Vintage T-Shirt Design Ideas

Which vintage t-shirt ideas have stood the test of time? Here are our favorite retro-inspired tshirt designs ideas.

Is old the real gold? It’s true, the old saying goes, “Out with the old, in with the new,” but the vintage t shirt design ideas always seem to make a comeback sooner or later, since people have some curiosity about past eras. There is just something so nostalgic about a classic vintage tee, and the concept will probably forever remain the staple when it comes to fashion.

As custom t shirt screen printers, we find ourselves dabbling in retro design pretty regularly. Here are some of our favorite ways to bring new life to an old trend.


Everyone knows the classic “Established Trademark” design. Using a modern font with a classic design is a great way to blend the old with the new. We draw inspiration from product labels of a past era.

Another great way to find inspiration is on Pinterest. Keyword search ‘vintage t shirt ideas’ or ‘vintage label’. Better yet check out our board on Pinterest titled “Retro” click here to see what we’ve collected.

The Scout Badge

Similar to the EST TRD MK, the scout badge holds a nostalgically minimal look that we love in t-shirts and logo design. This tee was printed on one of our favorite Bella & Canvas cotton tees!

The scout badge design draws influence from military and adventure groups. What better way to create comradery than a t shirt design that brings us together. Check out our Pinterest board for more badge designs here.

The Rastafarian

vintage tshirt idea jamaican

Ya mon. As long as there are dreadlocks and California beaches, we can expect to see this trend for decades to come. This bubbly and easy going t shirt design vibe makes it a versatile choice for street wear brands with an audience that gravitates towards action sports like surfing and skateboarding.

The Vice City

The classic, retro beach look is something we can all relate to. Good vibes only, please!

The Old School

Old school vintage t shirt design of the theater play Grease screen printed with water-based discharge inks

Flashing back to middle school, yet? The Old School style reminds us of when we used to practice doodling bubble letters on every school assignment in 6th grade.

The Veteran

Veteran military vintage t shirt design screen printed with plastisol ink on soft t shirts

Flying banners and anchors, and vintage military styles are always a classic. We see the popularity common in tattoos, logos, and t-shirts.

One of the most popular techniques for printing vintage tees is with our super-soft water-based screen printing method. If you’re looking for the perfect addition to your clothing line or branded apparel, contact one of our day makers to start a quote today!