Pop Culture, Graphic Design, and Funny T-Shirts - Part I

long-live-the-kingGraphic Design and Fashion
When the topic of graphic design comes up in conversations many people will associate this activity with advertising, packaging, logo creation or business applications. But graphic design also reaches into the world of fashion.

The ubiquitous t-shirt is a mainstay of virtually everyone's wardrobe. T-shirts have become so commonplace that they can be worn at the office or at the park. But behind every t-shirt graphic there is an artist or graphic designer.

In this series of Pop Culture, Graphic Design, and Funny T-Shirts we've combed the Internet for examples of how pop culture influences the ideas behind modern t-shirt design.

You'll see references made to popular media and realize that graphic designers have well-developed funny bones in their bodies. Click on each photo to see its source.

Have fun and feel free to laugh or groan at the following examples!

Late Night Television
If you ever stay up to watch late night television on a consistent basis you know that this is the time slot that is ripe for infomercials of all kinds.

These mesmerizing 5 to 60 minute commercials try to slowly break down the viewer's resistance until some of them finally give in and say, "I'VE GOT TO HAVE THAT STEAM-POWERED PENCIL!" or whatever the product of the day is.

But the infomercial has also spawned a new marketing gimmick by inferring that products sold on these television commercials can be trusted. And hence we have the t-shirt design of:

The Movie Was Better
The Lord of the Rings was J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece work chronicling the struggles of the inhabitants of the fictional world of "Middle Earth." The novels were quite daunting to read as the pace of the story was rather slow-going with the first novel, "The Hobbit."

These books were translated to the big screen by über movie director Peter Jackson. The resulting movie series won many Academy Awards and opened up a large fantasy world for many who were unfamiliar with the genre.

In this movie an important catchphrase was used in the movies. In this t-shirt design, the graphic designer has elected to do a literal interpretation of it. As a result, we have:

Superheroes Have Problems Too
Before spectacular computer generated images came on the scene, those of us who grew up reading about our favorite comic book heroes could only dream about them coming to life in movies.

Of course there were animated series on Saturday morning cartoons and a few poorly produced television shows, but these couldn't measure up to what our mind's eye created. But now with today's amazing technology, that dream has come true for all loyal fans.

As far as superheroes, one artist imagined that superheroes must have their own set of unique problems. In this instance, The Flash, who possesses the ability to move at hyper-speed, is shown here with his predicament:

Next Time...
We'll continue our tour of funny graphic designs for t-shirts and find out that having a sense of humor can sell products.

Until next time, keep on designing!

Schools and Colleges offering design degrees:

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
Results:  5
Matching School Ads
Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 95% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
AAA in Digital Graphic Arts
Remington College , Fort Worth
  • Dallas campus named 2013 School of the Year by the National Association for Health Professionals (NAHP).
  • Tuition covers course-required materials for campus students, including books, lab equipment, and class supplies.
  • Offers flat tuition rate to continuously enrolled students who are on track toward program completion.
  • Campus accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
  • 18 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Associate Degree-Computer Graphics and Design
  • Features a public spa where massage students can get real-world experience.
  • Honored by the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce as Business of the Century in 2013.
  • New terms start every 10 weeks.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
  • Main campus is located in North Wales, Pennsylvania, with satellite campuses in Phoenixville and Warminster.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Full Sail University offers online degree programs that are designed for the world of entertainment, media, arts, and technology. Full Sail's approach is centered on real-world industry experience and creative problem solving.
  • Full Sail uses the experience and knowledge gained from more than three decades of educational innovation to create an unparalleled online education experience that challenges and inspires our students.
  • Learning at Full Sail has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas, and our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy with the aim of being the most people-focused education experience on the web.
  • Through Full Sail’s multitude of online program offerings, students get: One-click access to instructors, Powerful collaborative tools, Interactive learning environments and Innovative curriculum.
  • Full Sail's newest program is the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting. Developed in collaboration with sportscasting veteran Dan Patrick, the goal is to provide students with real world experience both behind and in fornt of the camera.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
AAS Graphic Design
  • Several campuses are designated as 2015 Military Friendly Schools by Victory Media.
  • Scholarships and other financial aid opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Day, evening, and online classes are available for flexible schedule options.
  • Regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
  • Founded 160 years ago, it is one of America’s premier private career colleges.
Show more [+]