Any experienced beach bum can appreciate the appeal of an attractive beach towel. Offering a perfect blend of form and function, beach towels can keep you looking and feeling cool in the sand or by the pool deck.
So what’s caught our eye lately? From hypnotizing mandalas to playful typography, designers are getting more and more creative with this unique canvas. Here, we’ve rounded up ten beach towel designs ready to soak up the sun — and your admiration. Which one will you want to wrap yourself up in?
Tommy Hilfiger is a classic American brand, but even they can toe the line of contemporary edge from time to time.
In the example above they play with the traditional Hawaiian print pattern, using a block printing technique that emphasizes positive and negative space against a brilliant yellow. The simple and bright two-tone palette brings attention to the overlapping shapes in a way that feels strikingly modern. These elements work in unison to create a light, airy and fun beach feel we’re loving.
Sydney’s Sunny Life draws their inspiration for the towel above from the vibrant textiles in Mexican culture. The dynamic pattern plays into the geometric trend of the moment, but also draws connections to the durability and care put into Mexican blankets (hand-made, solid, thick fabric).
One company focusing more heavily on the beach towel function is Vertty. Their flagship towel contains a handful of features that put Swiss Army Knives to shame.
The Vertty towel has a waterproof pocket for cellphones and electronics, a sand repellent under-layer, and a quick-drying top layer. It’s very lightweight and—to top it off—they are all handmade. But that doesn’t mean the aesthetics weren’t considered. Coming in a wide array of colors, the towel’s look is modern, featuring geometric tiles that correlate to the shape of a splayed out body on the beach.
Beach towel design also has a lot of room for clever, bold typography. This featured design by castle offers a playful phrase, a twee typeface and fringe that feel distinctly feminine and fits perfectly on a sunny beach. The design layout leaves lots of negative space, inviting the owner to lay out face down in a state of sun tanning bliss.
Where castle’s towel thrives on blank space, Lotta Nieminen’s design is anything but. Rather than the beachy concept we usually see, this towel turns its emphasis on a psychedelic poolscape. The analogous color scheme looks to be from another dimension, as if this tiny pool scene exists in a parallel universe.
It’s quite a very funny, meta thing to see walking along the beach—a private little swimming pool scene. It may also give the owner a sense of privacy on a crowded beach, as if they can escape to their own private pool.
We love how Daniel Zender takes the same approach to a beach towel as he would a silk screen: starting with a limited palette of colors and creating artwork that connects these layers in an aesthetically intriguing way. As seen above, this can be quite effective—and a great way to break away from the mainstream. Not to mention beach towels exist in a proportion not far from large scale screen printed posters or art works.
Brooklyn designer Dan Cassaro comes in strong with another great example of beach towel typography. Here, he channels the classic Talking Heads song and utilizes the full real estate of the towel to give impact to every word. The orange border is a nice touch, not only balancing out this simple color palette, but also framing the carefully constructed typographic composition.
One major splash in the beach towel market was the circular beach towel design. It makes a lot of sense. Who can’t commiserate about too-small beach towel that inevitably gets covered in sand?
This tranquil, mandala design by Labhanshi solves that issue by offering plenty of space to stretch out and get comfortable (without scorching the side of your leg on the hot sand). For any designers out there that find yourself in a beach towel design contest, don’t be afraid to throw a circular design in the mix!
One style that never gets old is the corny beach towel. It’s hard to articulate why it’s so awesome to lay down at the beach on something so cheesy—it’s just fun. You can’t really argue with it. One great example of this style comes from Dawhud Direct. What’s not to love about this adorable illustration of baby turtles making the trek into the ocean?
To wrap things up we have another sharp Sunny Life beach towel design that further emphasizes how you can’t go wrong with solid patterns on beach towels—especially when it pulls in something unexpected, like Op Art. This particular pattern feels modern, high-fashion and (bonus) is fun to look at!
Beach towel design is a medium that can house a wide spectrum of ideas. Simply put, there are many ways to attack a towel design project. Use this guide as a starting point and don’t be afraid to push the envelope!