90 Most Iconic T-Shirts Ever Made

by Alice Jackson Tweet - in Tshirt Design - 17 min read

T-Shirts

Last updated on December 11th, 2018

T shirts, among all ready-to-wear garments, occupy a special place in our wardrobe. After 100 years of its birth, many t-shirts have earned the status of the most iconic t-shirts that will hardly go out of style. These aren’t just comfy, stylish and funky, but help you wear your attitude and flaunt it to the world in the best way possible.

The versatility, feel-good factor and unparalleled comfort that it offers make it a must-have fashion staple!

Here Are 90 Most Iconic T-Shirts Ever Made

01. I Love NY T-Shirts

There is an interesting fact behind the iconic “I ♥ NY” t-shirts. They were designed to promote tourism in 1977. It’s one of the most worn tees of all time. This famous design was created on a napkin by Milton Glaser. However, it appeared on a tee and made it famous all over the world.

Iconic T-Shirts

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02. The Neon Tee

Talk of 80’s tees and pink, green, orange, yellow, all neon shades will appear in front of your eyes! The 80’s most popular t-shirts are back in vogue. Although these staples are well-liked by runners and group travelers the most, other people don’t mind wearing it to the office or other places too.

Neon Tee

Tip: Those who want to go with 90’s flow but with a modern flair can also create a logo on their neon tees.

03. Vote For Pedro Tee

The cult hit American movie Napoleon Dynamite (2004) is said to give birth to the most iconic t-shirts— Vote for Pedro. Soon after the movie release, the tees gained mass appeal. Even the Vote for Pedro font originating from the Cooper family of fonts became a rage among designers.

Pedro Tee

04. John Lennon’s New York City T-Shirt

This tee became insanely popular among the masses after John Lennon bought it for $5 just before the photo shoot. Bob Gruen, who captured the most iconic pose, wanted Lennon to strike a pose that could depict his love for New York.

New York City

Lennon then appeared in a crossed arms pose in a tee that said “New York City” which made it a huge hit among fashion lovers! Even John Lennon’s New York City shirt has earned a space in all iconic pop culture printed t-shirts—a must-have staple for today’s generation.

T-Shirt design

05. Superman T-Shirts

Of all classic t-shirts, Superman tee still holds its grounds. And, it doesn’t seem going to take nirvana from the fashion world anytime soon. From kids to teens, adult to old, almost everyone loves wearing the Superman tees that became popular after the famous Superman movie and television remakes.

Superman T-shirts

06. Rolling Stones “Lick” Tees

The Rolling Stones’ “Lick” graphic created by John Pasche in 1970 became rock ‘n’ roll’s most famous symbols. Its appearance on t-shirts made fashion-minded people go gaga over it, and the tees became a wardrobe staple. In case you can’t find one in your nearby shop, hire a freelance graphic designer to get it done for you.

Rolling Stones

07. Batman T-Shirts

Do we need to explain why Batman tees are the most iconic t-shirts? The batman symbol makes an amazing graphic for designers to print on a tee. And, everyone likes it be it young or old! You can see people flaunting this t-shirt everywhere!

Batman T-Shirts

08. Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon

The vintage t-shirt and tank tops was inspired by “The Dark Side of the Moon” album of Pink Floyd. However, even after decades, its popularity hasn’t decreased. It features a prism graphic symbolizing a ray of light entering and passing through in rainbow colors.

Pink Floyd

09. Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts despite representing the brand identity of this famous cafe chains, serves as the best gift too. Each Hard Rock Cafe sells these t-shirts along with a wide range of music memorabilia. People don’t shy away from flaunting these tees on any given day!

Hard Rock Cafe

10. D.A.R.E Tees

The International Drug Abuse Resistance Education program kicked off in 1983 popularized this t-shirt across the United States. At that time, these t-shirts were given free of cost to the students as a part of the drug control strategy. However, the tee with its D.A.R.E. graphic on the front turned into a fashion statement.

