Archive | threadless

27 August 2008 ~ 1 Comment

Threadless $12 Back to School Sale Continues!

Threadless’s Back to School Sale continues! Here are the reviews of the shirts I didn’t post on Monday…

Braaains! by Ray Frenden is the other major standout this week, with an appealing all-over print of zombies. It’s great subject matter for this kind of treatment because it conveys the vastness of a hoard of zombies so well. The specific faces used are zombified versions of Threadless fans- Frenden requested that interested posters send in their photos, which makes this a bit of a site-wide collaboration. All in all a cool, unique shirt- though the color palette they chose is what stopped me from buying. Yellow and teal for zombies? I think the original green on green was more attractive.

It’s So Simple by Carson Campbell (platinum) is surprisingly complex for a shirt proclaiming its own simplicity. The complex patterns of doodled lines also form subtle letters, mirroring the meaning of the simple cursive script. The print is perfectly sized- large enough to cover the shirt, but still be readable. It’s nice, classic-looking one color work.

SOS by Jeff Staple is the Select this week. I like the idea of the shirt, as the gradient-like cliffs give a cool ambiance of mystery- it seems peaceful, but the dark clouds and SOS haze hint at something sinister. What really kills the shirt for me is the printing- I’m baffled as to why anyone would print this as a rectangle of color instead of a full front print. I think this is lacking a lot of the impact it might have had otherwise.

Two Detectives, One Crime Scene, One Thief by Esther Aarts (gumbolimbo) is a gimmick shirt at heart, but also a damn good-looking one. The detective scene itself is pretty t-shirt-worthy, but the hidden robber (printed on the inside of the shirt) is the real attention-getter. It’s definitely a funny joke, and the drawing is at the same quality level- check out the details like the stitching in the trench coats and the textures. Cool work, and something even non-gimmick fans will respond to.

Easy Steps by Pascal Rivet (Le Squale) is a pure joke shirt. It gets right to the meat of the joke without any fancy graphics to distract, using an informational approach to the subject matter. Breakdancing is definitely a complex-looking undertaking, so the joke is easy to understand and laugh at. While the graphics don’t add much, they’re solid. Not a bad shirt at $12, but pretty similar to the type of thing one might pick up at Busted and other traditional shirt sites.

Grandpa Cassette by Zack Finfrock (Splashed Ink) is an interesting nostalgia shirt in that I was almost convinced I’d seen it before. The joke is pretty familiar, as it has been done with every technology shift- the old format is portrayed as elderly and the new format is indifferent and youthful. The illustration is really nice and all, but the joke is so stale I can’t get past it. Yes, cassette tapes are old… so? It’s just not that funny. Adding to the issue is the use of the iPod- it’s already an aging technology, to the point where models with a completely new appearance get released almost every year. In other words, this shirt might already be close to its expiration date.

Remembering Last Night by James Gulliver Hancock has a great style- it almost looks like a photograph of a three dimensional owl. It’s a really fun collection of illustration and texture, one of the few recent prints to be much more about art than ideas. Great colors as well, it really conveys a woodsy night time feeling.

Three Little Pigs: Mechanized Assault by Ian Leino is absolutely hilarious and original, combining two sources of nostalgia into one cohesive concept. The three little pigs are fighting back, perched atop mechs of sticks, straw and brick. Defense was a losing strategy, this time the wolf has to face their offense. It’s well-executed, and the language switch makes it look like an artifact from another dimension or something, just alien enough to capture the imagination.

Russian Newborn by Blake Suarez (orangehead) is, to me anyway, a new take on the Russian nesting doll concept. The reason I hesitate a bit is that it seems like such an obvious idea- I’ve seen nesting doll sets where the center was a baby, so it’s not much of a leap. At any rate, the design is clean and fairly well-constructed (a few structural issues like the bed’s missing wheel trip me out a bit), and pretty amusing. Not a stand out, maybe, but not a bad shirt either.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints.

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25 August 2008 ~ 4 Comments

Threadless Back to School Sale! $12 Shirts!

Threadless’s Back to School Sale has begun! Head on over for $12 tees and discounts on other products as well. Act quickly, as popular designs often sell out fast.

Vampire! by Olly Moss (Woss) isn’t just the coolest shirt of the week, it’s also one of the coolest shirts I’ve ever seen. The key to its greatness is in the marriage of concept and effect- this vampire appears to burn in the daylight thanks to UV inks, and at night his eyes and fangs glow. Funny, attractive, and entirely unlike any shirt I’ve seen before.

