Archive | threadless

23 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Natural Melody 2 and more new this week

Natural Melody 2 by Christopher Phillips (cpdesign) is my favorite Threadless print this week. While the concept of tree branches sprouting from a guitar is a fairly common one, what sets this rendition apart is the artistic skill it is done with and the attention to detail throughout. There are a lot of great moments in the piece, particularly in how the birds interact with the design’s other elements. There’s something very playful about the way some birds carry off musical notes, while others find comfortable perches (the guitar’s center looks especially cozy). While outlines can be somewhat hit or miss in shirt design, this one is an excellent choice because it both interacts with the other elements (I love how the roots extend around the framing) and helps the balance out the bulk of the guitar’s body, which might have otherwise made the illustration feel too bottom-heavy.

Flightless Bird by Scott Narjes (Scarjes) is thee kind of design that seems thick with story, every detail adding a new understanding to the bigger picture. The oddness of the spacesuit, with its massive airpack and flimsy wings, seems doomed to failure. The technology it exhibits, along with the age of the TV he totes, paint the portrait of a man with big ideas that the science of the time can’t yet achieve. His bowed, disappointed head is matched by the expression of the facepalming woman on the TV screen. He’s packed for a journey, but this plan isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It’s rare to see a shirt that focuses on such a bittersweet moment, but for me it really works.

Brave by Mike Koubou (mikekoubou) should definitely appeal to cat fans. It’s a cat at its absolute best, curious and determined as well as cute. Its kittenish features look even more small wrapped in the aviator’s helmet, and there’s a brightness in the eyes and alertness in the pose of the ears that helps to sell the story. You could imagine this intrepid animal taking to the skies as an explorer, looking for the sunniest, warmest spot to land and take a nap… or as a hunter chasing birds in their own territory. Either way, the soft background adds a cloud-like texture that reinforces the theme without distracting from the character work.

Book Reads by Alexander Medvedev (GoToUp) is clever, noting a resemblance between a lounging human and an open book to create a book that reads the way a lot of people do. This is such an unusual characterization because books are usually portrayed as uptight, nerdy, and sophisticated- by making this book kind of a lazy slob, the kind of fellow totally willing to drip soda on the carpet and get Cheeto stains on the pages, this becomes a reading design that appeals to a wider crowd. He’s not reading to gain knowledge or experience great literature, he’s just looking for something fun to pass the time and make his imagination go wild. And that’s pretty relatable!

Botany by Brent Schoepf (wowrainbows) is a gorgeous bit of design, using overlapping colors and shapes to create a piece that celebrates the precise beauty of both nature and science. The swirling textures in the leaves and test tubes are very effective in moving the eye around the piece, while differing leaf shapes and plant heights create interest. The use of two shades in each leaf for a dappled effect reminds me of light reflecting on water, a choice that emphasizes the design’s nature inspiration. It feels really fresh and different, apart from the humorous cartoons and outdoors-y minimalism that is more common to the Threadless catalog.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

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20 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Artivism design contest

Art makes a big statement in Threadless‘s Artivism design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

“Artivism—where edges are pushed, imagination is freed, and a new language emerges altogether.” – Eve Ensler

Originating in 1997 between Chicano artists in East Los Angeles and the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico, this powerful portmanteau has developed in recent years as antiwar and anti-globalisation protests have increased. You’ve heard of prominent Artivists that take stabs at the current political climate like Banksy, comment on social issues like Tavar Zawacki (a.k.a. ABOVE), and fight gender and racial inequality like the Guerrilla Girls.

For this challenge, we want you to channel your passion for a cause or issue onto a canvas and unleash your inner artivist. Get in touch with your inner Ai Weiwei, or Plastic Jesus. Find your tribe of Adbusters. Whatever fuels your fire, focus on that and share it with the world to spark positive change.

This contest opens to entries on May 24th and ends on June 7th, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn $1 to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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16 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Catfeine and more new this week

Catfeine by kooky love (kooky love) is my favorite Threadless shirt this week. I love its casual oddity, from the lack of a most and mouth to the extra front leg- it creates the kind of character that looks ordinary at first glance (if a bit quirky), but becomes increasingly strange the longer you look. It’s relatable that the cat grips its red mug in such a human-like way, and the use of that bright red and then a piercing yellow for thee eyes ensures that viewers focus on exactly the right elements to start out the experience. The massive size of the eyes and stock-straight pose of the tail reinforce the idea that this is one veery alert, veery caffeinated kitty.

