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20 Vintage T-shirt Design Inspirations

Henna Ray by Henna Ray Tweet - in Tshirt Design - 6 min read

Vintage T-shirt Design

Last updated on September 6th, 2017

Old trends make a comeback more often since people have some curiosity about bygone eras. They want to refresh memories of past decades. They feel the need to live even those eras which they never experienced in their life. Prime era of vintage designs is long gone. Still, those old fashions and designs repeatedly come back in small or big ways. Vintage T shirt is one such trend from the past that people love to follow enthusiastically.

T shirt designers have used retro themes to romanticize old times. So, they create t-shirts with vivid graphics, periodic icons, and pale colors. These types of themes are inspired from the past generations. Such themes typically have colors that are neither too dull nor too bright.
If as a creative t-shirt designer, you are also fascinated with the past, then there is a vast scope for recreating old times using vintage and retro elements. Such t-shirts with old school styles of colors and typeface are common. But before you set out to design retro style t-shirts, get a collection of your own inspirational t-shirts in old styles.

Here Are 20 Vintage T-shirt Design Inspirations

1.  The following tshirt design has some of typical retro elements. The entire typeface is fin retro style. You can notice a lot of details created around the letters. A big and decorated circle in the middle with elaboration makes this shirt an attractive design piece. Folded ribbon style and a diamond are other vintage elements creating the old and classic environment.

vintage t shirt

2.  The Heine Bros coffee brand used this t shirt design to convey a message that the brand is trustworthy. The brand wants to depict that it has many years of experience and expertise in making and serving the beverage product. The lettering is in an old typeface. You can notice some leaves and embellished lines also that make the design attractive. This design follows the top t-shirt design trends for 2017.


3.  In creating this t-shirt, inspiration comes from the era when America was preparing for a race to reach to the moon first. All the elements such as crescent mythical moon, planets, stars, a rocket are present in the design to depict that era.

race t shirt

4.  This vintage t-shirt gets its inspiration from the way Red Indians dressed their head. Their typical feather headgear was elaborately decorated with natural elements like feathers. The design has all these features.

Red Indians

5.  This t-shirt has ‘wake up and live’ slogan in faded colors to give the impression of the past. Faded colors also convey that the value expressed in the slogan is eternal. Lettering is bold and stylized. Use of a lot of short and straight lines, and dots is typical of old styles.

wake up and live

6.  In this ‘motorcycle grease n story’ t-shirt design, lettering is in simple style. Typical curvy lines around thin letters make this design unique. Use of yellow color in letters also sets this design apart from many others.

Read More Similar Post: Top 5 ‘The Walking Dead’ Inspired T-Shirt Designs to Seek Inspiration From

motorcycle grease n story

7.  This vintage t-shirt depicts a runner. Use of line art is the chief feature of this design. Right from hairs to mustache and socks, everything is created here in lines. Line art was once a chief graphic design trend.

Running t shirt

8.  A microphone from old technology is an attractive feature of this t shirt design. There are some faded lines and colors in background.

microphone t shirt

9.  Die Toten Hosen was a popular German punk band from 1980s. To depict that era, this t-shirt design uses typical curvy lines and a bold typeface. Straight and typical classy lines with a lot of decorative details make this t-shirt look attractive and unique.

If you also wish to create such fantastic custom t-shirt design from bygone eras, then Designhill can help you. This marketplace has hundreds of logo designers who will come out with unique vintage design ideas. You can get a winning design at an affordable price.

Toten Hosen

10.  Although there is no use of typical retro elements in this t-shirt design, still it gives us the impression of it being a design from bygone era. This is because of the use of disfigured and bleeding letters. Also, the lips drawn here are also from the past. Such style of lips were once printed everywhere to express love.

lips t shirt

11.  In this retro t shirt design, use of skyscrapers and a guitar along with flowers, and a bird in flight creates an environment of bygone era. A big image of a rockstar signaling to an audience creates a unique t-shirt design.

retro t-shirt design

12.  You can notice some of the typical retro design elements in this t-shirt design. It has faded colors. There is an eagle also, which was an old symbol of power and domination.

eagle t shirt design

13.  Anything from the past can make a vintage design. In this t-shirt design, a popular cartoon character has been portrayed in its typical pose. It is one of the most popular t-shirt designs.

cartoon t shirt design

14.  An old style train is the main feature of this vintage t-shirt design. Bricks in the foreground also create a retro environment.

train t shirt design

15.  Bold stylish lettering, dark color, straight typeface and an old model of car make this t shirt design look from a bygone era.

car t shirt design

16.  This retro t-shirt design has a typical combination of thin and bold lines to create contrast between the two elements. Straight and unstyled typeface is another attraction but the eagle in the center is the chief feature.

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eagle t shirt design

17.  A lot of microphones, old music albums, a stereo, and speakers are chief retro elements in this t-shirt design.

microphones t shirt


18.  This is an often used vintage design. There are all the usual elements such as skulls, cross, crown, wings, and other elements from nature. A classical lettering style further creates the magic of the past.

skulls t shirt

19.  This t-shirt design is an example of how you can create a retro effect without using any vintage elements from bygone era. There is a simple drawing of mountain peaks and mountain trees. The designer used simple lines, small triangles, thin lines for shades, and a big double-lined circle to create the magic of bygone era.

Read More Similar Post: The Big Bang Theory Inspired T-Shirt Designs: Give Your Wardrobe A Twist


20.  Yellow color in this vintage t shirt design creates an environment of the past. The designer used a guitar, speakers, and the rays in thick lines for creating a retro effect. Lettering style also comes from the old design trends.

guitar t shirt

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So, this is our compilation of vintage tshirt designs that you will find inspirational as you set out to create t shirts. Do not imitate these designs. Just take inspiration and arrange the old design elements in your own unique way.

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Henna Ray

Hi! I am professional Logo designer and an aspiring blogger. An expert on various tools Like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Coral Draw, I have successfully designed several application interfaces, android apps, logo designs, business card designs, letterhead designs, envelop designs, flyer designs, brochure designs and web banners. Twitter | Google+