Archive | threadless

17 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless Spring Cleaning Sale

Threadless’s Spring Cleaning Sale is underway, and shirts are all marked down by about $5- that means some pieces can be had for as little as $9!

Aesthetic Truculency by Kneil Melicano (roadkill3d) is the best shirt of a really amazing group. The visual humor is solid, but the value of the piece goes far beyond that- from the sharp flames on the candles to the velvety texture of the chair, the attention to detail and differing treatment of surfaces is awesome to behold. The use of the wallpaper fragment as a binding for the scene works well, and also firmly plants the surreal scene in the past. Amazing work.

Homage To The Hunter by Tony Elmore (empiricist) is a great use of the front and back of the shirt, displaying an idyllic scene of two deer in the woods on the front, and on the back showing the hunter poised to track down some dinner (complete with the family he supports, sitting just behind him). The design is in a line drawing style, with various textures inked in. A second color, blue, calls out the cold breath of both the humans and the animals involved. I really love this piece, as it does an expert job of showing what hunting is, and why it is, without devaluing any of the creatures involved.

Citrust Me by Thomas De Santis (Montro) takes a popular optical illusion and transplants it to a shirt. On the screen, the lemon shapes that form the leaves appear to blow in the breeze. In person, the illusion will likely not be as strong, as it is boosted considerably by the refresh rate of computer monitors. I have to say, even if it worked perfectly, I’d be a bit baffled as to why anyone would want to wear it- it’s not a particularly cool image.

Graphic Endeavors by Matt W. Moore is this week’s Select, a kind of visual experimentation of line, shape and color. It’s definitely full of motion and depth, and the odd choice to print a glowing outline on the back of the shirt is interesting, if a bit baffling. My only real objection to the shirt, though is the compact rectangular shape it inhabits- it kills the motion of the art on the shirt. Instead of checking out the cool ways the lines intersect, the eye is naturally drawn to the boring exterior edges.

Pinata by Priscilla Wilson (valorandvellum) is another example of the intricate linework its artist favors, and the textural quality of those lines really does a nice job of bringing the pinata to life. The subtle, explosive pattern in back adds a nice dose of action, and the creatures pulling the pinata rope on the back of the shirt are a humorous, whimsical touch. All in all, it’s a near-perfect shirt.

Clockwork Kit by Kerkko Ulmanen (gummi) is a type of design that I have nothing but disdain for- the kit. I don’t know why there are so many of these, as I’ve never actually seen one in real life. But some inspired designer, at least a year ago and probably more than that, realized that the kit is a pretty easy type of shirt to design. So that person did one, and then it blew the hell up and everyone else did as well. The only person I give any credit to is that first designer, because kits are just not witty. There’s no joke inherent in putting together a group of elements from a movie, pass time, or cultural event- and even worse, it’s an ugly, boxed in final product by definition. Super lame, especially since Threadless is already home to a much better Clockwork Orange inspired design.

Utility by Dan Rule explores the many uses of a utility pole. From locking bikes, to posting signs, to directing traffic and providing a perch for birds, the pole is used in just about every way imaginable. I like the idea of taking a look at the diversity of an urban environment, and the way a whole world grows around the pole. The strong vertical of the piece is attention getting and unique as well.

Happy Thoughts by Glenn Jones (Glennz) is a creepy look at optimism- a plane disaster, made a little more fun by the escape slide sporting a huge clown balloon. The calmness of the scene, even as a fire rages on the plane, is the same sort of odd lack of emotion that you see in airline emergency cards. Top that concept off with the artist’s signature clean lines and crisp style, and it’s easy to see why it was printed.

It’s Always Midnight Somewhere by Gregory James (farflung) is my second favorite shirt this week, and a really masterful take on classic movie poster illustration. I love the idea of two monsters from different worlds (werewolf and vampire) uniting to face an uncaring world. My one disappointment is the shirt color- I loved the mood created by the mint shirt color in the original submission, and to me the silver lacks some of that character. Still a great shirt, but not living up to its potential.

Overall, a pretty killer week- I ended up buying two shirts from this group, which is well above average. I’m glad the sale finally knocked some of these prices back down to a price I can actually afford!

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13 March 2008 ~ 2 Comments

Human Giant Loves Threadless

Ok, before I summarize the contest, I need to get one thing out of the way: I love Human Giant. I think they’re hilarious, and after I watched this season’s premiere I IM’d half the internet trying to get them to watch. So, this pretty much rates as the best contest ever, in my mind.

The Human Giant Loves Threadless competition is looking for designs made with the theme Old-Fashioned Fun. They’re a sketch comedy group, so I assume anything with a good sense of humor has the edge to win.

Enter before April 15th, 2008 for your chance to nab the huge prize package: $2000 cash, a $500 Threadless gift certificate, a Sanyo Xacti Digital Camcorder, a costume from the first season, an autographed Human Giant poster, personalized character answering machine messages, a signed t-shirt gun, a headshot of Cody Austin from Shutterbugs, sweatbands from the T-Shirt Squad, and a deck of cards from the Illusionators. It’s like a fan’s dream come true, I swear.

