Vintage T-Shirts: The Living Trend Your Company Can Benefit From

by Molly Joyce

Developing an innovative marketing strategy can be a significant challenge no matter the industry you’re in. Communicating your values and traditions in an appealing way is harder than many business owners think.

Custom printed apparel, such as vintage t-shirts, makes this a little less difficult.

Vintage t-shirts provide a fun and effective alternative to traditional marketing media. They offer all the benefits of traditional custom apparel with the added charm of vintage style.

However, before you invest in custom branded vintage t-shirts for your business, it's important to understand how to leverage the vintage shirt trend so that your company benefits from it.

What Makes Vintage T-Shirts Special?

Technically, vintage is defined as something that's at least 20 years old. But beyond age, vintage is also characterized by feel—that soft, well-worn texture. The distressed, faded print and cracked logos.

This aesthetic gives vintage t-shirts their charm and is why they’re so endearing.

Vintage t-shirts also evoke a sense of nostalgia. They take you back to the good old days and simpler, happier times—almost like a tangible time capsule you can wear.

This is the magic of vintage shirts and why they make for such effective marketing tools.

But how exactly does that work?

Branding and Marketing Using Vintage T-Shirts

Custom t-shirt designs offer a powerful, effective, and affordable branding opportunity. They present you with a great way to establish your brand among the masses.

A well-executed custom vintage t-shirt offers your brand a fresh, unique look and carries your branding message in a casual, inviting way. It promotes your business while creating a visual connection with your customers.

It allows you to display a combination of your company logo, name, and tagline prominently while remaining fun, stylish, and comfortable.

For instance, let's consider these custom retro t-shirts for Urban Wholistics.

yellow and grey vintage t-shirts with custom prints

Urban Wholistics is a local urban farming non-profit from Toledo that reached out to Jupmode wanting help with custom printed shirts for their youth program.

We designed the t-shirts to showcase Ginger and Fennel, Urban Wholistics mascots for their summer youth program.

The program teaches children about the value and power contained in the plants they grow. These t-shirts help create a visual connection between the brand and the target audience.


Related: Best 7 Shirt Blanks to Use for Vintage Shirts

Cultivate Employee and Customer Loyalty

Branded company apparel helps to cultivate loyalty among your employees and customers. Vintage t-shirts take this a step further.

Given the nostalgia and the impossibly comfy material, vintage t-shirts make for a powerful tool to help form positive associations with your brand.

The t-shirts also provide a brilliant way to display key brand and product information such as the company logo, name, and tagline.

For instance, let's consider these staff shirts we designed for Inside the Five Brewing Company.

black and yellow branded vintage t-shirts

Inside the Five is an up-and-coming brewery in Northwest Ohio.

We designed their vintage staff shirts to create a simple, trendy aesthetic that was popular with both staff and customers. So much so that the staff t-shirts have now become an additional source of revenue for the brewery.

This is just one example of how an excellent apparel program using vintage t-shirts can help create a sense of brand loyalty.

Vintage t-shirts make for promotional apparel that people want to hold on to.

Related: Employee Uniforms and Customer Merch for Local Restaurant

Vintage T-Shirts Are Great Conversation Starters

Thanks to their unique designs, vintage t-shirts are visually stimulating and thus great conversation starters.

They are great at catching people's eyes and leaving a lasting impression. This is an invaluable quality for marketing and building brand awareness.

Let's use our own Murphy’s Place Jazz Club vintage shirt as an example.

black t-shirt with Murphy’s Place branding

Murphy’s Place was an iconic jazz club owned by Clifford Murphy—a nationally renowned bassist and music mentor. In fact, Murphy’s Place was affectionately known as “Claud and Clifford University.”

It holds a special place in the hearts of jazz lovers and artists and will remain a staple of Toledo through history.

The Murphy’s Place vintage t-shirt design recreated the club's logo and the neon sign that hung in the window. To some extent, this vintage t-shirt design helps bring back to life some of the happy memories of the Toledo jazz institution.

