Archive | threadless

27 June 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Family Fun and more new this week

Family Fun by Gabriele Crotti (thecoolorange) won Threadless’s Vintage Vacation challenge, and it’s also my favorite print this week. It captures a classic 70s or 80s road trip well, with the familiar wood-paneled station wagon and luggage stacked on top. The background elements hint at an outdoorsy adventure, and the font choices echo the cozy but old-fashioned spirit set by the artwork. I love the choice of using just two ink colors in this design. The green ink and half-toning feel appropriately retro, and the bright orange draws your eye immediately to the disastrous fire. So good!

Herbivores in Carnivores by Cheok Siew Yen (BubuSam) is one heck of an all-over print, a crowd scene of animals that has them all facing the same way with a snack in hand like the audience in a huge stadium. But the twist is that what they’re eating can vary wildly- while most are chomping on huge slabs of meat, there are also vegetable-eaters scattered throughout snacking on things like bananas, trees, and even grass. This is a pretty funny predicament for the vegetarians, stranded as they are in a field of things that would find them delicious, but what makes it even funnier is that no one seems to notice. Every creature is perfectly content, no one is worries, and despite the commonness of their expressions, the wide variety of animals represented (and some color shifts within species) keep it feeling like every animal is unique.

Crazy Ants by Daniel Stevens (dnice25) is another great all-over pattern, though in a baffling move the t-shirt version only shows a small excerpt instead of the whole repeating scene. While the excerpt is still fun (the idea of ants doing all these zany things is pretty great), it loses the impact of the larger design, which creates the impression of a vast area of partying ants swarming to all kinds of pastimes and hobbies. There’s something special about the overwhelmingness of it, of seeing something exciting everywhere you look. Like the whole insect world is having an epic beach party. That said, with its sophisticated palette of black and yellow and action-packed cartooning, even the more limited t-shirt version manages to be a lot of fun.

Cute As Hell by Michael Buxton (DinoMike) is, as the title states, devilishly cute. Choosing the goat form was a brilliant move because animals are inherently so appealing, and very easy to ramp up the cuteness on. Making the goat’s eyes so massive definitely makes it adorable, but the size of the pupils also feels a bit sinister, like he’s hypnotizing the viewer. And is his little grin sweet, or deceptively lulling you in to a false sense of security? There’s a great spirit of playful danger, especially with the flame that dances between his horns. The font choice is smart as well, with clunky serifs that are reminiscent of hooves.

I Feel a Song Coming On by Airic (nuach) has a novel way of representing drunkenness, drawing the same elements on top of each other multiple times to represent unsteadiness and blurred vision. It’s an effective technique, and showing the very small amount of liquid still in the bottle is a good way of establishing that a lot of drinking has gone on. For me, the design brought to mind the song 99 bottles of beer on the wall because of the repetition, but could easily also indicate some karaoke or even a campfire sing-a-long.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

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24 June 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Feelings design contest

Ever want to wear your heart on your sleeve? Threadless‘s new Feelings design competition has you covered. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Whether you show them in your facial expressions, share them in your reactions to social media posts or bury them deep down, we’ve all got feelings. Often based in experiences or perceptions derived from your five senses (and sometimes completely irrational), feelings are an inescapable part of the human condition.

Art is just one way to channel feelings, and while some of us can’t put them into words, we challenge you to put them in design. That’s right, we want your feelings—even your feelings about feelings—in this emotional rollercoaster of a design challenge. Does remembering your brutal elementary-school breakup still bring a tear to your eye? When the robins start their morning song, does your heart swell with hope for the new day? Show us the depth of your bottomless pit of feelings—happy, sad, angry, curious, grumpy, queasy (that’s a fun one)—in this bare-all challenge that exercises our emotions.

This contest opens to entries on June 28th and ends on August 12th, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn $1 to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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20 June 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Just a Weird Scene #32 and more new this week

Just a Weird Scene #32 by RL76 is my favorite Threadless print this week. It’s a quirky piece that feels surreal in how it replaces the hotdog with the dog’s snout. The light in the dog’s eyes is intriguing- is he hungry for the hotdog he thinks he sees, or is he a clever pup poised to prank an unsuspecting human? Either way, it’s a funny concept and that flash of bright yellow mustard brings your eyes to the punchline right away. The art’s minimal, cartoony style is a great fit for the gag.

Don’t Camouflage Your Love by Jeremy Owen (L-M-N-O-P) is one of Threadless’s most unique pieces, a massively colorful and layered all-over pattern of a variety of people of all shapes and sizes embracing each other. The palette doesn’t stick to typical skin tones, with shades of green and yellow ensuring that color is symbolic rather than realistic. To me, it feels like it has the energy of an abstract drip painting from a distance, but with the added value of having a deeper message and a narrative when seen up close. For some reason this design isn’t currently available as an all-over print shirt, which is too bad because I think the sheer amount of figures involved is part of the art’s power. A smaller print, showing a selection of figures, is in the catalog, though, and while it’s less impactful (and loses something in the lack of light green ink) the more subtle look might be more wearable for many.

