A garment that has played a very important role in pop culture is without a doubt the personalized t-shirt. And behind them are its fascinating creators. Today we will know a little more about the creators of the most famous t shirts.

Certainly, they are great characters who have managed to have a place in the fashion world and yet remain low-key. Nowadays we want to talk about them in recognition of that great contribution to culture. So, you will be amazed to see the magic behind this great cultural icon. Let’s see a little history.

The most famous t-shirts as a means of expression and social controversy

History tells us that they saw the birth of Rock & Roll in the 50s, the Hippie stream in the 60s and Hard-Rock in the 70s. But, it was from the mid-60s when t-shirts began to be more than just an item of clothing, a means of expression.

Then, its use became general to express ideas, preferences, tastes, feelings, or belonging of minorities. In short, the shirts were a kind of support to express themselves with all kinds of messages, from advertising for music groups, certain political ideas or even offensive shirts.

For this reason, we will now get to know a bit about the creators of this legendary and controversial garment.

The most famous t shirts as a symbol of rebellion

A stamp that we have seen a lot is the shirt with the face of Che Guevara, one of the most famous t shirts. However, those who used it were not because they felt communist. Rather, they used it as a symbol of a rebellious youth who in the 70s faced social problems.

in 1968 was born this representative logo. Then, it all began with the creation of the posters in which they called the “Che” to the heroic guerrilla shaped by Jim Fitzpatrick. They gave an artistic twist to the iconic photography of Alberto Korda. Certainly, it is one the most famous t-shirts as a symbol of rebellion.

Fitzpatrick, was an Irish artist, who had excelled at writing and also illustrating a work called The Book of Conquest. In this book, he narrated myths of the native Celts who were accompanied by his drawings.

However, there are another aspects that we can highlight the most about this artist. Well, he has been a producer of artists and bands such as Thin Lizzy, Sinéad O’Connor and The Darkness.

the most famous t-shirts

A famous t-shirt with a simple and important message

In the 80s came the rise of the new punk with a very psychedelic style in which colors, technology and striking hairstyles stood out. Unfortunately AIDS appeared and that is something had to be done to motivate the use of condoms.

And so the famous message was born: “Choose Life”, a message that would represent promoting HIV prevention. We owe this poignant slogan to Katharine Hamnet. We would quickly start seeing it in T-shirts and embraced by famous musical groups.

Roger Taylor wore a t-shirt with this message, he was the drummer for the rock idol band Queen in the video «Hammer To Fall». So,T-shirts with big slogans always in capital letters were implemented by several pop bands. George Michael wore one of these shirts: “CHOOSE LIFE” in the music video of «Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go».

This same shirt would also appear in the Queen video for Taylor’s «Hammer to Fall». He also wore Hamnett’s «WORLDWIDE NUCLEAR BAN NOW» shirt during a Queen appearance.

The most famous t-shirts in Rock world

The very iconic logo of The Rolling Stones we owe to an English graphic designer called John Pasche,  who has developed professionally clearly in the music industry.

Mick Jagger contacted him to create the logo that identifies the band. We all know, the inspiration came from three elements: Kali, a Hindu goddess who is showed sticking her tongue out, the second element of inspiration was of course, Mick Jagger’s flamboyant mouth and third the tongue that children put out.

The origin of this T-shirts

John Pasche developed his professional career closely linked to the world of music but also, to a lesser extent, to the world of cinema. He is credited with designing posters like the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

For the company United Artist he also worked with him, designed posters and covers for some artists such as Fischer-Z, Dr.Feelgood or The Stranglers.

Glaser and the successful minimalist model of Pop culture

Almost always, after a trip you take a T-shirt as a gift. Today a number of designs are made that praise a certain place, but the pioneer was “I (heart) NY”, a symbolism of “I love New York”.

At the time, it was a symbol working as a campaign so that the city was always considered a tourist destination. This design is attributed to Milton Glase.

Glase has created many posters including the famous Bob Dylan, a symbol of the sixties. He has largely devoted himself to editorial design and corporate identity. Besides, we cannot forget that we owe him the DC Comics logo. And also, the design of some typefaces, with a very own style.

the most famous t-shirts

Iconic T-shirts from history

Thus we have seen the influence of T-shirts in the world of rock, we have made a small selection of iconic T-shirts that have stood out over the years.

  1. Firstly, we can menction the eye-catching Guns N ‘Roses pistol and rose t-shirt.
  2. Secondly, Motor Head T-shirts with a character named “Snaggle thood” that remains to this day as the image of the band.
  3. Then we have the name of the AC / DC group became the unmistakable logo of this band.
  4. Bad Religion used its mythical “Crossbuster” logo as an offensive symbol.
  5. The British rock band Led Zeppelin has kept countless shirts with the characteristic typeface with the group’s name.
  6. The well-known Metallica logo was designed by one of the group’s components and remains very popular on many T-shirts.
  7. The Nirvana logo is also still very popular on T-shirts today.

Another important t-shirts

The Ramones are who have been the kings of the shirts. They used a very American symbol as an image, in which they inserted the names of the members of the group.

Besides, other rock stars of the shirts is the group Red Hot Chilli peppers. His logo is an illustration created by the singer who manages to impact with his design and the strength of the contrast of the colors.

And to finish and as an honorable mention, of course this is The Rolling Stones. They have been decorating thousands of T-shirts and other products with their famous and even mythical logo. This one was designed in the early 70’s and inspired, how could it be otherwise, in the lip and tongue size of the band’s leader, Mick Jagger as we spoke at the beginning.


So, since this garment became so popular in the 1960s, it has been used for more than just a piece of clothing; it serves as a means of expression. Today, they are also employed as a strategy for branding, making them one of the most famous t shirts. Thus, this piece of apparel is incredibly versatile and never goes out of style.


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