T-shirts are some of the most versatile pieces of clothing. They are a fantastic fit for any occasion, from fancy dinners to casual nights out, or even to the gym. 

And since you wear them in both formal and informal settings, they are perfect mediums for self-expression. T-shirts are basically blank canvases you can decorate any way you want. And with that in mind, here are some brilliant design ideas for your next custom t-shirt.

Optical Illusions

Optical illusions are some of the coolest designs you can put on a T-shirt or a personalized hoodie. Everybody loves a good illusion, but they look even better on a shirt. 

The most common one you can consider is a black-and-white spiral that distorts our depth perception. And an incredible way to incorporate it into a T-shirt is to put the center of the spiral somewhere around the stomach area. That way, it will seem like you have a big black hole leading to the inside of your body — a brilliant design that will surely catch everyone’s eye.

Other illusions you can use to customize your T-shirt have to do with body parts. For example, you can put a picture of a giant hand winding around the shirt. It will look like a giant is gripping your waist, ready to take you away. 

You can also omit parts of your body. A super-fine way to pull this illusion off is to print a picture showing just a portion of your spine at the center of the shirt. Next, put a black or a skin-color background, and you’ll have an illusion that will fool many.


X-ray prints offer a different spin on the body part theme. They can look both cool and spooky, especially if you use fluorescent paint to print them. You can put the whole skeleton image on the front and the back of the shirt, but you can also experiment. For example, the X-ray image can show broken bones, and you can even add weird elements like an alien in your stomach area.

A bonus idea for this type of design is something that all pregnant women can wear. Get a nice, comfy shirt, and then print both the mom’s (and the baby’s) X-ray. 

Designs That Tell of Overcoming Hardships

Many went through tough times and came out stronger than ever before. It’s something you should be proud of, and there is no better way to share your story without saying anything than to design a custom T-shirt or a personalized hoodie.

You can add some personal details to make your design pop. But if you want to have a more classic design, you can turn to some well-established tropes and symbols. You can use imagery of a boat going through a storm and make that a centerpiece of the whole shirt.

Additionally, a clean design with a story can feature a man or woman breaking a wall or even tribal signs. History is full of wars, conflicts, and disasters, and all cultures have some symbols of perseverance and strength. They are usually simple and very recognizable images, which makes them perfect for a custom T-shirt. 

Pop Culture

T-shirts and hoodies are impeccable canvases for you to express your taste in music and movies. They are large enough to boast a whole scene from your favorite movie or a big poster. 

And there are so many instantly recognizable quotes, scenes, and designs from iconic movies that you can put on a shirt. Whether it’s Pulp Fiction material or something more classy like the poster for The Godfather, you have plenty to choose from to show just how pop culture-savvy you are. 

And the same goes for music. People everywhere showcase their favorite bands/musicians on their T-shirts. But if you want to have a more creative take on the whole style, you can print a photo of your favorite band from a live show. Those are always filled with energy and can make your custom T-shirt more dynamic.


This one is a no-brainer. Anime is known for its colorful animation, picturesque scenes, and characters. What’s more, it has gained an enormous following and popularity in recent years, and now there are plenty of anime-themed shirts and personalized hoodies everywhere. 

Naturally, you can wear a shirt with your favorite anime character; that’s a classic. You can also make a design out of their style of clothing. For example, you can print Naruto‘s shirt design onto your own shirt and be just like him. Additionally, you can print out some memes from your favorite show or anime posters.

Protest T-Shirts

For the more rebellious ones, protest T-shirts are perfect for showing their beliefs. Those protesting war, counterculture enthusiasts, and others can all design a shirt that will present their stance without them saying a word. 

Again, you can add personal details in your design to raise awareness about your cause for protest. But there are also some universal symbols of protest that go brilliantly well on a T-shirt or a hoodie.

One of the most popular and common ones is a raised fist. This symbol has been used for ages to display disagreement with the norms in many contexts. You can place the fist at the center of the design and then put text or a quote around it to clearly state your message.

On the other hand, Che Guevara is another famous protest figure. His persona has been printed on so many T-shirts and other pieces of clothing over the years, which is a clear testament to how strong his ties to the protest movements still are. With that in mind, a simple shirt with his iconic face on it is a powerful statement that will be recognizable everywhere.

Finally, you can incorporate the piece sign into your next design. You can say that it’s one of the original protest symbols, and it has maintained its popularity throughout the years. It’s easy to combine it with other elements and create a stunning design with a strong message.