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Our 20 Favourite T-shirt Designs Of 2020

Spotlighting some of the best T-shirt designs on Everpress in 2020.

 

It’s fair to say that 2020 didn’t turn out how anybody expected it. As December draws in we look back on the designs that emerged in an unprecedented year that saw a global pandemic, as well as political reckonings around the world too. 

 

Across all the widely different designs here, the strongest theme connecting them might be the tendency to give. Once we’d selected the roundup of our favourites, we realised almost all were at least partially in aid of a cause, and we’re proud to have been able to help facilitate that in some way. 

 

For many in the music industry, especially hard hit by the closure of nightclubs and cancellation of gigs and festivals, merch became a vital lifeline, a way to make up income suddenly lost. The likes of Club Quarantaene, Pacific Rhythm and Chapter 10 and more all raised profits for artists and industry players, as well as for causes too. For other creatives, this was a time for new collaborations and thinking about community in different ways, as with Johanna Burai x Pauline Le Pape’s effort in celebration of women in design, and The Tittymag X Lotknot, with 10% of proceeds going to the WHO. 

 

Read on for tees in aid of Beirut, Black Lives Matter, the NHS, The WHO, Alliance For Choice, and many more.

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Design by Superimpose, image courtesy of Everpress by Gift Jr. Gwambe

Club Quarantaene – Stay Home

Starting out as a 36-hour virtual rave, Club Quarantaene became an international online club, hosting a remote party series through global lockdowns with sets from the likes of Ben UFO, Jayda G, Beautiful Swimmers and more. In a time when the music industry is especially under threat, merch has been a vital lifeline for many, and all profits from their Stay Home T-shirt went to supporting the team behind Club Quarantaene.

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Design by Club Quarantaene

Shado Mag – Free Safe Legal Local

We’re always excited to see people come together to make a great T-shirt for an urgent cause. This one saw Shado Mag team up with artist Natalie Byrne to create a campaign in support of Alliance for Choice, an organisation that works to promote free, safe and legal abortion in Northern Ireland and around the world. 

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Design by Shado Mag x Alliance for Choice, image courtesy of Louisa Harland

Pre-order the T-shirt here.

Girls Shred X Wheely Good

A standout from our Holiday Collection, this tee started life as an Instagram post by illustrator Wheely Good, in support of a female skater who was receiving some tough comments on her skate videos. “The skate community has its challenges and females entering a male dominated space will always come with these issues unfortunately,” she said. “No one should feel like an outsider when they pick up a board. There’s room for everyone in our community!” Girls Shred, a global platform for female skaters that’s been running since 2008, was the perfect partner for this T-shirt.

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Design by Girls Shred x Wheely Good, image courtesy of Wheely Good (@wheelygooddoodles)

Ry Foat – Stand Strong Together 

California-based designer Ry Foat created his Stand Strong Together tee in support of Black Lives Matter. Though the movement and organisation’s urgent work long predates this year, support and visibility was undoubtedly galvanised by the events of 2020. All proceeds from the design went to the official Black Lives Matter foundation, which works to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.

Pre-order the T-shirt here.

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Design by Ry Foat

Radio Alhara – filmishmish

Despite only launching in March this year, Radio alHara has quickly made a name for itself for its esoteric programming and inclusive, community-minded approach. July saw the radio station, which is run out of Bethlehem, Ramallah and Amman, launch a three-day online festival to raise awareness of injustice in Palestine and the world. Called Fil Mishmish, meaning ‘in the time of the apricots’ or ‘wishful thinking’, they ran their T-shirt campaign alongside, donating the proceeds to a Beirut relief fund.

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Design by Radio Alhara, image courtesy of @butyouarevast

Aaryamann Singh – Good Morning

When we caught up with WAVLNGTH founder Aneesha Kotwani she summarised the project’s message: “A concept that started off premised on designs with a message of hope became a blend of things: How music can make you feel, and how it can be therapeutic. How we can create contemporary designs influenced by Indian music and culture, and more.” This was beautifully encapsulated by Aaryamann Singh’s upbeat Good Morning tee.

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Design by Aaryaman Singh

Physical Medium – Virtual Insanity

In the past we’ve spotlighted Bill Connors, aka Physical Medium, as one of our favourite brands that have grown with us, and it’s fair to see he’s become a bit of an Everpress favourite. His Virtual Insanity tee, one of three limited edition designs by the Chicago-based designer, had all the hallmarks of his best work, with its grunge, low-fi graphics.

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Design by Bill Connors AKA Physical Medium

Phantasy Records – Phantasy Pizza

The brainchild of DJ Erol Alkan, Phantasy Records consistently turns out some of the slickest merch going, and 2020’s Phantasy Pizza tee was no exception. A riff on the classic pizza box, they ran a print version too, for anyone wanting to match their fit to their walls.

Pre-order the T-shirt here.

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Design by Phantasy Records, image courtesy of Everpress

Chantal Jahchan – Beirut

An intricate, thoughtfully designed tee, this featured a clever bilingual design that read Beirut both in English and in custom Arabic lettering, with the green representing the Lebanese cedar. The work of Lebanese American graphic designer Chantal Jahcan, in her words this T-shirt was “Dedicated to a city that repeatedly gets knocked down and somehow always manages to get back up and stand tall—this time, with a little help from all of us.” The profits from it were split between the Impact Lebanon Disaster Relief Fund and the Lebanese Red Cross.

