Archive | threadless

18 November 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Cyberpunk design contest

The future looks bright as neon in the rain with Threadless‘s new Cyberpunk design contest. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Among teeming cityscapes flooded with neon lights, hordes of humans swarm the hyper-urbanized streets. There’s no order to the madness just shuffling, faceless forms, anonymously moving through the sprawl. Until—a lone hacker breaks free from the masses to rail against the corrupt government and high society elites. That solitary misfit is the cyberpunk anti-hero of our dreams.

Step into the new era of the near-future with cyberpunk-spirited designs. We want your smartest cyber scenes and typography, filled with the overtly urban energy of a massive city. Whether you’re leaning Blade Runner or your favorite Japanese manga, give us art that surges and pulses with sci-fi spunk, reimagining our world after social decay, increased AI, and blurred lines between human and machine. What’s real, anyway? Grab your design software, peer into the dark future, and give us the hacker hero we’ve been waiting for!

This contest opens to entries on November 22nd and ends on December 6th, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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15 November 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Imaginary Friends design contest

Make pretend real with Threadless‘s new Imaginary Friends design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Did you grow up with a stuffed bear by your side, leading a ragtag band of other plushies in all kinds of memorable adventures? Maybe you had an endearing make-believe companion that resembled a mix of other creatures and could swim, fly, and read minds? If you played pretend with whimsical creatures, pets, or people that others couldn’t see, then you’ll fit in well with this imaginary-friend-inspired design challenge.

Time to call upon the special spot in your memory—and heart—where your childhood self explored the world with made-up pals. Sure, no one else could see them, and that’s how you liked it. Create very real designs based on your most imaginary friends. Whether your scene depicts a whole host of friends, reminiscent of Madame Foster’s magical home, or just you and your ghost-like bestie, give us your favorite moments of pure carefree fun in design or typography. Spend some quality time tuned into your imagination and all its many creatures then let the designs flow!

This contest opens to entries on November 15th and ends on November 29th, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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13 November 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Echo and more new this week

Echo by Robson Borges (robsonborges) is my favorite Threadless print this week. The skull framing of the piece reads first, and it’s something that intrigues the viewer to explore the rest of the design to see what is so foreboding. What follows reads like a tale of two worlds, a glowing red one above that boasts futuristic flying machines and buildings with tall spires. Below is an utterly different experience, caked in murky greys that read of grit and pollution, with pipes and scaffolding from the buildings above cutting in to interrupt the landscape and block the light. A beefy mechanical contraption at bottom center reads as a robot on spindly legs, patrolling the ground like a sentry. This is a ruined world, one where even the sunnier red zone is plagued by comets cutting their way through the atmosphere. But as the ship makes clear, those lucky few above still have a chance at escape.

Hello by Trabu (trabu) delivers a simple and sweet message. I like the idea of a UFO’s tractor beam, usually depicted as something to fear because it’s being used to abduct people (or cows), repurposed to instead be a way of communicating. The style of the art, done with minimal elements and a hand-drawn, doodled look, feels friendly and as though crafted with a personal touch- very different to the way alien things are often shown as futuristic, precise and mechanical. It’s a neat way of looking at a subject we’ve seen a lot before but now in a new light.

Girls Rule the World by Tobe Fonseca (tobiasfonseca) is packed with positive female slogans, but you might not expect who you see holding the protest signs- they’re all animals! You’ll see a a cat, a bear, a rhino, and even a pair of mice, but there’s not a human in sight. This is a really interesting approach because it eliminates a lot of the difficulty of illustrating a concept like this- you’d want to be as inclusive as possible with regard to things like race, size, gender presentation, and disability, but it’s basically impossible to cover everything in just a handful of characters. Using different species is a nice way of signaling diversity without making any type of person more important or prominent than any other.

Metalheads by Peter Kramar (badbasilisk) is a style of design I always love, the list of characters that invites viewers to see how many they can recognize and name. These are fun because they can be a real conversation piece, and also offer the artist a lot of creativity in how they unite the characters and what they choose to be representative of each. In this case, famous heavy metal musicians are drawn as skulls with hair and accessories. This isn’t an area of pop culture I’m very familiar with, so I can’t speak to how well it plays to a big fan. But given my relatively small amount of knowledge in this field, I still liked looking at it and even found a couple of characters I could name, which makes me think it’d be even more fun for those with more interest.

