Sports T-Shirt Designs, Graphic Elements and Best Designs for Inspiration

Sports has been one of the most emblematic, talked-about, and popular topics in history. That’s why for people in general, it has had some influence at some point in their lives. Therefore, it is no secret to anyone that when we like sports, we tend to show it. One way to do this is by wearing a jersey. From football to tennis, there are always distinctive designs for sports, such as those of official teams and those that use phrases and illustrations to commemorate the sport.

For my daughter’s basketball team, we had some team designs made, but we didn’t want the usual classic designs, but rather something with a more modern look, suitable for the team’s age. We chose this design, “Goalkeeper covering a ball with a phrase” because besides its illustration, the phrase within the design seemed motivating and cheerful to me for a team that is striving for victory.

This design is not common for a team, as we are used to seeing the players’ numbers and last names. This time, we wanted to highlight the phrase that identified the team along with their names. This made a difference, and they stood out not only for their basketball skills but also for the original design they had.

So that you have a more comprehensive idea of what designs you can use, what elements these designs have, and what is trending, this article provides this information.

Graphic Elements of Sport T-Shirt Designs

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As mentioned, the graphic elements of sports t-shirt designs have the characteristic of always showing something, whether it be a logo, a number, an illustration, etc. Primarily, this serves a purpose: they aim to have a differential factor compared to other teams. Additionally, the creation of authentic designs fosters an emotional connection with their fans, making the logo a lasting symbol of the team’s identity and spirit (Oosthuizen and Deidra Hunter, 2023). Therefore, below, we will show you the graphic elements that are used in addition to logos.

  • Team logos or brands: These are the logos representing the sports team or clothing brand. They can be located on the chest, shoulders, sleeves, or back of the jersey.
  • Player numbers: If the jersey is for a sports team, it’s common to include numbers representing the players. These numbers are usually on the back and sometimes on the front as well.
  • Player names: Similar to numbers, player names are often printed on the back of sports jerseys. This is especially common in sports like soccer, basketball, and American football.
  • Thematic graphics: These can include images related to the sport in question, such as balls, playing fields, silhouettes of athletes in action, etc. These graphics are often used to enhance the overall theme of the jersey.
  • Slogan or motivational message: Some sports jerseys include inspiring words or phrases related to the sport, competitiveness, or teamwork.
  • Sponsors: In the case of professional or sponsored teams, it’s common to include sponsor logos on the front, back, or sleeves of the jersey.
  • Abstract graphic designs: Sometimes, sports jerseys feature abstract graphic designs, such as stripe patterns, gradients, or geometric shapes, to add visual interest.
  • Vibrant colors: Bright and eye-catching colors are common in sports jerseys, as they help to stand out and bring energy to the design.

Sports illustrations used on Sports T-Shirt Designs

Balls of Different Sizes

Illustrations of balls or sports balls are common on soccer, basketball, volleyball, American football jerseys, and other ball sports. They can represent the sport in general or a specific aspect of the game. This is the case with this design, “Child with balls of different sports around design” in which a child is portrayed alongside two soccer and basketball balls. These illustrative elements are crucial because the ball is the tool that distinguishes one sport from another. Therefore, knowledge should be taken into account when designing, selecting the appropriate ball to place, and establishing which sport it represents.

Silhouettes of Athletes and Sportspeople

Silhouettes of athletes in action are popular on sports jerseys, as they capture the essence of the sport and the dynamics of movement. These illustrations can depict players executing a play, performing a jump, throwing a ball, and so on. In this design, “Girl about to hit a ball as a future star design” the silhouette of a soccer player running with a ball is depicted. In sports, there is always movement, and it is necessary to implement this in the illustrations because they are representative.

This is confirmed by the Neuberger Museum of Art Education, stating that movement adds excitement, drama, and overall compositional interest to a work of art. An artist can direct how the viewer’s eye moves around an image by arranging its elements in a certain way. Rhythm, line, color, balance, and space also play an important role in creating the sensation of movement.

