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Graphic Tees, The History of Being Cool with the First Graphic Tee in America

April 13, 2020 2 min read

Air Corps Gunnery School Graphic Tee on Life Magazine Cover.

Tees were once considered to be an undergarment, so there was no need to add a graphic or brand. In the 1960's, High School students were sent home for wearing a white tee shirt to school. On a personal story, my father was sent home by his High School principal for wearing a white t-shirt to change, however my father never returned until the next day. Now, t-shirt shops for graphic tees are all over the internet, beach towns, vacation destinations and the fashion world. Graphic Tees are Cool and Tell a Person's Story.

This History of Graphic Tees
In the 1939 film Wizard of Oz, the first graphic tees appeared in a major motion picture. Workers fixing up the scarecrow are seen wearing bright green tee shirts with "OZ" printed in white. Then the military started using graphic tees with names of their branches and training programs. After WWII, these men continued to wear their graphics when transitioning to the civilian world. An early printed tee showed up on the cover of Life Magazine in 1942 as the Air Corps Gunnery School. This image displayed the masculinity and sex appeal of graphic tees. Organizations were just starting to understand their marketing potential.
Popularity of Graphic Tees
Graphic tees became popular sometime in the late 1960s when screen printing and ink made it easier and less expensive to print graphics on fabric. Today, Nayked Apparel uses start of the art direct-to-garment ink printers to produce one-of-a-kind graphics for each customer. When t-shirt brands and manufacturers began to understand the value of printed graphics to express a person's individuality using graphics and messages, the market skyrocketed.

The graphic tee has come a long way in the fashion world too. For Men, this clothing staple in some professional fields have become the accepted workwear. Paired with jeans, these tees can also be worn for a night out. For Women, the graphic tee is much more upscale and can be worn for a night out with a skirt or layered under about anything. A quick search on Instagram for graphic tees shows thousands of influencers taking selfies with their graphic tees.
Graphic tees are popular with sports teams, vintage messaging, designs and brands. Anything is acceptable. In 2020, graphic tees documented history with Covid-19 Coronavirus designs like Social Distancing Expert from Nayked Apparel. Today's consumer not only want cool graphics, but want them decorated on the Softest Apparel on the Planet also by Nayked Apparel. 

About Nayked Apparel
We started Nayked Apparel with the same focus that we have today: to offer super-soft clothing that does not have a logo at great prices. We wanted to let our customers tell their own story and to let their own personality shine - at work or at play - in soft, comfortable, unbranded clothing. 

In the past year, we've expanded to offer graphic tees and hoodies, proudly designed in Ohio, USA, in our Ridiculously Soft styles to allow our customers to really show who they are (while staying comfortable!). At Nayked Apparel, we believe that YOU are enough. And our clothes simply help tell your story!

Shop Men's Graphic Tees
Shop Women's Graphic Tees


Land that I Love Graphic Tees | History of Graphic TeesGo Wild Graphic Tee | History of Graphic Tees

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