Archive | threadless

15 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Wanderlust and more new this week

Wanderlust by Mike Marshall (Mike Marshall) is my favorite Threadless print this week. The soft, tactile look of the artwork caught my attention first, but what really ignited my curiosity is the unique take on the theme the artist takes. While most travel-themed designs glorify bright sunny days, exotic landscapes, and exciting landmarks, this piece feels much more measured in its enthusiasm. This bird doesn’t look very free, lumbered with a backpack so large it must nearly outweigh him. He’s not flying across rolling hills and scenic mountaintops, he’s trudging along a heavily thorned (and painful-looking) branch. Even the color palette feels a bit weary, like it’s baked in the sun a bit too long and lost some of its vibrancy. This is a design about undertaking a difficult journey, about following a path even when it’s not easy. And I think because it has that depth, to me it feels more real and more deep than the average travel shirt.

Wright’s Butterflies by skyte (lizej) imagines the geometric patterns of Frank Lloyd Wright scattered across butterfly wings. I love this combination because it focuses attention on the influence of nature in Wright’s work, which helps these butterflies to look a bit like more elegant, more refined versions of the real thing. Keeping it all in black and white is a neat choice as well, focusing very much on the structure of the shapes involved and their relation to each other for an appropriately architectural look.

Our Cabin by David Fleck (Fleck) is one of those designs that makes me want to reach out and touch it. With the tiny leaves that bunch and fade in the trees and the worn look of the house’s boards, everything has a texture to it. That attention to detail (and the fallen leaves on the ground) help the white of the shirt to read as a field of snow rather than an absence. And the coldness of that environment serves to make the little cabin, standing so straight and narrow among the tall trees, to feel even cozier. Even though we can’t see inside, glowing yellow windows and two pairs of shoes sitting outside the front door help to paint the picture of a happy home.

Book of Fire and Ice by dandingeroz (dandingeroz) pays tribute to Game of Thrones, using an open book as a stage. The two major factions of the series each claim a side, with a Targaryen dragon made of flames bursting from the left pages while a cold, snow-filled Stark direwolf howls from the right. And across these colorful backdrops, silhouettes of Daenerys and her dragons stand near Jon Snow with his wolf and a collection of crows. It’s definitely instantly recognizable and it’s probably smart to focus on two of the series’ most popular characters. But to me, it’s a slight misstep to do that while using the book so prominently- while fans of the show flock towards those two characters, it’s been my experience that book readers tend to be a lot more diverse in their favorites, with folks like Davos Seaworth, Mance Rayder, Wyman Manderly and other more minor players attracting lots of attention. The books are much more about a massive interconnected world, and the close focus on two of the relatively bland, but pivotal characters feels more in tune with the spirit of the TV show to me.

The Snuggle is Real by jack (cabinsupplyco) is an excellent bit of typography, starting with a strong slogan and using the style and placement of the lettering to convey its meaning. There’s a great conflict between the original phrase’s Struggle and this piece’s inversion of it with Snuggle, taking a harsh reality and replacing it with something dreamy and aspirational. Even better, the words fit together and nest inside each other to form a snug square, creating a scene that feels compact and cozy even before you read it. Really nice work, and perfect for wintery days.

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 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Pi in Shirt Design: 15 great examples

In terms of accessible, fun, and interesting math designs, pi shirts tend to be the cream of the crop. There’s so much potential to explore in both humor and the beauty of numbers that artists have found nearly as many ways to express the concept as there are digits in pi itself. Here’s a look at 15 of the best ways pi has been used in shirt design…

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11 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Plant Life design contest

Get in touch with nature with Threadless‘s new Plant Life design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

You can never have too many plants. Whether your living room looks like a portal to the rainforest or you prefer plant art that requires zero watering, it’s time to show us your green thumb! We’re challenging you to create a plant design that will add a little greenery to any room. Think plant patterns of Monstera leaves on a tapestry, flourishing florals in a framed art print, designs of lavish leaves on leggings – whatever speaks to you!

This contest opens to entries on November 16th, 2018 and ends on November 30th, 2018. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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08 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Achieve Your Dreams and more new this week

Achieve Your Dreams by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow) is my favorite Threadless design this week. I love the way it interprets a common phrase in the most literal way possible, giving it an opposite meaning to what is traditionally intended. It’s the sort of juxtaposition that ends up being surprisingly thought provoking- after all, why do we mean grandiose accomplishment when we speak of dreams instead of the kind of everyday choice that can make your life measurably better, like getting a good night’s sleep? Of course, this is also a very funny scenario, especially in the way the thought bubble’s slumber seems deeper and more restful, so it should appeal to a large audience.

