Iconic T-shirt design: Among the top-100 T-shirt designs of all time you will find that most celebrate a brand, from musicians to universities, professional sports teams, movies, TV shows, fashion brands, rock bands, or comic book heroes. But what makes an iconic T-shirt design? Is it a measure of the overall sales popularity of a brand? If that were true then the most popular T-shirt design of all time would arguably be Apple with estimated total sales last year of $214 Billion, with a number just in the six hundred thousand range for T-shirt annual sales based on the iconic Apple symbol.  Comparably, the I Love New York T-shirt design has been selling an average of $30-million per year in sales since 1977.

It is interesting to look at several iconic T-shirt designs that have ruled because their print design means more to the consumer than the affiliation of the brand. Design in these cases supersedes brand popularity.  The more iconic a brand usually means the more variants of a similar design that will be successful. So by this measure we look at Nirvana and Bob Marley.

Iconic T-shirt Design: What Nirvana Means to the World

Smells like Iconic T-shirt Design

Nirvana, the American rock band ’87-’94 made sales exceeding 80-million worldwide but which of the many iconic T-shirt designs celebrating them did the best?

Despite several huge selling albums with iconic covers like In Utero or Nevermind, it was Nirvana’s spin on the Have a Nice Day smiley face design, as discussed in part one of this post, that sold the most T-shirts. Some say it’s a non-smiley face, others see it as an intoxicated yet still happy face. Or is it unhappy? So the design takes on meanings associated to the band’s lyrics, late 80’s drug and music scene and perspectives of mental health.  The iconic T-shirt was allegedly designed by front man Kurt Cobain.

Iconic T-shirt design: Marley and One Love

Bob Marley as Iconic T-shirt Design

There have been many famous people who have become iconic T-shirt print designs from Einstein to Michael Jordan. But none have been as popular to front an all-time favorite T-shirt design as Bob Marley.  The image of Bob Marley on a T-shirt has become a representation beyond the scope of his music. It has become an icon for freedom, anti-establishment expression and for many, love.  Only a few personalities in music history have managed to mean so much to so many different people. The image of Marley is iconic throughout the world.

An iconic idea can come in simple packages and Prototype can help you refine and then deliver your vision.

Prototype is a fashion product development agency located in Bali, Indonesia. We offer a unique one-stop solution to overcome the hurdles any business faces to bring a product to market. By outsourcing your design and production department to our expert team, your business can benefit from both our expertise and our strategic location in Southeast Asia