WeLoveFine‘s Table Titans winners have been announced, and the one that stands out the most to me is Died in the Mines by Cory Freeman (the Chris Perkin’s pick). What I love about this design is how evocative it is- I’ve never read the comic, and yet just seeing the words Mines of Madness paired with these graphics (broken pick axe, skull, mine cart on rails) gives me an instant sense of what sort of place this is and ignites my curiosity. It makes me want to know more about what happened there, and I suspect most viewers will have the same reaction- making this shirt a good opening for a conversation. I like that every detail of the art becomes an opportunity to tell more of the story, like how there are cobwebs hanging from the tools, the word “of” becomes a mine cart, and there’s even a little 20-sided die up top to give the design some context. Very thorough, smart work.
Portraits de Chats by Kathleen Ponsard really caught my eye because it’s the rare cat shirt that stands out as original and still interesting in a vast sea of cat-themed tees. I love the way these doodles get to the essence of different cat faces without even showing one of their most defining features, the ears. And despite the same elements being used in each sketch- inky dark fur, crisp black lines, and pink noses- each of the kitties feels absolutely unique and different from the others, showing different emotions and physical features. It’s a level of character creation that’s rare, and helps to ensure that if you’re a cat person you’re bound to see a face in that crowd that reminds you a lot of your favorite pet (either in looks or in outlook). The shape of the design is also a perfect fit for the shirt, neither too busy nor too empty as it fills the space of the fabric.
Winners at Monsieur Poulet earn 2 Euros per item sold, for a total of up to 2000 Euros.
Shirt.Woot’s first derby this week hints at themes in the weeks ahead, for people who like to prepare entries in advance…
Starting Friday: Derby #427: Northeast States
Over the next several weeks, our weekend derbies will be all about the U.S. states. This week you’ll be designing a tee for one (or more) of the Northeast states. Since all things are relative, let’s say for the purpose of this Derby that the Northeastern States are:
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.
We’re hoping to get at LEAST one tee for every state. Ideally several. Here are a few rules:
You can design a tee for the state or a city within that state.
Be mindful that some well known landmarks are privately owned (the Space Needle, the Chrysler Building, etc.) and may be rejection fodder.
Don’t use the state’s actual slogans.
No Creme tees.
This derby begins on Friday at Noon and ends on Monday at Noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $200 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, other designs will be selected and sold for $2 per item each. Both top vote-getters and selected designs will be sold in a future Plus sale.
Starting Monday: Derby #438: Minimalism
Reduce it down the bare essentials. No creme tees.
The top three vote-getters will each earn $1000 and $2 per item sold after the first day of sales. Those winners will be sold on Friday (1st), Saturday (2nd), and Sunday (3rd). Additionally, other designs may be selected for a Plus sale on the following Monday, with each selected design earning $2 per item sold.
Ninja Gifter by Yannick Bouchard (Moutchy) is Threadless’s Front & Back challenge winner, and in my opinion the most fun design this week. I love the contrast between the sides, with the ninja at first appearing to be a threat on the front before his peaceful, pleasant intent is revealed on the back. Since ninjas are almost always portrayed as warriors and silent assassins, it’s a great twist to show that he’s not wielding a ninja star or a giant sword, he’s just, like, planning your surprise party or whatever. The illustration itself supports the gag well, sticking with a simple, realistic look that lets the joke take centerstage.
There and Back Again by Joe Wright is kind of a weird design to me because… well, it’s meant to mimic the look for willow pattern china, right? So why is it a shirt? I understand wanting to have plates that have that traditional sort of look and reference pop culture, but it’s harder for me to understand why anyone would look at a plate and be like, “Yes, this is what I want on my shirt.” It’s a weird mismatch in terms of medium. That said, at least the circle shape does relate to the idea of the ring, so it’s not completely out of left field. I also like the soft textures of the art, which help it to feel a bit antique.
