Archive | threadless

18 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Ice Cream Kaiju and more new this week

Ice Cream Kaiju by Ilustrata (Ilustrata) is my favorite Threadless design this week. I love the way it takes a fragile dessert- one so frequently seen melted or even dropped on the floor- and transforms it into a terrifying monster. Cutouts show us the brains, bone and guts lurking within the beast, an effect that is especially creepy since this is a food. Japanese captions mean most people (including me!) probably won’t be able to tell if those notes add any humor or flavor to the piece, but they’re still very effective in linking this design to the Japanese tradition of giant monsters, even though no size reference is shown in the art. I also like the use of halftoning, which makes the art feel like something out of an old comic book or trading card- a cool relic from the past.

Fancy Party by Constanza (conty) stands apart from other bird designs in a big way by adding a little masquerade-style mask to each of the birds. These accessories are both visually interesting (who ever thought of a bird with bunny ears?) and an injection of personality that leaves the birds feeling like a mysterious flock of sophisticates instead of ordinary animals. They also interact well with their floral environment, sometimes dipping behind buds and leaves to show depth. But while I mostly love the design, one choice leaves me slightly baffled. The left side of the art is so effective in how the birds’ wings and tails escape the boundaries of the flowered area that I have no idea why it wasn’t continued on the right side. Instead, the bird’s tail contorts at an awkward angle to stay inside the flower borders, which both makes the tail difficult to see (it is almost entirely tucked behind leaves) and makes the bird’s motion hard to understand. A little finessing there and this design would go from 90% great to 100%.

Nasty Women by Avery McGinnis (averym88) uses a slogan that combines the theme of Amy Poehler’s and Tina Fey’s classic Bitches Get Shit Done quote with a more recent Nasty Women reference, making the sentiment feel fresh and updated for the current political climate. By surrounding the text with a lush, floral border, the design feels as though it is referencing traditional needlepoint and gains a measure of sophistication from that allusion. It’s also fun to see a slogan about female empowerment presented in a way that recalls such a classically female art form. Part of me wishes that the text better matched the style of the illustration, but the thin, slab serifed forms definitely do feel efficient in a way that mirrors the phrase’s intent.

Nasty Women Unite by Simi Mahtani (Simiautomatic) gives its slogan an unexpected style, with large, thick loops extending from the lines of its letterforms. In contrast to the harshness that the phrase “nasty women” might conjure, the design conveys softness with the swirls it creates, giving the impression of a loose blossom. Soft shadows spice things up even more by giving the art depth, like something constructed from a series of ropes instead of flat ink. It feels fun, and maybe even a bit silly, which is a sentiment that works because the playfulness pulls you in.

Destroy the Empire by Revolution Art Offensive (RevolutionArt) starts off on a really solid note, perfectly rendering Princess Leia’s iconic hair with a series of thinly penciled lines, calling out each individual strand. It’s immediately recognizable, and by paring down Leia’s image to just her hairstyle, it also feels sophisticated. Since we don’t see her face, it’s a reminder that anyone can embody the strength and spirit that the character portrays. When I first saw this design’s thumbnail in the Threadless catalog, I was really excited to see what the text would say. I thought it might repeat the shirt’s title, or maybe quote the films. The reality was much more disappointing- it’s just a typed credit for the artist. To me, this is a massive mistake that greatly affects the design’s appeal and wearability. The text stands out a lot and is a major focal point in the design. If a credit had to be included, I wish it had instead been smaller, hewed closer to the edges of the illustration, and matched the curve of the art.

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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14 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Classic CMYK design contest

Threadless wants to thoroughly explore a favorite color combination with their new Classic CMYK design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Classic rock, classic style, classic cheese & pepperoni pizza, the list goes on. And when it comes to art, it doesn’t get much more classic than the CMYK color model, (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). That’s why we challenge you to forget the full ROY G BIV lineup and design a piece of art inspired by the CMYK color scheme. Experiment with a 4-color pattern, create a play on the tester sheet that comes out of printers featuring CMYK when you change the ink, perhaps create an all-over print that looks like you super-zoomed into a printed image which, of course, is made up of little dots of CMYK.

This contest opens to entries on January 19th, 2018 and ends on February 2nd, 2018. One winner will earn $1000 cash, with additional prizing to be announced on 1/19/18. Additionally, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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11 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Good Boys Club and more new this week

Good Boys Club by Brent Schoepf (wowrainbows) won Threadless’s Dogs challenge, and it’s also my favorite design this week. It feels like a bit of a delayed reaction to Bad Boys Club merchandise, but because dog owners are so consistent in their veneration of dogs’ perceived loyalty and pureness, it also works very well independently of any reference. The typography is refined and sophisticated, much like the values being professed. But what makes this design special is that it also is filled with nods to dogs’ goofy qualities, from the awkwardly posed dog at the top to the “such good” and “much wow” notes lower down. These choices really communicate the things we love about dogs, who try their hardest even when they have no idea what they’re doing.