Most Iconic T-Shirts

11. Che Guevara Tshirts

The talk show of the most iconic t-shirts isn’t complete without mentioning the Che Guevara or Che Chic trend. The t-shirt featuring the graphic of Marxist figure Che Guevara is still popular among young people even after decades.

Guevara Tshirts

12. RUN DMC

The RUN DMC tees became popular after the American hip-hop group— Run-DMC. They were famous not only for their innovative musical style but a fashion statement too. T-shirts showing off their insignia surfaced as one of the most iconic fashion ensembles.

RUN DMC

13. Frankie Say Relax Tees

It’s one of the greatest 80’s tees. Frankie Goes to Hollywood was a British band. They are popular for their huge hit— Relax. The band started a T-shirt campaign in 1984 that became popular. Tees with “Frankie Say Relax” in block letter is still an essential part of one’s wardrobe.

Frankie

14. Bob Marley Tshirts

When it comes to the best graphic tees, Bob Marley t-shirts stand out. His image is still immortal that can be seen on tees, sweatshirts, posters and many other places!

Marley Tshirts

15. Just Do It – Nike

It is one of the most trending t-shirts easily found in everyone’s wardrobe! The iconic advertising campaign of Nike with the tagline “Just Do It” not only helped it attract customers and promote its brand but it led to its tees becoming worn as a fashion statement!

Nike

16. Ghostbusters

The logo design of the Ghostbusters is universally recognizable, and when printed on a tee, it makes a cool fashion ensemble! Even after two movies, some animated TV series and video games, this franchise is still popular.

Ghostbusters

17. The Tie Dye T-shirt

Brought into vogue by music icons and members of a counterculture in the late 1960s, the tie-dye tees are really the most iconic t-shirts ever made. A staple for hippie culture, this t-shirt has found a space in today’s fashion-inspired wardrobe as well. Contrasting colors and exciting patterns make it a must-have fashion ensemble.

Tie Dye T-shirt

18. I’m With Stupid

This famous design still tickles its wearers’ and onlookers’ hearts with a dose of fashion and fun. You can even ask a t-shirt design maker to get it personalized.

Stupid

19. Army Tees

A tee with text saying “Army” can be spotted easily. The quarter sleeves shirt was specifically introduced to keep soldiers cool in the tropical heat. However, it became a fashion sensation.

Army Tees

20. Peace Sign T-shirts

It’s one of the best examples of custom t-shirt printing that have people a reason to express their thoughts through t-shirts. People still find “Give Peace a Chance” t-shirts worth to wear and express their ideas.

Peace Sign

21. Keep Calm And Carry On

Although it became popular in the 2000s, the “Keep Calm Carry On” tees were designed in 1939. It was created to raise British morale during World War II.

Carry On

22. James Dean’s Plain White Tee

The charm of a crisp white plain tee is still unmatched. The tee earned the status of being the most iconic t-shirts ever made in 1955 when James Dean showed up in a white t-shirt and leather jacket. People followed his dressing sense and turned white tee into a classic staple.

White Tee

23. Coca-Cola T-shirts

It’s one of the most famous brands in the world; therefore, it’s not surprising that its t-shirts will appear in the list of most iconic tees. The iconic logo design helped the brand to create a collection of t-shirts around the world that will remain in the style for years to come.

Coca-Cola T-shirts

24. Mickey Mouse

Emilio Estevez flaunted the Mickey Mouse t-shirt in “The Outsiders” that added to its popularity. It was the popularity of this Disney character that inspired the Miami-based company Tropix Togs to buy its exclusive rights and print it on a tee.

Mickey Mouse

25. Have A Nice Day

Two Philadelphian brothers Murray and Bernard Spain created and sold products with the yellow smiley face in the 1970s. Later on, the face became so popular that it appeared on t-shirts with the message “Have a Nice Day.” The 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” is also said to bring this tee on the fashion map.