Otter Space by Tom (Thomas Orrow) takes a different approach to the pun by imagining that otter space is a universe contained within the otter (typically artists working with this pun draw otters in outer space). It’s a neat take on the subject in part because of the simplicity it allows for- everything is done in one color, and smooth lines convey the otter’s sweet personality well. I also like the idea that we’re all in otter space right now- that’s the kind of modern mythology I could really get behind!
Melting Sun by moty_moty_moty (moty_moty_moty) is kind of interesting in that I don’t think the title matches the art- I’d never have assumed that the dripping stripes of color at the top were meant to be a sun at all, since they look more traditionally like a rainbow and there’s so much blue. But title aside, the art is really fun to look at. The melting of the colors and they way they swirl in the river is well drawn, and with the relative drabness of the rest of the landscape it’s fun to imagine that the sun’s colors will revitalize the scenery. Perfect for spring, too, when it feels like the world around us is going through the same process as in this picture.
Morning! by Zach Sweeten (Cheshire Cat) transforms the Kool Aid Man into a coffee pot, which I’ve seen a few times before. The nice thing about this rendition is the vintage style being used and the attention to detail (I like how his eyes seem really over-caffeinated and manic). The color palette, though, is pretty depressing- the relentless dingy grey and brown seems in opposition to the cheer of the coffee’s expression and Morning! shout. A brighter shirt color might have both made the coffee pot’s handle more visible (helping the design to make more sense at a distance) and made the design feel more energetic.
Shirt.Woot had their eye on science with their latest X-Ray Totes and Biology Tees contests, and this plus collection delivers more cool art in that vein:
Best of the X-Ray Totes: Tote of Power was this contest’s smartest use of glow ink, displaying a Reading is Fun message during the day and a darker Knowledge is Power slogan at night.
Best of the Biology Tees: Osmosis shows the way we all secretly wish learning worked, and does it with a sweet cat. Woot gold!
This promotion will only last until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. So if there’s something you like, grab it fast!
A Base Dágua by Douglas Evangelista creates an alternate universe where Western-style comic books are populated by cowboys armed with supersoakers. The neon, bulbous look of the waterguns feels comically out of place in the brown and dusty world of the frontier, and especially in the hands of the eyepatched rogue at the bottom. That said, there’s definitely some room for improvement. I can’t read what’s going on in the text because it’s in Portuguese, but even so it’s clear to me that the font styles used aren’t ideal. The thick-thin style of the title looks more like a theater program than anything appropriate for a western. Some more experimentation there and a little more research could have really raised the level of the artwork. I also think cutting down on the amount of text (that bit at the bottom is three lines long, which seems borderline insane for small type on a t-shirt if there’s an expectation it be read) in general would have been beneficial, as well as adding a few lines to suggest a desert or frontier background.
Camiseteria winners earn R$800 cash and R$500 in Camiseteria products.
KLIKSS by Arinesart translates Lego figures into the world of rock and roll. The KISS makeup styles are a good fit for minifigs, since they use bold graphics and there’s an implication that you can mix and match the heads. And I love the band’s name, because it makes this a parody based in sound rather than image- it called attention to the sound of clicking two lego bricks together and compares that to loud music. It’s a fun concept, and one that invites you to look at Lego in a different way. The only thing this is missing, in my eyes, is the inclusion of the bricks themselves. I think if the title was spelled out in bricks instead of lights (or maybe a mixture of both?) it might have been even stronger.
Pampling has two options for winners of their contest. XPress winners earn 1 euro per shirt sold, with a minimum of 100 euros guaranteed. If the design sells well, designers may have the option of earning 500 euros to give Pampling the exclusive printing rights for one year. The second option is Classic winners, who earn 680 euros cash and 120 euros in t-shirts (or 720 euros cash) for the first 400 units and exclusive rights for 3 years. If the design is reprinted, the artist earns 850 euros cash and 150 euros in Pampling products (or 900 euros cash).