Pre-order the T-shirt here.

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Design by Chantal Jahchan, image courtesy of @lisalapauw

Chapter 10 – Butt Plug Smile

Chapter 10’s queer eight hour warehouse parties have quickly become a bright spot of hedonism on London’s nightlife landscape. Ever mindful of their LGBTQ+ community, their Butt Plug Smile tee raised proceeds for The Outside Project, an independent community shelter and centre led by colleagues, friends & activists who work in the Homeless sector.

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Design by Chapter 10

Adam Tickle x Everpress – Together 

Together saw us join forces with designer Adam Tickle, who reimagined his iconic Utopia tee, a star of 2018’s 5050 campaign. Speaking on his Utopia design, the graphic designer and art director, whose clients span NTS, Boiler Room, Goodhood and Sneakerstuff, said, “The campaign was digitally driven so it was important for me to create a design that could be spotted instantly on an Instagram feed. It also had to be simple, one word (graphic) to communicate positivity and inclusiveness.” 100% of the profits from this one went to NHS Charities, with us donating over £6,2oo too.

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Design by Adam Tickle, image courtesy of Everpress

The Tittymag X Lotknot

We picked this one as one of our favourite fundraiser T-shirts back at the start of summer, but it was too good to skip out of this annual roundup too. Dutch artist Lotte Gielen was a perfect pairing with The TittyMag, an art collective who champion intersectional feminism and empowerment, and 10% of proceeds went to the World Health Organisation.

Design by The TittyMag x Studio Lotknot, image courtesy of @patschiifig

Michael Challita x Iman Raad – The Revolution Is Born

A highlight of our Re-Press collection, The Revolution Is Born was the work of Lebanese-Australian designer and patternmaker Michael Challita and Iranian artist and graphic designer Iman Raad. With a slogan borrowed from a poem by Nizar Qabbani, the long-sleeve was in aid of the disaster in Beirut, with all profits going to Beit El Baraka.

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Image and design by Michael Challita x Iman Raad

Trippin – Ascend

When we caught up with Trippin’s Kesang Ball ahead of last year’s 50/50 campaign, she described the travel platform’s ethos thus: “Travel is such a transformative experience. It has that magical ability to alter the way you view life.” Their Ascend tee, created by graphic designer Steve Grimes, channelled this mindset for a lockdown year, with 50% of all profits going back to the designer and the other 50% to International Medical Corps.

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Design by Stevie Grimes

Mexican Summer – Looking Glass

Mexican Summer launched their tee in conjunction with Looking Glass, their new single series to support artists during the pandemic. A ‘portal for creative exploration and community’ the series is about promoting discovery, diversity, and collaboration, with all Bandcamp proceeds going straight to the artist or charity of their choice. They carried this ethos over to their T-shirt too, with 20% of profits going to Humanity & Inclusion.

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Design by Bailey Elder

Manjit Thapp – Petals

For this T-shirt Camberwell College of Arts alumni Manjit Thapp reimagined one of her distinctive prints. The resulting embroidered design worked beautifully against the canvas of a black tee; a demonstration that the highly sought-after illustrator’s work, which is concerned with females especially, looks as good on a tee as it does on a print. 

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Image and design by Manjit Thapp

Pacific Rhythm – Stay In Mate

A longtime Everpress favourite for their collaborations as well as their signature Stay Out Late, It Feels Great tee, 2020 saw Pacific Rhythm invert their classic design for a lockdown-appropriate message. The record label donated 20% of the proceeds from their Stay In Mate, It Feels Great T-shirt to Carnegie Community Action Project, a Vancouver-based organisation working for housing, income and justice in their area.

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Design by Pacific Rhythm

Johanna Burai x Pauline Le Pape – Sisterhood Brother

Part of the Collab series, Sisterhood Brother was a joint effort from graphic designer and art director Johanna Burai and French type and graphic designer Pauline Le Pape. Having first met over Instagram a few years ago, when it came to this project Johanna knew she wanted to work with Pauline. As Johanna put it, “I am a strong believer of the old saying ‘ two heads are better than one’ and if you find an equal collaborator magic can really happen. You create new processes, widen your perspectives and ultimately grow within your own practice. It’s a win win win situation.” 

Pre-order the T-shirt here.

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Design by Johanna Burai x Pauline Le Pape

Becky Sloan – Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared

Filmmaker Becky Sloan’s tee riffed on her surreal web series, which ran between 2011 and 2016 and was made in collaboration with Joseph Pelling. A tongue in cheek reminder to everyone to keep their social distance, the profits were split equally between Refuge, which provides specialist services to survivors of domestic abuse, and The Trussell Trust, an NGO and charity that works to end the need for food banks in the UK.

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Design by Becky Sloan

Superimpose – Services Unknown 

Type in Focus, our celebration of all things type, saw 40 designers create T-shirts in response to the theme ‘Emotion’ and this one, by creative agency Superimpose, was one of our top picks of the bunch. Taking climate change as its focus, “Ultra Violet in Infrared” is a reference to the world being literally on fire, and a call to action to help stop the vast spread of global warming.

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Design by Superimpose, image courtesy of Everpress by Gift Jr. Gwambe

Read More: 15 of Our Re-Press Highlights.

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