What to put on a T-shirt for expats in China?


New Member
Hello everyone,

My name is Paul. I have lived in China for a couple of years and wanted to make some T-shirts for other expats with interesting and funny designs. I already prepared the blank T-shirts, found a printing company, but now face the biggest challenge - to come up with the designs to print.
After searching on the web, I found out that half of what I thought were my ideas are already taken and made into T-shirts.
I have very few ideas that came from myself, other expats and local designers.

So, I thought I could ask for some help here.
Do you have any vision of what to put on a T-shirt for expats in China? In Beijing, in Shanghai?

Here are couple of my favorites made by other designers:
Communist Party

Though it doesn't have to be all about the communist party, or all about Mao, but simply relate to the life here in a humorous way.
Or maybe it could be functional, like a detailed map of local subway system?

I would be happy to see any thoughts on the topic here. I would make a good idea into a T-shirt and post it here, when it's done.

Thank you!
Hi lauralil,

Thank you.

Like I wrote in my post, I'm asking for ideas, advice. Local designers can't give much input about something funny for expats living here, so I want to ask foreigners who see China from the outside.

An advice like "make a Mao portrait and write LMAO on the top" would be great :)

I understand that ideas and designers' work are also paid for, but hope to have a discussion with some enthusiasts and maybe come up with something together on this thread.
Haha, that LMAO one is quality. I'll get my thinking cap on and let you know if anything comes to mind.

In the mean time, for those of us here that dropped History at the earliest opportunity and are too young to know much about expats, or what they are(!), can you give us a small run down of exactly who you're targetting and what the subject area is?

Cheers :icon_cheers:
Thank you, Fred!
Expats is short for expatriates, people living in a foreign country.
There were other attempts to make T-shirts for English speakers here, like ones that said "No, I don't want to buy DVD" in Chinese on the front (people get asked if they want to buy DVD all the time in some locations), but they don't sell well; I think that the design should contain a picture at least and be a bit smarter to sell well.

A lot of these foreigners work as English teachers, many work in offices for companies that sent them here from their home country, they do all kinds of business, just like anywhere else.
I'd like to come up with a picture/slogan that relates to their life here, make a joke out of a typical problem or issue, like current financial crisis and lay-offs. I understand that I should know these kind of things better myself since I live here, but your ideas on the whole topic may help my brain start working in the right direction, I hope.

(I was also thinking of putting on a T-shirt a detailed map of the local subway system together with instructions how to get to the airport, how much taxi ride costs, etc. But I guess people who live here already know all this and the T-shirt wouldn't be useful).

Thanks again, I'm looking forward to an interesting discussion here!
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Interesting Paul. As I say, I don't know a whole lot about China but if I think of anything I'll be certain to let you know :).
Thanks, Fred. Let me know of any thoughts you have about it, because I'm thinking about it all the time and just need others' perspective.
Hmm, just an idea, and by no means a good one:

The Great Fall of China.

Any humerous picture you could put with that? I was thinking maybe the technilogical advances, but something more humerous.
Do you mean the fall as in stepping away from ancient traditions?
There must be some very clear way to demostrate a "fall" of China, because it's on the rise in many ways, so I should be sure about what it means :)
Do you mean the fall as in stepping away from ancient traditions?
There must be some very clear way to demostrate a "fall" of China, because it's on the rise in many ways, so I should be sure about what it means :)
In a way, although I was hoping you could come up with a more comical image to go alongside it, such as if it was The Great fall of America, I would consider a fatman leaning up against the golden arches of McDonalds.

Just an idea to get your brain going, hopefully :icon_thumbup:
Peter, I enjoyed that website, thank you; though you must think I'm British and I'm not :)

Fred, yeah, sure, I'll put your idea on the list and will try to come up with something. Thank you!