look, though, it is a good idea to start with baby steps. Pick primary colors and then work your way from there. Not everyone wants something visible from a mile away.


Don’t forget about the packaging

The tradition of unpacking gifts is the pinnacle of Holiday joy and T-shirt designers and manufacturers must not overlook it. The will have to come up with special and tailor-made packaging that features bright colors and motifs. Some of them are likely to partner up with leading print design companies to make sure everything falls together seamlessly. Indeed, this is a great way to employ strategic visuals and make a powerful brand statement.



Trends come and go quickly, but some have staying power and form the backbone of a fashion industry. They prove that T-shirts are much more than protective layers made of colorful textile. They mean and say something. So, to get ahead of the game, first get your brainstorming process going and creative juices flowing. Use personalized and unexpected details and deliver unique design touches. Keep it festive, brand related, and original.


Did any of this sparked some ideas? We’d love to know!