Archive | threadless

05 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

The Secret Handshake Loves Threadless: Top Three

The Secret Handshake Loves Threadless, and I loved three of the entries for this Midnight Movie themed competition. Let’s take a closer look:

Midnight Recordings - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Midnight Recordings by Monkey III described the feeling of watching a midnight movie almost perfectly: the button icons from a VCR blown up huge, a wolf howling at the record button, and the text “just one more time.” It’s a fairly abstract take on the theme, and it makes for a really original shirt. I especially respond to the wolf’s textures and the way they overlap the design’s other elements.

My Kind of Movie - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

My Kind of Movie by farflung is a more literal interpretation of the theme, showing the artist’s idea of a great movie. A large, godzilla-like creature in a painted-on hero costume lays waste to a city, while a nearby plane plaintively asks, “What’s your problem, Kazanski?” The concept is made even more fresh by the stellar execution, which includes some fun paint drippings and textural details.

It's Always Midnight Somewhere - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

It’s Always Midnight Somewhere (also by farflung- that guy really hit it out of the park for this contest) is an immaculately illustrated portrait of a wolfman tenderly embracing his vampire wife. It has the style of an antique movie poster, and I love the way the fade out is handled at the bottom (it looks like the image has been shredded). The color scheme (set on a greenish shirt) keeps the concept from blending in with actual monster movie designs, as does the knowing look on the vampire’s face.

Overall, there was some really nice work for this contest. I was a bit disappointed that so many people seemed to base their shirt designs on the band’s song rather than the stated theme, but some fault for that also lies with Threadless for not rejecting any of those from the contest.

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31 December 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

The League of Cliche Evil Super-Villains by Joshua Kemble (polynothing) is my favorite shirt of the week, and here’s why: from far back, the colors pop and in close up, the characters capture the imagination (due to how ridiculously, awesomely standard they are- especially Brain Man). I bet a superhero themed version is already in the works.

Treasured by Chow Hon Lam (Flying Mouse) is the Matthew Dear Loves Threadless winner, and it definitely fits the contest’s theme- It’s Good to be Alive. The design is two sided, with the front featuring three anxious figures posing for the camera- and on the back you see why they’re so nervous! A car is flipping through mid-air, careening towards the hapless and unaware photographer. It is a very cool idea, but the shirt itself doesn’t speak to me. While the illustrations are well-done, there’s nothing about them that stands out to me or makes me want to wear them. Similarly, neither side is visually strong enough to succeed as a shirt on its own- you need both for this shirt to have value, but most viewers won’t see both.

There’s also a new Select this week, I Do What You Do by Reece Hobbins (editevening). The first thing that caught my eye was the shirt color (a custom shade of purple), but the illustration itself is engrossing as well. Everything is drawn in a fluid, goopy style that makes the whole image appear to be in flux and ever-changing. This is another favorite of mine this week.

Dragon Flavor by Chow Hon Lam (Flying Mouse) is another great addition. The dimension and texture of the dragon is amazing, it really does look like it spontaneously emerged from the noodle carton. Other highlights for me are the color palette (I love the way the colors look on the light blue shirt) and the way the design fills up the shirt vertically.

Push My Buttons by Tony Aguero (ALIADOTONY) looks awesome on the shirt- it’s a collection of colorful, oddly-shaped buttons with labels like Dance, Clap and Play Nice. For the right wearer, this is a really fun shirt. I could see a lot of people having fun with the different button commands, performing tasks for the amusement of others.

The Last Piece by John Mitchell (JOHN2) gives the blubbery fat of sumo wrestlers a starring role. Their gelatinous bulk is the first thing you notice, followed quickly by the grasping hands and determined, pained faces. Only then do you see the object of their toils: a single piece of sushi, dwarfed by the huge mass of competing flesh looming above it. The colors pop on red, making this a truly great shirt.

Electric Jellyfish by Adam Wilson (fourcolourblack) is a concept any electronics junkie can relate to, a collection of cords intertwined to the point where they resemble a living creature. The halftone dots are a neat element as well, giving the appearance that the cords actually emanate electricity.

Adorable Disaster by Andy Gonsalves (andyg) shines because of its distinctive illustrative style. The kittens are curious and playful, unaware of the danger the grenade poses. And the color palette is cozy and warm. Neat shirt.

Overall, this is my favorite batch of Threadless shirts in awhile. There are three or four that I’d consider a buy on, and even the ones I’m not crazy about have merit for other types of customers. Definitely a solid group of shirts.

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24 December 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

I Tried To Hold Your Hand by Joshua Agerstrand (ladrones) resembles a doodle-tattooed Freddy Krueger. It has the effect of creating a mysterious, almost gentle creature, whose hot breath lingers in the air. A highly unique piece, this is definitely a worthy winner of the Ferraby Lionheart Loves Threadless contest- I just wish I could see a picture of the guitar based on this design (which is part of the winning prize package).

