In recent years, the design world has seen tote bags become a great, cost-friendly way for artists to get their work out into the big wide world. Not only are they cheap and eco-friendly, with the right design they can also be something of a fashion statement.
There are millions of great tote bag designs out there, here we've picked 15 awesome examples. Which one is your favourite?
Launching last year, Sans Form (opens in new tab) is an independent label of printable and wearable goods. They have tons of tote bags on offer but it was this design from Sawdust (opens in new tab) that really caught our eye. Made up of the award-winning creative partnership of Rob Gonzalez and Jonathan Quainton, this tote bag shows that less is more.
02. Geometric Bear
We love virtually everything that uses good geometric patterns here at Creative Bloq, and this tote bag design is one of the most delicious examples we've seen. Designed by illustrator and graphic designer Budi Satria Kwan (opens in new tab), we have fallen head-over-heels for the colours.
03. Cable Cars
Creative Bloq favourite Ben the Illustrator (opens in new tab) has collaborated with wife Fi to create a range of beautiful, hand-made, patterned fabric bags. There's plenty of gorgeous offerings but we like this cable cars one the best! Take a look at their store (opens in new tab) for more brilliant bags.
04. Cardboard Cities
Colour, animals, nature, old films, science fiction, dreams and vivid imagination inspire illustrator and collage extraordinaire Laura Redburn. Her blog Cardboardcities (opens in new tab) is full of influential work and this tote bag design is one of the many that she has crafted. You can see more over on Society6 (opens in new tab).
05. Pomme Chan
Born and educated in Bangkok, Pomme Chan (opens in new tab) relocated to London in 2002 and has been working as a freelance creative artist ever since. Her intricate and detailed designs are gorgeously translated onto tote bags and this owl offering is just one of many.
06. Suit Tote
This amazing 100% upcycled suit tote from Poketo (opens in new tab) was made from a vintage wool suit, multicoloured corduroy shirt and reclaimed soft leather for the straps. The company created a series one-of-a-kind bags, each named individually like The Tim (above), after Tim Chan, publisher of the Corduroy Magazine. Part of an eco-awareness program in South Korea, this bag is not just cool from a fashion point-of-view but an environmental one too!
07. Girl on a Swing
This cool strap tote bag was created by Hong Kong-based product company 7 Little Moments (opens in new tab). The entire design is focused around the strap and the effects they can create combined with printed artwork. Part of a series, there are three designs in total including one of the Eiffel Tower.
08. Street banner tote
South Korean non-profit organisation Eco Party Mearry (opens in new tab) made these beautiful, colorful upcycled bags from rescued street banners that would otherwise have been discarded. In an attempt to save waste, the company specialise in repurposing cast-off materials to create new and modern goods. And if these awesome bags are anything to go by, we hope they continue the good work!
09. Note bag
See what they did there? It's a bag that looks like a note book... note bag! Replicating a traditional college notebook used in Japan, the felt bag was produced by design studio Yuruliku (opens in new tab). The Japanese-based company take a slow and relaxed approach to their designs and base their theme on 'little humour' found in everyday life.
Keep moving with this cool Allstar tote bag from One and the Same (opens in new tab), a design studio created by Alessandra Olanow based in Brooklyn. Olanow's drawings reflect her surroundings, capturing the nature of the city she loves. Cleverly incorporating the straps into this design, this is the perfect bag to carry your real canvas shoes around in.
11. Huge tote
Global digital agency Huge (opens in new tab) has created an awesome range of tote bags. They feature mainly typographical designs, including 'Work is stupid' and 'Shut the fuck up and do your job'. But they also feature graphic design such as this one depicting the contents of a typical work bag - tablet, drink, headphones, keys, and... er... knuckle duster, obviously!
12. The message bag
There are literally thousands of tote bags with typography designs out there but this one caught our eye. Rather than just a bold statement splashed across the bag, the use of typography here conveys a message in a cool and clever way. A collaborative effort between Twelvezeroseven (opens in new tab) and Baum-Kuchen (opens in new tab), the canvas tote bags are a perfect example of an interesting way to visually communicate through typography.
13. Nutty tote bag
Lazy Oaf (opens in new tab) is famous for its bright pop graphic T-shirts, reversible sweats and accessories collections and was started by Gemma Shiel back in 2001. After selling her hand screen-printed tees on an East London market stall, the brand is now stocked in over 150 outlets. Most of their designs are created in-house but this 'Nutty' tote bag was designed by artist Jon Burgerman. A perfect collaborator!
14. Elephant Memory Pills
This cute design was created by Sloth Sundays (opens in new tab), who describe themselves as your one-stop shop for letterpress and screen-printed goodies. Owned and created by Clara Kohn (opens in new tab), Sloth Sundays create pillows, cards, bags, and even Christmas decorations. This is the bag for you if you've had one of those days with one of those clients.
15. Dust Eco Tote
Noodoll (opens in new tab) is the brainchild of designer and author YiYing Wang (opens in new tab), who created the brand as part of her MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martin’s, London. The character of Noodoll lives in Noodle Town where everyone and everything is made of noodles; the character on this tote is Rice Dust, who is so happy that he has received a letter from Noodoll.
Create your own bag design and win a car!
The SEAT Mii by MANGO is a city car with a special focus on design - and so it's not surprising that makers are wooing artists, illustrators and fashion designers with an enticing competition (opens in new tab).
What do you need to do? Simply use the templates provided to create a design for a shoe bag and make-up bag inspired by the Mii and the theme 'An urban car for a city girl'.