I Have Plans by Daniel Stevens (dnice25) is certainly relatable. The best part of this design is how clearly it illustrates that in this case, the plan is to do nothing. The character is not only lying in bed, she has gone so far as to tuck her arms tightly underneath the blankets. Her face is blank, gazing forward at a laptop screen gleaming with light. This is about as close to being entirely passive and lazy as you could be, and it’s the kind of blissful slothfulness that most people would love to engage in, if only they weren’t so busy. I like how the lack of punctation in the lettering encourages that the text be read without emotion as well, really broadcasting a low effort even in the excuse.

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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07 November 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Spelling Champ and more new this week

Spelling Champ by Michael Buxton (DinoMike) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It arrived in the catalog just days before Halloween, so the only flaw was in cutting things short for people who wanted to wear it in the run up to the holiday. Apart from that timing issue, the design is perfect. It centers on a great pun, sticks to a simple orange and black Halloween palette, and even has a nod to history with its Salem text. The best part, though, is the witch character. It’s a brilliant move to make the witch less traditional with a skull face. For one, it suits the historical reference and spooky theme to imply that this witch from 1692 is still out there casting spells. It’s also a choice that makes the character gender neutral and allows the color palette to stay at two inks. Smart work!

Aishiteru by Sylvester Osorio (pigboom2014) is a neat anime piece, a long rectangle of monotone art that feels like a panel from a manga comic book. The bright white of the girl is the first thing you notice, with a pill and generic healthy message decorating her shirt. The cutoff of the art immediately raises the question of why we can’t see her eyes- but once you notice the pink heart in her hand, nearly the same color as the background, her story becomes a lot more clear. She’s been anonymized, and her “healthy” choices (whether they’re cannibalism, organ transplant, or something else) aren’t very healthy for her victims. That’s a lot of story in one panel!

There’s a Dragon on Mount Fuji by Michele Nolli (Michelle_Nolli) is the kind of illustration the viewer can get lost in. There’s something happening in each region of the woman’s hair, from architectural references to playful characters and even Mount Fuji itself. My favorite are the animal characters, which include a flute-playing panda, banner-toting rabbit, and a dragon poised to take a big bite out of the red sun. It’s an active, diverse scene happening in the hair, so interesting that I think it might take a lot of people a minute to notice that this woman’s skin is covered in a different kind of artwork- intricate red tattoos that dot her face and fill in her entire neck. Even better, the paint brushes (some dripping with red ink) mark the woman as the artist of these creations, not just a muse being decorated.

3D Cat by Tomek (Remfreak) shows a cat from a new, yet strangely familiar angle- basically what a cat looks like when it has wedged itself into a box, minus the box. The strangeness of the image makes it appealing, a bit like a visual puzzle, and it’s fun to try to figure out how exactly the contortions worked (the spiraling tail is especially fun). The cat’s wide-eyed expression is neat, too, almost as though he’s as curious as the viewer about how he’s managed to fit in this shape. I have mixed feelings about the inclusion of the ABC letters. While the nod to science and geometry adds to some of the wonder of the piece, I think it reads oddly on the shirt because the B is strange. I think some viewers will read the C first because of its height and think the B is a misshapen T.

X’s Head by Ilustrata (Ilustrata) is a Mega Man reference, and should definitely appeal to fans of that franchise because it calls out his robotic nature, hints at upgrades, and pays tribute to the series’s Japanese origins. Text and visual elements are tightly arranged with the central illustration posed at an angle that implies the movement of the robot being taken apart (or maybe put back together). I’d call the art as halfway between a repair manual cover and an exploded diagram, both very popular styles, so I’d expect this to do well with gamers.

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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04 November 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Stained Glass design contest

A traditional art style gets a fresh look in Threadless‘s new Stained Glass design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Part art, part window, magnificent stained glass makes us pause and reflect. It can tell a story, convey emotion, or transport the viewer on a kaleidoscopic journey. We’re bringing this artisanal craft to the people with the latest design challenge. Give us your take on this traditional art, translated in design.