Dinosaurs by Tishya Oedit (Tishya) is a lot more sophisticated than the average dinosaur shirt, the kind of thing that will appeal to adults as much (or even more) than it will to kids. The injection of purple and mustard into the green palette makes it feel fresh rather than strictly conforming to expectations of a prehistoric jungle, and the sheer amount of detail in these skeletal structures creates a lot of texture and interest. Footprints and a smattering of shells keep the eye moving through the pattern, which feels exciting and full of life.

Buddy Love by Alex Schulz (VYZOR) includes Japanese text that says Best Friends, and that’s definitely exactly what the illustration delivers with its fist-bumping Godzilla and King Kong. With so many of those movies being about solitary, massive creatures who wreak havoc where ever they go, it feels really heartwarming to see them each with a same-size pal and the opportunity to indulge in some friendly play fighting instead of the real deal. The one color, heavily distressed style is reminiscent of Japanese matchbook covers which suits the theme, but also helps the design to feel old, like this is a friendship that has been going on for a long time.

The Visitor by Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez (MadKobra) is delightfully strange. The first thing you notice is the visitor itself, a gooey mass of black that stands out against the otherwise bright palette. The skull is unmissable, but feels more alien and odd than threatening, maybe because its surrounded by planets and stars. He reaches forward, curiously and hesitantly, to meet the hand of the small figure on the landscape below. This figure appears human, but given the pink, purple, and teal landscape he inhabits, there’s no telling if he’s as human as you and I or about to sprout tentacles from his sleeves. It’s a fascinating story being set up here, and made even more epic by the way the artist slices through the terrain (and even the clouds!) to put the spotlight on this one moment.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

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17 June 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Contrast shirt design contest

Big differences are in the spotlight for Threadless‘s new Contrast design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

By definition, contrast is the difference between two objects, people or places – a state of being strikingly different from something else in juxtaposition. How do you interpret contrast? Summer and winter, dirty and clean, smooth and rough, blue and orange, Cher and Tom Cruise… the list goes on. Anything can be used to create contrast, whether that’s texture, typography, color, or shape. The important thing about contrast is that the elements should be *completely different* – not just a little bit different.

For this design challenge, we want you to take inspiration from the greats and explore concepts from one end of the spectrum to the other. Create something attention grabbing – we want to see your coolest contrasting creations, your divergent doodles, your polarizing prototypes (you get it).

This contest opens to entries on June 21st and ends on August 5th, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn $1 to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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13 June 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s May the Bridges I Burn… and more new this week

May the bridges I burn… by KAndersonDesign (KAndersonDesign) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I always like to see a good one color print, and this definitely fits the bill with the way it uses detailed pattern next to solid chunks to simulate change in tone without adding additional inks. The text is treated well with a sophisticated look that makes the phrase’s anger seem glorious rather than vulgar, and the extra flair around the word BURN lets the viewer really relish its dramatics. Putting the whole thing on a box of matches, though, is the master stroke, because it makes the phrase so literal, and also grounds the text in a context that doesn’t require as much delicacy. Plus, seeing that the box already appears to be missing a few matches brings the slogan’s sentiment home.

Dogs are… by Skylar (the Sleeping Sky) stars the most sinister cat I have seen in my entire life. His narrowed eyes glow red. His whiskers droop like the mustache of a villain eager to tie you to some railroad tracks. His rough stripes start to look like the black and white stripes of a prison uniform. And even his posture is disconcerting, with his paws crossed in a very human way and a hard glare that seems far too confident for an animal. The rounded, retro text might be calling dogs bitches (and it is indeed technically true), but with a cat like this it’s hard not to kind of have sympathy for the pups. Against a cat like this, it’s definitely better to avoid conflict.

Love All by Norman Duenas (fhigi25) won Threadless’s Love is Love contest, and it’s an excellent choice. I love how it takes a classic symbol and manages to give it new meaning with the minimal but effective addition of small hands to the end of each colored arch of the rainbow. The rainbow then reads not just as diverse, but as a community that embraces each other, and finishing with a subtle heart at the bottom that clarifies the theme further. A watercolor look gives the colors a bit of soft texture, and increases the comforting, gentle feel of the design.

Miss Coral 1955 by Willem (Astrovix) genuinely surprised me when I saw the title and a close up view- from the catalog thumbnail image, I was expecting a Life Aquatic parody that gave an octopus Bill Murray’s familiar red hat. The reality, though, is that it’s inspired by a type of coral and an old-fashioned style of swimming cap. I’m not personally familiar with either of those things (old swim caps having patterns at all is news to me!), so it’s not a design that I feel any strong emotion or interest toward. For that reason, I’d say that the strongest element is the punch of blue eye shadow, which does a great job of establishing the era, and the way the animal’s pursed expression starts to communicate a somewhat persnickety personality. The might be a missed opportunity in the limbs in not showing any suction cups, since that could make the octopus feel more real.