Nice Day

26. Jurassic Park Tees

Jurassic Park is still a masterpiece movie liked by all. Bringing dinosaurs on tees, however, was the best decision that made it a must-buy staple.

Jurassic Park Tees

27. Three Wolves Howling At The Moon

A hilarious 5-star review turned this tee into the most iconic t-shirt. It became an internet sensation, and BOOM, a wardrobe essential!

Wolves Howling

28. Hypercolor Tees

A line of clothing that changes color with heat, now in the most iconic t-shirts feat!

Hypercolor Tees

29. Adidas

The minimalist graphic of Adidas brand on a tee is still a huge hit. While it matches one’s fashion needs, it creates the brand identity for the company as well.

Adidas

30. The Godfather T-Shirts

Francis Ford Coppola’s cult movie “The Godfather” gave birth to trending t-shirts. The title logo of the movie printed on a t-shirt became a huge hit.

Godfather T-Shirts

31. Abbey Road

This tee’s graphic design ideas include John, Paul, George, and Ringo crossing Abbey Road. The inspiration came from Beatles final album cover.

Abbey Road

32. The Flash T-Shirts

The signature lightning bolt logo printed on a t-shirt reminds of “The Flash” running at the speed of light.

Flash T-Shirts

33. Captain America

Captain America tees depict one of the strong foundations in Comic Book history that created a huge fan-base.

Captain America

34. Bazinga!

Sheldon Cooper’s comic genius when printed on a tee led to an iconic t-shirt.

Bazinga

35. Nirvana Smiley Face

Kurt Cobain and Nirvana turned the famous “Have a Nice Day” smiley face into a grangefield logo. Who doesn’t like that tee with Nirvana smiley face?

Nirvana Smiley Face

36. Rock The Vote

The Rock Vote movement was the Presidential campaign started in 1992. The aim was to reach to young voters. This campaign gave birth to the most iconic “Rock the Vote” t-shirts.

Rock The Vote

37. Boston Red Sox

These popular t-shirts are a combination of cute and cool. The Red Socks fans will forever don this tee.

Boston Red Sox

38. Thundercats Tees

Featuring the logo of the iconic 80’s cartoon “Thundercats,” these t-shirts bring back memories.

Thundercats Tees

39. Fcuk T-Shirts

London-based fashion retailer hit the bull’s eye when they added “UK” after “FC.” These letters printed on a tee created a huge fan following.

Fcuk T-shirts

40. Green Lantern T-Shirts

The Green Lantern logo t-shirt is yet another example of the most iconic t-shirts.

Green Lantern T-shirts

41. John Deere

The iconic logo with green and yellow color makes John Deere stand out. T-shirts with an imprint of this logo have long been a fashion rage. People still find these tees perfect for an iconic style statement.

John Deere

42. Jesus Is My Homeboy

Created by fashion photographer David LaChapelle, Jesus is My Homeboy tees are one of the most classic t-shirts. It’s not just captivating but classy that people love to put on!

My Homeboy

43. Led Zeppelin

The rock band is known for hypnotizing their fans just like Beatles. Their t-shirts featuring the famous Icarus logo of the band has captivated fans all around the world.

Led Zeppelin

44. We Can Do It!

To boost morale during World War II, J. Howard Miller (American graphic artist) created a series of posters. The cultural icon Rosie the Riveter became the most iconic image advocating women’s rights. T-shirts featuring this image are still in vogue.

We Can Do It

45. Alvin’s A

Alvin’s “A” t-shirts captivate people across all age groups.

Alvin’s A

46. Transformers – Autobots Logo

From cartoon series to movie blockbusters, Transformers— the robots in disguise never fail to impress their fans. The Autobot logo t-shirts are a staple for one and all!

Autobots Logo

47. Hello, Kitty!

Be it Hello Kitty t-shirts or bags; the brand has sneaked into everyone’s wardrobe.

