Archive | threadless

20 January 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Matchbooks design contest

Threadless aims to ignite some inspiration with the new Matchbooks design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

What’s one thing you can usually find leaving a hotel, night club, bar, or restaurant? Friendly establishments of all kinds offer parting mementos like matchbooks to stick around in your pocket and memory. An early format for advertising, they’re delightfully sized to fit in your palm and useful in survival situations (not to mention, a smoker’s best friend).

Time to draw design inspiration from the humble but inventive form of the matchbook. Make new art expertly integrated onto a mock matchbook or perfectly sized for the inside flap. Whether you create a faux logo for an imaginary neighborhood bar, draft illustrative typography for a hotel’s slogan, or design a scene for the back cover, let the simplicity of a matchbook serve as your springboard. Vintage and classic or contemporary and modern, give us your best take on an artful matchbook. Tear a match, strike, light!

This contest opens to entries on January 24th, 2020 and ends on February 7th. 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 January 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Mood and more new this week

mood by Trabu (Trabu) is my favorite Threadless print this week. This is simplicity done truly well, with each element pared down as minimally as it can be while still telling a story. From the limpness of the tail to the lazy droop of each leg, there’s a strong narrative of sloth happening here. But in contrast to the lifelessness of the body, the cat’s eyes are alert and suspicious. This is a cat with a plan, and having accomplished his goal of resting atop the red ball, he’s scoping out his next move. There’s something funny, and pretty relatable, about the fact that he seems to have worked so hard to create such an uncomfortable and precarious situation for himself.

Let’s Run Away by Petr Stepanov (Steppeua) capitalizes on the strange structure of cacti to turn its upturned arms into a panicked flail of limbs. Red tufts at the end of each structure emphasize the chaos, while roots burst from their pot in a moment of pure comedy. To catapult the scenario into pure absurdity, little red sneakers are there to complete the look. The scrawled slogan isn’t centered under the image, instead it looks like an obstacle the cactus has hurdled over. Pure comedy!

Hot Coffee by Florent Bodart (speakerine) takes vintage style to a new level by imitating not ephemera from the recent past, but instead the ornate, highly stylized look of medieval religious art. This angel, with his white and gold tones, wouldn’t look out of place on a castle’s tapestry or a cathedral’s stained glass window. But once you read the message on the banner, the art is marked as something much more modern- an ode to coffee rather than the heavens. The artist chooses their wording carefully, and by phrasing it “But first coffee,” is able to imply that even the spirits need coffee’s fuel to undertake their larger than life tasks. Very slick.

Time to Explore by Enkel Dika (buko) is a great take on the hourglass timer, using the familiar shape of falling sand to stand in for the propulsion of a rocket. The visual impact of that change is immediate- something we’re used to seeing go down now suddenly goes up! Even better, the negative space around that trail of the spaceship is black as space itself and packed with stars, planets, and even distant solar systems. A suited astronaut stands in the rocket’s wake and poses as though he’s parting stage curtains, beckoning you in to the universe beyond. The simple message inscribed on the rims of “Time to Explore” completes the theme perfectly, raising the idea that there’s much more to see than time to do it, and also that how you spend your time matters.

Desert Rider by Khairul Anam (khairulanam87) captures the southwest landscape with stunning realism, each craggy rock rendered with an equal amount of care and grit. Towering clouds dominate the sky and emphasize the height of each element in the scene, all of which dwarf the horse and his rider. Tucked between a massive cactus and the dramatic rocky plateau, it’s easy to miss the horseback rider unless you’re looking for him. While the rest of the image is bathed in sunlight, the rider is drenched in shadow- about to enter the wilderness, but not yet truly a part of it. The landscape remains the star, humanity is an afterthought.

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 January 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Clubs design contest

Are you a joiner? If so, you might be particularly interested in Threadless‘s new Clubs design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

As long as there have been humans, we’ve gathered together in groups based on common interests to learn, share, and grow. Think of all the clubs you could join at lunch or after class in high school—drama, sports, AV, animal activists, and student council to name a few. Were you class president? Treasurer of the film club? Captain of the shuffleboard league? Maybe your club was the anti-clubs club.

Whatever crew you belong to, there’s a place for you in this clubs-inspired design challenge. Give us your spin on clubs, classic or imaginary, in scenes of underground meetings or typography with slogans and sayings. Is there a club motto or pledge everyone recites before sessions commence? What tenants must members adhere to in order to stay in good standing? Dust off your gavel and attendance log, wave your pennant flag high, and start designing for your fave club!

This contest opens to entries on January 17th, 2020 and ends on January 31st. 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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08 January 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Snowmen in Shirt Design: 15 great examples

As a classic winter symbol and source of seasonal nostalgia for many, the snowman is a staple of cold weather shirt design. Whether they’re melting as the sun grows hotter, celebrating the holidays, or behaving like humans, snow creatures of all sorts decorate shirts this time of year. Here’s a look at 15 great examples of ways snowmen have made winter shirts more fun…

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06 January 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Classic Blue design contest

One of Threadless‘s great traditions is that every year they theme a contest around Pantone’s Color of the Year. So it comes as no great surprise that the year’s first theme is the Classic Blue design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year instills in us the hope and confidence we need to move into a new era. The classic, trustworthy blue beckons to the natural world while reminding us of human resilience. It’s calming and centering—just what we need as we head into a future of endless possibilities.

Share your stance on the next decade by embracing 2020’s Pantone Color of the Year. Whether you channel the brilliance of a fresh start in design or make art inspired by a hopeful new year, we’re ready for your 19-4052 Classic Blue RGB (0, 70, 128) designs. Drafts designs featuring scenes of a thriving planet or typographic words of wisdom for the future. Let’s design the world we want to live in. Give us your take on Pantone’s outlook on 2020 with the Color of the Year challenge.

