In the simplest way, graphic tees are wearable art. They are the most straightforward way to visually express something about your personality. The graphics can show places you’ve been, music you listen to, the shows and movies you like, or the artists you appreciate. Most graphic tees represent the brand that made them and therefore demonstrate our support for that brand. Some of the most talented graphic design artists working today are designing t-shirt graphics. It is a truly modern medium for artistic expression.
Graphic tees are available just about everywhere, from online clothing stores to small vintage t-shirt shops. If you’re looking for the best t-shirts to pair up with your favorite jeans and sneakers this spring, we’ve got you covered with our round up of the best graphic tee companies.
Chicago-based graphics t-shirt company Threadless helps underrated and unknown artists get the spotlight they deserve with their commission-based awards system and artist features and interviews. As an artist-centric brand, Threadless encourages customers to purchase graphic tees from these rising artists to support their art. The graphic t-shirts featured on the site come in cute, funny, or eccentric designs, depending on the artist. With a myriad of prints to choose from, Threadless is a utopia for graphic tee-loving customers who love to express themselves through clothing.
Kenzo Takada created the brand not in Japan but in Paris, where he established his first store in Galerie Vivienne. Since its founding in 1970, Kenzo has continued to design unique products that blend prints, refined colors, and modern design.
Now, Kenzo is recognized for its head-turning collections: The Tiger, The Eye, and Kenzo X Kansai Miyamoto. The first two collections feature the Paris Tiger— the brand’s signature design— and the ominous Eye. Meanwhile, the Kenzo x Kansai Miyamoto collection sports punk and Japanese art-inspired graphic tees, combining nature and Miyamoto’s obsession with animals. The collections are artistic, but we took a liking to The Eye collection since the design can make you the center of attention, and perhaps, a subject of conversation among your friends.
Founded in 2007, Design by Humans offers a plethora of licensed merchandise, from Animal Crossing to Stranger Things, which will make any pop culture lover squeal with glee. But you know what’s more interesting? The brand also serves as a hub for creatives and content creators to share their graphic t-shirts, phone cases, and more, providing a safe space for these individuals to express themselves through their art. As a brand that empowers and supports content creators, it’s no surprise that Design by Humans made it on our list of the best graphic tee brands.
Ready to channel your inner bandit or deviant? Look no further than Bandit Brand, a graphic tee company that manufactures American vintage-style shirts. The majority of its designs are drawn by hand, helping the brand contribute to a sustainable, zero-waste lifestyle. We love how Bandit Brand deviates from the hottest fashion trends to offer colorful graphic tees. Besides, why stick with the trends or the norm when a brand has its own style?
In God We Must was unintentionally founded when John Elijah Richards, who was then unemployed, wanted to earn extra income to pay for his medical bills. It was the darkest moment of his life. But Richards persevered and received support from his social circle. Being surrounded by a healthy support system, In God We Must is now a brand that caters to dreamers and people who are searching for their purpose in life, motivating them to achieve their goals no matter what. Hence, we’re not surprised when we saw graphic tees with quotes like, “Fear does not define you” and “Embrace the unknown.” Frankly, we’d love In God We Must to be our support system during times of hardship.
Creating nostalgic graphic t-shirts that make us happy is the mission of Old School Tees, a brand that endeavors to be environment-conscious and socially responsible and make fashionable t-shirts at affordable prices. Designs range from the oldie but goodie bands and musicians like Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan to more contemporary music icons like Fall Out Boy and Snoop Dogg. But it’s not just music, Old School Tees also create designs centered on movies, sports, and cartoons, making this graphic tee company the perfect nostalgia fix for people who want to get in touch with their younger selves.
We need to be practical sometimes, especially when buying clothes. Although there’s no shame in buying expensive graphic tees, we have to be aware that there are cheaper shirts that are as high-quality as the costly ones. If you’re looking for the full package — that is, both cost and quality — we suggest checking out 6 Dollar Shirts. Established in 2008, 6 Dollar Shirts offers a wide range of graphic tees at only $6 as the brand believes we should not pay anything like $20 for a shirt. With satirical slogans and illustrations adorning the graphic tees, 6 Dollar Shirts is a go-to brand for customers who want to get the most value out of their hard-earned money.
Shawn Stussy founded the brand in 1984 with the mission to take apparel to the next level: A form of lifestyle. With the company’s name printed on shirts, hoodies, and accessories, Stussy has become a recognizable brand known for its partnerships with Nike, Dover Street Market, and more. Now, Stussy offers eye-catching tees that complement your personality and taste at approachable prices. If you don’t mind seeing the “Stussy” printed at the front, then we recommend this brand.
We are utilizing technology to create art nowadays. But one brand chooses to create its designs by hand since 2006: Vardagen. The designs — all drawn in a variety of art styles — are then screen-printed on comfy shirts and pants, making this brand a viable option for people who love hand-drawn designs or those who see clothing as an embodiment of art. Perceiving screen printing as an art form. Vardagen believes that t-shirts are more than logos and official licenses. Or even mere articles of clothing.
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