Why Funny Tees Work: The Top 3 Comedy Theories Explained

In case you haven’t noticed, funny tees have been extremely popular as of late, with no indication of slowing down. In fact, on Etsy alone, there are over 93,000 results for ‘funny graphic tee’. If you haven’t considered adding the style to your custom apparel offerings, now is definitely the time.

Now, we know what you’re thinkingwhat exactly makes something funny? Is there a formula you can easily recreate for your own tees?

As it turns out, scientists and philosophers have been pondering several theories behind humor for hundreds of years. While it may not be an exact formula, understanding why people think situations are funny can inspire ideas for your creative new apparel.

To help provide some direction, we narrowed it down to the top three comedy theories. Let’s take a look!

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Graphic Design Trends for 2020

Like everything, design trends change on a whim; what was popular yesterday is old news tomorrow. We’ve been keeping an eye on the hottest design trends, to help you keep up with what’s popular in 2020.

Trend #1: Cyberpunk Color Schemes

Credit: Vuk N.

These designs are bold, bright and futuristic—think neon pink, electric blue and acid green.

In a 99designs article, art director and founder of Moss and Fog, Ben VanderVeen, says “We see 2020 ushering in a futuristic, ‘cyberpunk’ feel, building off of Japanese urbanism, blue neon, and general future-forward look and feel…There’s something about Japanese design that always seems to feel futuristic, and we see that trend picking up.”

Trend #2: Street Art Styles

Credit: Johnny Kiotis

Think graffiti and street art reminiscent of the 1970s punk scene, neon ‘80s, and grunge ‘90s. Modern street art styles add a sense of “jubilance and freedom, of breaking bonds and protesting convention,” the 99designs article said.

Trend #3: Ultra-Thin Geometry

Credit: Aleksandr Kandyba via Behance

There’s so much more to lines than connecting two points. Straight lines typically convey geometric objects and technology, while curved lines represent natural and organic objects. Ultra-thin lines—both straight and curvy—are being used to create novel designs.

“This design has a modern, futuristic and mysterious feel,” said Jack Begosian, top level designer at 99designs. “Thin lines can only be displayed on digital media, something that left the age of the printing press with paper.”

Trend #4: Paper Cut-Out Collages

Credit: Meella

Remember the good ol’ days of cutting out pictures from magazines to create a collage for your school project? Well, they’re back and better than ever. Designers are juxtaposing contrasting imagery to create designs that stand out.

“My bet is on collage, because just by means of cut fragments, this technique easily opens up to new sceneries and unexpected relationships among the graphic elements,” said Agnesema, a top level designer at 99designs.

Trend #5: Hand Lettering

Credit: Shkike

Typography is an essential element of graphic design. Hand lettering is a great way to create unique typographical designs that stand out from the rest.

“Type is continuing to steal the show with bigger, bolder and more inventive uses,” said Ryan Hayward, designer and founder of pitchproof. “2020 will continue to feature designers experimenting with the craze of typography to seek attention.”

Trend #6: Dystopian Designs

Credit: Shwin

Popular dystopian shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Black Mirror” and “Westworld” are all about flawed fictional, futuristic worlds. This trend is bleeding into the design world, with artists using cold color schemes, mechanical typography and technical-type imagery.

Trend #7: Hyper-Pastiche

Credit: SeaOx

This one had us stumped at first, but it’s actually pretty basic—and cool: the combination of multiple past eras. It incorporates Victorian, medieval, art deco, art nouveau and a variety of other styles with modern designs. 

Trend #8: Bevels and Chisels

Credit: Studio Day Job via Dribbble

Remember that geometric “S” design we all drew on our notebooks in middle school? Well, beveled, 3D-style designs like that are back, accompanied by lettering with layered, chiseled looks. These designs are great for digital media and end the flatness that typically comes with computer screens.

Graphic design trends in 2020 are all about juxtaposition: old and new, geometric and organic, real and artificial. But the most important thing is to be creative and design graphics that reflect your brand and style.