Archive | threadless

28 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Absurd Retro Packaging contest

The good ol’ days of advertising might get pretty weird in Threadless‘s new Absurd Retro Packaging design competition! Here’s what they’re looking for…

Vintage product labels and toy packaging from way back when gave even the biggest brands a “ma and pa shop” charm. And of course, there are products from back in the day with charming labels that make us go “aw” as much as they make us go, “wtf, this was a thing??” So for this challenge, we want you to take the charm of old toy packaging, children’s books, or food stuff and use it for RIDICULOUS products. Think absurd board games like “Mystery Date: Catfished Edition”. Design ridiculous titles for vintage “Little Golden Books” style book covers with a twist, like “P is for Ponzi Scheme!” Use wordplay to mash up retro design with the modern era, like a ‘SPAM’ can label for computer spam (only 15 cents!)

Today’s packaging labels are just the vintage labels of tomorrow, so go embrace your inner Don Draper and create some old-school advertising for absurd products that exist only in your imagination.

This contest opens to entries on June 2nd, 2017 and ends on June 16th, 2017. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Additionally, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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25 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Never Tell Me the Odds and more new this week

Never Tell Me the Odds by Rupert Beard (rupertbeard) is my favorite design this week. Partially because I’m impressed that, given the sheer number of Star Wars themed designs the internet churns out, there was still a brilliant original idea out there. And in my opinion, this one is really excellent- by transforming the shape of the Millennium Falcon into a skull, the design puts a strong emphasis on the danger of the phrase. The coffin shape ensures that no viewers miss that the ship is acting as a skull stand in, and the white dashes and dots feel reminiscent of speedy laser battles among the stars.

Can Knot by Haasbroek (Haasbroek) keeps things simple, and that’s a big part of why it works. That huge knotted rope fills in all the blanks you need, and avoids any distractions that might have muddied the waters. It lets the slogan be the star, and that’s a great choice because the slogan is such a smart riff on the original phrase. While the phrase “I literally cannot” is about being helpless and unable to function, this pun flips it on its head and turns the wording into a celebration of being really capable. Knots are a tool, a part of being prepared for anything, and this shirt makes it clear you’re that kind of person, not the stereotypical young person unable to act on their own.

Sur la Plage by Florent Bodart (speakerine) has a title that translates as On the Beach, which goes a bit of a way towards explaining what unites this eclectic group of objects. And indeed, there is a definite outdoorsy, beachy vibe to the design’s elements. From misplaced bits of clothing to small, handheld items and of course seashells and other flotsam, it all feels like the weird mix of natural, disposable, or forgettable detritus you’d come across walking down a shoreline. I like that some pieces are aspirational (the camper van), others are relatable (who hasn’t misplaced some sunglasses), and there are even moments of humor like the false shark fin. This is the kind of pattern that works in a lot of applications, and while shirts might not be its strongest use (those honors probably go to the tote or beach towel), it’s definitely wearable and easy to like.

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).

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21 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Weekenders design contest

Threadless‘s latest design contest is really going places! They know summer is prime travel time, so in the Weekenders design competition they’re asking artists to design the perfect travel tote bag. Here’s what they’re looking for…

What does the perfect travel bag look like to you? An all-over floral pattern, perhaps? A nautical theme to go with the beachy-keen rope handle style that takes it from overnight bag to beach bag? Maybe “So Long, Suckers!” in fancy hand lettering? Whatever gets you in vacation mode, our weekender bags make for the perfect canvas, and for this challenge we want you to create a design that’s worthy of a mini vacation scheduled in its honor.

This contest opens to entries on May 26th, 2017 and ends on June 9th, 2017. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Additionally, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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18 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Take Your Time and more new this week

Take Your Time by Ewan Brock (benobrien) is my favorite print this week, largely because that clock character is just so charming. With his headphone-like alarm bells, floppy arms and crooked grin, he seems like the kind of relaxed, fun-loving character that is easy to relate to. Clocks are often symbols of stress, indicating that time is running out, so it feels good to see one used in a very different way here. The outdoorsy background feels fresh and bright, with leaves that give the sense of trees lurking just out of sight. There’s a cool moment in the way the unusual cloud shape mirrors the shape of the arms, serving to make the clock’s arms look even softer. And of course, the perfectly pleasant little smile of the sun sets an ideal tone for the piece, communicating a very gentle, welcoming spirit.

BITCHIN’ by Perry Beane (BeanePod) is a serious blast of 80s flavor. It’s impressive how many elements of that retro style have been incorporated here- the geometric shapes, script type with a gradient, animal pattern, California beach references, doodles, and even animal pattern. But while there’s so much going on, it absolutely works. Part of that is due to the fact that the 80s are so much about excess that you can get away with it, but a lot is also owed to the artist’s skill in arranging these elements. In particular, trapping the background in a tight circle is a choice that works really well, letting the white of the shirt to help balance out all the brilliant color.

Cats are Nice. by Joel Robinson (obinsun) makes a lot of understatement, with humorous results. There’s a really silly quality to the concept, because of course very few cat owners are so evenhanded in their assessment of their animals- they typically love not only their cat, but also cats in general, and the few exceptions tend to land far on the other side of the spectrum with tales about how their misbehaving feline is an actual demon. The human character’s uneven eyes point to her unreliability- the real question is whether she’s underselling her love of cats out of meekness, or lying about this cat’s merits because he’s right there and he’d hold a grudge (and that cat DOES seem to be frowning…). That’s a lot of potential layers for a relatively simple drawing, and I think that’s exactly what makes it interesting and wearable.

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).