Simple Leaves by Ronan Lyman (RonanL) has the feel of a nature study, with leaves of all different typed carefully arranged and recorded down to each vein and bend of the stem. The dashed pattern of the background marks it as an illustrator’s investigation rather than a scientific one, something aimed at a certain playfulness rather than strict accuracy. The golds and reds of the color palette make it a perfect fit for autumn. There’s a lot to like, but one choice keeps me from being fully on board- the rectangular dimensions of the art. The way the dashed lines of the background mark out a solid rectangle keeps the design from feeling truly organic, and I don’t think there’s enough height to the shape to keep it from filling the shirt awkwardly, with a ton of empty space below the art that looks accidental rather than purposeful. It leaves me wishing that the art repeated to form an all-over pattern, because the illustration is great, there’s just not enough of it!

Small Fortune by Cody Weiler (csweiler) definitely uses white space to its advantage, choosing to display its art as a small, circular pocket print. I love this choice because it mirrors the experience of an actual fortune cookie where you have to expend some effort to get to the fortune inside. Here, instead of breaking open a cookie, you have to lean in to read the small print- and much like many real fortune cookies, the message of the future it’s delivering is not really what you hoped for. I like how instead of vague and lukewarm, as real fortunes often are, this one is outright hostile. Capping off the message with a little frowny face just makes the whole scenario even funnier.

Squirming Smiles by Mat Voyce (MatVoyce) is the kind of all-over print I love to see, bright and abstract. It reminds me of Keith Haring in its frenetic, joyful motion, with lines that almost seem to be dancing. I like that, although the lines are very bold and simple, there’s still an element of detail to the piece- each line has brush strokes visible at either end. It’s a nice touch that makes the art feel a bit more handcrafted.

The Procrastinator by Grant Shepley (Gamma-Ray) turns The Thinker on its head, transforming the famous statue from a deep thinker into a shallow one, concerned with the number of likes on his social media account. The clash is highlighted by a switch in style, from a rough, black and white, craggy treatment of the statue to the clean, color notification on the phone. The only element I’m not fully convinced about is the drip motif, which trickles down from various areas of dark shadows. To me, it confuses the piece a bit because it breaks the illusion of the realistic statue, and doesn’t add enough visually to be worth that break in style.

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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05 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Turkey in Shirt Design: 15 great examples

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so it’s a good time to celebrate the variety and creativity of shirts featuring the holiday’s trademark bird, the turkey. From artistic tributes to puns and visual gags, turkey designs are able to suit most ways of enjoying the events of the day. Here’s a look at 15 designs that I think do an especially good job of making turkeys into excellent shirt designs…

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04 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Patterns design contest

Threadless is going big with their new Patterns design competition, which asks artists to create all-over patterns for shirts and other products. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Why make just one design when you can have LOTS of little designs all in one? For this challenge, create something awesome, annnd repeat! Make a pattern that we can cover our favorite things in. Keep in mind what products look best with all-over prints to guide you: what would look good on an all-over tee? On a travel mug? On a pillow or phone case? Think traditional patterns with repeating elements, intricate shapes, or a pattern where you find something new every time you look at it.

This contest opens to entries on November 9th, 2018 and ends on November 23rd, 2018. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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02 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Rosé-Colored Lenses and more new this week

Rosé-Colored Lenses by Hillary White (wytrab8) won Threadless’s One Panel challenge, and it’s also my favorite design this week. I love the absurdity of it, by replacing the normal lenses not with liquid lenses, not even with wine glasses, but instead with a pair of full-size wine bottles, the art sets up an extremely surreal scene. Everything about the rosé implies not just drinking but very heavy drinking, as shown in the way two glasses are being filled so quickly they splash wine out of the glasses. This decadence is at odds with the tradition portrayed by the old-fashioned illustration style of the woman, and that helps it all to feel even funnier. It’s a very complete, appealing piece.

The Social Network Tarots by Jacopo Rosati (Jacopo) is dense with content, a collection of cards that each include image, title, and explanation. This is both good and bad. It’s great in that each viewer has a lot to look at, and each will probably find their own joke or detail that really speaks to them. But for me, the sheer fact that they’re so wordy detracts from the concept- when I think of tarot cards, it’s all about image, these iconic scenes with tiny labels but otherwise left to the reader’s interpretation. These feel less like a set of tarot cards than a series of comic panels. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I expect a lot of heavy social media users will enjoy the way this comments on those sites (not caring nearly as much about the tarot inspiration), but for me it’s a bit of a letdown from what the concept promised.

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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