Archive | threadless

03 December 2007 ~ 2 Comments

$10 Sale, More New Shirts at Threadless

The ten dollar sale at Threadless continues, which means a super-sized batch of new and reprinted shirts again this week.

Be Square by Justin White (jublin) is my favorite shirt of the week. It pairs bold geometric shapes with expressive face drawings (I’m kind of partial to the Frankenstein monster square, but they’re all a lot of fun). This is the type of shirt that I can’t ever get enough of: it looks great from far back, but a closeup reveals tons of fun details.

Really Exist by Chow Hon Lam (Flying Mouse) is another shirt that is a different experience at different viewing lengths. From far back, you can enjoy the large blue rabbit in front of what seems to be a bonsai tree. A bit closer, and you suddenly start to see a very small girl chasing an even smaller rabbit… and wow, the blue rabbit is suddenly huge! The drawing style is also a big value-adder on this one- from the long strokes of the rabbit’s fur to the tight circles of the tree’s leaves, the texture is really fantastic.

Puppet In Love by Lim Heng Swee (ilovedoodle) is a shirt that I don’t really care for. It’s not a knock on the artist, who has done other designs that I’ve enjoyed (including I Hate Winter, which is awesome), just a side effect of being totally not the target audience on this one. To me the puppets are the best part, and they’re totally overshadowed by this hulking mass of a knot. Which is a heart. And judging by Threadless’s catalog, there are a ton of people in this world who love to wear gigantic (boring!) hearts. I’m not one of ’em, though.

The Beginning by Alexandre Deviers (pandaluna) is pretty awesome, kind of a Muppet Babies for the comic book set. Highlights for me are the raw determination of lil’ Batman, pedaling furiously, and the blank, confused look on the penguin’s face. While this is pandaluna’s first win at Threadless, his work has been pretty extensively printed at La Fraise so fans of his work can find more of it there.

Sound Advice by Olly Moss (_Basic) is information graphics at its finest: a gorgeous composition that also organizes and assembles data in a way that is easy for the viewer to understand. I have no idea whether all the information presented is accurate (some comments in voting suggested otherwise), but it is attractive enough so that I don’t particularly care. Good stuff.

My other favorite of this batch has got to be Home Is Where The Hub Is by Michael Blaine Myers Jr. (slaterock). A family portrait of a contented robot family, bright wires connect the elements together and move the eye around the design. Perhaps the best bit of the drawing is the haunted look in the eyes of the dog- in a world where all beings are machines, what determines who is the family pet?

I Love Tokyo by Studio Kumorfos is a bright pink line drawing of a Tokyo cityscape on a black tee. I confess, this is another one that I don’t really get. You can get shirts similar to this all over the internet, it just doesn’t seem like a very Threadless-type shirt to me. Plus, the design is only on the front- this kind of shirt requires a wrap-around, for serious.

Clean And Pristine by Abel Magaña (Admiralabelster)… is another one I dislike. The drawing isn’t in a style that I like, which is admittedly fairly subjective. But the thing that kills this design irreparably for me is that it relies on glow in the dark ink instead of being enhanced by it. The plain room on its own is just not a very good shirt. And the glow in the dark is funny for a minute, but also not terribly attractive. I don’t see how this is a good shirt unless you are in a situation where the lights are frequently flicked on and off, and everyone has a really short attention span.

Connect It by Chow Hon Lam (Flying Mouse) is the second Flying Mouse print of the week, which is quite a feat. Unfortunately, this shirt kind of sucks. The colors (while appropriate for the Gmail contest that this was originally entered in) are stupid and basic looking. And the concept of the brain having USB cords is pretty tired. I’m all for Flying Mouse getting a ton of prints (starting with Survivor, which is incredible), but for me this one is not up to par.

Routemaster by Lehel Kovacs (le_hell) has a lot of great qualities- it tweaks an iconic image into a brand-new and engaging design, and it does a nice job of using the shape and size of the shirt to its advantage. I like the messy coloring and blue halftones, which give the drawing a neat pop art vibe. Really, my only reservation is that it looks like a tourist shirt to me (one of the nicer ones, but still). I could see this being sold in a souvenir shop, which signals to me that it might have been an even better Threadless shirt if the concept had been tweaked a little further.