Venn Island by Rick Crane (ThePaperCrane) bisects a vertical venn diagram with a line and in doing so creates a pair of islands. Soft pastel colors and two palm tree symbols clarify the image even more, painting the island and below in blue tones that mark them as underwater, while pink, orange, and a series of short diagonal lines flesh out a sunset that gives the diagrams circular shape more context. It’s thoughtfully done in an appealingly minimal style, and works especially well because the geometric shapes and pastel colors suit a very beach-y art deco, Miami vibe.

Pizza Space by Jose Alberto Jimenez Mejia (alberto83aj) looks like an ordinary pizza from far away, dotted with circles that might be pepperoni, olives, or a wealth of other toppings. But with a closer look, a whole solar system is revealed- right down to a ringed planet and even a tiny earth. That thick black sauce is packed with stars, and even the crusts bubbles seem to signify something celestial. This pizza/space switcheroo is a trick that could only work with a black and white color palette, so it’s cool to see the technique exploited in this way, almost like an optical illusion.

Kawaii as F*ck by Vincent Trinidad (vptrinidad021) won Threadless’s Kawaii design competition. True to its name, it does incorporate thee trademark cuteness of the style in the character’s big eyes, red cheeks, and comically large grin. Text also forges a clear connection to the look’s Japanese origins. But what makes this design fun is that it doesn’t rest on its cute laurels, instead it creates contrast between that and the vulgar content, which is all built around a dancing hand that gives the viewer the middle finger as it smiles with a cartoon human face. I like this design makes kawaii an aggressive statement, not something cute and harmless.

Japan Wave by Ilustrata (Ilustrata) feels like an 80s cyberpunk fever dream, which I mean as a compliment. Japanese references abound, from the massive Godzilla bust in the foreground to The Great Wave, Mount Fuji, and even a serving of sushi round out the scene. Technology gets equal billing, with a loading bar, video control panel and Japan.exe program title filling in some blanks. It’s a reminder of a time when it seemed like the future would be made in Japan, and an era that still fills the heart of many with a whole lot of nostalgia. Plus, that almost 3D mix of pinks, purples, and teals is unusual and extremely attention-getting.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

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13 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Office Humor design contest

Get your red stapler ready, because Threadless‘s new design contest is all about Office Humor! Here’s what they’re looking for…

No matter how much you love your job, there’s a reason they call it “work.” Stress, often induced by bosses, coworkers, quarterly reports and stolen lunches comes with any 9-5, no matter the field. Enter office humor: from classic comic relief like hazing new employees or forwarding inappropriate chain emails to modern day, GIF-filled Slack exchanges, office humor is an inevitable part of the social work environment and exists to alleviate day-to-day workplace pressures.

We want you to create a design that embodies the feeling of a well-delivered, time-honored office joke. Funny business encouraged: we’re talking aggressive refrigerator notes, water cooler chats, staplers in Jell-O, TPS reports, smart satire à la Dilbert, and that moldy refrigerator lunch that nobody’s willing to claim.

This contest opens to entries on May 17th and ends on May 31st, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn $1 to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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09 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s The Great Kanagawa Tee and more new this week

The Great Kanagawa Tee by Vincent Trinidad (vptrinidad021) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It’s a fun and beautiful tribute to the famous Great Wave art that succeeds in part because the designer added so much to in instead of resting on the original’s greatness to carry the piece. There’s a real freshness to the way the wave is used as a symbol of refreshment, in the cup with the tea but not using its original blue color palette so as not to be truly a part of it. I love that Mount Fuji is still present, just relocated to the printing on the cup instead of hiding behind the waves. It’s a piece that nods towards and generously borrows from tradition, but still feels quite modern.

Van Rainbow by Florent Bodart (speakerine) keeps things simple by applying a rainbow stripe motif to an antique van. The look is very realistic, even with some roughness on the tires that lets you wonder where this vehicle might have travelled. Also, by not showing the van’s environment, it feels more personal- this is your van, which you’ll take on your own adventure, not someone else’s exotic old car. Kind of makes you wonder what other old things could be made new and exciting with a few colorful stripes…

Tentacle Attack by Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez (MadKobra) stars one of the squids from the Mario series as a Godzilla-style city destroyer. Since they’re typically underwater minions about the size of Mario himself, it feels fun and exciting to see this nostalgic character blown up to such gigantic proportions. The amount of detail in the city (which includes things like powerlines and crumbling concrete) gives some realism to the scene, while the use of only lines for the building ensures that the flames and squid are the focus of all attention. Plus, I love the pop of those brightly colored fires against the blue background.

