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Inspiration — 12 months ago

Our 28 Favourite T-shirt Designs of 2019

Spotlighting some of the best T-shirt designs on Everpress in 2019.

 

We’ve looked ahead to the brands we’re excited about in 2020, and now it’s time to look back at all the T-shirts that we’ve loved this past year. 

 

It’s been one hell of a year for all the artists, illustrators, graphic designers and creators we’re proud to work with, and it hasn’t been easy to slim our selection down to just 28 T-shirts. After some back and forth at HQ though, we’ve put together our, by no means exhaustive, list of 2019. 

 

From tees designed by artists including Moses Boyd and Jai Paul for our 50/50 campaign, to artist Shaquille-Aaron Keith translating his ‘Unfulfilled’ painting onto garments, to A Change of Kit’s mission to celebrate the Women’s World Cup, read on for the stories behind 28 of our favourite T-shirts of 2019.

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Everpress Team
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Moses Boyd's 'CARE' T-shirt design, submitted as part of 50/50 2019.

R&S x Patrick Savile

Needing little introduction, graphic designer Patrick Savile was part of our cohort for this year’s HIGHPASS. Our annual music merch pop-up, this year we saw tees from the likes of Local Action, Martyn, Peach Discs, and Dark Entries, to name just a few. Even in this stellar lineup Patrick’s was a stand out for its glitch-effect graphics.

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R&S Records x Patrick Savile

Fruits – Fruits Creative Series

Fruits Art Club are a bit of an Everpress stalwart, and their series of employee tees for fictional fruit companies had to be some of our favourites of the past year. One of the best things about Fruits is that it’s a platform all about facilitating collaboration, as their founder Andrew Wetmore put it when we caught up with him, “Collaborations bring out the best in both designers!”

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A long-sleeve selection from the Fruits Creative Series

Lizzie King – Paradise Classics

One of our all-time favourite long sleeves, multidisciplinary artist Lizzie King’s Paradise Classic number was so good we couldn’t pass up featuring it here too. For us, this was summer on a tee, and we especially loved the asymmetric Grecian vases on the sleeves.

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Lizzie King’s Paradise Classics long-sleeve tee

Jack Taylor & Molly Rose Dyson – die Natur

We’ll always sing the praises of collabs here at Everpress, and a standout for us this year was this dual effort by Jack Taylor and Molly Rose Dyson. Two of the 40+ contributing artists in our Berlin takeover back in Spring, their die Natur tee worked subtle environmental commentary into a snappy design.

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Jack Taylor & Molly Rose Dyson – die Natur

Charlene Man – I’m Blue

It’s hard not to find Charlene Man’s work uplifting. Something about her pastel-hued, chunky illustrations just puts us in a good mood, and though this tee was called “I’m Blue” we have to say the same for it. Blue and black aren’t always the likeliest colour combo, but this long-sleeve proves they work in perfect harmony, and the outsize illustration makes this one particular eye-catching too.

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Charlene Man – I’m Blue

Lucy Macaroni – Leave Me Alone

Girls are at the front of Lucie Caron (AKA Lucy Macaroni)’s world. The female body in all its conceivable forms takes centre in the illustrator’s work, and if you take a quick scroll through her Insta feed shows you’ll see she’s not afraid to take a stand on women’s issues either. Simultaneously tough and feminine, this Leave Me Alone T-shirt epitomizes what her work is all about.

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Lucy Macaroni’s Illustration tee – Leave Me Alone

Plant Boi – Angel 666

Plant Boi makes many an object his canvas. From comics to ceramics, and as of this past summer, T-shirts, there doesn’t seem to be an end to where his work will pop up. His Angel 666 long sleeve earned its place on our roundup for its sleeve tattoo aesthetic.

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The Plant Boi – Angel 666 long-sleeve T-shirt

Sophy Hollington – Emblem

Illustrator Sophy Hollington’s signature lino prints translate beautifully onto T-shirts. From her Automatic Tarot series, based on a project with David Keenan, to this Emblem long-sleeve, her distinctive esoteric designs are always a hit on our platform. When we chatted to her recently too, she had a great pearl of design wisdom – “Make a T-shirt you would want to own. I try to design things that I’d like to wear myself.”

