International Translation Shirt

Design by empiricist

International Translation Shirt by empiricist on Threadless
2.79 Avg Score
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2416 Votes
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empiricist profile pic Artist

Have you ever wanted to travel somewhere, but couldn’t because of a language barrier? Well now you can with the first ever International Translation Shirt! All you do is simply point to what you need, and PRESTO you’re on your way! Example you need to go to the restroom really bad, but you don’t know the word for restroom, so you just point to the toilet on your shirt and someone will direct you! I tried choosing items that would cover a broad spectrum of the necessities that people use now days. The layout on the example shirt is my prefered margins, a vertical elongated composition. I cramped them together just so I could show maximum detail. All comments are appreciated!

Ronin60 profile pic Alumni

haha, great idea.

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted - Score Now!

This is incredibly funny and useful. I love it, except i don't remember the last time i traveled somewhere and requested to find a half-eaten tree leaf. 4$


Damn that's clever.



Nice. It should also have numbers though. And where's the ATM? It's a nice shirt and I like it, but if better designed this could be an important tool. I was constantly doing drawings of butter and stuff like that for waitresses when I went to France.

wotto profile pic Alumni

nice idea

eskimokiss profile pic Alumni

too cool!!

BubuSam profile pic Alumni

Nicely done!

slaterock profile pic Alumni

haha, this is really creative! I never travel overseas, but if I did, I'd love to have this!


this is a funny idea, i like it $5


I like it, and I think it would be funny if there were a couple things on the sleeves. You prolly don't need currency symbols though, since there are so many different types. Maybe put other random things on there too, just for laughs.


i like this shirt but the hospital cross seems to be a bald spot on the shirt. Try adding something to balance both sides. $4

Recycledwax profile pic Alumni

hahahah amazing idea!


If I bought this I'd probably end up not wearing it on a day that I end up needing it.

empiricist profile pic Artist

Hello everyone thanks for all the comments. As you might be wondering why I put some things on like a slide, and a bitten leaf? Well I wanted the viewer to look at the broad spectrum of the objects such as a bitten leaf, or a slide. The leaf was designed for the vegetarians, while the slide was for kids or parents looking for a playground. You can also check out my critique here.

(matthijs) profile pic Alumni

Looks cool, but I've seen this before somewhere. Based on the original cards.

empiricist profile pic Artist

What are the original cards you speak of? I also tried finding something similar to this shirt, but I couldn't find anything. If you know of where you seen something like it, please send me a link. I would love to see how someone else executed it.


Please print this before my upcoming trip in Sept :)


Whether or not it's been printed somewhere before, it's a fun idea and well executed. Good job!

(now to get me some half-eaten leaves for dinner...)

mj00 profile pic Alumni

I think people are referring to the Traveller's Phrase Book shirt. It was blogged pretty extensively in early July (at Gizmodo and Tcritic, among many others).

Yours is definitely more elaborate, but also likely to be less useful (the universal symbols in the other shirt are more likely to be understood). For what it's worth, I'd be much more likely to wear yours than the other- I just wouldn't expect others to know why I was pointing at my own shirt.


Oh wow, I love this!! $5.

ALIADOTONY profile pic Alumni



Very good! 5


I think they actually make little translation books with pictures too...that's what it reminded me of. Maybe that's what was meant by "cards"? Anyway, cute idea.


I love this t-shirt!! Most definitely would wear it! $5


Put in the title in a frame around the block of items in as many different languages that it will fit, so people will know what the shirt is...

empiricist profile pic Artist

I believe people would be more confused if your scrambiling around trying to find a sketch book to draw, or by making charade like jestures to communicate an idea? This just plays off the saying "a picture's worth a thousand words".



empiricist profile pic Artist

Thank you very much, for your kind comments! ?

empiricist profile pic Artist

that question wark was suppost to be a smiley :)

empiricist profile pic Artist

wow it's early


if the tee's purpose is to communicate to people who don't speak english, then should the newspaper's print be in another language...?

empiricist profile pic Artist

But I do want it to communicate to people who speak English, It works vise versa for foreigners coming to the America. I just thought things would start looking odd and busy if I had everything written many times over again, and in various languages. Text is usually a forbidden fruit here on Threadless, so I tried keeping it to a minimum.

yeohgh profile pic Alumni

YES, PRINT this, cos good for travel, useful and good design!!! 5 welldone! empiricist


That's very clever

empiricist profile pic Artist

Right now the images are pretty small and cramped on the screen, but if printed I would like them to be size of a quarter or bigger. As long as it can be read clearly and look stylish at the same time :)


Awesome!!! I don't know why..but the first aid symbol looks a bit off to me...

empiricist profile pic Artist

Gracias, I noticed that as well. I have already fixed it on my file.

empiricist profile pic Artist

Thanks everyone for your comments, it was biggest critique I have ever gone through!

jpiatt profile pic Alumni

This is extremely clever.
This is actually an amazing idea for several reasons.
•It's not just a shirt. This is an invention almost! Brilliant job. A shirt that helps solve a common problem.
•For a USEFUL design, it's not bad looking. Very well illustrated. Great colors.
•It has a classy vibe to it. Like, you're some jet-setter who's always traveling the world or something :) Even if you rarely leave this country, it's still kind of can have that "I can still dream to visit far off lands" type of vibe.

kaloyster profile pic Alumni


Edword profile pic Alumni

congrats on da print!

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