Archive | threadless

01 November 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Pizza Chameleon and more new this week

Pizza Chameleon by Pepe Rodriguez (ppmid) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I think giving the chameleon a cheese and pepperoni pattern feels like a “you are what you eat” message, and additionally the use of polka dots is humorous because it’s a level of complexity that is unlikely for a lizard to achieve. There’s also a good joke in the fact that chameleons typically use their camouflage to hide from predators, so imitating food like this is putting him in a lot of danger from hungry humans.

Visit Hades by v_calahan (v_calahan) uses a retro vacation style to extoll the virtues of a place few would ever want to visit. With prim cursive fonts, Hades seems like any other quaint, beachy locale. The skeletons might raise some doubts, though their bright orange drinks (and even a floppy sun hat) do a lot to make the pair read as ordinary vacationers. Just don’t think too hard about how a bunch of bones processes liquid, and it all feels rather festive. The humor is very effective, though I have a slight quibble with some of the wording. To me, the “Book one night stay forever” text could really use a comma after night or capitalization on the Stay to make “book one night” and “stay forever” read as separate pieces, since “book one night stay” wouldn’t feel out of place in advertising either (if a bit clumsily stated).

See You Later by Michael Buxton (DinoMike) houses its slogan in thee wide-open jaw of a chomping alligator. With letters made out of bones and a grinning skull as the O, there’s a lot of doom and death on the horizon. This all gives the phrase “See you later, alligator” a new menace, turning it into a grim warning rather than a playful rhyme. It’s always tricky to find a way of fading art into the shirt that makes sense, but this piece finds a strong solution by using sharp curved peaks to ease the gator’s neck into the red shirt, a choice that feels full of motion and like seeing the animal shoot up from below the water line.

Voodoo Unto Others by Nathan Joyce (Nathan Joyce) uses the concept of voodoo to turn a common phrase into a punny piece with the phrase’s opposite message. Normally this saying encourages kindness, but by introducing the concept of black magic (especially as it relates to dark supernatural concepts like voodoo dolls) it instead starts to feel like a warning. Perhaps, the beckoning skeleton implies, you ought to invest in a protection spell. Snakes are everywhere, after all. The ornateness of the font is well-matched in the black and white line drawings that surround the text, with the illustrations filling the role that line flourishes might in other designs done in this style. It feels rich and layered, making this shirt more than just the sum of its parts. It tells a story of an exotic, dangerous place lost in time.

Ethereal Ambiance by Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez (MadKobra) creates an incredibly lush jungle teeming with color and texture. Blossoms, leaves and vines overlap each other and drip out of the design’s frame, feeling very alive and as though there’s even more plant life just out of view. The shape of the art hints that this environment is a jewel, rich and valuable. In the center of it all, a black panther sits seeming to grin and with eyes bright as spotlights. A closer look at the animal reveals dark grey swirls for stripes and a splash of celestial stars, like instead of being dark in color he’s filled with the emptiness of space and pinprick lights of distant solar systems. It feels alien and amazing, like an imaginary world.

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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28 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Zen design contest

Think calming thoughts for Threadless‘s new Zen design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Rooted in a practice of meditation, Zen is a sect of Mahayana Buddhism that seeks insight into the true nature of things through intuition rather than conscious effort or knowledge. Practitioners may subscribe to many forms of meditative practices such as breathing, sitting, silent contemplation, and chanting in an attempt to reach enlightenment. With a rich culture of art and literature, Zen traditions across India, Japan, China, and the West thrive in their spiritual pursuit of awakening.

There’s an inner reserve of intuition you must call upon to channel new art for this awareness-inspired design challenge. Listen closely, what is the still, soft voice inside you saying? Turn the wisdom of our collective unconscious into meditative art, as typography or design. Give us serene scenes cultivated by a state of calm attentiveness. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and let the design flow.

This contest opens to entries on November 1st and ends on November 15th, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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24 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Anatomy and more new this week

Anatomy by Teo Zirinis (TeoZ) is my favorite Threadless design this week. It’s a great gag, explaining the popsicle stick as the sole bone of this food’s body. And even better, the simplicity of that form is reflected in the minimal approach taken to everything else in the piece- shapes are simple but effective and the environment is omitted in favor of focusing on the joke. I love the studious look of the explaining popsicle, posed like a teacher as he shows off his poster. But despite the simplicity, there’s detail where it matters- a faint highlight on the popsicle, the subtle woodgrain of the stick, and even a bit of distressing on the poster. Very skillfully done.