In The Event Of A Playground by Mike Sayre (mildish) shows a scene from an airplane emergency card, but with a slide in place of the… inflatable slide. Which is why this design doesn’t fully work for me. They’re both types of slides, so the switcheroo isn’t inherently funny to me. The inflatable one is already based on the actual playground version, you know? I think the design still has value as a diagram showing adults how to have fun, but I wish that had been more of a focus of the composition than just showing how a slide is used.

Smack! by Draco (DracoImagem.com) is hard for me to comment on because I’m so far out of the target market on this one. I can’t really conceive of a situation in which I would purchase a shirt of a cartoon girl kissing a frog, you know? But, I will say this- the lady frog is pretty awesome. Oh, and I don’t doubt that the frog legs on the shirt are accurate, but man does that one leg look broken to me (hi, I never see frogs jumping like that).

In a lot of ways, Home Is Where the Heart Is by Ross Zietz (arzie13) is exactly the kind of reprint that I like to see. It’s a Select, and they’re changing elements of the original for this reprint: there are a total of 7 types of birds that could potentially appear in the pocket (five are announced, two are currently a mystery). There’s also a change that’s less positive, though- instead of a polo shirt, this is now printed on a t-shirt. In fact, it’s the first shirt to be printed on Threadless’s new custom tee (and how odd that they’ve chosen a design for this that is so ill-suited to a t-shirt…). Also, the entire idea of printing pockety shadows on a shirt is weird to me- why not just print on a pocketed shirt?

Operation Needed by Scott Balaban (man835) is a classic, and for good reason. The contours of those pieces are instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever played the game Operation. The shadowing is particularly well-done, and really gives the illusion of those dug out areas in the actual game.

Sweet Creep by Phil van Bruchem (filvb) is the ultimate depiction of stranger-danger. Death tempts a small child with a gigantic, pink ice cream cone. It’s a nice touch to have the ice cream dripping so profusely, as it creates the impression that Death is killing the ice cream just by holding it.

5311 0U7 (yep, that’s Sell Out spelled out in 1337) by Multiple Moorby has got to be one of the best takes on a bar code that I’ve ever seen. The code serves as an anchor to the Jesus figure’s lengthy robes, even curling to transform into hair. I have one quibble, though- those lips seem kinda feminine, which almost (except for the pose) gives this the look of the Virgin Mary instead.

Blandband Deluxe by superswede has a cassette tape and paint splatters. A design like this gets submitted every couple of weeks at Threadless, so I guess I’m glad that they reprinted this, if only to slow the tide of similar submissions. I don’t get all this misplaced nostalgia for the cassette- they sucked. If they didn’t, we would still be using them. They’re not even particularly good looking!

Stir It Up by 345, though, is pretty sweet. The facial expression sells it for me, because he looks so empowered. Maybe the stirring motion is unlocking super powers, who knows. It’s simple and solid, and I like it.

Over all, not a bad week- kind of polarized, as there are two that I love and am probably buying, but a bunch that I don’t understand the appeal of. I’ve got high hopes for next week, for sure.

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01 December 2007 ~ 1 Comment

Matthew Dear Loves Threadless: Top Three

Here are what I consider to be the top three entries in Threadless‘s Matthew Dear Loves Threadless contest:

Topiary - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Topiary by valorandvellum is ridiculous- there’s texture everywhere, which gives these leafy creations a kind of motion and personality. This sets up a nice contrast with the plain white birds. I think this is almost definitely going to be printed.

Good boy! - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Good Boy! by kookylove is a resubmition, which I’m usually not a fan of. But the simplification of this design to one color really reinvigorated the composition, which gives the impression that this illustration is some kind of whacked-out police artist drawing. I love the useless handcuffs, failing to contain the creature’s other six arms (which are of course stealing items from the cop).