Hello, Kitty

48. I Survived..

I Survived t-shirts are available in infinite avatars for just about any experience you went through.

Iconic T-Shirts

49. Hulkamania

Hulk Hogan, an iconic figure of the wrestling world even inspired the apparel industry! T-shirts with Hulkamania are still popular.

Hulkamania

50. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Who doesn’t love Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael? From Saturday morning cartoons to movies, these characters entertained everyone! And, their t-shirts still have a captivating effect.

Ninja Turtles

51. Brew Thru

For Brew Thru enthusiasts and collectors, these t-shirts are nothing less than souvenirs!

52. Bart Simpson Tees

The Simpsons TV series inspired many types of merchandise. Bart Simpson t-shirts are one of them.

53. Don’t Worry, Be Happy

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was a song sung by Bobby McFerrin in 1988. Tees printed with this slogan caught everyone’s attention. It’s popular even today!

54. Punisher Skull

The Amazing Spiderman comic #129 showed the appearance of The Punisher. It inspired t-shirt printing that resulted in black tees printed with a white skull!

55. KISS

The American rock band KISS has sold over 100 million albums globally. Amid a wide array of merchandising, their iconic tees with KISS insignia became a wardrobe staple.

56. Garth’s Aerosmith Shirt

1942 American comedy Wayne’s World showed Garth in Aerosmith t-shirt in one of its scenes. This scene increased the popularity of this tee and tagged it as one of the most iconic t-shirts ever made!

57. Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood vintage t-shirts are still favorite among t-shirt lovers. It depicts the themed restaurant chain supported by Hollywood action elite.

58. Obey

Shepard Fairey, an iconic street artist, created Obey Giant works that became a huge hit. His works inspired the apparel industry and made t-shirts with Obey prints famous among the masses.

59. Union Jack

The stripes of Great Britain became popular when Def Leppard’s Joe Eliot donned the sleeveless t-shirt in a concert.

60. Property Of…

To stop theft, USC printed “Property of USC” on their t-shirts. However, they turned out to be a wardrobe staple.

61. FBI

Might not be worn by the actual FBI agents, but these t-shirts have attracted people all around.

62. Anarchy Symbol

The punk rock movement during the 1970s popularized the most iconic t-shirts with an anarchy symbol.

63. Choose Life

Donned by Wham! in the “Wake Me Up Before You Go- Go” video, the t-shirt design highlighted the social issues within the society.

64. Woodstock Festival

The Woodstock Festival tees remain a hot-favorite among American people as it perfectly depicts— Peace, Love, and Music.

65. Mighty Mouse

This classic cartoon character brings back the nostalgia.

66. Cookie Monster T-shirts

Created in 1966, the Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster iconic T-shirts are still in trend. Young or old, everyone loves wearing Cooking Monster tees!

67. David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane Tees

The graphic design featuring David Bowie in his legendary Aladdin Sane makeup is really amazing. No iconic t-shirt list is complete without this tee.

68. Metallica T-shirts

Metallica tees are a staple for music fans all around the world. The American heavy metal band is known for inspiring the apparel industry to incorporate their insignia and graphics on their t-shirts.

69. Camouflage T-shirts

Camouflage t-shirts never go out of style. Their military-inspired theme has made them appear in the list of the most iconic t-shirts.

70. Rainbow Brite

Originating from 80’s cartoon show “Rainbow Brite” popularized these t-shirts all over the world.

71. Charlie Brown Tshirts

From comics to television shows and movies, Charlie Brown rocked the entertainment world. His iconic t-shirts added to his popularity.

72. Austin 3:16

WWF/WWE wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin is known for creating the catchphrase Austin 3:16. Later on, this catchphrase got printed on tees that led to the creation of Stone Cold Steve Austin vintage t-shirts!

73. Stussy Tees

The streetwear brand started off in 1980 by Shawn Stussy. He put his last name on t-shirts in order to advertise his custom surfboards. This popularized his brand and his t-shirts among the surf community.