Roughin’ It by Brock Davis (Laser Bread) is a charmingly drawn characterization of nature as a pack of thugs. The wilderness is gorgeous and fully out to get you. Part of what makes this a cool piece to me is the fact that no animals are featured as threats- this is purely the landscape. I’m also digging the soft, distressed colors, which bring to mind sun damage.

Failed Launch by Manos Lakoutsis is one of the coolest space-themed shirts I’ve seen, using a more technical approach to the subject matter. Through a network of flight panels, a huge astronaut is highlighted in the linework. It’s also printed as a zip-up hoody, which looks pretty great (though I wish it were printed larger, as the rectangle is a bit off-putting).

Keeping It Simple by Sam Schuna (olie!) showcases the darker side of the golden age of animation, with some of those goofy faces now conveying hate and malice instead of cheer. It’s similar to the print Finding Technicolor that was featured at Woot, but with the creatures reacting out of fear when they see color. It’s well-done, but kind of a niche concept- since I already own Finding Technicolor, I’m not too excited for this one.

SPRSTR by Aaron Hogg (hogboy) features a stained glass window of Jesus showing off his b-boy skills. After all, some of those gravity-defying moves sure look pretty miraculous. The colors do a great job of looking as translucent and gleaming as the real thing, and the print is perfectly sized.

Un Censored by Ross Zietz (arzie13) is to me, frankly, kind of a disaster of a shirt. The concept is barely there (sometimes, blurry things are more clear from far away! sometimes, you can still see what’s being censored!). I assume the point is supposed to be that most censored things don’t need censorship (all the words are pretty tame) but that doesn’t make the shirt attractive. Plus, the words are pretty obvious even from close up.

Perennials & Innards by Kneil Melicano (roadkill3d) explores some of the structures similar to guts and flowers. It’s a cool, colorful and otherworldly piece, but the strangeness of the theme probably makes it only suitable for a niche market. Overall, I think I’d prefer it as a print rather than a shirt- something about wearing guts seems a bit gross.

Sinister Dexter by Joe Carr (ISABOA) is an intricate drawing of good vs evil, taking its inspiration from the middle ages. The main strength of the piece is in the sheer amount of detail, which covers every element of the composition in texture. My only issue with this design is the very rectangular shape- I feel it sits on the shirt a bit oddly, and makes the design look slapped on the shirt instead of created specifically for it.

Octadecapus by David Creighton-Pester (WanderingBert) is another of this week’s designs inspired by classic animation, using that influence to make a unique octopus with gloved tentacles. The simplicity is fun and wearable, but I do miss the amount of wraparound that was in the original design submission.

Because of the sheer number of shirts printed, I’ll be splitting the reviews into two groups. Expect the remainder to be reviewed before Wednesday.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints.

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18 August 2008 ~ 5 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

T Minus by Brian Walline (thunderpeel) is the most eye-catching shirt this week at Threadless, both for its bold orange color and for the fact that it looks more like a DBH offering than a typical Threadless print. The huge scale of the sunburst looks fantastic, and along with the dark lines of the arrows it approximates the stripes of a tiger nicely. I’m also a big fan of the amount of motion conveyed, it really feels like a still frame of an action cartoon.

As Day Is Swallowed Up By Night by David Creighton-Pester (WanderingBert) is the winner of the Moby Loves Threadless contest, which had a theme of Last Night. The concept it self is clever (day being attacked by night), but I think the real power of the design is in the details. The use of elements from each sky to form their characters is fun, especially the moon as night’s sole eye. The use of rough textures supports the personality of the creatures and helps to make this composition stand out in the crowd. Definitely a worthy competition winner.

Fancy Attitude by The Artist’s Guide is this week’s Select. While the shirt itself is pretty good looking, I have to say that I’m more excited about the zine that comes with the shirt than I am about the shirt itself. It’s a nice enough shirt design, with a colorful and loose cartooned style. But nothing about it stands out as unique or interesting to me. I feel as though I’ve seen all these elements before, and that there is nothing particularly powerful about this specific arrangement of them. I’d wear it, but I’m not moved to purchase it.