The Earie Mine of Crayon Canyon by Cameron McEwan (Ronin60) is the week’s Select. For me, the concept (of a mine shaped like an ear, with miners carrying out crayon bits) doesn’t quite work. The connection between ear wax and the wax that makes crayons is a bit labored- it took me a minute of puzzling though it to even figure that out (I briefly thought it might refer to some epidemic of kids putting crayons in their ears that had somehow escaped my notice). The art itself is nice, with the exception of the halftone edges. I wish the edges had been done as rough, crayoned lines instead to connect better to the concept, as the halftones don’t relate to the rest of the image for me.

Mr. Brown by Joshua Agerstrand (ladrones) is a great one-color piece. I love the characterization of Mr. Brown, who seems exceptionally harried and fearful (this is enhanced by the illustrative call-out of his intestines, which is a really neat touch). The thin lines are alternately vague and textural, adding to the sense of motion and ambiguity in the design.

Aristocrat by Chow Hon Lam (Feishu) depicts two fancy birds riding atop an owl. I love the idea that high-class birds no longer bother to do their own flying (what a chore!) and prefer instead to take in the view from an owl-mounted bench. It’s all very nicely rendered, but I think what really makes this such a great shirt are the decorative looping lines in the background- they establish an otherworldly environment for the scene, and also imply the movement of wind. Really nice work.

I Hate Packing by Adam Benjamin White reimagines the packing experience as a three dimensional game of Tetris. Socks, pants and shirts are transformed into the signature puzzle pieces, which looks so natural that I almost can’t believe it hasn’t been done before. Beyond the great idea of the design, the details are nice as well- there’s a nice lining on the suitcase and traveling ephemera are packed in the pockets. Very well thought out.

Sing To The Tune Of Nature by Shuyi Chong is the only print this week that I’m not crazy about. The concept, showing a sheet of music as being constructed out of nature, is a neat idea. However, I feel that the execution is far too busy- the notes seem to be splattered with color willy-nilly, and the notes are fat to evenly distributed. It has the effect of looking more like a bulky mish-mash of elements than the music sheets I’ve seen. But if you want to wear a large and vaguely floral rectangle, this is a great choice.

Dulces Vacaciones by Adrian Serralta Chorro (adriserralta) is one of this week’s reprints, and it’s not a terrible choice. The idea of vacationing bears is pretty cute, I’m just feeling burned out on cartoon panda shirts. Plus, I associate them really strongly with Pandaluna’s work at La Fraise, which is what I always think this one is at first. The shirt itself is fine, the market is just over-saturated.

Ballad Of The Birds by Daniel J Jacobs (DJakes979) is the other reprint, and similarly to another shirt printed this week it uses nature (this time birds) to show music. This one works better for me both because the bird/music connection is so clear and because the design is much less cluttered. My only gripe here is that the distressed grungy-ness is so dated-looking. I’d have preferred a more original visual take on this idea.

But overall, this is my favorite week of shirts at Threadless in quite some time. Too bad for me that the sale just ended!

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19 December 2007 ~ 1 Comment

Discogs Loves Threadless

Discogs is database just for music-related data, so it makes sense that their Loves Threadless contest has the theme of Music: Past, Present, Future. They’ve also pumped up the Threadless prize package of $2000 cash and a $500 gift certificate to include a 16GB iPod Touch, Shure SE 210 sound isolating earphones and a pair of Alesis M1 Active mk2 Biamp Monitors.

The deadline for this competition is January 20th, 2008.

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17 December 2007 ~ 0 Comments

$10 Sale Extended, More New Shirts at Threadless

Yes, you read that correctly- Threadless’s $10 sale has been extended through Wednesday. And there’s a whole new crop of shirts to spend your cash on…

Stat City by Graham Dobson (manlooon) is a reprint, and frequent readers probably recognize that I’m not typically a reprint fan. For me, the thing that makes this such an exception is that it is an unusually well-concepted and conceived shirt. It uses every kind of chart imaginable to paint a charming image of a city run with mathematical precision. It also pops well on the shirt due to some great use of perspective and a good-looking color palette (with just enough orange to make everything pop).

Swiss Army by Glenn Jones (Glennz) is another classic reprint, depicting a Swiss tank with guns that interchange like the knives on its Swiss cousins. It’s solid, attractive and easy to get- my only (minor) complaint is the shirt color- I could see this design working on a number of shirt colors, so it’s curious to me that they’ve repeated the heather gray of the last printing- even just a switch to silver or asphalt would have given a little more variety.