Socially Awkward Club by Saimen (saimen) has some great angles in the art. I love the way it uses the strong diagonal of the blinds to tilt the angles of the lettering surrounding it. It feels a bit noir to see a face peering between blinds on a dark palette like this, and that sense of unease is enhanced by the face being a skull. The angles used also contribute to a feeling of unsteadiness, that something dramatic or terrible might happen. The problem I see with the concept, though, is that I have trouble figuring out what the audience is. It would be odd for a socially non-awkward person to wear it, but surely someone actually socially awkward wouldn’t want the attention?

Dark Summer by kooky love & khairulanam87 (kookylove) might look like an ordinary beach scene at first glance, but it hides a terrible secret. While you might assume the smiling child in the center is just buried in the sand, there’s a gaping neck wound on the body next to him that makes things clear- he’s been beheaded! Suddenly the whole scene looks different- those other children aren’t just playfully building sand castles, they’re covering up a grisly crime. The wholesome Norman Rockwell look of the piece is so jarring with the concept that it helps sell the humor, though I think the text is a little too obvious. For my tastes, something like “Summer Fun” or “Summer of ’53” would give the art context without spoiling the joke for those who hadn’t found it yet.

Chico’s Journey by Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez (MadKobra) impresses instantly with its bold color palette of oranges, blues, and purples. Fish of all types coast past each other in a crowded sea… or do they? If you take a closer look at the creature with a striped shell, you’ll see a series of white strings. Follow the strings to their destination for a hot air balloon-style basket, complete with a friendly passenger. So are we deep underwater or are these strange animals high in the air? The ambiguity is part of what makes it fun, as is the surreal feeling of the tiny person surrounded by so many big fish. And of course, the artistry of the design can’t be undersold- it’s absolutely gorgeous, and its color sense is impeccable.

Velocirapper by Daniel Stevens (dnice25) is a fun bit of cartooning that centers on a dinosaur pun. I like that this doodle goes beyond the wordplay to think about what hip hop fashions a dinosaur might prefer, making his gaudy gold necklace feature a claw that matches the claws on his shoes. The minimal color palette is a master stroke because it lets the gold ink stand out against the black and white of the rest, a choice that lets the dino’s teeth read as a fancy gold grill and giving his hat and jewelry a more expensive feel. It’s good stuff, and really fun.

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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21 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Secret Society design contest

Conspiracy-minded artists might enjoy Threadless‘s new Secret Society design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Known only to their members, elite orders have silently swayed politics, religions, and cultures for ages. Think, secret handshakes in undisclosed locations between shadowy, robed figures. Like Homer’s initiation into the Stonecutter’s, there might be mysterious rituals would-be members must perform such as coordinated song and dance numbers. Perhaps secrecy itself is a requirement of the society (or for Tyler Durden, the first—and second—rule). Whatever the rites or rules, these secret fellowships bestow upon their members access to exclusive teachings, power, and prestige.

So don your sacred cloak and give us your take on an ancient order. We want your best secret society-informed designs—only recognizable to their members. Create marks that feature pyramids, all-seeing eyes, or arcane typography. Whether ancient or modern, Druid inspired or Illuminati themed, your esoteric designs must ooze hidden meanings. Light the candles, start chanting, and design-challenge away!

This contest opens to entries on October 25th and ends on November 8th, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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17 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Catmetal and more new this week

Catmetal by Jackson Duarte (JackDuarte) is my favorite Threadless design this week. With photo-realistic precision, the artist replaced the head of a metal guitarist in the middle of an energetic riff with that of a dramatic kitten, head thrown back as though he’s about to let loose with a wild howl. He’s been gifted a crest of rocker-style hair but apart from that he’s very much a real cat, which means this is a face you look at and recognize aspects of cats you’ve personally known- especially if those cats were loud yowlers. There’s a natural fit between the strange noises cats make and the in-your-face aggression of this type of music, which makes the combination even sweeter.

Rebirth by Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez (MadKobra) treads familiar territory with its crow, nest, and skull, but does it with a style so unique to the subject matter that it still feels quite fresh. The skull is appropriately creepy and draws the eye first, setting the scene’s macabre atmosphere, but the bird’s huge eye is a close second. The unsettling size of that eye gives the crow a cartoony quality, but also brings the viewer in closer to see the strange, thickly-lined pattern decorating its feathers. A twist on that pattern also covers the eggs, leaving them looking simultaneously ancient and alien. Red tones creep in and highlight the piece throughout, adding a final sinister edge.

As Long as We Have Our Imagination! by Pigboom Kaboom (pigboom2014) makes a 20-sided dice a cartoon hero. His humble grin and tiny limbs might seem safe and gentle, but the bones and colorful corpses (some stabbed through with weaponry) tell a more brutal story. I feel like that’s a sentiment very true to RPGing, where anyone can pretend to be anything and even the smallest player could be the mightiest warrior. The text, a thick retro font with a rainbow background, cheers things up further by focusing on the joy of the achievement, in a style that wouldn’t look out of place in an 80s sticker pack. Good stuff.

