Although most graphic t shirts focus on imagery in order to allure attention from consumers another way that I have noticed, predominately in indie apparel, is the use of typography to make creative t-shirt designs.
In general usage, Typography is the practical and artistic arrangement of type and printing with type.”
We often show examples and inspiration on this blog of colorful, intricate, and often times complex illustrations/graphic tees. As a deep lover of the visual arts, I am intrigued and often impressed with the graphic tees that have gained popularity recently using large, bold, often times sans serif typefaces to convey an idea or provoke thought. Though I have to admit some typography shirts can only be understood by those familiar with the subject at hand, such as t-shirts that use terminology like “kerning” (the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result). These shirts are the ones that exhibit the best use of typography because they create a “ha, i get it” moment amongst those familiar with the subject matter.
My appreciation for typography only grew after watching the movie Helvetica which is an independent film that thoroughly explores how typography affects us in everyday life. Helvetica did debut a few years ago, but it still manages to effectively explore our current relationship with the typeface. Whether we are receiving rules for boarding the subway, directions down the street or simply pressing the breaks at a stop sign, typography is the simplest and most straight forward means of communicating a direct message. Check out the Helvetica trailor and a few examples of graphic tees that use typography as their core visual element below.
About Lauren Dimberg
Lauren Dimberg is a current Illustration/Communication Arts student at Savannah College of Art and Design. She grew up in a small town in Vermont, but knew she needed a more stimulating environment to receive her BFA which led her to further her education at one of America’s top design schools, SCAD. Though her works are predominately graphic she is conscientious of the latest fashion trends thanks to her social network of creative individuals majoring in fashion and photography.