74. YOLO T-shirts

YOLO is a popular catchphrase created by the rapper Drake. It means “You Only Live Once.” This catchword became so popular that it inspired t-shirt brands to print it on their t-shirts!

75. Don’t Mess With Texas

Created by the Texas Department of Transportation, “Don’t Mess with Texas” is a slogan for the litter-reducing campaign. It prominently appeared on billboards, TVs, and radios. Later on, the slogan became a hit among apparel brands, and they started printing tees with this slogan.

76. Notre Dame

Formed in 1887, the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is renowned. The t-shirts with “Notre Dame” text and graphic depict French name with Irish spirit.

77. Ramones

The most famous punk-rock band used the American Presidential insignia as their emblem and inspired t-shirts designs. These tees looked less punk-rock and hence, became a staple in the mainstream fashion.

78. Harley Davidson Tees

This biker graphic t-shirt is a must for any time of the year. Every Harley fan can relate him/her with these brand print tees.

79. AC/DC T-shirts

The Australian rock band inspired the iconic AC/DC t-shirts that are popular among fans.

80. … And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

As custom t-shirts became popular as perfect destination-travel souvenirs, a hilarious backlash began in the form of “… And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt” for about everything imaginable! Well, taking help from graphic design services will get you your own version of a lousy tee.

81. Lifeguard Tees

Inspired by the famous TV show “Baywatch” the lifeguard t-shirts can be seen being donned by people at beaches and pool sides all across the United States. The red shirt with a white cross is one of the most iconic t-shirts.

82. Star Wars Tees

The popular sci-fi series is known to create many iconic t-shirts. The Star Wars logo tees are still popular among people.

83. Killer Tees

These tees can be found throughout the world and have a huge fan-base.

84. Moustache Rides T-shirts

Guess what this t-shirt originated decades ago, is still popular! Moustache is back in fashion so as moustache rides t-shirts!

85. Iron Man Tees

Iron Man’s symbol on his chest gave birth to iconic t-shirt designs. After all, who doesn’t want to feel like the Iron Man?

86. Kiss Me I’m Irish T-shirts

It’s a classic staple for St. Patty’s day. The famous phrase “Kiss Me I’m Irish” is said to be originated from kissing the stone in Blarney Castle. According to a legend, kissing this stone will give one the power of persuasive speech.

87. Grateful Dead Tees

The Grateful Dead was one of the famous American rock bands. They were not famous just for their amazing shows but for cool t-shirt designs as well.

88. I Want My MTV

MTV’s graphic tees are still a rage among people. It also brings back the nostalgia when MTV was all about music.

89. Team Jesus T-shirts

This t-shirt was made to foster religious faith among younger generations.

90. No Fear Tees

Quite popular from the mid-1990s to early-2000s, the No Fear tees depict catchy slogans about defying death and leading an adventurous lifestyle.You can also create your own custom t-shirt by taking help from a professional graphic design services designer. Ask him to pair the intense sharp-eyed logo with text and lead the iconic t-shirt trend!

So, which t-shirt did you like the most? Did we miss anything? If so, let us know in the comment section below. Don’t forget to check the cool custom t-shirt designs of Designhill in case you’ve been looking for some more inspirations.

Are You Looking for a New Graphic Designer?If Yes, Call Us on +1 (888) 765-2908 [times for calling 9am to 6pm EST (US)] or Register for a Free Design Consultation

Conclusion

T-shirts are one of the fashion staples that can be found in almost everyone’s wardrobe. From the “Keep Calm Carry On” to the “I <3 NY”, there have been many t-shirts known for their iconic designs. Fashion comes and goes, but these iconic staples have stood the test of time.

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Alice Jackson is a business consultant, blogger, social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author at Designhill. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, startup strategies and e-commerce. When she’s not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels, Connect with her on Twitter: @jackson_alice1

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