Quote tshirts are precisely what you likely consider them to be: Short quotes on tshirts with minimal if any graphic elements.
But there’s a problem with the general perception of quote tshirts. They are all viewed as one and the same. In reality, they are not. Quote tshirts are like nuts. There are peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and a wide variety of others. Substitute almonds for peanuts in a beloved recipe that calls for peanuts and you’ll see an angry revolt from hungry people who thought they knew what they were biting into.
My point? Not all quote tshirts are the same. But all portfolios need quote tshirts to be successful. And when I say that they need quote tshirts, I mean that they need a sprinkling of every type of quote tshirt there is.
In my estimation, there are ten distinct types of quote tshirts. Each appeals to specific audiences and caters to unique tastes. I have many designs in each style of quotes. And I truly believe it’s why “quote tshirts” are consistently among my best sellers across all niches.
I haven’t broken this down before, but I’m doing it now. So here goes! Here are the ten types of quote tees that I believe every serious seller should be offering.
Self Focused Quotes
These are quotes about the wearer. It can be as simple as a self-motivating quote. All it takes is a direct quote pertinent to the wearer, their state of mind, the direction of their focus, or the objectives they are pursuing in life.
Outward Focused Quotes
These are quotes about the audience viewing the tshirt. The objective of this style of quote tshirt is to connect with onlookers. For instance, an outward focused quote tshirt uses words like “You” or derivatives thereof. A simple message encouraging the onlooker to believe in themselves is a basic example of this approach.
Transcript / Dialogue Quotes
These are quotes typically of a silly nature that present a mock exchange between two named individuals or inanimate objects. The presentation reads like a transcript. For instance:
Me: I Love Everything About Ice Cream
Ice Cream: Your Compliments Make Me Melt
For and Against Quotes
These are quotes that articulate passion and positions, usually of a political or social nature. For example, these types of quote tshirts are most effectively leveraged for protest messaging. It could be a quote arguing for better protection of the environment, or a quote rallying against vaping. These tshirts thrive on messaging focused squarely on the things that large audiences are either for or against.
These are quotes that deal strictly with facts. They are popular with teachers, artists, activists, students, and others whose interests, professions, or hobbies are rooted in serious matters. An entomologist, for example, may appreciate a tshirt that states the fact that a flea can accelerate faster than a space shuttle. From education and sports, to animal life and outer space, facts are effective drivers of sellable quote tshirt messaging.
These are quotes that are rooted in absurdities or silliness. From juvenile puns for kids, to offensive NSFW quips for adults, anything silly, sarcastic, outlandish, fanciful or playfully offensive could be placed in this category. This is consistently one of the strongest performing categories of quote tshirts.
These are quotes that express focused support for people, situations, events, causes, or other happenings. Whether it’s a quote to raise awareness about a particular disease, or a quote to generally support educators or active duty military service members, there are countless focal points for widespread support. Tshirts should exist to extend support to all of them.
These are quotes that exist for the sole purpose of emphasizing the wearer’s interest in or obsession with something — hobbies, animals, activities, foods, etc. “Tacos are life” is the type of interest quote that taco lovers, for instance, would likely find attractive on a tshirt. Any expression of interest in massive or microscopic niches belong in this category of quote tees.
These are quotes that express disinterest in things, occasions, happenings, foods and other entities or realities common in the human experience. It could be a quote about disliking the process of growing old (fodder for a birthday niche tshirt) or a quote about a firm dislike of broccoli. Although most people prefer to wear tshirts that put the spotlight on things they like, many choose to don apparel that takes the opposite approach and emphasizes the antithesis of their affection directed toward a wide variety of things.
Seasonal / Situational Celebration Quotes
These are quotes that are fully vested in seasons or seasonal happenings. Unlike the other categories of quote tshirts explored above, which are primarily evergreen in nature, these are quotes that explicitly tackle holidays, life milestones, or events that are marked in time. Examples would include everything from Halloween tshirts to 2021 high school graduation tshirts.
If you are able to pad your portfolio with a smattering of quote tshirts from all of the varieties outlined above, I have no doubt that the success of your collective quote tshirts will grow over time, as you’ll be reaching a wider audience through an even wider assortment of subtle but significant messaging tactics, tones, and techniques.