Get It To Go by Adam Benjamin White is another favorite of mine, centering on that longstanding mystery of fast food containers- what is the Other button for? The style is straight out of eighties comic books, complete with halftone dots and expressive type treatments. The gross-out imagery is so excessive I think most will have a visceral reaction to it, which of course only adds to the humor of the strange tentacled drink contrasted with its crisp and clean brethren. For the wide appeal and unique graphics, I think this is going to be a Threadless classic.

Ghost On The Machine by Brock Davis (Laser Bread) relies on glow in the dark ink for its humor, but not to the point of being crippled by it. In the daylight, there’s no joke at all, just a copy machine. It’s a well-drawn copy machine, though, so while it’s a bit of a baffling choice of an outfit it isn’t unattractive. In the dark, the joke of a ghost using the copier for office hijinks is revealed. For me, the reason it works is because of the way the use of glow mirrors the reality- copiers are boring most of the time, but maybe when no one is looking…

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints.

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15 August 2008 ~ 1 Comment

Threadless Loves Drawing

Threadless has a new major competition starting up, titled Threadless Loves Drawing. They’re looking for shirts based on original drawings, which already has me excited to see the winner.

Enter before September 15th 2008 for your chance to win the prize package, which includes a Wacom Cintiq 12WX tablet, a $750 House Industries gift certificate, a $500 Utrecht gift certificate for Utrecht, a full set of Front Forty Books and CD’s, your design featured in Print Magazine’s February 2009 issue, an oversize poster from the Print Magazine 2008 New Visual Artists issue, the 11-year retrospective Regional Design Annual DVD and a one year subscription to Print Magazine… all in addition to the traditional Threadless prize of a $500 Threadless Gift Certificate and $2,000 in cash.

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11 August 2008 ~ 3 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

Bunyan’s Blues by Ken Marshall (Style Swap) is my favorite shirt of the week because of how thoroughly the humor is conveyed. Instead of just capitalizing on the blue steak, showing Paul grilling in the middle of a field of tree stumps makes it clear how hard up he is. The result is a shirt that is funny, attractive, and even oddly poignant.

In Us All by Luke Ramsey is this weeks Select. While it’s a type of shirt that I don’t typically enjoy (it displays the organs), but it is done with a lot of style which goes a long way towards making it feel fresh. The heavy patterning of the innards almost gives them a furry texture, and the cutaways of the creatures are amusing. It’s solid work, but not exceptional.

Imposter In The Bird Hotel by Michelle Li (littleclyde) is at first glance an attractive, though maybe predictable, shirt. The birdhouse is fun from far away, as it is full of colors and textures. Close up, though, is where it really succeeds- all the unique birds are fun to look at, and there’s a neat easter egg in finding the cat hidden among them. Another strength is in the way the environment is shown in lighter shades, a great way of establishing a tone without distracting from the main event.

Foam Monster In Emotional Reunion With Severed Limb by Aled Lewis (fatheed) is one of the funniest and most original ideas I’ve seen on a shirt. It’s like the answer to the question in the back of everyone’s mind- what is the deal with those huge foam fingers? The answer is presented as an unfortunate foam monster, roaming the crowd in search of his hand. The style of drawing is attractively sparse, really letting the joke take centerstage. An especially great shirt for sporting events, but likely to be a hit with any crowd.

AV by Olly Moss (Woss) is a gimmick shirt. It succeeds where most shirts of this type fail, however, by mimicking an attractive object. There is something pretty cool about the way AV interfaces look because of the geometry, repetition and bright colors. I’d never wear it because I don’t understand the desire to have a shirt look like anything other than a shirt, but I think objectively it’s the best looking example of the genre that I’ve ever seen. I can picture hardcore music and video enthusiasts cheerfully lining up to buy it.

Stalagmite vs Stalactite by Steven Bonner (steven218) thrives on simplicity- the wavy rock layers spice it up a bit, but otherwise it’s all basic and crisp. It works because the concept is so informational, it looks like a graphic for teaching children. As such, I think it works best as a kids shirt. While the front and back, up and down format is fun and fitting, most adults don’t flip around enough to give it the kind of workout I think the theme requires.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints.

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05 August 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

This week’s Select, True Love Will Find You In The End by Si Scott, is absolutely amazing. It’s exactly the level of artistry you’d expect from Si Scott, and it suits the medium nicely as well. Everything about the swan design works perfectly and looks effortless- the balance of dark, light and grey, the motion conveyed, and especially the rich detail. Definitely one of the nicest pieces I’ve seen at Threadless, or on any shirt for that matter. The only aspect I’m not totally sold on is the text itself. The placement is perfection but the sentiment feels a little too Hallmark cutesy, not quite up to the level of the rest of the shirt in my opinion.