The Elysian Waltz - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

The Elysian Waltz by lunchboxbrain is another favorite of mine, due in large part to the unique style. It has a very surreal look, with oversize skulls perched on antique bodies. The delicate patterning in the background does a really nice job of tying everything together.

Overall, a decent contest. It didn’t have as many favorite pieces for me as most competitions result in, but the ones that I really liked are among my favorites ever, not just in terms of the other contest entries.

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26 November 2007 ~ 0 Comments

$10 Sale, More New Shirts at Threadless

The $10 sale continues at Threadless, and they’ve added a bunch of new shirts and classic reprints to the mix.

I’m opening this week’s reviews with I Love Coffee by Kirksey Wells (RAISEnoCHICKEN) not because it’s my favorite shirt (I like it, but I’m no coffee fan) but instead because this is hands down the most interesting printing decision of the week to me. As you may or may not know, the state of New York owns the copyright on the “I heart” ouvre of shirts- they sue the pants off of anyone who gets anywhere near their I Love NY trademark. In fact, Threadless was previously sued by New York for their Honest Tee shirt, which was a parody of the logo with the text “have never been to” in place of the heart. Could this printing mean that there’s been a decision on the Honest Tee issue? Because that’s a shirt that a lot of people are waiting for a reprint of… Anyway, this shirt is pretty clever, in that the coffee mug takes a while to see for most viewers. I think it might actually be a bit too unobtrusive, as I think most people would see this as meaning “I heart drip” or “I heart nothing,” missing the coffee mug aspect entirely.

Shiver Me Timbers by Noor Azman Mohd Zain (Jemae) is a shirt that I stand alone in disliking. The rave reviews have been flooding in on this one since it entered voting. The artwork of the boat and sea is wonderful. So what’s the problem? I seriously do not understand why the puzzle aspect is there. I have no internal connection between the pirates and the puzzle concept, maybe one exists that I’m unaware of. But for me, the puzzle cut-outs just detract from the art. All those lines just make this one look like a confusing mess to me at most distances, which makes it not a great fit for the t-shirt medium.

You Really Grate On Me by Gemma Correll (gemmabear) is a cute cartoon on a shirt. While this is an unpopular opinion at Threadless, I’ve got to say that I really feel like this type of cartoon has no business being on a shirt. Cartoons are great, but if you need to read the text to get them, you’ll need to be pretty damn close to the shirt before it makes any sense. And call me crazy, but I’m just not into the idea of wearing a giant cheese grater that no one will understand the context for. I feel like there are a lot of shirts in this same style, but better done, at Natalie Dee.

Put The Needle On The Record by Steven Bonner (steven218) is a great use of puff ink (on the thread), which makes me excited for when Threadless starts printing more shirts with specialty inks. It’s also a nice, understated visual joke. Definitely a worthy winner of the 33 1/3 Loves Threadless contest.

Ad Noctum by Ed Pincombe (Edword) is a favorite of mine this week, mainly because I think the drawing style does an amazing job of setting an emotional tone for the piece. I like the quiet resolve of the two figures as they walk into the gaping maw of the tree-skull, whose arms are raised as though this is just as much an ordeal for him as for the humans, actually.

Wayfaring Waltz by Priscilla Wilson (valorandvellum) grabbed my eye initially because of the great shape and kept my attention because of all the textural detailing. It’s a real feast for the eyes, with sound waves, hair, and oceanic waves all interacting to create a design that has a real sense of movement about it. Really great work, this is a shirt I’ll probably be buying.

The title of this design by Jan Avendano (funkie fresh) is Yes You Are, answering the monster on the shirt who states plainly “I am not a monster.” I have to say, I really love this shirt- I think it’s a neat conceptual twist on the monster imagery that we’re all used to seeing. This monster stands amongst a burning cityscape, denying responsibility for the carnage. The color scheme (muted, instead of the bold colors so common to monster shirts) seems to agree with the non-monster theory, as does the thin, delicate linework.