Emotion-Generating Sports Icons

Icons representing teams, players, or specific elements of sports are also used on sports t-shirts. For example, the NBA logo for basketball, the NFL logo for American football, and so on. These sports icons are recognized by audiences. One strategy for a design to become popular is to use public figures who are trending, thus popularizing the design. This is the case with this design, “Baseball player a design of the United States flag design” The player is depicted in a retro style from the 1990s, showcasing a vintage aesthetic. The design incorporates elements of American patriotism by including the design of the United States flag as the background.

Sports Accessories that are Regularly Used

Illustrations of sports accessories such as rackets, golf clubs, helmets, gloves, etc., are common on sports jerseys related to specific sports. In this case, we have a bicycle, “Badge of more bicycles design” Cycling is another sport that is booming, with the bicycle being the favorite accessory for this sport.

Exciting Game Scenes

Some sport t-shirt designs feature illustrations of game scenes, such as standout plays, iconic moments, or the stadium atmosphere. These illustrations may include players, fans, referees, etc. In this design, “Animal kingdom in a geometric world design” we see a group of children playing soccer. The design features an Animal Kingdom in a geometric world, creating a visually captivating and unique artistic representation. The artwork is specifically created to appeal to both boys and girls, with a focus on children overall. The design incorporates sports elements, adding an exciting and energetic touch to the overall aesthetic.

Team Mascots or Symbols

Many sports teams have mascots or symbols that represent them, and these images are often used on jerseys as part of the design. We can see this in American football teams, most of which have a mascot that is part of their logo and designs. This entertains and captivates the audience, fosters team spirit, and creates a lively atmosphere in the stadium (White Clouds). Wearing jerseys with the mascot in the design evokes these emotions and connections, creating even more engagement.

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These are just some of the sports illustrations commonly used on jerseys. The creativity and imagination of designers can lead to a wide variety of styles and approaches within these themes.

Well, we’ve discussed the use of jerseys as sports fans and consumers, however, athletes also have certain choices about these designs. A friend who is a freestyle motocross rider, along with his father, started their own team. For this, they needed to design an illustration, phrase, colors, etc., that represented them as a team.

In this case, they opted for this design, “Racing motorcycle with biker and color explosion design” This design features a racing motorcycle with a rider atop it, set against a backdrop of vibrant color explosions. The style of the design is artistic and illustrated, highlighting the dynamic and fast-paced nature of competitive motorcycling. The main focus of the design is the motorcycle, which is depicted in a detailed and realistic style. The use of bright and striking colors such as red, orange, yellow, and green serves to emphasize the feeling of speed and excitement associated with racing.

All these details make it captivating and represent the values that both the team and the company want to show to the people who come here to train and develop as athletes.

What Do The Messages and Designs Inside The Sports T-Shirts Communicate?

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The messages and designs we can find inside jerseys almost always showcase motivation, perseverance, and teamwork. Furthermore, for marketing, they have focused on communicating something, as the logos and colors of the jerseys have become strong elements of team brands and sponsors, reinforcing visual identity and fans’ sense of belonging (University of Nebraska)

In this way, it is understood that these types of jerseys have a dominant place in the world of sports, both as communication vehicles and symbols of belonging. Their success goes beyond the simple promotional aspect, becoming an essential part of the identity of sports teams and events.

Hence arises the importance of making good choices regarding designs, whether for promotional purposes or not. Because one way or another, people are going to wear these jerseys to express the relationship they have with the sport and the teams they are part of and identify with.


An example of what messages combined with design communicate can be seen in this “Boy training boxing design” The phrase is short but says a lot, conveying dominance in the ring, along with the animated illustration of a boy fighting with boxing gloves. Here, we can see how the design and the phrase come together to convey a message. There is only one person depicted in the design, indicating that the competition is with oneself, and the feeling conveyed is mastering the art of boxing.

Designs that Will Help You Have a Reference Point for Your Creations

Classic racing single-seater design

Another of the most important sports of the century is auto racing. Formula One has become a phenomenon, and now people are keeping an eye on what happens in this sport. In this design, we can see a race car illustrated in different colors. The color palette of the design is dominated by shades of orange, green, and black, giving it a retro and vintage feel, with a phrase that says “Track Star.” The design is a classic racing style, inspired by the era of the 1980s and 1990s of motorsport.

