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80s Tees Design Tips

Portraying the Pop Culture

80s tees rubix cube game

How would you go about designing 80s tees?

Well, before you start designing, you might have to do a bit of research into the style, culture and lifestyle of the 1980's.

Firstly, if you were not born in the 80's, then don't stress, because most of what you see in our day-to-day lives came from that decade. When their was a birth of alot of new gadgets, technology, and all things coloful. The difference is, things that we see today, have been improved upon, refined, mass produced and become more sophisicated.

Let me show you, by taking you back a few decades, back to the 80's.

This might give you a better picture of what life was like back then, in order for you to create you own 80s t.

Picture, Will Smith as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, dressed in baggy pants, back to front cap, lumo color t shirt, white framed sunglasses, ankle high sneakers and a gold chain around his neck.

If you got that image in your head then you have hit the image of the 80's.




What was it like in the 80's?

Most times I am sure you have heard your parents or friends say, "I wish I was back in the good old 80's."

So why the 80's? What undoubtedly made the 80's such an exciting time?

The reason is two words 'pop culture'.

'Pop' refers to the word 'popular'. 'Popular' things that were made at the time. 'Pop' also refers to the many new things that were invented so quickly. New inventions just 'popped up' all the time like board games, music, computers, video games, cartoons and everyone's favorite color tv.

Besides the physical objects, people's attitudes, ideas and perspectives on what was 'cool' changed.



I Love the 80's



Technology influenced T Shirts

During the fad-ridden 80s, there was the birth of so many new developments and inventions. And this was the dawn of a revolutionary new era, the 'computer age'.

Now, personal computers were not only found at the work place but in people's homes too. With computers becoming small enough to put on a dinning room table, people began to warm up to the idea of having a computer at home.

The computer was now moving into the category of being a 'toy'. Not only used for work but for play too. And what better way to have fun than playing cool video games like Pac Man and Space Invaders.


I Love Pixels Shirt
I Love Pixels Shirt

Atari Retro Gaming Console shirt
Atari Retro Gaming Console Shirt


It was the beginning of cellular mobile phones and the
World Wide Web as we all know day, as the Internet


And from this technological break-through so many popular tv shows were made in the 80s like:

  • MacGyver
  • The Cosby Show
  • Baywatch
  • Chips
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel Air


One cherished icon of the 80s was the Rubix cube, which was named after its inventor Erno Rubik. It had everyone working their brains to solve the rotating color squares.




Cool sayings for 80s Tees

If you are still using words like 'rad, awesome, gnarly, bodacious, fur sure, dude, totally man' then I guess you are still living in the 80s.

These are but a few 'cool' slang words that were spoken to express how excellent things were.

The 80s laid a platform for the more modern hip slang words we used to day for example, 'tight, hot, happening, sweet and nice'.

If you are not sure of what image or design to use for your 80s t shirts, then be creative with words. Be expressive with what I like to call 'shirt-slang'.

That 80's Shirt shirt
That 80's Shirt

Rad Shirt
Rad T Shirt



80s Tees and Fashion

The 80s fashion was influenced by many new gadgets and games. Clothes had cartoon characters printed on them like The Simpsons, especially those baggy pants and t shirts. Movie characters, TV games and music bands were all printed onto tees.


Eighties tees were all about bright lumo colors. Pinks, lime greens, yellows and black and was also influenced by the graffiti that was sprayed onto walls, subways and buildings.


The 80s were also influenced by the 60s style of hectic color and imitated this with retro 80s shirts.


So now you get a better idea of life back then.

But you have a better advantage as today you can mix your 80s style with your own modern style.

You can use and cool icons back then and use it in your t shirt designs. Today a lot of parody t shirts rip off the 80s programs and arcade games with funny sayings and graphics.

So there you have it, now you got more ideas of how to design your own 80s tees.

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