End of Year Trend Report 2013
As 2013 winds down and Santa Claus begins his longest shift let’s grab a hot beverage and look back over some of 2013’s biggest trends. The Collective has exploded this year and with it artists are driving some huge trends. We’ve seen some amazing art and artists with an undeniable work ethic. Let’s gather round the campfire and begin the nostalgic reflections.
Everyone from large apparel companies to advertising execs are on the cool typography bandwagon. With an explosion of craft and hand drawn text has come a mass of typography tees. Chalkboard art was big in 2013 and I for one loved it. Hand drawn text is cool and unique and cleverly composed type is extremely hard to pull off. Luckily for us we have a bunch of talented artists who can handle type.
Grumpy Cat’s fame this year has made everyone realize that memes are a big deal. As these funny ideas, styles or actions spread from person to person via the Internet they also become a trend. Short and sweet but very amusing. Planking, Harlem Shaking, twerking and cat celebrities have all been spotted in 2013. As long as we have the internet we’ll have memes, as long as we have memes we’ll have meme tees. “Awesome” said Grumpy Cat.
Space, the final frontier. We have always had a lot of space themed tees at DBH but this year they seemed to spread into new art and take on a new life. We saw some chic graphic space designs and some cats photo manipulated into astronaut helmets. It’s an area that grows and with it comes new ideas…bravo.
Dr Who turned 50 this year and regained lots of interest. The doctor had new adventures but the nostalgic episodes of past made us all recall those amazing sci-fi effects. Parodies galore and some odes to this long running British TV series made this section grow almost as fast as the Darlek’s move. Bow ties are cool but Dr Who tees are cooler.
Pockets on T-shirts? Who would have thought that would trend? Well it did and here at DBH we had pocket critters galore. Cats, tigers and pandas all ended up in pockets on your chest.
Like a good mashed potato made of potato and butter, occasionally milk the mash up tee is the combining of two or more elements to create a funny tee. It’s a tough thing to pull off but some of our art folks managed it this year. Star Wars characters, Dr Who, Adventure Time etc etc etc were mashed together with hilarious results.
I predicted this area as a trend last year. TV shows have grown in popularity and some even match the popularity of huge block buster movies. Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead all blew audiences away. Parody tees followed and were on trend most of the year. Duck Dynasty was another huge favorite in the USA but strangely we didn’t get many of those tees.
2014 NEW & EMERGING TRENDS
Time to look through the looking glass and peer into my crystal ball to predict future trends. Let’s roll our sleeves up and get stuck in.
One color prints on tees have always been popular and maybe it’s because for screen printing they are cheaper to produce, but they seem to be trending again. There is something classic about a one color tee. Sport team tees are usually one color and I think this style gives us that nostalgic feel that calls to us all.
Graphic Tees encompasses all tees with a graphic but that’s not the trend I am referring to. That would be silly. I am referring to graphic design/layout/classic design. Tees with simple but beautifully executed and composed elements. Text, image and layout combined to make something reminiscent of a classic poster or magazine layout. Graphic design in it’s truest form is a thing of beauty and it’s back. I’m excited about this trend.
Minimalist tees refers to art on tees that have little detail. Simple and often clever. Iconic and visible at a glance. A symbol or shape or basic pattern. This trend has been coming slowly for a while but I predict an explosion of iconic tees this year.
Photo Manipulation has always been around since the dawn of Photoshop. It was actually around before that known as collage. The art of taking existing photographs and manipulation them to make them something else. Adam Lawless is one artist who does this here. Usually with amusing results these tees are very cool. Just remember to only use photos you can change dramatically or that you took yourself.
Suns or moons? Who knows? I do know that these large circular objects are popping up everywhere right now. Usually coupled with a silhouette these back drop images are finally getting their 15 minutes of fame. I’m not sure how far these can be pushed but they are on trend for now.
Games aint what they used to be. In that I mean they are much better. Yes we all love frogger but the more recent games are spawning a heavy following. Classic gamer tees will always be around but this trend is bringing the more obscure games to the tee world. Gamers are the new cool and knowing your gaming references is part of this cool groups appeal. Niche art and cool game references are going to be around for a while.
Cute is cool. Large bright characters are making a comeback. Remember all these 90’s character tees? Well the fashion industry decided they should return. On a different level to the couture lines the tee world is slowly exploring this trend. Characters and cute kawaii is always popular somewhere and it looks like it’s going to be back on our chest area in the first half of 2014.
Please post any trends you think will appear in 2014. If you want to see a designer attempt a certain design idea, post it here. Bring your trend setting ideas to the art folks!
Always a pleasure,