This contest opens to entries on January 10th, 2020 and ends on January 24th. 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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02 January 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Regular Waves and more new this week

Regular Waves by Khairul Anam (khairulanam87) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I love the simplicity of it, confining its shapes to just a circle and a series of half circles, all the same size. Orange marks out the topmost circle as the sun, while the halves in blue alternate high and low to mimic the rise and fall of waves. The repetition of shapes gives the scene a calm, tranquil feeling, and limiting the elements to a single geometric shape is a sophisticated choice. Really nice work.

Slow Alarm Clock by May Kapao (makapa) is a sweet, sleepy illustration of an alarm clock set in the shell of a slow-moving tortoise. There’s a real gentleness to the piece, which only uses the softest of colors as though anything more intense than a light dusting of pastels might require too much energy to process. The turtle sports a nightcap, the human rider is dressed in pajamas, and even the clock’s cuckoo bird has fallen fast asleep. It’s a very cozy scene, to the point where even the distinctive bells of the alarm clock are hidden away in a grove of mushrooms and cacti to conceal their familiar silhouette.

Peaceful Reflection by Rick Crane (ThePaperCrane) paints a portrait of the most serene scene imaginable. Repeated use of horizontal lines, spaced together more tightly at the top and bottom of the circle, help to make both water and sky seem absolutely still. There’s no breeze, no movement at all, leaving the lone boater in the center to drink in this peaceful place all by himself, with all the time in the world. Smart color choices, skewing towards the pastel end of the spectrum, further emphasize the laziness of the landscape. It’s the kind of image that makes you wish you could step inside and experience it.

Catastrophe by Aaron Thong (agrimony) features a cute cat in a bit of a predicament, hopelessly tangled up in some thin rope. A lot of the humor in this is in how exaggerated the tangle is, more of a scribble than a shape you’d expect yarn or thread to naturally end up in. The rope is treated realistically, with outlines showing which strands overlap. To me, this is a misstep- it would actually be funnier to make the tangle more abstract, more obviously a frustrated scrawl of swirling ink. But for his part, the cat is very cute and appropriately befuddled, sticking his paws through the knots so that some of his body escapes the mess. Soft shading is effective in making those limbs pop out at the viewer, helping the trap to seem even more pronounced.

Overthinking and Also Hungry by Fox Shiver captures a very particular feeling, the sense of being very lazy… but because you’re paralyzed into inaction by too many options. This isn’t the relaxing pose of an animal enjoying a nap, it’s the exhausted slump of a creature whose mind has been working so hard, it wore out all their physical energy. There’s an acute discomfort that the words reveal, the idea of wanting to get up but not quite managing it yet, that is relatable to a lot of situations, and the cuteness of the illustration keeps things fun and accessible.

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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31 December 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Tee Contest Year in Review(s): 2019

Time for another t-shirt retrospective! Here’s a look at the best shirt printed in each month of 2019…


A Trip through Space and Time by Tom (Thomas Orrow)

“…it rewards your attention with moments like the realistic handwritten price tag tucked beneath the title…”

– Threadless’s A Trip through Space and Time and more new this week, January 31st, 2019


Super Reporter by Gianni Corniola (spike00)

“It might be fair to say that good ol’ Clark Kent was the real hero all along.”

Threadless: Super Reporter and more new this week, February 7th, 2019


Mixed Message by Shadyjibes

“…a design doesn’t have to be complicated to be exciting and memorable.”

Pampling’s Mixed Message, March 25th, 2019


Rhinogami by Lucas Scialabba (palitosci)

“It feels really whimsical to see those tiny folds, and the interaction between the two animals adds to the feeling of each of their personality and character.”

Threadless: Rhinogami and more new this week, April 11th, 2019


Raven (Limited Edition Mineral Wash) by RAIDHO

“The traditional art style looks even more ancient when placed against the soft texture of the shirt’s fabric.”

Design By Humans’s Raven (Limited Edition Mineral Wash), May 10th, 2019


Family Fun by Gabriele Crotti (thecoolorange)

“The green ink and half-toning feel appropriately retro, and the bright orange draws your eye immediately to the disastrous fire.”

Threadless’s Family Fun and more new this week, June 27th, 2019


Life in Technicolor by Grant Shepley (Gamma-Ray)

“…the striped sky and colorful landscape are beautiful to look at and read as a modern interpretation of the colors of the sunset.”

Threadless: Life in Technicolor and more new this week, July 18th, 2019


Watermelon Ratio by Kinkajou88

“…it gives the feeling of eating a never-ending pile of melon.”

Pampling’s Watermelon Ratio, August 16th, 2019


Aerial Spectrum by waynem

“All these birds have been fitted together like a living jigsaw puzzle…”

Threadless’s Aerial Spectrum and more new this week, September 26th, 2019


Cat Metal by Jackson Duarte (JackDuarte)

“…head thrown back as though he’s about to let loose with a wild howl.”

Threadless’s Cat Metal and more new this week, October 17th, 2019


Fox of Leaves by NemiMakeIt

“I think the design’s best feature, though, is how it incorporates realistic vein texture into the leaves.”

Pampling’s Fox of Leaves, November 14th, 2019


Au Revoir by Norman Duenas (fhigi25)

“…the butterfly bursting through its flowery borders as if to dramatically underline how swiftly time flies.”

Threadless: Au Revoir and more new this week, December 18th, 2019

That wraps it up for 2018, but you can see how t-shirt art fared in past years in Compete-tee-tion’s 2018, 2017201620152014201320122011, and 2010 contest roundups.

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