Depict elaborate scenes of deeply human experiences like love, death, and betrayal, pastoral moments of peace and tranquility, or geometric moments of glory. Whatever direction you choose, make it reminiscent of the brilliance of stained glass as it’s lit from the rising or setting sun. It’s as if you’re a medieval artisan commissioned to create the scenes that will hang in the cathedral or pub down the street. So heat up the silica, pour in the metallic oxides that color it, and let the designs flow!

This contest opens to entries on November 8th and ends on November 22nd, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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01 November 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Pizza Chameleon and more new this week

Pizza Chameleon by Pepe Rodriguez (ppmid) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I think giving the chameleon a cheese and pepperoni pattern feels like a “you are what you eat” message, and additionally the use of polka dots is humorous because it’s a level of complexity that is unlikely for a lizard to achieve. There’s also a good joke in the fact that chameleons typically use their camouflage to hide from predators, so imitating food like this is putting him in a lot of danger from hungry humans.

Visit Hades by v_calahan (v_calahan) uses a retro vacation style to extoll the virtues of a place few would ever want to visit. With prim cursive fonts, Hades seems like any other quaint, beachy locale. The skeletons might raise some doubts, though their bright orange drinks (and even a floppy sun hat) do a lot to make the pair read as ordinary vacationers. Just don’t think too hard about how a bunch of bones processes liquid, and it all feels rather festive. The humor is very effective, though I have a slight quibble with some of the wording. To me, the “Book one night stay forever” text could really use a comma after night or capitalization on the Stay to make “book one night” and “stay forever” read as separate pieces, since “book one night stay” wouldn’t feel out of place in advertising either (if a bit clumsily stated).

See You Later by Michael Buxton (DinoMike) houses its slogan in thee wide-open jaw of a chomping alligator. With letters made out of bones and a grinning skull as the O, there’s a lot of doom and death on the horizon. This all gives the phrase “See you later, alligator” a new menace, turning it into a grim warning rather than a playful rhyme. It’s always tricky to find a way of fading art into the shirt that makes sense, but this piece finds a strong solution by using sharp curved peaks to ease the gator’s neck into the red shirt, a choice that feels full of motion and like seeing the animal shoot up from below the water line.

Voodoo Unto Others by Nathan Joyce (Nathan Joyce) uses the concept of voodoo to turn a common phrase into a punny piece with the phrase’s opposite message. Normally this saying encourages kindness, but by introducing the concept of black magic (especially as it relates to dark supernatural concepts like voodoo dolls) it instead starts to feel like a warning. Perhaps, the beckoning skeleton implies, you ought to invest in a protection spell. Snakes are everywhere, after all. The ornateness of the font is well-matched in the black and white line drawings that surround the text, with the illustrations filling the role that line flourishes might in other designs done in this style. It feels rich and layered, making this shirt more than just the sum of its parts. It tells a story of an exotic, dangerous place lost in time.

Ethereal Ambiance by Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez (MadKobra) creates an incredibly lush jungle teeming with color and texture. Blossoms, leaves and vines overlap each other and drip out of the design’s frame, feeling very alive and as though there’s even more plant life just out of view. The shape of the art hints that this environment is a jewel, rich and valuable. In the center of it all, a black panther sits seeming to grin and with eyes bright as spotlights. A closer look at the animal reveals dark grey swirls for stripes and a splash of celestial stars, like instead of being dark in color he’s filled with the emptiness of space and pinprick lights of distant solar systems. It feels alien and amazing, like an imaginary world.

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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28 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Zen design contest

Think calming thoughts for Threadless‘s new Zen design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Rooted in a practice of meditation, Zen is a sect of Mahayana Buddhism that seeks insight into the true nature of things through intuition rather than conscious effort or knowledge. Practitioners may subscribe to many forms of meditative practices such as breathing, sitting, silent contemplation, and chanting in an attempt to reach enlightenment. With a rich culture of art and literature, Zen traditions across India, Japan, China, and the West thrive in their spiritual pursuit of awakening.

There’s an inner reserve of intuition you must call upon to channel new art for this awareness-inspired design challenge. Listen closely, what is the still, soft voice inside you saying? Turn the wisdom of our collective unconscious into meditative art, as typography or design. Give us serene scenes cultivated by a state of calm attentiveness. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and let the design flow.

This contest opens to entries on November 1st and ends on November 15th, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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