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10 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

In addition to printing nine shirts this week, Threadless also presented their Bestee awards. My favorite pick of theirs was Fox and Hare by Julia Sonmi Heglund as Best Abstract Design- I picked that one up when it first printed and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.

For me, Existential Clutter by Joel Cocks (Joelnz) is the best shirt printed this week. The style of it is awesome, showing the grids that form each item. The specific elements shown are pretty random, but the artistry is evident in the way the items are balanced and arranged (for instance, the heft of the basketball is negated by the earth on the opposite angle). I was concerned that the design would look a bit boxy when printed, but I’m glad that the photographs shown seem to prove me wrong- it looks great.

Blonde on Blonde by Joshua Kemble (polynothing) is based on the song by the same name (which, actually, I’ve never heard). It’s about the way rain takes hold of the imagination, with heavy rainfall taking on the characteristics of a legendary flood. Cats and dogs appear in the drops almost like constellations and one unfortunate umbrella-less pedestrian gets an imaginary deep-sea diver helmet. It’s a really cool idea, though I’m not crazy about how it looks on the shirt. For me, the corner building is too weighty, distracting attention from the coolness of the rain concept.

This week’s Select is Brat Party by Jon Knox Griffin (beingjon), and it’s a stand-out. The thick-lined style and use of repetitive visuals is unique to this week’s shirts, with the multitude of colors (I’m guessing that’s the reason for the high price tag, as well) popping from the shirt. Definitely a cool look.

Collateral Damage by Andy Gonsalves (andyg) reminds me of Roger Rabbit, with a gleeful cartoon scene about to be obliterated by the harshness of reality. The colors and styles are dead-on, with each element of the comic illustration fitted with a face and happy expression. The interesting shape of the design looks really interesting and fresh on the printed shirt as well.

Battle of E-5 by Dan Rule is a cool design exploiting the drama of simulated battle- in the background, a chess piece lays prone and all the horses have a diamond pattern that evokes a deck of cards. The colors are appropriately rugged, and the illustration’s movement makes for a unique-looking shirt. For a chess fan, I think this design is pretty must-have.

Konrad The Magician by BalletCats is well-drawn, with proportions that are a near-perfect fit for the t-shirt medium. Unfortunately, it’s also a drawing of a silly-looking magician. For that reason, no matter how nice the shirt is, it’s a hard sell for me. I mean… magic. It’s a staple of kids’ birthday parties, not a cool shirt subject. For someone without my magic hang-up though, this could be a nice design.

Make Love Not War by Paul Burgess fits the mold of most of Threadless’s classic shirts- it’s a play on nostalgia that also makes a powerful statement. The boldness of the design is appealing, with the primary colors demonstrating just how basic the message really is. That said, the price is kind of insane. At $20, it’s a full $5 more than customers were paying just a few weeks ago, and in this case there really isn’t any added value evident.

Reprinted this week: I Listen To Bands… by Evan Ferstenfeld (FRICKINAWESOME) and Stabby McKnife by Springfish.

Overall, a pretty nice week. If the Spring Sale happens soon, a few of these will probably find their way into my cart. The prices, though, mean I can’t imagine buying anything except the most irresistible shirts outside of the sale- it seems that the average shirt runs $20, and without any sort of specialty printing technique that’s a bit rich for my blood.

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08 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Jake Nickell Interviewed at GearCrave

Jake Nickell from Threadless just did an interview at GearCrave and dropped some interesting tidbits. Here are the highlights:

• Threadless hopes to open a kids’ store in Chicago and a store in Boulder, CO by the end of 2008.

• Two “notable additions” to the product line announced in 2008

• Starting this spring, Naked & Angry will begin releasing a new product every month.

Very cool, I think the thing that keeps Threadless on top of their game is that they’re always working to evolve and better serve their audience.

(link via Custom T-Shirt Talk)

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03 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

The Signs Are Everywhere by Thomas De Santis (Montro) exploits the difference between the glitz promised by neon signs with the often seedy reality. Burned out letters give way to new messages of pain, filth, and bad luck. Beyond the awesome concept, the design itself is very nice- I appreciate the different lettering styles and the fresh colors. Ultimately, it does a really good job of bridging the conceptual and the attractive.

Symbol or Signifier by Justin Fines is this week’s Select design, a colorful abstract piece that (for me, at least) inspires the imagination. To me, the mass of colors almost resembles a house full of little characters. It’s a great, original looking shirt and I love the unique shade of green the artist specified for the shirt.

Run, Scientists, Run! by Michael Valadares Ferreira (Bisparulz) is one of my favorite designs by this artist, as I feel it encompasses a few things he does well. The concept (a giant lab mouse stuck with syringes, chasing down the techs who made him a monster) is charming and leads the viewer to imagine the series of events that caused it. The composition is chock full of textures (the mouse’s tongue is an especially nice detail). And the design has a great movement to it, with the attacking mouse almost exploding from the fabric.

