Vintage or Retro Design – Which to Choose?

Creative artists and hobbyists like to experiment. If you are into customization, you will be bursting with unique ideas. Why not go for a personalized T-shirt as a special gift? This year is all about personal and homemade gifts. Therefore, jump into this trend and make a meaningful souvenir!

We must have an excellent design in mind before starting. And vintage and retro designs are always everlasting and make a thoughtful present. Therefore, go back to the 90s or share a memorable past using these two design ideas with your precious one.

The Difference

Often we use retro and vintage interchangeably. However, both of these ideas carry different meanings. Therefore, you ought to use these differences to your advantage. Both of them are timeless, making them an ideal design choice. Here are some of the factors you must keep in mind:

Time PeriodIt does not cross the 1950’sIt can date back to 100 years or so
StartAfter Second World WarDefines eras (e.g.: Victorian era)
ValueImitate the pastPreserved
Clothing typeBrand new; can be found at a retail shopOriginality; mostly found in second-hand shops
Fashion styleIncorporated in your fashion styleReadjusted or redesigned in your fashion style

The Basics

To customize your tee with these two designs, you first need to know some basics. Here is a list of things you would need to get started:

1: The Right Tee

Finding a tee that complements your design is necessary. In this case, ringer T-shirts are your best choice. Moreover, ringer tees will compliment your retro designs. 

A custom-made tee is a good idea if you are a small business looking to explore new options. In addition, you would need to make several customized tees of the same design. Therefore, purchasing Ringer T-shirts wholesale would be best for your business because wholesalers will give you the option of bulk purchasing.

2: The Right Print

Next is determining how to print your T-shirt. For this, you have several options to explore. Screen printing is a good option when you are an individual seller and have a few designs in mind. Meanwhile, DTG printing (direct-to-garment) is also easy to do and gives out several tees at the same time. In addition, you can look into Heat Transfer printing or Dye Sublimation.

The choice of printing depends on your budget. Overall, small businesses prefer Screen Printing and DTG.

Vintage Design Elements

Vintage is a design style that takes you back to the good old days. It defines a particular era and the fashion style of that time. To turn your plain T-shirt into a vintage tee, you have to look into the following factors:

1: Nostalgia

Vintage works on nostalgia. In addition, it is something that reflects the past and its essence. Therefore, you will have to use old designs on your tee that takes you back to a certain era. Eras such as Enlightenment and Victorian were famous for their unique designs. Therefore, customizing your tee with such elements will make it stand out.

2: Themes

Now that you know which era to work with, it is time to search for a particular theme. Moreover, vintage designs work with simple tone colors. You can get inspiration from the following themes for your custom-made tee:

  • Art Deco – was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. It depicts architecture in symmetry.
  • Steampunk – a blend of Victorian design with technology. The technology relies on steam engines and fossil fuels
  • Letterpress – a simplistic design that reflects the design you would get from an old printing press.

Retro Design Elements

In contrast, retro designs took control after the Second World War. They differ from Vintage designs because of their color tone and funky outlook. Moreover, retro designs have taken the fashion scene by storm this decade! Everything from the 80s music to art references is part of a retro design.

1: Themes

There are several themes involved in a retro design. Following are some of the ideas you can look at for inspiration:

  • Pop Art – you can see them in the 60s and 70s comic books such as Archie Comic books.
  • Retrofuturism – relates historical objects with space travel and abstract technology.
  • The 60s and 70s music – retro designs often have music references. You can put album covers of famous musicians and bands on your tee.

2: Patterns and Color

For a retro design, it is all about bright colors. In addition, incorporate circular or triangular patterns into your overall design to make the art pop out. A kaleidoscopic and abstract color scheme also makes a great design element.

All of these designs will look good on a ringer T-shirt. Therefore, the next time you think of retro or vintage custom tees, purchase ringer T-shirts at wholesale to make several tees.


The next time you think of customization, check out retro or vintage ideas. Not only are they unique, but they will remain on-trend. Overall, you will become all the rage with these staple design ideas and shine bright like a diamond!

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