Trying to assemble a list of the best t-shirt designs from all the t-shirts available online is more than a daunting task. Obviously it can’t be accomplished all at once, so it was necessary to break it down into stages. The first stage was to select one online forum to start with. Given that it is the largest online collection of shirts, Zazzle.com was selected.
One of the first steps in this task was to establish some criteria for evaluating the designs. The main criteria used was the visual impact of the design. This precluded a lot of funny shirts that consisted only of written words. Most of the shirts that made the list combine both words and an image. Designs that were either obnoxious or obscene were omitted, even if they were well done.
Personal bias had to be taken into account. There was a deliberate effort to sexy high waisted bikini find designs that would appeal to as wide an audience as possible. At the same time consideration was given to designs that addressed specific interests. About 25,000 designs were scanned, with about 300 making the short-list, before being winnowed down to the final fifty.
There were a number of surprises along the way. One was the huge number of designs devoted to ridiculing T-Rex for his short little arms. Every other species of animal seems to be portrayed in a generally favorable manner. Even the weasel gets far more respect than T-Rex does. It seems that going extinct is no protection from becoming the butt of jokes by future species. As amusing as many of them are, none of them made the list.
One of the other surprises was the quantity of designs devoted to the theme of bacon. It’s no surprise that chocolate garners its share of shirts, but it seems that bacon has a sizeable following of its own. Numerous designs feature a tribute to bacon combined with an homage to Sir Mix-a-Lot. Both bacon and chocolate snagged a spot on the list.
The search process tended to work in a surfing style, bouncing from one subject to the next. There was no pre-determined set of terms to search. The randomness of this type of process made it open to going into all sorts of unexpected places. It’s hard to say how many terms were searched – probably two to three hundred.
No doubt there’ll be howls of protest over the many excellent designs that haven’t been included on the list, and that’s okay. Every best-of list is going to be a matter of personal preference, but hopefully this one will stimulate some interest in discovering the range of creative products that are available.
Most of the t-shirts out there in the world are mass-produced commercial designs that offer little more than to turn the wearer into a billboard. Hopefully this list will make it a little easier for some people to find a fun design they’ll love.