No Spoilers by Jackson Duarte (JackDuarte) puts the motto of the modern media consumer in the form of every binge watcher’s favorite logo. It’s a powerful combo, and one most people can relate to- there’s probably not a single person on the planet who hasn’t had some twist spoiled for them by an over-eager sharer. The slight texturing gives the design a worn quality, making this shirt feel like it’s been through many a television marathon even when it’s brand new. I like that because it also describes what it’s like to discover an old tv show or movie when it’s unspoiled- although some of the elements show their age, a good piece of media still feels as fresh as the day it was created, maybe even more valuable now because of how its themes have withstood the test of time.

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 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Ultra Violet design contest

Threadless is celebrating the Pantone Color of the Year with their new Ultra Violet design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

The Pantone Color of 2018, “Ultra Violet”, sets a cosmic tone for the year to come. If your New Year’s resolution is to create more art, we’ve got a great place for you to start: create a design celebrating Ultra Violet! What does it bring to mind for you? A play on “Roses are red, Ultra Violet is def not blue”? The mystical vibe that purple shades are often linked to? A parody of that classic PANTONE square?

2017’s color of the year showed us it IS easy being green…what does PANTONE 18-3838 (RGB values (101 | 78 | 163)) say to you for this year? Play some “Purple Rain” to get yourself in the zone and dive headfirst into the most ultra of violets.

This contest opens to entries on January 12th, 2018 and ends on January 26th, 2018. One winner will earn $1000 cash, a Limited Edition FHI Color Guide, Pantone Color of the Year 2018 Chip Drive, and a $250 Threadless gift code. Additionally, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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05 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Tomorrow I’ll Start Running and more new this week

Tomorrow I’ll Start Running by Mauro Gatti (maurogatti) is my favorite Threadless print this week. This stacking method is a brilliant method for conveying a slogan, with lettering interspersed between the burger like extra layers of toppings. I think it’s a very visual approach to the way inactivity can build, the inertia of the enjoyment of the burger building until the exercise goal is just an afterthought, lost under a pile of bacon. The perfect picture of well-intentioned sloth, and it’s quite well-designed too with little touches like the slight shading and drip of cheese bringing the art to life.

Doing Shit vs Saying You’re Gonna by Brendan Leonard (semi_rad) might be the most casual slogan tee I’ve ever seen, with its roughly scrawled black text on a white shirt. It looks very much like something the wearer could have done themselves, and I think that’s the point. The quickness of the execution and the lack of obvious planning reflect the wording’s praise of action over elocution. It feels inspirational, and I like the way the > symbol puts all the emphasis on Doing Shit, making sure it’s the very first thing you see and react to.

Cardio is Hardio by redyolk (redyolk) is another design that keeps things simple, and this time the font choice says a lot. The use of tall letterforms with thin lines and frequent curves reinforces the idea of slenderness. The gentle arcs of the top and bottom lines of type add a playful feel, and also a roundness that helps support the design’s theme of battling the bulge. Even the overall shape of the slogan is interesting, with a compact IS at the center that almost makes the design look like a barbell or as though it has a slimmed waist. Impressive for a design that only has a few scant dashes as adornment.

Take a Hike by Cody Weiler (csweiler) is another Threadless print with an outdoorsy theme and a retro style, but this time instead of a classic one color print that aims for a timeless, worn feel the vibe is much more early 90s. I think that’s largely down to the font choice and gradient use, which give it an early computer graphics feel. Even shadow effect on the type feels like it might have been printed out on an older printer. I’ll admit that this style isn’t quite my cup of tea, but I suspect I might be older than the target audience, who might be more likely to have nostalgic feelings about the look. What I do appreciate is the accuracy of the style imitation, and the innovation in applying it to a genre (wilderness shirts) that so frequently sticks with more minimal artwork.

Frozen by David Olenick (DRO72) uses bold, simple graphics to show an everyday sort of tragedy- the dropping of an ice cream cone, leaving all that deliciousness ruined on the pavement. The goofy grin of the ice cream scoop and the soft “Let that shit go” text, though, encourage the viewer to stay unbothered. After all, if the ice cream isn’t worried about it’s tragic fall, why should you be? But at the same time, things tend to fall because someone has let them go… making this a surprisingly multi-layered message of both staying relaxed, but also being aware of the consequences. Very interesting.

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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31 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Tee Contest Year in Review(s): 2017

As another year of shirt design has come to a close, here’s a look at the best and brightest designs for each month in 2017!