Candy-Coated Assassin by Kneil Melicano (roadkill3d) reminds me of a lot of early Threadless designs. I like the style a lot, but to me the content is pretty lacking. There’s a lot of emotionally-loaded imagery (gun, rain, girl with stuffed animal) thrown around, and it just doesn’t seem to mean anything. Decorative stuff is cool, don’t get me wrong, but its weird to me to see these symbols that are usually indicators of meaning used for… basically no reason.

Karma by Clayton Dixon (DEXXON) uses a visual style that is a great fit to the underwater subject matter (even though its not my favorite look). Circles are punched into the forms of the whale and the boat, conveying both movement and dimension. The poses of the drowning sailors are nice as well, they suggest the suddenness of the shift in power that allowed the whale to gain control.

One of the reasons that I like Cat Got Your Tongue by Andy Gonsalves (andyg) is because it is so different from most of Threadless’s other offerings. It’s bold, old-school cartooning but with a grown-up, literal approach. I like to think that he’s stolen the tongue of some of those awful food-with-faces creatures, who are now forced to stare silently at each other rather than painfully punning about how delicious they are.

How Hamburgers Are Made by Kyle Starks (starr226) is a cool image and a neat idea. However, to me this is not a great shirt. The images are too small- you’d have to be practically on top of the shirt before you had any idea what was going on. If the design had been made more vertical, it would have been a much better fit for a shirt.

Unlike a lot of wintery shirts, Penguins On Holiday by Philip Tseng (pilihp) shows penguins and polar bears interacting in a way that actually makes sense: the penguins have taken a vacation up north! It perfectly captures the tourist experience, penguins read guide books, pose with the locals and wear fanny packs, while missing the real action happening right under their noses (in the background, a polar bear chases a hapless eskimo).

Strange Birds by John Mitchell (JOHN2) is a Select reprint- the second in as many weeks. Like last week’s Select reprint, Cowboys and Indians, there’s not much (apart from the inflated price tag) to distinguish it from the normal shirts that Threadless prints. Where are the cool printing techniques and the edgy concepts? At any rate, it’s a good-looking shirt.

There was also a reprint on the Type Tee I Listen to Bands That Don’t Even Exist Yet by Evan Ferstenfeld (FRICKINAWESOME). I like the slogan a lot, it’s a neat play on the fact that it’s hip to known bands before they hit it big (but definitely not after). But given how many great slogans are floating around (and how little slogan writers get paid), I question the wisdom of printing the same old slogans instead of inaugurating some new ones. It would be neat to at least see a different text or color treatment when these reprint.

Peace and Hate. Can You Tell The Difference? by Allan Faustino (alanis) is a cool idea with a cloying title. The dove and the grenade have been styled to look similarly, but in doing so I think they’re also a bit boring to look at. I’d like to see a design update on this one to give the lines a bit more style so that it doesn’t look quite so generic to my eyes.

Drum n’ Bass by KID_Z is the first of the classic Threadless reprints this week. It’s also probably the best of the bunch. It’s a slick one-color masterpiece, with lines that suggest dimension and texture without actually showing it. Although… why is every design that I like at Threadless lately on either yellow or gold? Are there people who actually like those colors?

Sniffers Row by Westbeachgirl is about how dogs sniff each other’s asses. I have no idea why anyone would want to wear a shirt about that, and I definitely will never understand why there was enough demand for a shirt like this to merit a reprint. Honestly, what is there to say about a shirt like this?

Unlike the last shirt, I’m very fond of Presstube Tees by James Paterson. It looks like a shirt from some kind of alternate Japanese future. I have no idea what it is supposed to represent, and frankly I don’t care. It’s more fun to wonder.

So, overall it was a pretty good week for Threadless. While there are things that I wish they’d do a bit differently, I think the variation shown in the shirts printed this week is spot on- there’s something for everyone.

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20 November 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Secret Handshake, Cranium: They Love Threadless

Two new Loves Threadless competitions were posted during the $10 sale madness yesterday, here’s a closer look at each:

The Secret Handshake are a band with a new song called Midnight Movie, which is the theme for this contest. There’s a whole pack of prizes on this one, including a Pure Digital Flip Video Ultra Series camcorder, a Sonic Impact Video55 iPod video player, a signed CD and poster, and (most excellently) a years supply of Orville Redenbacher popcorn and Nestle candy. All that is, of course, in addition to the traditional Threadless prize of $2000 cash and a $500 gift certificate. Entries should be submitted by December 19th, 2007 to qualify for the prize.

