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Power Ranking Penn State’s White Out Shirts

Ah, the White Out. There’s nothing quite like it. How could one be happier when you’re surrounded by 107,000 of your best friends?

Beginning in 2008, Penn State designs and sells an official White Out shirt for fans to purchase in the months leading up to the big game.

During the Blue-White Game on April 15, former Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson revealed the 2023 White Out shirt. This year’s shirt features the phrase “White Out Conditions” on the front with the words “The Greatest Show In College Sports” and “Penn State White Out” emblazoned on the back.

This year makes 16 years of White Out shirts, so we figured it was time to power rank our favorites throughout the years.

No. 16: 2013

There’s really nothing to like about this shirt. The front is a mess with a basic font for “Penn State” and the words “White Out” cover the entire shirt. We can’t quite figure out if the logo on the back is too big or too small. It would’ve been beneficial if Penn State Athletics’ graphic designers could’ve read our ideas 10 years ago.

The only positive thing about this shirt is that it was widely worn in Penn State’s iconic win over Michigan, which featured the Allen Robinson catch and a quadruple-overtime victory.

No. 15: 2014

There’s so much going on here. The previous shirt didn’t have much going on, but now we aren’t sure where to look first. The back is great, which highlights the student section, but the front overpowers the frankness of the back.

No. 14: 2009

This shirt had a lot of potential with the stripe design resembling that of the football helmet. The writing on the back is just corny.

The design features four different fonts and, along with poor typography, the shirt looks messy as a whole.

No. 13: 2008

There’s not much to dislike about this shirt. The front is very creative and eye-catching, featuring words that make up the Lion Shrine.

If the back was different, then it may have jumped to the No. 12 spot.

No. 12: 2010

This is a pretty solid design.

In our opinion, the Nittany Lion could stand on its own on the front as the text is a little unnecessary. The writing on the back is better than most. This is a solid shirt, but can’t quite break into the top 10.

No. 11: 2011

We may catch heat for putting this one so low, but there are a lot of good shirts left to be ranked.

The simplicity of “Penn State White Out” on the front is a great design to complement the back that has 30 rows that read “Success With Honor” with an “S” formed by the words. This back design resembles that of the “S Zone” in the student section and is simply c l e a n.

No. 10: 2018

This is a very sleek and clean shirt that probably got lost in the back of most closets. The lack of creativity holds it back from a higher rank.

No. 9: 2023

Courtesy of Penn State Athletics

The time has come to rank this year’s shirt.

Maybe this is harsh and it’ll turn into a shirt in the weekly rotation, but there’s too much going on here in comparison to other shirts. The phrases are great, but only one or two of them should be on the shirt. Probably not all three.

Will we still end up getting one? Well, of course.

No. 8: 2012

The Nittany Lion exiting the gate is giving us chills and the White Out is still months away.

Both the front and the back aren’t doing too much, but it’s enough to make a great design. The ground perspective on the words “Nittany Lion Football 2012” is *chef’s kiss.*

No. 7: 2016

If a White Out shirt is going to be made, then it better be white. The front is hard to read due to the white words on the white shirt, but that’s OK. Not every shirt needs a back design and this is a perfect example of that.

No. 6: 2019

The words “Expect Excessive Noise” on the front and “White Out” on the back highlight fans using their shakers in the student section. Still, the shirt might look better with no back design like the previous one.

I normally don’t like when text is harder to read, but just like the White Out, it’s hard to hear.

See? Makes sense, right?

No. 5: 2015

The chrome letters are just doing something to us. Thinking of this text under the Beaver Stadium lights is electric. The only problem is that this game was played at noon in a 28-16 loss to Michigan.

The chrome text carries this shirt, but without it, the design would probably find itself near the bottom of the list.

No. 4: 2020

This a great shirt and probably a favorite for many fans. The wordless front is perfection.

“Volume In The Valley” is a great use of alliteration and, while not a trademark White Out slogan, it works well.

No. 3: 2017

This is by far the most creative White Out shirt we’ve ever seen. The front and back of the shirt feature sound waves that complement the phrase “Avalanche Of Sound” perfectly. If you could hear a shirt, then this would be the one.

No. 2: 2022

Courtesy of Penn State Athletics

When a shirt can have a lot going on, yet still have a simplistic feel to it, then you know it’s a special design.

Simplicity on the front is always the way to go and it’s done well here. The year “2022” is behind “Penn State White Out,” which is spread across the front in small text. The words on the back are a compilation of fan-submitted adjectives that describe the White Out.

A key moment of the 2022 White Out was when “The Greatest Show” from “The Greatest Showman” played on the speakers, shaking the stadium.


No. 1: 2021

Courtesy of the Penn State Bookstore

Perfection. This shirt is a masterpiece, and now because of the last two years, expectations for White Out shirts are at an all-time high. Most of the White Out shirts have some variation of “Penn State White Out” on them and it usually takes up the whole side of the shirt. Here the text is rotated to only cover one side of the chest. The back is an ode to the famous “We Are” chant that students, fans, and alumni cheer.

This shirt is it.

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About the Author

Aidan Conrad

Aidan is a junior interested in photography and graphic design. He grew up in Dallas, PA a small town near Scranton, yes Scranton like The Office. Although he is from NEPA he is a big fan of all of the Philadelphia sports teams. You can find him on Instagram @aidanconrad12, on Twitter @aidanconrad12 or through email [email protected].

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