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12 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Fuck Yeah and more new this week

Fuck Yeah by Ian Byers (ibyes) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I really enjoy the simplicity of it, and the smooth way that the E and A of YEAH unspool to become high-fiving cartoon arms. There’s a great retro vibe in the color scheme, gloved hands and lettering style that helps the design to feel a touch vintage (aided by some light distressing). I think the best moment, though, is the way the smashing of the hands creates an explosive star symbol that obscures the text behind it. It’s a neat effect because it’s reminiscent of the way profanity is often typeset with * symbols and similar, and it’s a lot of fun to see this illustrative take on the concept.

Mort by Pigboom Kaboom (pigboom2014) uses the canvas of a white t-shirt in an interesting way, imagining it as a thick fog that oozes around the shirt’s grim reaper protagonist. It’s interesting that while reapers are often depicted as scary or aggressive, here the character seems almost lost instead. His head is bent, his feeble hands seem barely capable of holding onto that scythe, and his trademark dark robe is in tatters. It all communicates a heavy weariness, making this reaper someone you sympathize with rather than fear. It’s interesting stuff, but I think the concept suffers due to the relatively small print- if this design took up more of the shirt, the white of the shirt would feel more authentically like fog rolling in rather than an artificial border.

(Dark) Side A by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow) took me a minute to get, since I’m not a huge Star Wars fan. But I think for people who are more into the series, this is a strong concept. The idea that Darth Vader’s chest panel might be a tape deck is a double hit of retro nostalgia, and also injects some levity into an otherwise dark character. It’s funny to think of Vader pressing play on his Imperial March cassette before he dramatically walks down a hallway. Plus, there’s some good attention to detail in having both the volume and the bass cranked up, just like Vader’s voice.

Meowllennium Falcon by Hillary White (wytrab8) is one of the wackier Star Wars shirts you’ll probably ever see, replacing the Millennium Falcon with an awkwardly sleeping cat. Style is a big part of why this works, using a loose, almost doodled illustration style that wouldn’t be out of place scrawled in a school notebook. That easy, carefree look helps the joke to land as silly rather than forced. And of course, the “pew, pew!” detail emanating from the cat’s paws is a great moment of humor, the kind of choice that raises the level of the whole design.

Margarita Reading by Sage Aune (sagepizza) is part of a series by the artist that incorporates favorite food objects like cake and cookies into tarot card form. I think this design might be a bit over my head since I don’t know much about tarot, but my guess is that (since most cards I’ve seen in pop culture are kind of dark or foreboding) the premise is something along the lines of imagining cool, positive things that everyone likes as being predicted for the future instead of, like, death and swords. That’s a fun and relatable angle, and the art style used feels authentic to the medium.

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).

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08 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s When You See It design contest

Threadless plans to hide cool effects in plain sight with their When You See It design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

We want you to put both your perception and ours to the test by hiding designs within designs (designception) in not-so-plain sight. Design an image that takes a double-take to see the whole thing. Make us think we’re looking at one thing when we’re actually looking at something completely different. Create a hidden scene disguised in a larger one, a creature lurking in a pattern, or a design with a hidden word that once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee. Just, ahem, remember – keep it classy, not trashy!

This contest opens to entries on May 12th, 2017 and ends on May 26th, 2017. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Additionally, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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04 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Kitten Wizard and more new this week

Kitten Wizard by Hillary White (wytrab8) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I like the pixel style and video game format, which makes this feel like the coolest NES game that never existed. This design has all the graphic bluster of a good start screen, packed with effects and detail you’d never see in the actual game, which is probably some kind of dungeon side scroller where you’re a vaguely cat-shaped mass of pixels, shooting green fireballs at blobby enemies. It’s a great piece because even though it just shows you a slice, the viewer can’t help but picture the whole world it represents. Plus, how cool is the concept of a cat wizard? It’s fun just thinking about what kind of spells it’d come up with.

I Tried by Mathiole (mathiole) is, like all the following designs, intended primarily as a small pin but also printed as a t-shirt and other products. This piece works really well in both contexts, with a simplicity that makes for an effective pin but also reenforces the idea of low effort being made that makes the “I Tried” message funnier. There’s also some retro charm present, since the pairing of the rainbow and star are reminiscent of The More You Know commercials that aired in the 80s.

Offline by aparaat (aparaat) feels a bit like an error message with its bold red type, and that’s a perfect framing for the idea it represents. Because as much as being offline leaves you disconnected from the internet, as the globe image implies it also gives you much greater connection to the rest of the world. There’s some freedom in that, as I think the bright blue (like sky or ocean) color choice embodies. Nothing but clear skies and possibilities.

I’m Watching You by Petr Stepanov (Steppeua) is a clever bit of minimalism, cutting off the face of a cat just above the nose to create the illusion that he’s peering at you from some hidden vantage. This kind of aloofness is a classic cat behavior, making the art instantly endearing to cat owners who can’t help but notice a bit of their own animal in the image. I also appreciate the way the ears are handled here. A lot of cat cartoons use a colored triangle to fill the ear, but using a couple of black lines to show tufts of fur instead makes this cat feel more realistic. It also helps unite the forehead stripes on the forehead with the rest of the composition, and those are important for giving this cat some individuality.

A Damn Fine Cup by Ville Morkki (Morkki) might make coffee drinkers see ordinary mugs in a new way. I like the way it takes the handle of the mug and turns it into a really bendy arm, culminating in a massive thumbs up that sits on the cup like a printed emblem. The hand is the only humanization of the object, as the artist avoids the impulse to add a cartoon face into the mix. I like this more simple approach, and I think it allows the steam of the coffee to be read as further emphasis of emotion, like maybe that’s how a cup of coffee smiles. Slick.

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).

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