Archive | threadless

16 July 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless Alumni Club

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Just launched today, the Threadless Alumni Club gives special features to designers whose work has been printed by Threadless. Some of this is material items, such as a membership card (good for discounts on Threadless merch), a medal of honor, a shirt, a mug and a mousepad.

In a more controversial move, the Alumni Club also has its own exclusive blog forum (unreadable to non-Alumni). A lot of long-term members of the site are up in arms about this development, and I have to say I understand where they’re coming from.

Here’s the thing: Threadless has amazing designers, no question about that. But the Threadless community is much more varied than that, including many non-artistic people who contribute to the flavor of the site in other ways. For instance, some people take great product pictures but can’t draw worth a lick. Others start contests in the forums, encouraging creativity that they themselves may not be capable of. Still more submit slogans and offer helpful opinions on designers’ works, able to appreciate great design but not to create it. These are all really valuable roles, and I can see why it hurts some people to see a site that they have dedicated so much time to suddenly appear to say that they’re not important.

The exclusive blog forum, in addition to causing some hurt feelings, is also a bit of a puzzling move to me. Designers create awesome designs, but what does that have to do with blogs? I guess I can see how it might be useful for collaborations, though I don’t see any benefit to keeping that invisible to other users.

I’m all in favor of rewarding talented designers. The blogs just don’t strike me as a particularly well-suited reward. What if, instead, designers were entered in a monthly prize drawing for art materials? What if, periodically, there was a contest just for alumni- perhaps focused on creating more experimental shirt designs?

At any rate, the hubbub over the Alumni Club might be overshadowing some great news- Threadless has increased their prize money! Winning designers will now receive $2,000 cash, a $500 gift certificate (which can be redeemed for another $200 cash) and exclusive membership to the Threadless Alumni Club. Perhaps more importantly, designers whose work is reprinted will now be getting $500 cash each time their work is reprinted. I think that’s an idea everyone can agree on!

Update: For anyone who is interested, you can check out a screen shot of the new alumni forum here.

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16 July 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New Monday at Threadless: Super-Sized!

Mother Knows Best - Threadless, Best T-shirts EverPlay - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

This Monday at Threadless is even more hectic than usual: In addition to a great crop of new tees (my favorites, Mother Knows Best and Play, are pictured above) there are also two brand new Loves Threadless competitions!

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In the PaRappa the Rapper Loves Threadless competition, designers are encouraged to create shirts with the theme “I Gotta Believe!” In addition to the typical prizes for being printed, the winner will receive a PSP, games and PaRappa merchandise.

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The Gmail Loves Threadless competition is going to be insane, I can already tell. The theme is “Connect,” which is a pretty easy idea to brainstorm around. And the prizes are nuts! The winner gets an iPhone, a $400 JetBlue gift certificate, a bluetooth headset, and tons of Google merchandise.

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14 July 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Voters versus Pros: A T-Shirt Competition Showdown

A recent article about Threadless in the New York Times is raising all sorts of questions for loyal voters. According to the article, Threadless is considering a new method of choosing shirts (in addition to the current method)- “letting winning designers select a certain number of shirts to be printed every month, regardless of the voting results.”

While on the surface this may seem like a betrayal of the principles that made Threadless a household name, it may in fact be bringing the site closer to its roots. In the beginning Threadless was primarily well-known to design and art geeks, but as the site has grown there’s been a natural shift to include more and more types of voters. Strategies for scoring well have also evolved to capture that new audience, often leading to a never-ending parade of puns and adorable animals. These shirts aren’t terrible, but they’re awfully safe. By giving shirt creators a different (more design and arts oriented) audience to court, the variety of shirts submitted is sure to increase.

Still, a lot of people have concerns. After all, a winner could select nothing but their own friends, or even stoop to accepting bribes.

I’m optimistic about it (particularly since a lot of my favorite shirt submissions are eliminated on the first day of voting), but it’s definitely going to be interesting to see this new system evolve.

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09 July 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

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Yep, it’s Monday again- and as usual, the only good thing about this horrible, horrible day is that Threadless is jam-packed with new shirts! It’s a nice group of shirts, with the stand-out to me being Clouds Within the Thunder. In addition to being a great, minimal concept, this shirt also proves for once and for all that Threadless can print on the shirt collar when they want to.

While overall the new shirts are fantastic, I also have some reservations about a few. The slogan shirt, for instance, has fantastic material to work with, yet the type is laid out in a completely boring fashion (yes, I saw the woodgrain, no, I was not impressed). Meanwhile, the sketchy life drawing shirt is a cool concept, but hardly one of the best sketchy shirts I’ve seen on the site (it looks like the seventies, ew!). Still, I guess it’s a bit much to expect Threadless to cater exclusively to my sensibilities, so I’ll content myself with the fact that other people are sure to enjoy those shirts a great deal. Congratulations, other people!

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05 July 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Photoshop Coloring Tutorial

If you’ve ever wondered how the Threadless pros create their designs, check out this photoshop coloring tutorial. Posted by valorandvellum, an artist with multiple shirts printed at Threadless, this is a great guide for people who are new to photoshop or who are looking to get a few tips on streamlining their design process.

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04 July 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Best of Eagle Vs. Shark Loves Threadless

Since the Threadless Eagle vs. Shark competition deadline passed a few days ago, here’s a look at my favorite three entries:

Amazing Freak - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
This shirt is fantastic in just about every way. The awkwardness is easy to understand and the style (reminiscent of old circus posters) is impeccable.

Foiled Again! - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Curses uses a great style (one that hasn’t been printed very often at Threadless). The story is easy to understand at a glance, and it has a lot of visual power.

Looking for love - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Looking for Love is more of a typical Threadless shirt, employing cute animals to service the theme. But the detailing, from textures on the animals to a neat star pattern in the background, set this submission apart from the pack.

Any of those three (and a handful of other nice designs) would be a great addition to the catalog and a worthy prize winner.

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02 July 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

Either I’m really easy to please today, or this was an exceptional crop of new shirts. I like every single shirt for sale today, and there are a couple that are on my buy list.

The best of the bunch, though, has got to be Priscilla Wilson’s excellent My Father Was a Sailor:
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