Tief Fairies by Frank Barbara (franx) is the winner of the Hot Chip Loves Threadless contest, which mandated that entries find an innovative way to use glow in the dark ink. In the daylight, the shirt is covered by a huge, colorful skull- not the most original subject matter in the world, maybe, but definitely good-looking. The glow in the dark effects are where the real uniqueness takes place, showing a squadron of tooth fairies busily relieving the skeleton of its teeth. It’s a great design to me because the glow enhances the shirt, it isn’t just the sole reason the shirt is worthwhile.

Complementary Colors by David Creighton-Pester & Evan Ferstenfeld (WanderingBert) is solid all around, starting with the pun (funny, and not too annoyingly overdone). What really sells, though, is the incredible style. The speech bubbles are textured instead of solid, even casting shadows where they overlap. And the attention to detail doesn’t stop there- each color is represented as a different type of art supply (my favorite is the pairing of green paint and a paint brush), each decked out with a goofy cartooned grin that adds even more cheese to their over-the-top compliments.

The Future In The Past by Yoshi Andrian Amtha envisions an antique-style gentleman DJing with a phonograph. I’ve seen the idea done before, but this is definitely the best rendition yet- the gold foil and the great style (right down to the wood grain of the bases) kick things up a notch. It’s nicely done, and I think most musical history types would get a kick out of it.

Living Doll by Stephen Dillon-Malone is a gimmick shirt, which I am pretty much destined to hate. Here’s the thing- to me, a kid’s hand holding a doll is not a common sight. So when I see it applied to a shirt, I find it less iconic than just plain odd. It’s also a shirt that only works when viewed directly head-on, which is disappointing because in life, shirts are so rarely confined to being seen that way. Another flaw for me is the coloration of the hand, which looks splotchy and live-traced (something I think would look even worse blown up at the size of a real shirt. I could see this gimmick maybe being popular with parents, but otherwise I’m not seeing the appeal.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints.

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29 July 2008 ~ 2 Comments

New Shirt Moday at Threadless

Animals with Eyepatches! Yes! by Brock Davis (Laser Bread) is the winner of the Threadless Loves Lollapalooza contest, perfectly interpreting the theme by picking such a remarkable and wonderful subject. To me, it’s a great design because it looks attractive and interesting on the shirt, and because the images get my imagination running. The distressing and colors are a nice touch- to me it makes the image look more naive and handmade, which adds to the enthusiasm that the design conveys.

Biro Battles and Bat Beasts by Miso & Ghost Patrol is this week’s Select. Let’s just cut to the chase: I have no clue what this is supposed to be, but I like it. Some kind of ox-sloth hybrid clutching the legs of a Batgirl impostor? Okay. Sign me up. Because what sells the shirt is both the general oddness and the excellent style. The penciled lines are gorgeously textured and inviting to look at. Solid work.

Eye Parcel by Olly Moss (Woss) is a triumph of lines. The hair-like lines swallow a variety of objects, ranging from skulls to arms to tires. It’s the kind of drawing you can get a bit lost in, just enjoying all the details. While I think this is great art, I think it could have been a better shirt- the ink is too light in color for my tastes, and it makes the design get a bit lost even in Threadless’s own product pictures. More contrast would make it easier to give this design the attention it deserves.

Coffee Cloud by Maxim Cyr (Recycledwax) has a great coloring style, which definitely conveys the richness of coffee (as it should, since the original submission was made with actual coffee stains). The style, which has both the humor of a cartoon and the depth that a layered ink treatment can bring, appeals to those who love their coffee but also those who don’t- I’ve never touched the stuff, but this still looks like a fun shirt to me. I am a bit confused on one point, though. The characters totally baffle me- are they meant to be beans, cookies of some kind, or anything at all?

21st Century Pirate by Aled Lewis (fatheed) is about how people on the internet pirate stuff all the time. Tragically, this is such a common observation, and such a common joke that it feels incredibly stale to me. The good news is that while I don’t care for the concept, the artwork is spot on. It’s all clean, attractive, and realistic, with details to enhance the theme (such as the map on the bulletin board).

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints.

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