9 Hot T-Shirt Graphic Trends For 2016

December 4, 2015

Every year new trends emerge and some trends reappear, simply creatively reworked. Everything you see around you created by humans involves some type of design planning for it to be created. Deciding on the right design and trend that will work for you can sometimes be tricky.

In 2016 graphics and prints will be dancing their way across every type of garment.  A must on t-shirts, clashing on outerwear, working their way into allover use on tops, bottoms, and even featuring on footwear.

So to help you on your way and with 2016 fast approaching we thought we would give you a snap shot of emerging t-shirt graphic trends we are getting excited about at here at downloadt-shirtdesigns so you can start planning your year ahead.



Dust off your magnifying glasses and take a close look at the beauty that mother nature has to offer. We fall in love with the world around us all over again and explore the fine details of the natural world. A magnified approach to living is the focus, exploring plant textures, colorful botany, collected specimens and abstract textures resembling earthy mineral surfaces.

GRAPHIC DETAILS: Antique Botanical Charts/ Entomology Charts/ Oversized Foliage/ Botanical Collage Creatures & Objects/ Scientific Studies/ Intricate Botanical Illustrations/ Dragonfly and Butterfly wings/ Twisted Vines/ Succulents/ Cactus/ Natural Textures.


Comic Pop

This tongue in cheek trend sparks the excitement of creativity and is sure to capture attention with it’s quirky sense of humour. Cartoon characters invade graphics adding a playful, sometimes facetious twist. Photographic prints are corrupted with comic elements, type is cartoonified and exuberance explodes in a riot of color.

GRAPHIC DETAILS: Vector and Bitmap Imagery Combine/ 90s-style graphics/ Collage and Distorted Comic Characters/ Hijacked Graphics/ Silly Messages/ Random Objects/ Reworked Pop Art Elements/ Conversational Repeat Patterns/ Comic Patch’s/ Humorous Content/ Speech Bubbles/ Comic Book Typography.


Gothic Pirate

Dark and brooding buccaneers and mysterious deep sea encounters form the key to this dark and sinister nautical graphic trend. Exploring the deepest depths of the ocean and places not found on a map. Discover the murky mysteries of the ocean world. Ornately wrought metal anchors, seductive sirens and krakens fuse together into a single entity full of weirdness and wonder.

GRAPHIC DETAILS: Graphic Japanese Waves/ Illustrated Mythical Sea Creatures/ Interlocking Rope Details/ Ancient Seascapes/ Pirate Skulls and Skeletons/ Detailed Tattoo Illustration Style/ Monochromatic/ Reworked Anchors/ Octopus Tentacles/ Pirate Ships/ Vintage Sailor Tattoos/ Vintage Typography/ Bones Incorporated into Type.


Dark Thoughts

This dark and macabre theme delves into the world of early scientific theory. The early days of medicine, chemical reactions, human anatomy, and the ancient practice of alchemy are explored. Imagine a Victorian Surgeon: his workplace, his tools, his research and a time before anesthesia. Using monotone sinister imagery and bizarre content providing a dark, edgy mood.

GRAPHIC DETAILS: Skulls and Skeletons/ Gothic Details/ Macabre Statements/ Twisted Messages/ Grungy Aged Finish’s/ Anatomical Studies/ Experimental Science/ Moody & Monochromatic/ Sinister Illustrations/ Anatomy with Attitude.


Bird Cage

Beautiful feather repeats, and abstract feathers compositions combine to create this feathered fantasy theme. Exploring the beauty of flight and the diversity of detail in the kingdom of birds. Intricate prints are fluid and convey a sense of movement. With songbirds, exotic peacocks and powerful birds of prey alike finding favour in prints and patterns.

GRAPHIC DETAILS: Birds of Paradise/ Birds in Flight/ Abstract Feathers/ Detailed Feathers/ Collage Effects using Feathers/ Soft Flowing prints/ Digitally Enhanced/ Detailed Illustrations.


Urban D.I.Y

The spirit of street art reigns supreme. The infectious creativity and lifestyle of the inner city millennial dwellers inspires this expressive trend. From urban landscapes, graffiti graphics, hard-to-read typography, messy and painterly street and spray-painted finish’s.

GRAPHIC DETAILS: Graffitied Elements/ Street Graffitied Tags/ Hand Crafted Type/ Scrawled and Doodled/ Photographic Imagery of Street Scenes/ Rough & Sketched Illustrations/ Layered Compositions/ Hand Rendered/ Spray Painted or Brush Stroke Finish’s/ Social or Motivational Slogans/ Exuberant Colors and Textures/ Photo Montages.



This graphic print trend explores cross-cultural layering that connects us to a globalised world. The four corners of the world are trawled for a range of dynamic and eclectic directions inspired by a passion for handcrafted and centuries-old techniques. Inspired by free-thinking and an appreciation for craftsmanship, this theme is a curated collection of textured surfaces, mixed patterns, and rich tapestries.

GRAPHIC DETAILS: Crafted Textiles/ New Tribal Elements/ Naive Illustrations/ Pattern Clashing/ Intricate Pattern Fills/ Deconstructed Paisley’s/ Saturated Colors/ Wanderlust Photography/ Bohemian Details/ Handrawn and Hand Crafted/ Traditional Tribal Patterning/ Mosaic Tiles/ Distorted Ikat.


Floral Blast

Florals are amplified with a big, bold intensity to catch the eye with vibrant colors and oversized proportions. This graphic trend adds a striking statement of romantic expression. Exotic flowers take center stage, photo-real images are digitally manipulated, blurs and distortions update the ever popular floral blooms.

GRAPHIC DETAILS: Blurry Blooms/ Oversized Placements/ Watercolor Prints/ Neon Tips/ Splicing Effects/ Botanical Typography/ Floral Overlay’s.


Eco Surfer

Discover good vibes in a cool mashup of vintage and modern surf influences. Inspiration comes from surf beach culture, natural palm lined landscapes with a strong sense of wanderlust. Nostalgic surf graphics fuse with messages of sustainability. Hazy polaroid finishes, retro camping and outdoor surf lifestyle are revisited in a fresh contemporary way.

GRAPHIC DETAILS: Gradient Skylines / Collage Effects/ Iconic Palm Prints/ Blurred Imagery/ Painterly Techniques/ Nostalgic Content/ Instagram Filters/ Hand Scripted Typography/ Retro Coloration/ Natural Textures/ Ocean Waves/ Bleached Print Effects /Hazy, Blurred Black and White Photos / Soft Sepia Hues / Sunspots and Filtered Effects / Vintage Photograph Style Borders.

 2016 will be full of cool art and eye popping t-shirt print designs ready for you to download, print and deliver to your clients, so stay tuned in the new year!

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