The Last Cat by Diego Gurgell

“Like a lot of strays, he’s a bit worse for the wear (sporting an eyepatch, missing leg, and collection of bandages), but he also seems very well-equipped for future surviving, with his camping pack, food supply of caught mice, and even a weapon.”

Camiseteria’s The Last Cat, January 8th, 2017


Extreme BullSh*t by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow)

“It’s funny to think of a sign warning travelers of a psychological annoyance in the same way it might warn of dangers like bears, high river levels, or avalanche.”

Threadless: Extreme Bullsh*t and more new this week, February 17th, 2017


Outside by Gabriele

“It’s a bright blue expanse, packed with fluffy white clouds. The platonic ideal of a beautiful sky, which makes it also feel like a symbol for hope and dreams.”

Camiseteria’s Outside, March 31st, 2017


Let’s Summon Demons by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow)

“When’s the last time you saw a crowd of kids this big with nary a screen in sight? If you ignore the black magic, this is downright wholesome!”

Threadless: Let’s Summon Demons and more new this week, April 13th, 2017


Falldown by Eyesore427

“The way the blackness oozes in (or out?) of the astronaut’s helmet make it feel strange and diseased, like space itself has infected him and turned his normal existence suddenly alien.”

DesignByHumans: All Over Contest winners, May 9th, 2017


It’s What’s Inside That Counts by John Tibbott (quick-brown-fox)

“There’s a really fun contrast between the stark white of the skull and the explosion of color within the break, all freeform and oozing compared to the slick skull geometry. “

Threadless: It’s What’s Inside That Counts and more new this week, June 9th, 2017


Barbes by Rachid Baalla

“The impression you get is that this place is so lived in, so packed with people and things, that there could be an adventure around any corner (maybe even several, stacked and shuffled together like everything else in this busy place).”

Monsieur Poulet’s Barbes, July 3rd, 2017


Gueixa Samurai by Bruno Mota

“I like the way a lot of the design is handled, like the stark way the face stands out white against the darker surroundings, the way a pattern is incorporated at the character’s waist, and the smoky quality of the watercolor background.”

Camiseteria’s Gueixa Samurai, August 18th 2017


Dog Star by Rodisley Jose da Silva

“And just as we look at this design and see stars shaped like a dog, that dog looks at a planet and sees a toy disc. That’s the fun of space, we don’t know for sure what’s out there so we’re free to project our dreams onto it.”

Camiseteria’s Dog Star, September 4th, 2017


Watercolor Wave by Kingdom at Heart (kingdomatheart)

“I love the way it reads as an abstract at first, but is still recognizably a wave when you notice the curved thrust of its energy.”

Threadless: Watercolor Wave and more new this week, October 19th, 2017


Pecado by Jackson Duarte

“Firstly, the realism of both the apple and the snake make the mix feel more potent and threatening than something more cartoony would have. It also helps make the snake look more alive and in motion, like he’s actually poised to sink his fangs into something.”

Camiseteria’s Pecado, November 19th, 2017


The Great Ramen Off Kanagawa by Ilustrata (Ilustrata)

“The pure chaos of the scene draws you in, leaving the viewer to examine each crashing wave for more details in the action-packed story.”

Threadless’s The Great Ramen Off Kanagawa, December 7th, 2017

That wraps it up for 201, but you can see how t-shirt art fared in past years in Compete-tee-tion’s 201620152014201320122011, and 2010 contest roundups.

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29 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Breaking News and more new this week

Breaking News by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It’s a strong concept, especially for the many folks who see the world as becoming increasingly disaster-prone. But I think what really makes it sing is the attention to detail. The devil is drawn with such care that you can literally see the glee dancing on his face, just barely contained. The curved edges of the containing rectangle scream TV broadcast, and the LIVE, NEWS, and background globe imagery is so accurate to generic news broadcasts that it probably feels a lot like actual programs you’ve watched. I think there’s even an extra layer of meaning to the piece for those who criticize modern news television, because by casting the devil as a news presenter it introduces the idea that in addition to reporting on this chaos, he may also be helping to create it. Smart work.

Beach Lover by Santiago Sarquis (metalsan) won Threadless’s Cropped challenge with its illustration of a skull buried in and disappearing under the sand. Those gorgeous striped shades are definitely the star of the piece, calling to mind the retro color shirts of cheap vacation tees and warm sunsets over water. It feels like a reflection of what the skull is gazing towards, just simplified and pared down into basic geometry. The uniformity of the line weights used throughout is another selling point, as it gives the skull equal billing to the mounds of sand that surround it, making the cheekbone’s edge feel like it might be just another ebb in the beach’s natural terrain. And of course, the very slight distressing works excellently here. Not only does it suit the theme of the skull’s age, it also allows the viewer to imagine we’re seeing grains of sand blow across the scene.

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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