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12 T-shirts inspired by the best and the worst of 2016

Tags: tshirt

2016-t-shirt-top-image

As a new year starts, at the Printsome office we found ourselves talking about how fast 2016 had gone by — yet somehow saying that it just “came and went” didn’t feel right. That’s when I realised: “Yes, it went by very fast,” I added “Like a truck that runs you over.”

Maybe it was the fact that it was a leap year (they’re always a little weird) or should we blame it on Chinese astrology? It was the year of the monkey, after all. Or perhaps we’re just getting closer and closer to the Apocalypse. Whatever it may be, 2016 is now FINALLY over and has given us plenty to talk about. So we have little more to do other than remember the best and the worst of it all.

And because we’re Printsome, we’ve decided to design a special T-shirt* for each month. Picking just a theme per tee wasn’t easy; Among exploding mobiles and the comeback of Pokémon, A LOT happened this year. But in the end we did manage to come up with a cohesive list. So without further ado, we hope you enjoy 2016 in T-shirts:

* Just a reminder, we don’t sell these. We just design them for fun. Although if you’d like to own something similar, get in touch and we may be able to help you.

January T-shirt “Stardusteon”

"Stardusteon" the Pokémon inspired by David Bowie
“Stardusteon” the Pokémon inspired by David Bowie

The year began with a bang — quite literally as North Korea confirmed that they had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, making world leaders wonder if they should add “panic room” to their 2016 to-do list. Aside from that, Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke Avatar’s record in the US box office (it sits third, globally) and a zinnia became the first flower to be grown in space. All of these events will take their respective place in history, but it was the loss of two great artists that still make our hearts ache. While we all adore Alan Rickman (AKA Snape), our January T-shirt has got to go to David Bowie for its unparalleled contribution to pop culture. Ziggy Stardust, you will be forever missed.

February T-shirt “Zikafree”

2016-t-shirts-zika-virus-pokemon
It has a pineapple on its head, because you know – it’s tropical!

While it was very tempting to give the February T-shirt to the lock of John Lennon’s hair that was sold at an auction for £25,000, in the end we decided to go with the Zika virus. The mosquitos created headlines throughout the entire year, but it was on February 1st of 2016 when the World Health Organisation declared that the virus was a public emergency. It no longer is FYI, so hold off on the mosquito repellent.

March T-shirt “Skullray”

2016-t-shirts-shakespeare-pokemon
Didn’t know how literal the “Don’t lose your head” expression could get

The third month of the year was slow compared to the two previous ones, but that doesn’t mean any less interesting. Worth highlighting, is the trip of president Obama to Cuba — he is the first American head of state to do so since 1928. But our March T-shirt has got to go to Shakespeare’s skull, wherever it may be. You see, in that month a study conducted at the playwright’s resting place revealed that his head was probably stolen about 200 years ago, and if that wasn’t creepy enough, the skull that was thought his actually belongs to an unknown woman. BTW, 2016 also marks the 400th anniversary of the bard’s death — too bad you need a head to blow out candles.

April T-shirt “Queenwhale”

“Whale” doesn’t really make a reference to anything. We just thought it was funny.

In the future, 2016 will be remembered mostly for three things: anniversaries, celebrity deaths and political scandals. April had a bit of everything. The month started with the biggest data leak in history known as the Panama Papers and before we knew it, we were saying goodbye to music legend Prince. Even though those events deserve their place in the wall of fame, we’re handing our April T-shirt to the one and only queen — no, not Madonna. The actual queen of Great Britain! Elizabeth II has been the official queen of the UK and the Commonwealth since 1952, which makes her the longest running monarch in the country’s history. This year she turned 90 and shows no signs of slowing down. You go, gurl!

May T-shirt “Leicestar”

2016-t-shirts-leicester-pokemon
Leicester were elected for the May T-shirt for raising from the ashes like a Phoenix.

May was a month of unexpected wins. It marked the first time a muslim became a mayor of a main western city when politician Sadiq Khan was elected as mayor of London, and during the Eurovision Song Contest, dark horse Jamala of the Ukraine beat favourites Russia and Australia with her song “1944”. These were spectacular victories and they all deserve a T-shirt, but we could only pick one so we went with Leicester winning the premier league because: One, before the tournament started, they had a 5,000 – 1 chances of winning and two, they were almost relegated from the premiere league the past season. Gosh, we love a good comeback story.

June T-shirt “Brexitlord”

Love it or hate it, most said "Brexit, I choose you!"
Love it or hate it, most said “Brexit, I choose you!”

If May was about victories, then June was about discussions and tensions. The Eurocup and Copa America kept things heated on the pitch while the premiere of the theatre play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London had fans of the famous saga pitting against each other. This month also saw two heinous crimes: the violent murder of MP Jo Cox and the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando — the biggest in US history. But none of these events seemed to split opinion and cause as many arguments as our picking for June, that is, of course, Brexit. The UK’s decision to leave the EU is an opinion that divided the country, made the pound drop it like its hot and had former Prime Minister David Cameron saying “Cheerio, ol’ chap,” while tipping his hat. Since this is the first territory to give a cold shoulder to Europe, nobody knows for sure what’s coming, but what is certain is that we’ll be dealing (for better or worse) with the aftermath of this vote for many years to come.

