The Evolution of Expression Through T-shirts

Since the 80’s, t-shirts have transformed from a basic type of clothing to vehicles of self-expression. Logos, images, and slogans are found on more t-shirts than all the billboards and signboards in the UK combined.


As with most things, the evolution of t-shirts began with marketing. Companies and characters such as Coca-Cola and Mickey Mouse first made their t-shirt debuts in the 70’s. The wholesale production of t-shirts depicting brand names for marketing purposes flourished from there moving forward and has yet to stop.

Pop Phenomenon

Through the 90’s, popular culture has flushed the world with images and quotes, a wave of free expression that has produced some of the most iconic t-shirts of all time. T-shirt printing services were a hot business with people clamouring for their favourite logos and messages everywhere; from protest shirts (Frankie says Relax), famous rock bands (The Beatles), fringe politics (The Anarchy symbol), lines in commercials (Where’s the Beef?), and even superheroes (Superman).

Messages on t-shirts have infiltrated all levels of society with their influence. Delivering messages and points of view through a limited space that is both clever and easily understood, the printed tee has become unshakable from its position as one of the most important garments in human history.