Time & Space by Eric Zelinski (EZFL) won Threadless’s Minimalism contest, and is my pick for the best shirt of the week. Ampersands are pretty much the best shape in all of typography with the way their single line loops, crosses, and leads the eye, and this piece makes smart use of one by transforming the two holes into an hourglass of sorts. This creates an interesting contrast with the field of stars filling the form, a comparison between the infinite nature of space and the tight constraints of a dwindling timer. Quality work, and the kind of thing that keeps you thinking.
You Are Loved by Perry Beane (BeanePod) is a quirky charmer, carrying the phrase, “My internet friends think I’m a-ok!” It kind of hones in on one of the greatest things about the internet, namely that no matter how odd one may be, there’s bound to be an equally eccentric group on the net eager to welcome you in. So it’s fun to see this blue guy’s quiet confidence and wide-eyed optimism, it’s evidence of the secure self-esteem that I think most people aspire towards. I also dig the way his A-OK hand signal grasps a star- it makes the background feel real, like he’s actually surrounded by glittery stars and is totally at home among them.
Party Heart! by Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez (MadKobra) transforms a realistic heart into the classic devil horns hand signal. I think what makes this one work is how well it captures that medical illustration look, it almost feels as though this graphic could be in a textbook showing an early artist’s attempt at anatomical accuracy. It takes a closer look before you realize the liberties that have been taken with the valves and you catch heavy metal reference. That subtlety is a great asset, and a big part of what makes this shirt intriguing in an area (metal) where being way over the top is the norm.
Dolphox by Ross Zietz (arzie13) is a really unexpected experiment in negative space, using a fox to reveal a hidden dolphin. As far as I can tell, the animals don’t really have anything in common- they’re both just popular animals with shapes that happen to play well together. It’s impressive that despite the lack of any commonality between the dolphin and fox, the design still largely works. I think the element of surprise and the clarity of the artwork are the reason the viewer doesn’t question it more. Sure, if you really think about it the fox’s pose is pretty unlikely (if it’s moving forward, why would it’s tail be going so far forward like that?), but simplicity of style makes you more apt to jut accept what you’re seeing at face value.
Where Is My Super Suit? by Kelly Larson (Kellabell9) appeals to me the most of Threadless’s new Incredibles prints because it takes a kid’s movie and hones in on what makes it appealing to adults. It’s easy to imagine a harried parent with a few too many child-related obligations uttering this phrase, and I like the idea that the shirt’s quote portrays the wearer as doing their best, even wanting to go above and beyond what is humanly possible. Plus, that’s some gorgeous text work! I love the acrobatic way the lines swirl around, playful but still very legible.
Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn 20% royalties based on net profit (paid monthly) and a $250 Threadless Gift Certificate.