July T-shirt “Wannastar”

"Extra spicy" attack?
“Extra spicy” attack?

Pokémon Go “Girl Power” is the theme of July 2016 as Theresa May was elected the new Prime Minister, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated by a major party for president in US history and the Juno spacecraft (named after the Grecian goddess) entered Jupiter’s orbit. To top it all off, the month also marked the 20th year anniversary of the Spice Girls’ single “Wannabe” which is our pick for the month of July. June was pretty bleak, so we tried to lighten it up, okay?. If you believe I should’ve chosen something else, then please tell me what you want, what you really, really want…

August T-shirt “Olympicat”

“Ring Throwing” is Olympicat’s most powerful attack

Not even the Olympics passed unscathed in 2016, in fact the first games to be held in South America were some of the most scandalous in recent history. I didn’t know where to start so I just made a list of some of the most entertaining trivia I remember from the Rio Olympics:

  • Rumours of gentrification and corruption plagued constructions from day one
  • Russia’s athletics team was banned (and almost the rest of the delegation) for doping
  • The olympic village was inhospitable/unfinished when the games started
  • And when the Australian team complained, the Mayor of Rio offered them a kangaroo as compensation
  • Zika!
  • Ryan Lochte, American swimmer and gold medalist, said he was robbed at gun point when he actually just got pissed and trashed a gas station
  • A reporter of the Daily Beast “accidentally” exposed closeted athletes* by using the gay dating app Gridr for an ill-conceived article
  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica became the fastest man in the world and arguably the best meme of the year
  • Green pool water

But it wasn’t all ridiculous, the 2016 Olympics also marked the first time a team was composed of refugees which included this incredible girl who pushed for three hours a boat with 20 people on it to safety. So needless to say, the games deserve the August T-shirt.

* Some of these athletes were from countries were being gay is illegal.

September T-shirt “Giraffeen”

I think it is safe to say that Giraffeen's first evolution stage has got one head, the second one, two and then the third one, four.
I think it is safe to say that Giraffeen’s first evolution has got one head, the second, two and then the third, four.

I came very close to giving the September T-shirt to Angelina and Brad Pitt’s divorce — I mean, come on, they were Brangelina! But then as I researched, I realised that this month was really good for science, so I went with that instead (because sometimes I like to pretend I’m a semi-intellectual person). In Japan, 23,000 year-old fishhooks were discovered — making them the oldest in the world — which suggest that marine technology in the region developed much earlier than previously thought. Also in Asia, the largest radio telescope in the world began operating in Dawodang, China. And on charitable news, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife pledged $3 billion to prevent, cure or manage all diseases by the end of the century. But in the end the T-shirt goes to Giraffes! Because in 2016 they discovered that they’re not alone. A study published on Current Biology revealed that there are actually four species of the long-necked mammal and not one as it was believed. It may not impact humanity like a new vaccine, but it is sure cute.

October T-Shirt”Explosifly”

If Explosify feels threatened, it will self-destruct.
If Explosify feels threatened, it will self-destruct.

When it was announced that Bob Dylan won the Nobel prize for literature, people had a lot to say about it. It was big news, but for this month’s T-shirt we decided to take a different route. 2016 was a shaky year for many and that included top companies like Samsung, that till this day, is still dealing with the aftermath of its fiery products. Not only smartphones, apparently washing machines are blowing up now as well. Things got so bad that on October 11, the Korean electronics giant announced that they would be permanently ending production of the Galaxy Note 7 phone. The whole ordeal has caused Samsung’s shares to drop and billions in losses. It only goes to show you that the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

November T-shirt “Trumpasso”

It's weakness? Pussycats!
It’s weakness? Pussycats!

Do we really need to explain it? It is still too soon to say how Mr. Trump’s presidency will affect the rest of the world, but whether you love him or hate him, the election of the Donald as leader of the US was one that shocked the entire world.

December T-shirt “Derrie”

Derrie is a very gentle, but still very powerful Pokémon.
Derrie is a very gentle, but still very powerful Pokémon.

2016 ended its term like a petulant child that knows he is being annoying but still wants the attention, by pushing everyone’s patience to the very limit. December was energetic — let’s put it that way. Thailand crowned a new king, new US president-elect Donald Trump got friendly with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen (which is a big no-no in China’s book), South Korea voted to give their own president the boot, dreadful terrorist attacks struck in Istanbul and Berlin, British pop star George Michael passed away and not to mention the Russian ambassador that got murdered at an art gallery opening in Turkey. Do we need to say more?

Actually, we do, because our T-shirt of December goes to Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds who passed away only a day apart from each other on the 27th and 28th, respectively. Needless to say, the actress best known for playing princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise will be sorely missed, but the story of a mother who joined her daughter in the afterlife because she couldn’t bear the thought of being without her is one that will be in our memories for a long time.

You couldn’t leave quietly, 2016. Now could you?

Text: Harald Meyer-Delius

Designs: Hayley Cantor


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Printsome is a T-shirt printing agency based in the UK, delivering all over the UK, from  custom leaver hoodies in Bristol to printed polo shirts in Hull and much more everywhere in between. Boasting awesome customer service, why not get in touch for a quote on personalised printed T-shirts today?


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