screen printing machine

Evolution of Custom Promotional Apparel Trends

Custom promotional apparel has evolved significantly, transcending mere fashion statements by staff or management to become a powerful means for individuals, groups, and businesses to express their identity and values, promote their brand, and raise awareness for social causes. As we approach 2025, several trends are emerging in the custom apparel industry, reflecting changing consumer tastes, technological advancements, and a growing focus on sustainability. This article explores key trends shaping custom apparel printing as we head into the second half of 2024.

Personalization and Customization

Personalized T-shirts continue to be a major trend in urban culture. In 2024, consumers are increasingly seeking control over the shirt design process, aiming to create unique pieces that reflect their individual style and brand purpose. Print shops are responding by offering advanced online design tools and configurators, new full-color print techniques, and more options for the overall fit and feel of garments. AI tools like Canva empower consumers to create compelling designs independently, many of which are used in custom apparel without the oversight of a professional printer.

Challenges with Online T-Shirt Design and Custom Ecommerce

However, there are challenges with online T-shirt design and custom e-commerce:

Garment Printing is Not Like Printing on Paper: Different fabrics and printing methods yield varying results.

Printing Methods Vary in Durability: Not all printing methods hold up the same over time, especially with repeated washing and wearing.

At Hittn’ Skins, located in Downtown Orlando, we offer custom T-shirt consultation and design-to-print services, ensuring quality and customer satisfaction. Unlike companies that prioritize convenience or price, we focus on achieving the perfect outcome for each project.

Customized Merchandise Considerations

When ordering custom merchandise, several factors need to be considered:

  • Custom Artwork: Are you printing vector logos or photographs? Is the artwork flat or 3D and photorealistic?
  • Quantity: How many units of each design will you order? Will you reorder the same design once the initial batch is sold?
  • Printing/Decorating Methods: Do you need high-quality screen printing or a quick, inexpensive solution for short-term use?
  • Budget and Timeframe: Is the project planned and budgeted, or is it a quick venture?

At Hittn’ Skins, we guide clients through these decisions to ensure a productive and satisfying custom apparel experience.

Popular Trends in Customized T-Shirt Printing

Graphic Tees

Bold graphics, pop culture references, brand parodies, vintage designs, and abstract artwork remain popular. These designs allow individuals to express personal interests and style while effectively conveying a brand’s identity or message.

Nostalgia and Retro Styles

Nostalgia and retro styles are resurging, with consumers drawn to designs evoking past decades like the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Brands use throwback elements in apparel and marketing to connect emotionally with their audience.

Streetwear Influence

Streetwear continues to dominate fashion, influencing custom apparel with bold logos, graphic prints, and relaxed fits. It appeals to younger consumers who value comfort and self-expression, but still want the unique high end look & feel of a big name streetwear brand.

Minimalistic Designs

Simple designs with small text or generic fonts, often in one color on high-quality fabrics, are trending. This “less is more” approach focuses on the garment's overall quality and feel.

Customized Group Apparel

Custom T-shirts or uniforms for groups, teams, special events, or organizations are popular for promoting unity and team spirit. These shirts often feature logos, names, or slogans and help groups stand out.

Niche-Based Clothing Lines

Merchandise tailored to niche interests and subcultures, such as music, automotive clubs, sports teams, and specific hobbies, is highly sought after. These designs allow enthusiasts to showcase their passion and community affiliation.

Collaboration and Co-Creation

Brands are increasingly partnering with artists, influencers, and designers to create limited-edition collections that appeal to niche audiences. These collaborations blend unique styles with the brand’s core identity, resulting in innovative apparel.

Social Media Driven Engagement

Brands engage customers in the design process through polls, contests, and giveaways on social media, creating apparel that resonates deeply with their audience and fosters a sense of community.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Practices

Sustainability is a significant trend, with consumers demanding apparel made from organic and recycled materials. Brands are adopting eco-friendly production methods, such as digital printing and biodegradable dyes, to meet this demand.

Types of T-Shirt Printing

Screen Printing

Involves creating a stencil and applying ink through a screen onto the garment. It’s ideal for bulk reproduction of a single design and provides vibrant, durable prints, but setup costs can be high for small runs.

Advantages of Screen Printing

  • Versatility: Applicable on various substrates.
  • Durability: Produces long-lasting prints.
  • Vibrant Colors: Allows for bold, opaque colors.
  • Special Effects: Can incorporate metallic inks, fluorescent colors, and more.
  • High Coverage: Suitable for solid color blocks.
  • Economical for Large Runs: Cost-effective for large quantities.
  • Longevity: Reliable and consistent results.
  • Environmental Friendliness: Evolving inks and eco-friendly options.

Digital Printing

Uses digital technology to transfer designs directly onto garments. It offers full-color printing with precise detail, making it suitable for small runs and complex designs.

Advantages of Digital Printing

  • Cost effective & Convenient:  One of the cheapest & fastest ways to print full color on smaller quantities.
  • Versatility: Applicable on various substrates.
  • Customization: Easily adjustable designs & Print Sizes.
  • Short Term Solution


The custom apparel industry is set for exciting changes driven by sustainability, technology, personalization, and inclusivity. Brands that embrace these trends will thrive, offering stylish, eco-friendly, and uniquely tailored apparel that meets evolving customer needs. By staying attuned to these trends, businesses can gain a competitive edge and drive sustained growth in the custom apparel market.

If you are in the central Florida area and looking for a custom T-Shirt printer to help launch your brand or if you already have a brand and are looking to expand on your offerings or enhance your custom printing capability, please feel free to reach out to us.  Hittn’ Skins has one of the largest printing & decorating capabilities in the area.  We have been custom printing since 2006 and have a combined 100 years of designing, wrapping & apparel decorating under our belts. 

We’ve printed for brands both large & small and have helped private labeled clothing lines grow from 72 pcs to 7200 pcs per order in this time. We’ve also managed the entire production of a few larger T shirt outfitters who retail in stores across the country.  Our team is dedicated to print quality and we aim to deliver on our promise and our company motto “Quality Without Question”.