Cranium is releasing a new edition of their board game, titled Cranium Wow, and to celebrate they’re sponsoring a Threadless competition. The theme is “Wow! (as in wow the judges),” which is hilariously specific (and probably a move to avoid the piles of submissions using the word wow as literal text on the shirt, though I’m sure that will happen anyway). And of course, there are some pretty neat prizes at stake: a signed Cranium WOW game, a signed, limited run 6″ vinyl WOW mover sculpture (valued at $1,000- and I’d love to know how they came up with that number, seriously), a full set of designer movers, unspecified Cranium swag, and of course the standard $2000 cash and $500 gift certificate. Submit before December 19th, 2007 for a shot at the prize.

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19 November 2007 ~ 4 Comments

New Shirts, $10 Sale at Threadless

Threadless has begun another of their famed $10 sales, and to celebrate they’ve also printed and reprinted a total of 18 shirts! That is downright gluttonous. But awesome! And for all the holiday shoppers out there, they’ve set up a gift guide.

Confessions of a Jock: I Killed a Nerd by Thomas De Santis (Montro) is a deeply cool image- it instantly reminded me of that episode of the Twilight Zone where a dude is locked in a bank vault during a nuclear war (if you saw it, you know the one- but I won’t spoil it for people who somehow haven’t see it yet). There’s a sense of fragility any time you see a lone pair of glasses, because you know that the owner is at the very least crippled by their loss, unable to accurately perceive the visual world. I also enjoy the theme of nature reclaiming a symbol of knowledge. And, of course, the owl- is the owl tiny, or are the glasses huge? Either way, I am a fan.

I have mixed feelings about Splatter in D Minor by Jahoosawa. Black ink on a white shirt pretty much always looks boring. And I’ve never seen splatters with that kind of sharpness, which makes the composition look lazily done. Further, the design was submitted with the splatter beginning on the shoulder, which added to the motion in the piece (it is now centered, which is less interesting). There are things to like about this, though- the line of the notes and splatter is attractive, and there’s a very well done gradual transition between the splatter and the notes. But for me, it’s just not enough.

This week’s Type Tee is Movies: Ruining the Book Since 1920 by Jayson Dougherty (ZombieToArt). It’s a quality slogan, but to me the shirt could use some work. I feel like shirts should be good-looking even from far away, and this font isn’t doing it for me. Maybe because the catalog already includes Sound of Silents, they decided to go with a movie theater setting and a modern font… but to me, something with a more antique twenties-style vibe would have been a must-buy, while this shirt comes up a bit short.

Punk Rock Cock by Aled Lewis (fatheed) is ridiculously good. The illustration itself is on point, especially the safety pin and those little boots. It’s also a great merging of the rooster and punk concepts, from the mohawk to the colored feathers. Really great work.

To me, One Handprint of Nature by Jojo R. Dabucol III (BLXMAN77) is a missed opportunity. The idea itself isn’t bad (though its been done many times before), but the execution strikes me as pretty lacking. It all looks pasted together, with very little merging or transition between the nature and hand elements. It isn’t enough to use fingerprint to fill in a zebra, those lines should also join up with the lines of the hand. The trunks of the trees should bend into the hand, maybe even with roots that enter the handprint. Overall, this just doesn’t look finished to me.

Boy in the Weeds by Winson Lee Ying Hang (stor) is a real standout in this group of new shirts. It stands apart from the rest of the collection, as it is so geometric in nature. I love the color scheme, the strong vertical thrust of the piece, and the quiet asymmetry in the leaves. The design has the feel of being a nature pattern from the future.

Tragedy Struck by Jack Moore (jacklmoore) is a common shirt topic revitalized with a fresh illustrative style. Nice touches abound, from the curves of the background to the dotted motion lines. The roller skates make it clear that this disaster will happen quickly, and the droplets behind the ice leave no question that it’s too late to put a stop to it.