For jazz lovers and fans who frequented the club, this t-shirt is an instant conversation starter. It helps to keep alive and pass on the role Toledo played in the history of jazz music.

“...I came to Jupmode with a request to replicate a shirt from the 70s. They did an amazing job…Would definitely recommend!”
- Allene S

Related: The Toledo T-Shirt That Gives Back

Our Vintage Shirts are American Made

Using American-made manufacturers is quickly becoming more and more important. There is significant support and encouragement for using, promoting, and prioritizing American-made products across the country.

This not only shows American pride; the ‘Made in the USA’ label also symbolizes quality.

Additionally, with domestically manufactured shirts, you have better control over the production and impact of your shirts. This is because US manufacturers follow union labor laws, are environmentally sustainable, and use ethical manufacturing practices.

This is why Jupmode partners with American manufacturers to source high-quality t-shirts to create our vintage apparel for brands and businesses.

One of our favorite vintage shirts you can use to create your own custom design is made in LA by LA Apparel. 

    Tips for Your Company’s Vintage T-Shirts

    As we’ve seen, custom vintage t-shirts are an effective marketing tool. But this is predicated upon the design of your t-shirt.

    Vintage t-shirts put you ahead of the competition because of their unique look and feel. But even then, you need to create a stunning design. Here are some tips to help you create the best custom vintage t-shirts for your company and brand:

    • Make sure that the design looks good on your vintage shirts. Not everything that looks good on paper or the computer will translate onto your t-shirts.
    • Make the company logo or branding big enough to be visible from a distance—but not so large that it overwhelms your vintage t-shirts.
    • Only use the best quality materials for your vintage shirts, so that people actually enjoy wearing them. Using low-quality may also create a negative association with your company and harm your overall branding.

    Note: At Jupmode, our in-house experts will help with graphic design to ensure your brand truly stands out.

    Related: Top 4 Ways We Screen Print a Vintage Shirt (With Examples)


    Grab Some Custom Vintage T-Shirts for Your Company

    A great vintage shirt transports you back in time to a place that makes you feel good or connected to someone or something you love.

    But for custom printed vintage t-shirts to have this effect, they must be done right.

    This is where Jupmode comes in.

    At Jupmode, we’ve been screen printing vintage t-shirts for nearly ten years. We have the expertise to produce and use vintage t-shirts to make your brand look its best and promote engagement

    vintage University of Toledo t-shirt vintage red Toledo Zoo t-shirt vintage MetroparksToledo t-shirt
    University Hall Shirt

    Toledo Zoo 1988 Panda Exhibit Shirt Vintage Metroparks Toledo Shirt

    Create Your Custom Vintage T-shirt

    If you’re looking for vintage-style shirts for your business or brand, Jupmode is the company to work with.

    Contact us today to get your custom vintage shirt order started.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Will my custom vintage t-shirts shrink?

    Most of our vintage shirts consist of a triblend material. This means they are made using a cotton, poly, and rayon blend. The synthetic nature of poly and rayon fabrics helps them hold their size and shape without any noticeable shrinking.

    We also offer vintage style shirts in 100% cotton and poly/cotton blend fabrics. All of these materials are preshrunk.

    When will my custom vintage t-shirts be ready after placing my order?

    Orders are typically ready within 7 to 10 days after approval and payment of your invoice. Please keep in mind that your order is made custom just for you. 

    This means that the shirts are not held in inventory and ordered specifically for you. They may take several days to arrive to us. After we receive them, we have to print them, sort them, box them, and take care of any other special requests with your order before they are ready for you.

    You will be notified when your order is ready for pick up at our Adams Street store or when we ship it to you. 

      Can you help me design a vintage shirt for my company?

      Yes! We have in-house graphic designers that are ready to help you bring your idea to life. 

      We've been making vintage shirts for over 15 years. We know what looks good and feels good. Our designers make it easy for you to design a cool shirt even if you have no design experience. 

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