The 6 Most Iconic T-shirt Designs Ever

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People love free tee shirts. Marketing companies realized that fact decades ago. This is why almost every company has their brand and logo on a tee shirt. They give these shirts to their clients, employees, and vendors. Every time someone grabs that tee shirt and wears it, it is giving the company free advertising. It is not just good advertising because it has the company logo. The fact that someone is wearing the shirt is giving the company their silent approval. The return on the investment is immeasurable.

No one knows when the next tee shirt will become an iconic shirt. Every day companies use their best tools to design a unique t-shirt – just a couple of years ago men’s softball jerseys were a huge hit – in the hopes that it will become one that everyone will want to wear or add to their collection.

There are more iconic tee shirts than we can list. We have researched the top 6 shirts of all time. We think you will recognize these as well as we are betting you own at least one of them.

1. Rolling Stones – tongue shirt

Mick Jagger hit it big when he began sticking out his tongue as part of his performance. Jagger was already a superstar, and also a sex symbol for young women around the globe. When the Rolling Stone tongue shirt hit the market, it became one of the best selling shirts of all time. If you are a true rock-and-roll fan, you have to own one of these shirts.

2. I <3 NY

In 1977 New York City introduced a promotional campaign that exploded. The I “heart” NY tee shirt was part of that campaign. No trip to New York is complete without one of these famous shirts. As a matter of fact, you better have one if you want anyone to believe you actually visited this iconic city.

 

Mickey Mouse

Photo credit https://www.pexels.com/search/mickey%20mouse/

3. Mickey Mouse

Sales numbers rank this as number three. However, in popularity, it is probably number one. People all over the world love Mickey Mouse. As the leader of the Disney pack, Mickey Mouse shows up on everything. There is Mickey jewelry, watches, toys, and of course, shirts. It does not matter if you are 2 or 90, you probably have or at least have had a Mickey Mouse shirt.

hard rock cafe

Photo credit https://www.pexels.com/search/hard%20rock%20cafe%20/

4.Hard Rock Cafe

The marketing team of the Hard Rock Cafe will always have a place in history as producers of a great campaign that has spanned decades. However, there are 168 Hard Rock Cafes. The emphasis on the campaign is that Hard Rock fans must have one shirt from each location. Each location has their own unique shirt with the famous Hard Rock logo. It is so much interesting to note that this promo came into focus about the time that Pokemon cards became collectibles. Suddenly people were “collecting” around the world. About that time, Hard Rock shirts hit the scene and the rest is history.

 5. Che Guevara

Che Guevara will forever be associated with the face of communism. His face started being put on tee shirts in the 1960’s. Che Guevara was the symbol of the underdog. However, he was the face of the abused and kicked down members of society. It is a bit odd to realize that his face marketed on tee shirts also turned out to be a symbol of capitalism. Every true collector will have one of these shirts.

   6. Tuxedo Tux

It is a mystery why this humorous tee shirt took off the way it did. The tux tee began showing up in weddings, proms, and graduations. It is still popular today. You will also find it in everything from onesies for infants to adult sizes. For the rebel that refuses to be uncomfortable long enough to go to a formal event, it is a must-have garment.

 

The tee shirt is so as here to stay. The popularity of the tee shirt continues to grow. Right now there is a designer, artist, or marketing panner who has the next huge tee shirt design on a sketch pad. However, when and where it will arrive is anybody’s guess. Until then, we simply must wait and watch.

Brandon Stapper
Brandon Stapper is an entrepreneur and investor. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Nonstop Signs, an industry leading graphic design, print, and sign business with multiple locations throughout the United States. At 20 years old, with no formal education and only a few hundred dollars, Stapper turned a $400 custom decal machine in a garage into an international printing powerhouse focused on helping businesses improve their marketing and branding with everything from retail signage to packaging, to trade show displays.
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