The Raven’s Cry by Andrew John Mohacsy (Andreas Mohacsy) is a real smorgasbord of textures. It’s a gorgeous illustration, no doubt, and there’s so much going on my eyes don’t know quite where to land. I’m not a huge fan of this as a shirt, though- I find the overall shape of the piece to be awkward on a shirt, and I think this level of detail isn’t a great fit for the t-shirt medium. I’m a fan of this artist, but I wish some of his other work had been printed instead.

Now That’s Dope by Robert Gould (Robsoul) is kind of a hand-drawn approach to the type of cartoon that Married to the Sea does. Two generals discuss the dopeness of their phonograph tunes, hilarity ensues. The style of the drawing and the illustrated font add value to the piece. Unfortunately, it has been printed on bright yellow. It takes a very special shirt design to overcome a shirt color like that, and for me this just isn’t it.

Three Plus… One? by Giulia Cucija (jewel947) is the kind of cutesy shirt that I typically dislike- but I think that this one is pretty nice. The difference between this and a lot of other funny animal shirts is the strong design choices, such as the crooked, strangely windowed buildings and the bright colors. I also like the progressive realization of the birds as your eye travels from left to right.

Paper Cranes by Glenn Jones (Glennz) is the ideal execution of a joke shirt: the colors are bright and bold, the message is clear even from a distance, and the concept is easy to grasp. An origami figure does karate’s Crane stance (instantly recognizable to anyone who has seen The Karate Kid) in the direction of a couple of origami cranes, who seem more than a match for this dude’s awkward posing.

Hitchhiker by Henrique Lima (Gringz) has a great style. I like the short, squat rocket (which barely seems able to lift itself off the otherworldly surface) straining under the extra weight of the jovial cyclops. The details make the piece, from the well-realized background art to the series of buttons, switches and wires on the rocket exterior.

The first (and best) of this week’s modern reprints is Cowboys and Indians by Glenn Jones (Glennz). It’s a funny shirt, yes, but what makes it really shine is the amazing shading on the horse and elephant. The orange shirt is another great touch- it conveys the heat of the southwest, but the unnatural neon of the color also gives everything a touch of the bizarre. Interestingly, this is the first Select design I’m aware of that has gotten a reprint.

In Case of Fire by Bruno Acanfora (PINTA MI CERCA) is a light-hearted tee, with a marshmallow on a stick inside a Break Glass construct. It carries the message that in an emergency, you should still try to look on the bright side- plus, it’s a great camping shirt. I’ve got to say, though, I’m pretty tired of the whole “break glass” thing- I feel like I’ve seen a shirt with just about every object imaginable in one of those.

I really like the look of A Key For Everything by Richard Lee (lofty softy). The keys really pop on dark grey, and I like the way they’re cataloged and labeled like sketches in a naturalist’s notebook. The sticking point for me is that I find a few of the more abstract labels to be unbearably twee (key to your heart? key to success? Ugh). I’m probably on my own with that one, but I really think a little more realism would make this a lot more wearable for me.

In addition to the regular reprints listed above, Threadless dug deep into their vaults to reprint some shirts from the early days of Threadless, including I Luv You CPU by Greg Washington (jeedubnew). While it is my favorite of these older reprints, that isn’t saying much. Like a lot of early Threadless stuff, I think it relies too much on the conventions of print and ignores the possibilities of the t-shirt medium (for instance, much of the text is basically unreadable). Still, there are elements that I like, such as the angle of the computer image and the repurposing of the silhouette in the upper left.

Summer Wind by Joachim Baan is another design that fails to take advantage of the shirt. The line of flowers could easily have traveled further north, interacting with the collar. The focal point could have been lower on the shirt, with the flowers traversing more of the available print area. There’s no advantage that I can see to leaving it centered like this. It’s a good looking design, but it looks so much more at home as a wall graphic than it ever did as a shirt.

