STFU by Ian Byers (ibyes) is my favorite Threadless shirt of the week, and just might be the greatest librarian-themed shirt of all time. I love the way the text begins with the traditional “Ssshhh” and then continues on with the rest of the phrase, tucking it behind the librarian character to slightly camouflage the profanity (much in the same way the Ssshhh abbreviation would, if the shirt’s contention was accurate). A lot of pop culture representations of librarians hinge on the idea that they’re repressing a wild side with their very prim, buttoned-up personas, and I like the way this shirt takes that trope and decides that, nope, what you see is what you get- if anything, they’re even madder about your noise breaking the silence than you suspected. It’s good stuff, and I think most readers can relate to it.
New Follower by Vo Maria (vo maria) gives the idea of being stalked by death new legs by introducing a social media twist- this grim reaper is following you on Facebook. I think the goofiness of the character is what makes this work, giving the fellow a sideways tilt to his head as he uses his bony hands to form a heart shape. It creates the feeling that death is a big fan of yours and just wants to hang out more, which is kind of a sweet take on the subject. The minimal color scheme is very effective in focusing your eyes on only the most important information, especially that orange notification.
Mr. Green by Bill Mund (Billmund) imports marijuana into the world of the Little Miss and Mister Men books, which is surprisingly fitting. I think it works because, like the originals, this gives the character a simple, bold shape and, also like many of the originals, it forms a cartoon persona based on something often perceived as a bad habit. I could easily see this guy existing alongside Mr. Messy and Little Miss Trouble, you know? Plus, the juxtaposition of something meant for children and something meant for adults helps to amplify the humor (as does the playful name of the book’s author).
Weed by Mauro Gatti (maurogatti) makes its titular character feel like a mascot backed by marquee letters and colorful lighting effects. It’s a very heroic sort of presentation, like a rock star might get. And by flashing a peace sign paired with half-closed eyes, this guy definitely embodies that same sort of laid back, confident cool. I like the style so much that it makes me wish I was more fond of the subject matter (why couldn’t it be about pizza?), but others in the same boat might want to check out the artist’s store for more in the same vein. This is fun, though, and I think it’s prospective audience will appreciate it.
Nugs by Valeriya Volkova (valtastic) is definitely the most sophisticated of this batch of weed-themed tees. With its high level of detail and use of only one ink color, it feels like the kind of nature study you might see in an old book about plants. Each of the chunks has a bit of a different flair to it, with differing leaf sizes, arrangements, and light/dark balances. It’s great art, but in my opinion the solidly rectangular shape of the design makes it a bit of a let down as a shirt print. I wish the nugs had been shaped into a circle, or maybe repeated to form a larger all-over pattern. To me, the shape of this design makes the illustration appear less interesting and dynamic than it actually is, and I worry that not all viewers will take the time to take a closer look.
Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).