Trends for 2021

Inspirational quotes are sure to continue into 2021

New year, time to take stock and try new ideas and business approaches. If 2020 and the infamous COVID-19 brought us anything positive, it was the explosion of the athleisurewear and the massive growth in online shopping. Put this together with continued need for self-expression and print on demand in any form is thriving. Charlotte Darling, director at Amaya Sales UK, explores key trends to look out for in 2021.

Transfer printing while not the only way to offer personalisation and garment decoration, is the lowest investment your business can make to get started in printing.

It exploded in 2020 for us, partly due to the portability of the equipment. A heat press and laser or sublimation printer is compact and something anyone can have at home and continue to work and serve their customers, even when we went into full lockdown.

It also offers you the ability to go to market immediately with a new design, or test and try things out with short runs or even just sampling to get the product you are selling live on your website quickly. Once the demand has been established you can switch to other mass production processes like DTG or screen print to meet your demand.

So, what will we see in terms of design champion in 2021? Well I don’t have a crystal ball, but here are some ideas and inspiration that I think will continue to grow.

Inspirational quotes

Quotes and text have survived through the decades from ‘I heart NY’ in the 70s to ‘RELAX and CHOOSE LIFE’ in the 80s but 2020 brought a more caring side out in us all – ‘In a world where you can be anything… Be kind’ was one of the biggest messages promoted in 2020 and this trend is expected to continue.

Major fashion brands and high street names include slogan shirts in their collection every year and the more inspirational ones will shine through in 2021. Often promoted by celebrities and influencers the spread of a message happens in hours now on social media.

Animal prints evoke emotions

Animal portraits

Animals are a guaranteed way to gain traction on social media as they are a great pull on the heart strings. Whether you promote caricatures, photos or portraits of your favourite pet as a personalised idea, which has been a big thing for Not on the High Street in 2020, or use an animal to promote a good cause, this trend will continue to grow.

Natural inspiration

Personal growth and mental wellbeing are more important than ever, and often promoted through natural imagery. Translate this into design, flowers symbolise beauty, rainbows evoke joy and hope, the colour green symbolises sustainability and stars express magic and inspiration.

Take note from the elements around you and incorporate them into your product design to stay on trend.


I’m not talking about the slogan now; I’m talking about how to present it. Varied fonts and styles are a great way to vary design. Repeat text, the same word four or five times adds impact, using retro fonts gives the garment a vintage feel which often adds value, present each letter in a different colour makes two words ‘designed’ and hand written fonts are loved by everyone.

Make the most of your heat transfer application by using metallics, glitters and neon effects that can’t be as easily achieved in other printing processes. This can be done with special effect vinyls, adding hot stamping foils to standard transfer processes and some suppliers provide metallic and neon transfer papers.

Finally, it’s not all about the actual design, make the most of decorating your garment in different positions. The pocket print, not an actual pocket but an imagery printed pocket found its way into 2020 and is an economic way to decorate a garment – you can get six to eight transfers out of a A3 sheet. Printing down the full length of the sleeve is also popular and best lends itself to typography, created in HTV.

Here’s to a great 2021.

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