I don’t really have anything positive to say about Black Spot by John Slabyk (S20). The image itself is pretty dull, though I can see how it might have merit to someone who likes pirates or large, simple shirt designs. What kills it beyond repair, though, is the ridiculous tirade against brands that appears on the back of the shirt. It’s especially out of place at Threadless, which is so heavily branded (even including logo stickers with every order, so that fans can recruit others as customers). Plus, it is just crazy lame to tar all brands with the same brush- it just reeks of a fear of success.

Anyway, there was definitely a huge selection of shirts added today, something for every type of customer. My own purchases were from the shirts introduced on past weeks (Fox and Hare and Sink Yourself), but there were a few from this group that I considered.

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15 November 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless Display Art for Sale

Since early July, Threadless has hired artist Joe Suta to paint three canvases a week that are a mash up of all the shirts printed. The results vary wildly in style, but they’re all pretty interesting to look at.

These paintings are now offered for sale on Threadless for the price of $250 apiece. It’s kind of a high-end alternative to the wall art that Threadless teamed up with Blik to create.

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12 November 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

Threadless‘s winner in the E for All Loves Threadless contest is a great choice: Hero Within by Mikko Walamies (Mikko Terva). The way the linework creates so much texture is neat, and the use of dotted lines is also very effective. Using a gold ink on this one adds a sense of importance to the composition, which is pretty funny for a video game shirt.

My favorite of the week, though, has got to be Fox and Hare by Julia Sonmi Heglund (sonmi). It’s really a masterpiece of line and color, with animals and shapes overlapping to form a new whole. It has the appearance to me of being this insane biological collage, like some crazed (but artistic) genius built this in his underground lab. It’s a ridiculously good shirt, is what I’m saying.

Big Cats by Lawrence Charles Mann (onemannbrand) is a great one-color print. The large image of the tiger is constructed with tons of cat silhouettes, which is a good idea. It pretty much needs the orange shirt to work, though, so I have no idea why it’s been printed on yellow for kids and babies. Kind of an odd choice there.

Get Back to Nature by Simon Massey di Vallazza (francobolli) is another favorite of mine this week. It’s like a coloring book filled in by an acid-addled hippie. Or a relic from some sort of newly primitive future. It’s hard to pin down, which is almost always a mark of greatness. I dig the colors and the raw enthusiasm of the character.

Muzak Homage by Tony Wood (johnny_quest) is a great image, though I feel it lends itself more to a poster or a magazine illustration than to a t-shirt. The focus of the shirt is people alternately bored and rocking out in elevators (which also resemble an equalizer, of course). A great concept, but because of the nature of the t-shirt medium I feel like most viewers will never notice most of this (and, what really kills it for me is that the overall shape of the design is just not very visually appealing at a distance).

Sensory Overload by Ed Pincombe (Edword) has the perfect shirt placement- it kind of cascades across the entire front of the tee. The little teal characters are fantastic, and I like the highlighting of the nervous system and their huge grasping hands. Definitely a cool, unique piece.

Now on to the reprints… Fathom Farewell by Ross Zietz (arzie13) is a shirt that I am hugely biased about, because it is one of the first Threadless shirts I ever owned. Highlights of the design are the strong vertical of the image and the way the water is shown as light blue waves on the boat.

Emotional Trip by Glenn Flanagan-Dutton (artictiger) is a shirt that I just don’t get. It’s really negative (only depression is on time, all happy emotions are either delayed or canceled), and even worse it’s not very interesting looking. The bulk of the shirt is a huge flight information board, and those are just boring and ugly by their basic nature. I’d also like to register some general disappointment at the fact that this was reprinted on the same color it had last time, which is lame. This would work on any color, so I see no benefit to leaving it on burgundy (surely blue would be more thematically appropriate?).

Looking at this week’s shirts as a whole, I’m pretty happy with the selection. I’m glad to see that there was more emphasis on art (Fox and Hare, Get Back to Nature and Sensory Overload) than on talking food and lame puns, which is for me a huge step in the right direction. Hopefully next week will be more like this, too. It’s also nice to see the gold foil in use on Hero Within, which makes me wonder when we’ll start seeing more shirts with special printing techniques in the store.

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