Oh My! by Michael B. Myers Jr. (slaterock) glows in the dark. Or, to be more specific, the shirt features a little rabbit. In the dark, you can suddenly see a huge, looming monster about to prey on the rabbit. This is a pretty great implementation of glow ink, as it really transforms the image. My only quibble is that for me, the rabbit is not quite enough to hold my attention on its own, meaning that I would really only wear this somewhere if I expected the lighting to change frequently.

Hairwolves by Joe Van Wetering (speedyjvw) is my other favorite this week. It’s a large, textural print featuring some very charismatic hairy beasts. Their differing personalities and ways of dealing with the hair add a cool humor element to the piece. Also, even though it’s still in stock, I’m already hoping for a reprint- I think this shirt would be flat-out amazing with a subtle color palette and a flock ink.

Keep Your Eye On The Bowl by Emery Greer (emeryg) just looks like a Threadless shirt. It has the kind of bold, easy joke that most consumers associate with the brand. The trouble with this one, for me, is that I just don’t think the joke is funny. I mean, yes, certain football games are called bowls. And yes, stadiums have a bowl shape. But haven’t we all seen mash-ups of that idea a few hundred times already? It’s just kind of dull to me. I think I even used to watch a cartoon where the stadium was literally a bowl. Not that funny then, not that funny now.

Meashirt by Ben Mautner (Royal Sapien) is retarded. I know, that sounds (and is) really mean. But I just hate it so much! It’s awkward to look at, both as the wearer and as a viewer. It isn’t particularly attractive. And worst of all, I don’t even think the measuring portion works- you’d have to hold things up to your chest to measure them, which is ridiculous. This is the kind of thing that long sleeves were made for (and indeed, they could carry a ruler easily). What I’m saying is, there’s no good reason for this to be on a shirt. At all. (Oh, and judging by the Threadless blogs, the measurements aren’t even correct- you’d think someone would have looked into that…)

Hadrian by Cesar Suarez is this week’s Select shirt. I’ll admit, I find it a bit perplexing. It’s a gorgeous image, to be sure- a faithful interpretation of a bust of the Emperor Hadrian, framed by a rainbow foil accent. I’d wear it, for sure. But it’s not a very Threadless shirt- it’s more the type of shirt I’d expect to buy as a high-quality souvenir or in a museum book store. Not a bad thing, by any means, it just has me questioning what prompted the design of this shirt, and if there’s a message that I’m not catching.

I’ll Pass by Andrew R Kolb is a great take on a sports-inspired shirt design, depicting what sports are like for the non-athletes among us. A contented little boy plays with a flower, far away from the action of the soccer game he should be participating. The style is cartoon-y, a nice fit for the theme. I think the exaggerated posture is an especially nice touch.

Overall, I found this to be a nice collection of shirts. A couple of clunkers, to be sure, but that’s bound to happen when you have a target audience the size of Threadless’s. I’m more excited than ever to see some of the newly allowed printing techniques hitting the shelves, since there were definitely a few shirts this week that I think could have benefited from their use.

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13 December 2007 ~ 1 Comment

Threadless Loves Revolution

Usually when Threadless has a specifically themed contest, it’s being sponsored by a company, a film or a band. This time, though, the contest is purely sponsored by Threadless and the Threadless community. To that effect, the judging will be done by one blogger, one designer, and one Threadless staff member.

The prizes are also a little different than the typical competition- Threadless has supersized the prize, offering $3500 cash and a $500 gift certificate. And the community has stepped up in a big way, contributing original artwork, shirts and more (the growing list can be found here).

So what do you have to do to win all this? First, bear in mind that the theme is Revolution– Threadless is looking for stuff that breaks boundaries and tries new things (and remember that they’ve recently added a collection of new printing techniques…). There’s also a pretty lengthy list of what they don’t want to see: food with faces, 80’s pop culture jokes, iPod silhouettes, pirates and/or/vs. ninjas, anything vs. anything, emo crooners, cute for cute’s sake, and trees for tree’s sake… and specifically that ONE tree.

And… they’ve got a point, you have to admit. I’m excited to see what people come up with for this one. The deadline for submitting is January 31st, 2008- so if you want to start a revolution, you’d best begin planning quickly.

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11 December 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Good Loves Threadless

Good Magazine Loves Threadless! They also love Big Ideas, which is the theme for the eighth issue of their magazine and also the theme for this contest. The winner will be racking up an impressive array of prizes in addition to the standard $2000 cash and $500 Threadless gift certificate, including a Paul Frank Cruiser bicycle, a Meraki Mini wireless router, aromatherapy products from 4Mula, luxury organic goods from Under The Canopy, Baggu reusable shopping bags and a GOOD Magazine t-shirt (what, no magazine subscription?).

Enter before January 15th, 2007 for your chance to win.

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