Archive | threadless

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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18 February 2008 ~ 3 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

The big story of the week at Threadlesshuge price changes! Bad news for guys, the base price for all shirts is now $17 (formerly, only female shirts cost that much). It’s not entirely negative, as some Select shirts had a price drop, but for most buyers, this is going to end up increasing the bill on their next purchase.

(Edit: According to a posted comment (and some further research) it looks like the base price for one-color designs on the Threadless brand shirts will be at the $15 price, not $17. So some shirts will still hit that same familiar low price.)

Topiary by Priscilla Wilson (valorandvellum) is my favorite shirt of the week- intricate linework, a natural palette and and an amusing concept combine to create a near-perfect shirt. The way the elephant holds the clippers with his trunk suggests that the bushes have carved themselves into these animal shapes, which is pretty charming. I’m also digging the interaction of the bushes with the birds- for all their supposed wisdom, it looks like the owls are unaware that these bushes are alive.

Pulp by Aaron Hogg (hogboy) is a 50s-style comic book cover peppered with phrases from the modern internet. The headline reads Zawezome, the astrogirl says WTF, and the spacely squid intones Pwnd. It’s a clever mix, and the illustration is very faithful to the source material. My hesitation on this design is the unavoidable rectangle it creates on the shirt- I find most designs set up that way to be visually dull, especially at a distance. Since there’s not really a better way to set up a comic book parody, though, I think I have to cut a little slack in this case.

Wizard Rock by Spencer Hibert (ZILLIPILLI) is the week’s Select print, and I do love the way it uses the purple of the shirt to support the design. I have to say, though, the drawing and its subject matter (a wizard, why?) really do nothing for me. It’s a little to eighties arcade cheesy for me.

Napoleon In War Paint by Jesse Lefkowitz (Leftist Jesuit) is a striking image, depicting Napoleon in the costuming of an Indian. Part of what amuses me about this is the way Napoleon’s double chin gives him the look of a spoiled toddler, literally playing at war. I’m not a big half-tone dot proponent, which is what keeps me from being fully positive on this- I tend to dislike the look of the dots when used this much. Regardless, it would be a great looking shirt for anyone without the same bias.

A Field With A Dream by Graye Smith (grayehound) is my second favorite shirt this week, a genuinely gorgeous illustration that shows a field coming to life as a beautiful young woman. A cool twist on the Mother Nature concept, the field forms the woman’s skirt and the clouds in the sky create a bodice. What really makes this such a success, for me, is the amazing set of colors- the yellows, browns and greens are earthly and evocative.

Secrets Of Mensa by Julian Glander (secretly robots) is a charming, oddball piece that gives the world clues on how to look smart. While most text-heavy designs tend to look a bit lazy, the hand-drawn type and nerdly colors fit the concept very well. The design’s protagonist is a pyramid (that symbol of ancient knowledge) who seems to be following a bit of his one advice by wearing unnecessary glasses (a monocle with earpieces).

How Many Licks? by Ian Leino is a very well-done illustration of a cut-out of the globe, showing what each layer of earth consists of. It hits the trademark look of a scientific drawing right on the head and tweaks it with some humor. But for me, it’s not a shirt. When worn, the design seems dull and colorless, requiring a close reading before any humor is apparent. For me, a truly great shirt needs to be attractive first and foremost, and if humor is the goal it should be noticeable without any strong effort on the part of the viewer.

Reprinting this week: Polar Gardening by Jean-sébastien Deheeger (nes-k) and Time Fades by Samuel Lara (label). These, at least, have remained at the $15 price point- I think this may just be a function of the shirt brand, though (these are still on Fruit of the Loom and American Apparel shirts, all others were printed on Threadless’s new shirts).

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