Alegria, Alegria… by DracoImagem.com (DracoImagem.com) definitely grabs attention with its tasty color palette, a set of sunset gradients that give the art a warm glow. The woman in the piece is drawn accurately, but also with a soft touch- her face and posture portray a sunny personality that feels magnetic. It’s all very attractive, though I think the design is slightly let down by the narrative. It feels like there’s meant to be a story being told, I just can’t put together what it’s meant to be. The woman is wearing flowers and the guitar is also a flower? But also the guitar fades into a starry space scene? Why is there a stool, and why is this lady’s skin a whole rainbow of colors? It’s a perplexing mix of ideas, almost feeling like two concepts (flowers and space) in one.

Stay Woke by Evan Ferstenfeld (FRICKINAWESOME) uses a retro look to illustrate a modern phrase. The smiling sun, with his massive grin, long nose, and tall, oval eyes scream 1950s advertising art, to the point where I half-expect him to sell me some cereal. The mug in his hand reinforces the idea of waking up in the morning. Text is also very important to the design, using a playful, cartoon style that supports the 50s influence as well as some transparency that makes the sun feel even more glowing. It’s very complete, and very effective.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

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06 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Art Deco design contest

1920s style is back in fashion with Threadless‘s Art Deco design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Art Deco is one of the most prominent decorative styles from the first half of the twentieth century. Deriving from revolutionary thought, it has become a global visual language. Built on a diverse blend of distinct influences, shapes, and patterns, Art Deco helped charter the bold geometrical designs and symmetrical arrangements that inspired the blueprints for the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and hundreds of other architectural landmarks around the world. The deco style is also famous for its vibrant, contrasting colors that served as a backdrop for famous literature like The Great Gatsby.

Show us your Art Deco illustrations rich with geometric lines and bold colors. Create the ultimate fusion of Cubism, Fauvism and Ballets Russes. We want to see your interpretation of this rich and illustrious era!

This contest opens to entries on May 10th and ends on May 24th, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn $1 to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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02 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Companion Hot Dog and more new this week

Companion Hot Dog by Jake Edward Lange (Child-of-Light) is my favorite Threadless design this week. While I usually stick to shirt designs on this site (and the shirt version of this design is also pretty cute), this bag is so charming I was unable to resist it. It’s a smart use of the duffel bag’s natural shape, and the simple lines of the artwork make it look delightfully cartooned. There’s something surreal about toting around a cartoon hot dog, and the idea of doing that makes me smile almost as wide as the hot dog itself does. Those shadows are just real enough, and the rest is pure imagination.

Schrödinger’s Kitties by Pepe Rodriguez (ppmid) has some fun with the philosophical problem of Schrödinger’s cat, a creature that is in a sealed box and might be either alive or dead (or both). Mixing this with the popular image of adoptable kittens in a cardboard box is a natural fit, and the text is arranged to make the grey Schrödinger’s text be the bit you notice last, so that you’re gawking at this strange array of pets before you understand their purpose. Skeletal kitties don’t phase their colorfully furred alive companions, and in fact almost blend in with the white-faced cat in the mix. They each have a playful personality, leaving even the dead ones looking like they might be pretty fun to pet.

Tiny Unicorn by littleclyde (littleclyde) immediately draws the viewer in with a realistic watercolor landscape, pulled tight around the weedy vicinity of a large red mushroom. The ground is lush with moss and leaves, while blooms sprout proudly in the background and soil (with just a hint of roots) clumps below. It’s a tiny jungle, and the master of all he surveys is a most unlikely creature- a small black unicorn, thick rather than elegant, and in possession of a pair of decidedly bulging cartoon eyes. He’s a gloriously weird moment in an otherwise traditional artwork, and the landscape surrounding him is so thick and diverse that you could almost believe he’d really be there, unnoticed as he tucks himself into a shadow, letting the blossoms above get all the human attention.

Anime Food by Ilustrata (Ilustrata) has a delicious concept, celebrating the food that is so often central to the action in an anime series. Even when the specific food is something the viewer hasn’t had, or maybe can’t even identify, seeing favorite characters scarf it down with so much gusto is enough to make anyone hungry. This piece captures the intensity of expression that sells the yumminess of the food, and has enough variety in type to mean even the ramen-skeptical will get on board. My only regret is the somewhat drab color palette, as I think some brighter colors and fewer brown tones would help capture the excitement of cartoon food.

Your Changing Body by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow) is a slick new addition to the artist’s series of vintage-styled nostalgic book cover designs. The look of it is very in keeping with the 1970s flavor of the rest, but this one in particular also has special resonance for a younger crowd. Due to the popularity of shape-shifting narratives, people looking at this might flashback to youthful favorites like Michael J. Fox’s Teen Wolf, Animorphs, or even Twilight and the Teen Wolf tv show, depending on what was in the limelight during their formative years. Werewolves as a puberty metaphor is a tale as old as time, and this piece capitalizes on it beautifully, especially in the transition from innocence to shock to power as portrayed in the characters’ expressions.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

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