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Everpress favourite Sophy Hollington’s ‘Emblem’ T-shirt

Marcello Pisano – Milano Sushi Gang

Hard to believe this was digital art director Marcello Pisano’s first tee with us, Milano Sushi Gang was a special one. Surreal sushi characters coupled with a bold, graphic colour combo made this one an instant hit. We wouldn’t necessarily think of sushi when it comes to Italy, but it works.

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A popular one this year. Marcello Pisano’s ‘Milano Sushi Gang’ short sleeve tee

Charlotte Chauvin – Sight

Describing how she approached her ‘5 Senses’ project for us, which saw her interpret each of the five senses on a T-shirt, Charlotte Chauvin said; “I tried to connect a feeling with a sense, in a very straightforward & poetic way. I wanted to use a basic aesthetic that people can connect to their experience.” This cheeky Sight tee, meant to evoke the feeling of “looking at someone you like” was our favourite of the bunch.

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Charlotte Chauvin’s ‘Sight’ tee as part of the ‘three senses’ brief

Shaquille-Aaron Keith – UNFULFILLED / SELF PORTRAIT 3

When it came to deciding which of his paintings to immortalise on a garment, artist Shaquille-Aaron Keith chose “Unfulfilled” because of its backstory. A piece he had to turn around exceptionally quickly for a client, he’d initially hated it, even thinking of it as unfinished, until he came to realise what it represented – “I learnt that I can do something when I put my mind to it.” As he wrote on Instagram, “This is more than just T-shirts and hoodies, this really means something to me.”

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From Shaquille-Aaron Keith’s November collection

Jiro Bevis – Brown Acid

A firm favourite here at Everpress HQ, we even asked Jiro Bevis to put together our very own friends & family tees. The illustrator (and host of Radio Jiro) has carved out quite a niche for himself, with his work featuring on tees and as graphics for the likes of Bicep, Carhartt WIP and Howlin’ knitwear. Brown Acid was another fine addition to his roster.

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Jiro Bevis – ‘Brown Acid

Kyle Platts – Rotten Dot Com

When we caught up with illustrator Kyle Platts recently, he let us in on why exactly he likes making T-shirts. “There is a unique challenge in creating an illustration for a T-shirt graphic,” he said. “And I think that is what got me interested and keeps me interested in making shirts.” Lucky for us, as we can’t get enough of his output – like this Rotten Dot Com tee.

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Kyle Platts – ‘Rotten Dot Com

CRACK MAGAZINE X GIANT SWAN

November saw Crack Magazine pair up with their cover stars Giant Swan for this merch drop to celebrate their 106th issue. With photography by Tom Andrew and Ciaran Birch-designed typeface on the back, this was a prime example of the stars aligning for a sublime collaboration.

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Crack Magazine x Giant Swan

Moses Boyd – C.A.R.E (50/50)

Always one of our annual highlights, 2019’s 50/50 campaign saw us partner with Justice4Grenfell to help raise funds for their mission. This year’s theme was VISIBILITY, and we loved the range of interpretations from artists, designers, platforms and musicians as varied as HANGER INC, gal-dem, Jai Paul, BBZ and Jean Julien. Moses Boyd’s C.A.R.E design, which riffed on the iconic D.A.R.E tee, was undoubtedly one of the highlights.

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Moses Boyd’s 50/50 T-shirt design

OBONGJAYAR  (50/50)

Another of the 50/50 line-up was multi-talented Nigerian musician Obongjayar. His tee was beautifully subtle and profound, really capturing the meaning and urgency of Justice4Grenfell’s campaign.

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Obongjayar’s 50/50 T-shirt design

Frances Cannon – Live A Little

We’ve long been fans of Melbourne-based Frances Cannon’s empowering (not to mention brilliantly weird) tattoos and prints. So we were thrilled for her to start offering her very first T-shirts and hoodies via Everpress. The scribbled-on sleeves of her Live A Little hoodie mimicked the tattoos that have helped make her name.

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Frances Cannon’s ‘Live A Little’ hoodie

Jai Paul & Hira (50/50)

Yet another 50/50 tee, but this one was too good to skip over. The result of a collab between enigmatic legend Jai Paul and HIRA of Paul Institute, this tee was emblazoned with phrases like “Stop taking selfies,” and “Not a tourist attraction,” a direct challenge to those who’d seek to turn Grenfell into a tourist spot. As Hira explained of their unambiguous message, “Our intention was to keep the voice clear on this one, we wanted nothing to come between what you see and what needs to be said.”

