PPB asked Vicki Ostrom, SanMar trend editor, to give us the details on the latest print trends. Here’s what she told us to look for in 2018.
1. The tongue-in-cheek term “early-onset nostalgia” describes the reason we are seeing rapid revisits of generational t-shirt graphics trends. As Gen Xers and Millennials alike experience digital overload, nostalgia for the graphics of their respective ’70s, ’80s and ’90s youth feels right. A checklist of key trends include Cooper Black fonts with curvy text reminiscent of the ’70s, and comic book graphics from the late ’80s and early ’90s.
2. Anti-fashion is in as well, with bad-taste, lo-fi photos of ’90s icons like Sade or Salt-N-Pepa as the evolution of band tee graphics that have been popular since summer 2016 continues. Crude neons in pink and green from the ’80s can also be seen in dashed, off script overlaying retro geometric shapes. Badly photocopied graphics from ’90s rave and club flyers are frequently seen on tees, as are singular lo-fi photos with no graphics.
3. Overall, a big trend to note is unconventional graphic placements—photos or text that are off-center or lower than chest level look fresh, bringing newness to what are otherwise almost direct references from original garments.
4. Another big graphic trend that transcends generation or gender are statement graphics. Activist slogans, inclusive statements and phrases promoting self-acceptance are all popular, most often seen in bold, sans serif block letters on solid white, black or red backgrounds. Placement is key here, too, sometimes as ultra-small text placed near the neckline of a tee. Prose, filling an entire front or back, is also seen, as is text that tells a repetitive message either neatly stacked in a column or overlapping for a blurred effect.
5. Global text is also gaining momentum, with message graphics taking on layered meaning when printed in languages from around the world.
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