In Pachydermic Fashion by Michael B. Myers Jr. (slaterock) is another favorite of mine this week. A companion piece to the artist’s previous Select design (In Oceanic Fashion), this also depicts some fashionable folks in deep-sea diver helmets- this time, out of their element and atop an elephant. The artist’s flowing lines and expressive textures make the design seem both real and other-worldly. I think the dreaminess of the sky is what really sold me on it.

Fly Over Here by Matt Bender (squid inc) is a perfect fit for the t-shirt medium. It takes one of the strengths of fabric- the ability to show large patterns- and breaks it up with a plane, creating a story. Anyone who has even flown (or heck, even just perused Google Earth) knows that from high up, the land takes on a gorgeous look heavy on squares and lines. To me, the lines extending from the wake of the plane seem to disturb the peacefulness of the scene below, marring the sky with sound and smoke. Cool idea, and it looks fantastic on the shirt.

Past, Present, and Future by Louis Crevier (Presse) is an informative tree graphic. The past is a fully leaved tree, the present is a barren trunk, and the future is a root system made of skulls (each era also has a corresponding bird). For me, the whole thing feels like a retread- I’m a bit over tree shirts in general, they need to be more innovative to catch my eye. Beyond that, the pessimism of the shirt is so common it feels tired- surely there’s a more creative way to depict a devolution.

I Love The (Eighteen) 80’s by Nathan Stillie shows a Victorian John Cusack blasting his phonograph to win the hand of his lady love. The attention to detail is what makes this concept sing, with each element immaculately textured to match the art of that era. The embroidery of the sound extending from the phonograph is another nice touch.

This week’s reprints are Put The Needle On The Record by Steven Bonner (steven218) and We’re on the same level by duD Lawson (dudmatic).

Overall, a really great week of shirts at Threadless– there are a couple I might be picking up, and I think the shirts featured exhibit a nice range of style and subject matter.

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29 February 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Hot Chip Loves Threadless

Hot Chip Loves Threadless. They’ve also got an album out titled Made In The Dark, which is also the theme for this contest. Specifically, they’re looking for shirts that find an innovative way to use glow in the dark ink.

Submit before March 31st, 2008 for your chance to win the fabulous prize. In addition to the typical Threadless winnings of $2000 cash and a $500 gift certificate, the winner will also receive a MicroKorg keyboard, every Hot Chip album, signed album art, and an Astralwerks gift pack.

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25 February 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

Creature Convention by Julian Glander (secretly robots) is the winner of the Cranium Loves Threadless contest- an expected winner, but still a great one. More than just about any shirt in recent memory, this design took strides to do something new. Breaking from the norms of t-shirt design, the artist created a unique folding message- the drawing transforms from a group of appealing creatures to bubbly text that says “Wow!” Other shirts replicating this technique have already been printed, but this outclasses them easily.

Mount Pocono by Keith Shore is this week’s Select, using UV inks (visible only in sunlight) to display colored lines on a textured mountain, sort of an arty ski trail map. I have to say, this shirt’s not for me- I’m not crazy about the shape of it on the shirt (looks a bit lumpy, bulky, and awkward) and I’m at a bit of a loss as to why anyone would want to wear a ski trail map. The textures are great, but they’re the only part of this I’m digging.

Ballad Of The Weekend Warrior by John M Jirasek (MrDomino) is an intricate, vectory composition about the things we do because we have to, and the dreams we wish we could pursue. A helmeted, gasmasked soldier with weary eyes takes centerstage, as the rest of the piece disintegrates behind him. The text, a speech bubble stating “I just wanted to be an astronaut,” adds a clever twist to the scene- as much as the background is losing clarity, so is the subject. The colors look fresh and edgy on a lemon shirt, nice.

Merge by Chalermphol Harnchakkham (huebucket) is an illustration of a girl, melting into a pool of water. Flowing lines and muted colors unite to form an introspective shirt with a lot of style and a cool bottom placement. While this is a favorite of mine this week, I also wish that the design was grounded to the bottom of the shirt a bit more strongly. The product pic where the bottom half of the shirt is wet shows what this would have looked like if a darker brown was printed from the bottom of the drawing to the shirt’s edge, and it’s a look I much prefer.

Death’s Sweet Seduction by Graye Smith (grayehound) is a swirling drawing depicting the old wives’ tale that you should hold you breath when driving past a graveyard, lest the dead steal your breath away. I love the smoothness of the lines of the air, and the way they contrast with the more realistic environment- it sets up a cool implication of two worlds, the world of the living and the world of the supernatural. The dreamy, dreary colors add to the suspense of the piece.

Birds Of A Feather by Ross Zietz (arzie13) is easily my least favorite of the week. It’s not that it’s a bad shirt, it’s just so… boring. I mean, bird silhouettes? Coming out of a feather? It’s a decent pun, but Threadless has definitely seen better subs based around this concept. This one just looks like vector packs to me.

Reprinting this week: Partly Hungry Skies by Daniel Cheng (dinho) and A Voyage of Discovery by Ian Leino.

Overall, a very solid collection. There’s probably nothing I’ll end up buying, but I appreciate the breadth of style and concept printed.

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