The Pianist by Tri Agus Nuradhim (triagus) shows an absolutely massive bear sitting down at the piano. It’s funny any time you see a comparison between large and small, so just the sight of that little stool struggling under his bulk is good for a laugh. But it’s also additionally funny because of the delicacy of his task, something the artist emphasizes with the bear’s proportionally small hands and the very tiny music notes emanating from the instrument. I love the style the art is done in, which is almost silhouetted in the way it focuses on outline and lets a soft texture and a few supporting lines be all that breaks up the solid interiors. It keeps the focus on the details that are present, the face and piano playing, without sacrificing size on the rest.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

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10 June 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Venn Diagram design contest

Ideas overlap in Threadless‘s new Venn Diagrams design contest. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Venn diagrams have long been used to depict the relationship between things. Featuring an illustration of two (or more) overlapping shapes, the diagram portrays a new central shape representing combinations of each overlap. Believe it or not, these Venn diagrams have been around since 1880, originally invented by the legendary mathematician, John Venn.

For this design challenge, we want you to find the unique relationship between things. Think of every day objects, experiences, human emotion, even your favorite cartoon. Ever wonder how Scooby Doo and Blink 182 are related? Or how time travel, space ships, and killer robots might all connect? There’s a Venn diagram for that!

Get your thinking caps on and find the weirdest, funniest, or totally obscure things to compare, and create a Venn diagram that would make even your 9th grade Math teacher proud.

This contest opens to entries on June 14th and ends on June 28th, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn $1 to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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06 June 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Lit and more new this week

Lit by Cody Weiler (csweiler) won Threadless’s Happy Hour design contest and is also my favorite print this week. I’m impressed with the way it uses type reminiscent of the Miller Lite logo to make the clear connection to drinking, while also hitting the neon light theme directly with the Lit wording. Smoothly curving lines ape the contours of real neon signage well, but there’s clearly a sophisticated hand at work in the specific way breaks in the light are chosen, for a look that is both effective and surprisingly artistic. Even the brightness of the color palette helps this piece to feel like real bar signage.

Grim Weeper by Ian Byers (ibyes) turns expectations on their head by portraying the Grim Reaper, usually seen as a stoic, menacing figure, as a needy, passive aggressive character with tear-filled kawaii eyes. That turnaround is instantly funny, and only made more so by the cloying pose and style. In a brilliant move, even the text itself drips subtly like tears welling over, and a solid bone jaw gets a single line that gives it the illusion of a protruding, wavering lower lip. Super solid.

Optimist by Tatak Waskitho (skitchism) centers on a cute concept, a horse whose mishap with an ice cream cone turns him into a unicorn. It’s definitely a sweet idea, but I’m not sure that the execution does it justice. The problem for me is that the joke is almost hidden- the text is so large it is read first, and then the horse/unicorn, so at best the horn itself is the third thing a viewer would notice. Even then, the choice to match both color and drippy style of the melting ice cream to the animal’s pink mane obscures the joke. It ends up relying on the viewer to notice the cone’s waffle texture- and even that might not do the trick because the sketchy style used throughout includes line textures drawn in other places.

The Sound of Meowsic by Cheok Siew Yen (BubuSam) might hinge on a goofy pun, but the sheer charm of its rotund feline protagonist raises its value considerably. Making the cat an absolute chonk is a smart choice, both because it contrasts with the original (which hinged on the Julie Andrews character being dwarfed by her picturesque surroundings) and because it makes the cat’s performance even more unlikely and thus impressive. You can feel the enthusiasm of this cat coming through the artwork, which invites you to imagine what sound the meowsic might have. I’m guessing a lot of pet owners will recognize their own animals in this moment, loudly begging for food or attention.

The Gold Scarf by Zachary Terrell (coyote_alert) has a really neat visual at its core, the idea of one long horizontal line crossing many vertical lines. It’s the kind of arrangement of elements that feels dynamic and full of motion. I like the way the artist heightens the effect by focusing so heavily on the white tree trunks, minimizing branches and letting the falling snow fill in the rest. But although I’m largely a fan of how the art is handled, the scarf itself is a weak area for me. I think making the gold tone so close to the fox’s orange is a mistake, as it makes both appear to be the same object at a distance (like a giraffe with its neck bending backward). The shape of it also seems a bit off to me, getting thick very fast at the far end instead of a more natural tapering, which harms its ability to read clearly. I think a little more finesse on this element might have improved the design from a good one to a great one.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

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