Retro Technology by Ralph Cifra (rtcifra) is my favorite design this week, in large part because that lovely color palette drew me right in. I love the bright, candy tones and how smooth they look in these simplified geometric configurations. I especially like the look on that walkman, which almost seems to be smiling. Overall, there are a lot of smart choices made in the gadgets pictured- it’s a mix of toys and useful objects, which ensures that the collection includes stuff most people have spent a lot of time with, and some that they’ll even have a strong emotional attachment to. The one decision that doesn’t make sense to me is having two cellphones (and on top of that, they’re right next to each other). But that’s a fairly small gripe, given the high level of excellence in the rest of the piece.
Fat Unicorn on a Rainbow Jetpack by radiomode (radiomode) reminds me a bit of another Fat Unicorn, like maybe this design is what happens after he’s done eating that rainbow. What I like about the unicorn/jetpack combo here, though, is that it feels kind of like the mythical flying creature version of a person riding everywhere in a scooter. It feels lazier and less magical than you’d expect from a unicorn, but at the same time you kind of have to respect his ingenuity- maybe he built it! I actually think that might have made for a slightly stronger design, to include a wrench in his hand and make this more a story about a unicorn doing a smart, unexpected thing than to have the punchline be that he’s overweight.
Negative Spaceman by Daniel Teres (danielteres) is, I think, funnier when you know the title than it is without it. The problem is that since flipping the bird goes well past just negative and pretty far into actively unpleasant territory, the odds of anyone putting together the phrase Negative Spaceman from this image alone are rather slim. To me, just that image of the defiant astronaut isn’t all that funny without the phrase. Sure, there’s something kind of amusing about the idea that he’s so far from earth, so alone, etcetera and still so dramatic, but it’s not a message that resonates for me. In a market crowded with astronaut tees, this one needs to do more to stand out.
Happy Little Trees are Happy by Peter Kramar (badbasilisk) is a crazy acid trip of a design, blowing up Bob Ross’s affection for painting happy little trees into a full-blown psychosis. Here his trademark fro is literally made up of a grinning, gooey-eyed forest of the things, and his chin and mouth drip and droop heavily with paint, like a rabid animal or a melting candle. It’s super clever, and the kind of design any fan of Bob Ross’s painting series would at least have to chuckle at… but it’s also so unsettling, so unbelievably creepy, that I fear a lot of the market isn’t going to be too eager to actually wear it. Since the show was such a happy, calming influence, a lot of the fandom will probably not be leaping at this intersection of psychedelia and horror.
Punish the Wicked by jon cottam (JonCottamArt) kind of feels like a cool heavy metal shirt, minus the band logo and with more interesting color choices. While some parts of the shirt are definitely pretty gross (those nails!), I think what keeps this design wearable is the fact that the consistancy of line and coloring still makes it feel comfortable to look at and visually explore. There’s something really beautiful about how the grooved handle of the knives resembles the markings of the skull’s tusks, and the soft red and teal glows remind me of classic tattoos. It’s the kind of design that draws you in to see all the details.
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.