Find What You Love by MidnightCoffee (MidnightCoffee) is my favorite design this week, largely because of those lovely painted shades and textures. It manages to feel both handcrafted and realistically dimensional, which is pretty impressive. But even more than the art style, the message of the piece is really engaging. I like the kind of cheerfully destructive vibe of it, that your limited time is very much worth wasting if you enjoy every second of it. After all, everyone dies of something- there’s some wisdom in carefully selecting your destructive impulses and selecting something (as implied by the inclusion of the pen) that contributes something to the world while you’re enjoying yourself.
Black Hole by etdraws (etdraws) uses a simple combination of a colored gradient and geometric shapes to create something beautiful and otherworldly. I like the concept both because it looks cool, and because there’s something about seeing geometric shapes (which could be considered basic building blocks) in a cosmic setting that feels so right, like it’s representing the elements that exploded from the big bang and we’re seeing the beginning of the universe.
I’m Listening by Je-Yeon Kim (itsjeyboy) won Threadless’s Pet Peeves challenge, and it’s definitely a great visual depiction of a very annoying habit. Dealing with distracted smartphone users is an experience pretty much everyone can relate to as well, so it’s a universal theme. But here’s where I often get a bit tripped up by shirt designs- who are the people buying and wearing this? It feels to me like people who perpetuate the habit wouldn’t wear it, largely because they wouldn’t want to call more attention to their own poor behavior. But would people who are annoyed by it wear it, either? I feel like the art implies that the person wearing it is the one saying “I’m listening,” so I can’t picture the annoyed wanting to be mistaken for the annoying. There’s a suggestion in the comments that this design would make a very appropriate smartphone case, and that’s an application that makes a lot more sense to me. After all, there it’s a reminder of what not to do, a last appeal to manners over alleviating boredom.
Almost Take Off by radiomode (radiomode) uses watercolor really expertly. I love how furry the bear looks, and the way his subtle “this may have been a mistake” expression comes across, easily read as either regretting that he’s starting to fly or that he’s annoyed he hasn’t managed to get higher. This style also works well for the balloons, since it expresses their dimension, lightness, and transparency. Good stuff!
Inspired By… by John MacDougall (macdoodle) is a fun take on the penguin-in-a-tux concept, escalating the idea by pairing the fancy animal with a piano (and its matching black and white keys). There’s a lot to like about this one, from the almost papercut look of those flat, solid shapes to the penguin’s self-satisfied expression (a perfect match for his preppy little bow tie). But what I like best is that, despite the simpleness of the shapes and style employed, the details aren’t skimped on. There’s a soft shadowing beneath the piano and bench, and the kicky splay of his legs communicates clearly that despite his seriousness, the penguin is really enjoying playing this tune.
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).