Horror Stories by Aaron Jay (randyotter3000) takes on scary stories told around the campfire and applies it to a pair of apples. This is a fun concept because apples are so wholesome, and something that could naturally be in the forest. So their fear seems very cute and silly… until you consider the actual horror of the scenario, where a creature wants to burrow under your skin and eat your flesh. That’s basically zombies! The adorable look of the art keeps things feeling very sweet, though, with strong geometric curves and uniform lines. The trees in the background inject just enough realism to make the apple’s fears appear legitimate.

The Musical Fox by 38Sunsets (38Sunsets) is destined to be a crowdpleaser. The fox is exquisitely drawn, detail captured to the point where every single hair is called out, wisps flying from his form to emphasize emotion. And his expression is a perfectly joyful grin, eyes held shut as a huge smile plays out across his face. Despite the fur, I almost feel like I can see his cheeks blushing warmly. It’s a heightened kind of realism where surely no real fox has emotions this human, and maybe in nature his fur wouldn’t be so strikingly bright, but it feels authentic because you want it to be real. The addition of the headphones only adds to the art’s appeal by giving him more human qualities, and forging a connection between the subject and the viewer. After all, everyone likes music!

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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14 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Chaos Returns design contest

Embrace your inner turmoil with Threadless‘s new Chaos Returns design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Feeling stressed by the need to remain in control, neat and tidy, buttoned up? It’s not enough to have your sh*t together. These days you’ve got to hustle to stay on top—and look good doing it. Are you holding down a job, raising a family, and paying off debt all while keeping those pores glowing? Time to let loose; entropy for you and me!

As we descend into disarray, deliver your best designs spun out of sheer madness. This chaotic design challenge can’t be won by the orderly—we want nothing less than pure pandemonium. Try your hand with topsy-turvy typography or draft designs inspired by any modern free-for-all (commuting on a packed train, waiting in line with groceries on a weeknight, the randomness of molecules colliding). The hubbub’s growing and won’t be ignored in this disorderly maelstrom of a challenge. Throw up your hands (but keep down your lunch) and let chaos take control!

This contest opens to entries on October 18th and ends on November 1st, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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10 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: AWWS and more new this week

AWWS by Michael Buxton (DinoMike) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It delivers on its title in a big way by packing in cuteness with huge eyes, blushing cheeks and big smiles on both the shark and soon-t0-be-eaten swimmer. The shark’s teeth have even been made extra-tiny, almost like baby teeth, in a way that emphasizes the grin and underplays the carnage he might cause. There’s something quite nice about the way the negative space between the WWs creates a triangle, drawing more attention to the swimmer and mirroring the shape of the shark’s pointed head. A perfect design for a day at the beach, though it’s a bit too bad that it’s been printed just after summer ended.

Owls and Wizardry by Vincent Trinidad (vptrinidad) keeps the spirit of Harry Potter alive with some well-illustrated symmetry. Incorporating so many references to locations, events, and symbols from the series makes the design a real treat for fans, and the kind of piece that reveals a new secret every time you look at it. I especially love the emphasis put on the owl’s eyes, which stand out due to their pop of yellow color and the way the triangle below points in their direction. Those eyes make the owl have a wise, somewhat protective feel, especially when paired with Harry’s round glasses. Good stuff.

Big Foot, Big Heart by Hana Berggren (hanaberggren) won Threadless’s Cryptozoology contest, and it’s a fun pick. I love how unique this take on Bigfoot feels, walking so awkwardly with his thin, swinging arms, sassy posture and bright, thickly-lashed eyes. Instead of feeling like a very hairy human or a large ape, there’s something delightfully alien about this take. The background of roughly sketched trees is another highlight, and my favorite bit is the way the thin branches of the pine tree in front of a large green circle mimic the look of a leaf’s veins.

Kindness is not Weakness by Katie Campbell (campkatie) is a simple but very well-done slogan piece. The font choice is excellent, but what really makes the design sing is the attention to detail. There are some lovely interactions between the letters, like the way Kindness’s second N nests its descender above the O and T of Not, the careful overlap of the W, and the way the pairs of SS alternately rise or fall from the baseline to reflect their position in the phrase. Very appealing, and a sentiment the world could use more of.

Bat Country by Caveman_dg (Caveman_dg) takes its inspiration from Hunter S. Thompson. While the image of a face being ripped off a skull is probably too gross for some, especially due to the realism of the author’s face, fans of his writing will probably appreciate the boundary pushing and implied drug use. It’s not my cup of tea personally, but I do really enjoy the loose, aggressive feel of the type being used. It feels very rock and roll, scrawled, and eccentric.

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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