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Graphic Tee Club: 7 Indie T-Shirt Brands to Add to Your Etsy Favorites

When it comes to Graphic t-shirts, I’m very picky. The last decade has been heavy on the t-shirt-based wordplay, and while I’m not opposed to the idea of words on a shirt, I feel strangely about broadcasting a full sentence to the world when that space could be taken up with awesome, simple, and clever designs like the ones from these excellent indie fashion brands.

Graphic t-shirts are trending hard right now – and by “right now” I mean “the last decade.” Now, you can’t walk into any single clothing store without seeing a shirt about a) coffee, b) rosé, or c) days of the week. Maybe it’s just me, but that stuff is getting kinda boring, you know? Any time a trend becomes too ubiquitous, it starts to fall off of my radar. Thus, I take to Etsy. It has the power to revive my spirits and rekindle my love of graphic t-shirts.


For the Love of Food & Cats: Xenotees

This is the brand that inspired this post. I came across Philly-based Xenotees a few months ago and was delighted with how non-cloying and wearable their designs were. Like I said, I’m picky, so if I want to tell the world that I love pizza, I want it to be in a way that’s design-first – not message-first – and when it comes to understated food love communicated through Sharpie-esque drawings and scribbles, Xenotees absolutely nails it.

Sure, the content of their screen-printed t-shirts favor animal lovers and foodies but… I mean, if you’re reading this and you don’t fit into one of those categories… how on Earth did you find us?! On the other hand, if pizza, tacos, and cats are your jam, then you’re about to be in heaven.

Taco Tuesday T-Shirt
$22.50

Cat in the Grass Graphic T-Shirt Dress
$27

Xenotees Cat Pizza Party T-Shirt
$19.80

Pizza Slice T-Shirt
$22.50


Understated & Cutesy: GingyCake

The designer behind GingyCake is a true hustle queen. In addition to the Gingycake line of cute animal characters in very wearable situations, designer Ginger Blackwell also designs clothing for Fox Peak Apparel which has very pretty, outdoorsy sweatshirts and tees. But the GingyCake line is what I need you to look at today, because it’s too cute to ignore.

The best designs in the line, in my opinion, are the clothes with the fox or panda characters. You’ll find the panda inside bowls of ramen or hopping out of a drawn or fabric scrap shirt pocket, and the fox shows up either as a simple line drawing or a cute little dude who also appears in shirt pockets. But don’t let me determine which of GingyCake’s characters are your favorite, they are all equally adorable!

(PS – The header of this post is GingyCake’s Fox Hoodie!)

Panda in a Noodle Bowl
$22

Triangle Fox Cropped Tank
$18

Fox in a Pocket Tee
$35

Octopus Pocket Tee
$22


The Spirit of the Wild: Fennec Design Co.

This brand has been on my radar ever since I wrote the Indie Stocking Stuffer Guide of 2018. Who could pass by these meticulously detailed designs? Each one is totem-like with a strong nature focus, often centering around an entomological subject (read: bugs.) with an ornate frame of flowers. It’s not always bugs, though. You’ll also see bats, various animal skeletons, and beautiful (living) birds.

Sure, there’s a bit of an occult-y vibe to these tees, but for the hobby botanist or bug nerd, these are just stunning representations of their favorite things. Fennec also sells beautiful sew-on patches featuring their designs for the punk rockers and DIYers out there.

Tiger Moth Lunar Phases Tank
$20

Night Heron Hex Off-Shoulder Tee
$23

Cosmic Geometry Tee
$15

Geometric Bat Skeleton Tank
$20


The Coolest Kid at the Party: Vayne

For those who love the word-shirt trend but don’t like anything that’s currently popular, you’ve met your match with Vayne. With the addition of some good typography and a punk rock attitude, Vayne has been able to produce graphic t-shirts that do “weekend chic” or whatever without the flamboyant wine and coffee touting that we’re all kinda sick of. (Right? No? Just me? Ok.)

If you happen to be born in 1988 – first of all, happy 30s, your life is gonna be better now – you’re going to find a ton of birthday year tees in with this brand.

Bad Influence Cropped Tee
$30

Bitter Romantic 1988 Tee
$34

Here for the Beers Tee
$34

Striped Graphic Tee
$34


California, But Less Serious: Zen Threads

The head artist and owner behind Zen Threads is a college-educated art school nerd (sorry, Brandy) that fell in love with the art of screenprinting after school ended. In addition to doing tons of custom orders for clients, Brandy prints her original drawings onto various t-shirt styles for Zen Threads’ in-house line. What started in her garage now has its own storefront in Northern California, a location that inspires many of their designs.

Here you’ll find incredibly detailed line drawings with a heavy dose of contextual irreverence. That can manifest into of everything from prog-rocker sloths to bears who love beer. Environmental responsibility is pretty much the only thing taken seriously at this cute little shop, as they use water-based inks for both quality and eco-friendly reasons. They also use environmentally friendly chemicals in their screen-creation process.

Take a Hike Tee
$22

Bear Hug Tee
$22

Boxing Squirrel Muscle Tank
$24

Be a Nice Human Tank
$24


Dark & Cozy: Elephantees

This list wouldn’t be complete without something a little dark & spooky, and ElephanTees has figured out just the right way to be a little creepy without going overboard and making it a theme.

ElephanTees continues the trend of outdoor appreciation, but also brings a little bit of deathiness to the party. I love their Creation of Death and Betrayal tees, but their inventory contains much, much more than just beautiful spook. The design that attracted me to the brand was their gorgeous, geometric, crystalline stag, pictured above. There’s also an extensive (I mean, 12 pieces) line of zodiac-inspired designs that mimic constellations, but in this simple, damn near majestic style.

Lastly, they have about a billion text-based shirts that range from simple words like “AESTHETIC” in calculator font to some, uh, more saucy content that I will let you discover on your own. It’s definitely PG-13, and definitely awesome.

Night Sky.Backpack Tee
$17.20

Creation of Death Tee
$17.20

Zebra Bones Tee
$17.67

Betrayal Tee
$17.20


For Stargazers & Cabin Dwellers: Blackbird Supply

This cute little powerhouse brand is actually over 10 years old, and has been run by the same duo – Jodi & Karl – the entire time. Their love for the outdoors and all the crap floating in our sky has resulted in some really beautiful t-shirt designs that are almost pattern-like in their execution. Blackbird also utilizes colors more than most, with beautiful t-shirts in shades of heathered green and lavender, and gold ink used in some of their designs.

You’ll also notice that there are often multiple colors on the shirt designs. I want to point this out because two colors require literally twice the work of one color, but Blackbird is all about it. Mad props.

In addition to being badass ambassadors for outdoorsiness, Blackbird Supply also goes the extra mile to use environmentally-friendly inks and t-shirts made from recycled materials.

Big Dipper Constellation Tee
$24

Starry Night National Park Tee
$36

Kintsugi V-Neck T-Shirt
$26

Pinky Swear BFF Tee
$25

Don’t forget that you get 1% cash back on all Etsy purchases when using Ebates!

Leave your current favorite graphic t-shirts in the comments!

The post Graphic Tee Club: 7 Indie T-Shirt Brands to Add to Your Etsy Favorites appeared first on Broke and Beautiful.



This post first appeared on Broke And Beautiful • A Budget Lifestyle Blog Wi, please read the originial post: here

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Graphic Tee Club: 7 Indie T-Shirt Brands to Add to Your Etsy Favorites

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