Jai Paul x Hira as part of 50/50 2019
Jai Paul x Hira as part of 50/50 2019

Brodie Kaman – Nausea

For Perth-born, Berlin-based graphic designer Brodie Kaman, designing T-shirts offers a way to make something tangible. “I get much more satisfaction working on things that materialise physically,” he said. “Being able to visualise something tangible from the screen is something I learned along the way and is an important tool for creating things beyond the digital realm.” Nausea has been one of our favourite of his tees so far.

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Brodie Kaman’s ‘Nausea’ T-shirt

Josh Parkin – Freelancers Running Club

One for the freelancers, illustrator Josh Parkin’s (AKA JoshParkyArt) tee was a tongue-in-cheek riff on that never-off-emails frame of mind.

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A popular one with our community – Josh Parkin’s ‘Freelancer’ tee

Minute Books – A Change of Kit, 10

The brainchild of Amy Tibbles, Adam-Morton Delaney, Charlie Jeffries and Scarlett Chetwin, A Change of Kit launched to celebrate the 2019 Women’s World Cup back in June. The team worked with 11 creatives from all over the globe to create a riff on the classic football kit. Each one was a winner, but performative printing press Minute Books’ vision for number 10 was our personal highlight.

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A selection from the ‘A Change Of Kit’ collection

FLORIAN TRIPOTEAU – PHOBOS EXPRESS ANTIQUE

A testament to giving things a second try, Florian Tripoteau’s very first campaign with us didn’t actually succeed post-launch, but now he plans his year with Everpress. Heavy on esoteric symbolism, his tees always go down a treat on our site – this vivid Phobos Express Antique T-shirt is our pick of the bunch this year.

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Everpress veteran Florian Tripoteau’s ‘Phobos Express’ design

Johannes Schnatmann – Imaginatio

To create his Imaginatio tee, another fave from our Berlin takeover, Johannes Schnatmann turned to Flyer Soziotope, a book of ‘80s and ‘90s rave flyers for inspiration. “The front print includes the typographic logo of a party series,” he told us. “And the back includes a graphical artwork that resulted from an image translation into 3D sculptures.”

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Johannes Schnatmann’s ‘Imaginatio‘, submitted as part of the Everpress Berlin takeover

CARLA GAL – Gold Is 4 Life

It would be impossible to pick a favourite from our autumn takeover in Barcelona. Still, if we have to select just one, it would be Carla Gal’s Gold Is 4 Life tee. We loved her for her unadulterated advice on the city too, when we spoke to her, her pearls of wisdom included: “It definitely pays to network and stay connected with important people, because sometimes in Barcelona this can be as important (or more!) than talent.”

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Carla Gal’s ‘Gold is 4 Life’ tee

Jess Cochrane – HSOOMS

Australian artist Jess Cochrane has been on our radar for a while. Part of the cohort for 2018’s 50:50 campaign with Amnesty International, her powerful life-size depictions of the female body debunk censorship and disrupt the male gaze. This year’s Hsooms was one of her best.

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Jess Cochrane’s ‘HSOOMS’ T-shirt

Jimbo Bones – All My Friends Are Dead 

This one landed a place on our winter round-up back at the start of the year, but we couldn’t pass up including it on our end of year highlights reel too. Jimbo Bones’ All My Friends Are Dead long sleeve combined all the best elements of his doom-inducing style.

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Jimbo Bones ‘All My Friends Are Dead’

Corentin Plancade – COEUR BRISÉ

The thing about using T-shirts as a canvas for comic strips is that the tee ends up having plenty of mileage. Kind of like looking at a new T-shirt every time you wear it. Corentin Plancade’s Coeur Brisé was a tongue-in-cheek classic of the genre.

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Corentin Plancade – ‘Coeur Brise’

H.Y.T. Studio – FULL MOON

Dublin-based John Slade’s illustration and graphic design studio H.Y.T. Studio has an enviable list of clients that includes London’s ICA, Nike, Tate and Future Lab. The offbeat graphics and winner colour combo secured their Full Moon tee’s spot on the list.

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H.Y.T Studio – Full Moon

Read More: 20 T-shirt Brands You Should Know in 2020.