The overall aesthetic of the design is a combination of art styles, cartoon, and illustration, giving it a fun atmosphere. The design is primarily aimed at men who are fans of racing and sports.

Duo of girls playing soccer design

The design features a colorful image of two girls playing soccer. It focuses on the sport and the players’ skill. The image is drawn to capture the excitement of the game. It also includes a quote that makes it deeper and more inspiring. The colors represented are mostly feminine, as women are also part of sports, in this case, basketball. The fonts used in the design are a combination of bold, sans serif, and script. The bold font adds emphasis and impact to the text, making it stand out. The sans serif font provides a clean and modern look, complementing the overall design. The script font adds a touch of elegance and grace, reflecting the message conveyed by the text.

Giant sumo preparing for a battle design

The design features a sumo wrestler ready to fight. It uses styles such as black, geometric, minimalist, and sporty. The colors are mainly black and maroon. The letters are bold, large, and italicized. It includes the phrase “Fighting Spirit Style”. Overall, it is minimalist and geometric, depicting the sumo wrestler as strong and determined. It will appeal to children, teenagers, and sports enthusiasts.

Girl breaking the finish line ribbon design

The design features a girl breaking the finish line tape as the main object. The design style is black, professional, feminine, illustrated, simple, with a quote, sporty, and for teenagers. The color palette consists of orange and black. The fonts used are bold and sans serif. The text incorporated into the design says “Effort shines brighter”, related to the discipline required when practicing a sport. This type of design is for anyone who identifies with these adjectives.

Iconic boot sneakers with basketball phrase design

The design features a famous sports shoe decorated with a basketball phrase. The style is a blend of art, basketball, and illustration, designed especially for men, sports enthusiasts, and teenagers. The colors are yellow, blue, and pink, giving it a fun and energetic touch. The letters are simple and modern to give a current look, with added elegant handwriting. The text says “Basketball-style tennis shoes”, highlighting the combination of both sports and their aesthetics.

Man doing karate with training phrase design

Karate is one of the most popular sports among children. It’s a cartoon illustration with a accompanying phrase that says “Train hard, fight easy.” The colors used in this design are blue, red, and yellow, perfect for both children and adults. Similarly, these designs are perfect for karate groups that need a representative logo, as these designs can be used not only on T-shirts but also on cups, stickers, pins, among others.

Motocross at full speed kicking up dust design

The design features a cartoon drawing of a motocross rider racing fast and kicking up dust behind him. The design style is artistic and targeted towards men who enjoy racing and motorcycle sports. The main colors are red, orange, and black, which makes the design feel bold and full of energy. The fonts used are modern and fun, adding to the sense of movement and excitement. It also includes the phrase “Arena, sun, and sweat” to highlight the challenges of motocross. In summary, this design showcases the excitement and energy of the sport, highlighting its tough and thrilling nature.

Person riding skateboard with phrase design

The design depicts someone skateboarding with a striking and courageous phrase. It is inspired by a boy and features simple shapes and lines, giving it a clean and straightforward look. It also incorporates elements reminiscent of skateboard culture and the sport, making it perfect for a teenager. The colors are bright such as yellow, blue, and purple, which make the design look full of energy. The text uses a font style that appears bold and strong. The chosen phrase “Fearless” further emphasizes the theme of the design, showcasing the brave and adventurous spirit of skateboarding.

Racing cars competing design


The design showcases the thrilling culture of 1990s auto racing in a vibrant way. It features colorful drawings of race cars and men competing at high speed. Using bright colors like orange, green, and white, it captures the excitement and energy of the sport. Additionally, the vintage style of the design adds charm and would be ideal for the collection of any racing enthusiast.


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From this, we can conclude that the graphic elements of sports jersey designs are closely linked and vary according to the communicative and visual intent of each sport, team, or players. That is to say, when creating a design, it’s important to consider these details so that there is consistency in the values of the sport and the team, thus designing something representative. Similarly, for designs of a personal nature, even though a brand may not be being evaluated, it is expected that the designs are conceived with an awareness of trends in sports, as exemplified by Formula One. It is a sport that is trending, and employing these strategies to make a design popular can be advantageous.

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