Archive | loves threadless

26 January 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless Fan-tastic Sale

Threadless reached their goal of adding 5000 more fans on Facebook, and to celebrate they’re rewarding customers with an additional $3 off on selected shirts. Check out the list of discounted tees here.

The Bermuda Pyramid by Nicholas Tassone (band-it) is the coolest print I’ve seen in ages, at any site. The all-over print creates a great ambiance, somewhere between fog and outer space. The pyramid’s greenery gives it the feeling of a greenhouse, a protected area where life thrives in all the emptiness. The ghost white of the aircraft adds to the enigmatic concept (there’s even some nice attention to detail in the trail of the plane as it flies). A must-buy.

Eye See You by Oliver Hibert is this week’s Select. It’s an odd design, but while I often respond positively to strangeness, this one is kind of throwing me for a loop. I’m not finding the colors too pleasing (bright colors on Olive is a hard sell for me), and the concept itself is unappetizing. An eye pun would have to be pretty funny to keep from feeling juvenile, and this fell short of that. There are some individual elements that I like a lot, like the combination of the eye and clock hands or the use of cloud shapes to create a camo pattern. But overall, this shirt is not for me, despite my usual enjoyment of the artist’s style.

The Grand Escape by Andy Wilhite (Leroy_Hornblower) is a neat play on pattern, showing a creature literally breaking through the repeating imagery. The pattern itself is a bit boring, but works perfectly with the concept- each removed piece looks like a block. I’m also digging the large size of the area with the character, because the creature’s face is done with so much personality (captured in surprisingly few shapes and lines) that it would be a shame to miss it. If I liked the pattern a bit more, this would probably be on my buy list.

Map of Mt. Sato Land! by Daniel Abensour (Aphte) has all the complexity and free-spirited fun of a children’s book illustration, constructed in a shape that fits perfectly on a tee. That means it looks awesome both from far back (where the mountain itself takes centerstage) and up close where you can’t help but dive in to the area beneath the mountain. It’s great stuff, and I hope there’s a print on the way as well because this would be perfect for a kid’s room.

Extra Pulp by Chris Sharron (csharron) is a very well-done pun design. While a lot of people would have just drawn oranges with guns and called it finished, what makes this illustration so perfect is the accuracy of the cartooning- with just a few lines, Travolta and Jackson are clearly and hilariously expressed. Even as someone who didn’t particularly enjoy Pulp Fiction (I know, I know), I think I’d still wear this just because it’s so cleverly put together.

Farewell, Midgard by Mathijs Vissers (Demented) is a tee that works mainly because of the eyeballs. They add a real sense of narrative to the image, from the bird with the gleaming eye posing so proudly with his captured snack, to the roaming eye still embedded in the skull (is he looking for his missing part, or focused purely on the treasure scattered around him?). Other assets to the design include the angle of the spear that dissects the image (it leads the eye nicely) and the textural lines that give everything in the image a battle-worn look. Eminently wearable.

Outlaw by Alex Solis (alexmdc) is the winner of the Threadless Loves Horror contest, a fact that I’m a bit conflicted about. While I’m thrilled that this artist won, I found this particular design to be the weakest of the three he entered in the contest, both in terms of expressing the theme and in wearability. So while I’m sad for the missed opportunity of Lycanthrope and Black Bartelmy, it’s still a great day for Alexmdc fans. I think my hangups on this design are twofold- 1) the fact that I’m not terribly familiar with any western-themed horror movies (I’m sure they exist, it’s just not a side of the genre I’ve experienced), and 2) the way the character just hangs in space in the middle of the shirt, lacking the grounding of a scene. It’s an amazing illustration, just not up to par with what I’ve seen him do elsewhere in terms of shirt design.

My Career Plans Were Much More Exciting When I Was Five by Jesse Tatton is, as slogans go, pretty solid. It gets your mind running about those dreams you had as a kid, and wanting to be a firetruck instead of a firefighter. The appeal is in the impossibility. In a way, the text treatment works- it’s set up like a kid’s handwriting worksheet. But for me there’s a precision to it that is at odds with the theme. I want messy kid writing and a doodle of a monkey in the corner, you know? This looks like the work of a kid with boring dreams. I bet he wants to be an accountant.

I Would Look Cooler If I Were Riding a Unicorn by Jef Kaplan and Lauren Nelson is a nice slogan because frankly unicorns deserve more credit than they get. I’m a bit let down by the type treatment, though- it opts to put the bulk of the slogan (including the word riding, which for me is the meat of the statement) into tiny type in favor of focusing on the unicorn. And I like unicorns, I really do. But that’s not the point. The point is riding one. That’s not something that calls for pretty princess type, it calls for some true I Am Cooler Than You badassery. It has a giant spike growing from it’s head! And you get to ride it! I mean, come on. That rules. That is hardcore. I don’t want a shirt that is appropriate for going to play with toy ponies, I want a shirt I can wear into battle.

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.

Continue Reading

23 December 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless Sale Ends Wednesday: New Designs, New $5 Shirts

Bird Migration by Alex Solis (alexmdc) is an ideal winner for the Threadless Loves Travel contest- not only is the design a great implementation of the theme, it’s also the first print for an artist who has submitted a lot of high-quality work. The illustration has a great texture to it, evoking the feelings of the materials involved. And the concept itself is a lot of fun, especially with nice touches like the suitcase full of leaves. I’d easily rate it as the best shirt of the week.

I Love Sushi by Chow Hon Lam is this week’s Select, a character sketch that succeeds in large part due to its large size. Standing in stark contrast to the depressingly small prints of some of Threadless’s other designs in this style, this is a design where the character fills the canvas well. The scale helps give the fish dude a feeling of personhood, and even better lets you appreciate the rough, sketchy lines of the piece. It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely a charming tee.

Bubble Maker by Niel Quisaba is kind of a perplexing print choice to me. It’s not terrible by any means, but I don’t see it as being up to the standard of other Threadless prints. I think the general idea is decent, but the sloppy faces (different sized eyes and spacing look more like mistakes than by design) and copy-pasted non-sensical highlights are disappointing. The printing placement is well-chosen, though, and arguably the most appealing thing about this piece.

Catastrophe by Matheus Lopes (mathiole) is another favorite this week, celebrating the beauty that can result from a mistake. From a realistically drawn ink bottle spills the iconic Japanese wave, an ink wash branch, fire and colored birds. It’s gorgeous and thoughtful. The placement (at least on smaller shirts) is ideal, filling the length of the shirt and still leaving plenty of negative space.

I Bought This Shirt and All I Got Was This Shirt by Mike Mitchell is the kind of slogan that’s good for a glance, but not really worthwhile afterwards. It’s the nature of most Type Tees, though some are lucky enough to be elevated with a style that gives them more of a future. I’m a bit at a loss as to what could be done with this phrase, though- not every phrase lends itself to more than a few seconds of consideration.

E.x.ecutioner by Matheus Lopes (mathiole) interests me because it feels almost experimental. There’s a neat melding of splatter, stripe and illustration. It helps the design to escape from the twee concept (birds and a broken tv, yikes) and find more original ground. This is another case where I really have to compliment the printing choice- having one of the birds on the shoulder is a great touch, definitely adding value and uniqueness.

The Dinosaurs Deserved It by Zachary Briggs is another favorite this week. Yup, I just called a slogan shirt a favorite. And here’s why- the slogan itself is great, because it is a launching point for the imagination. You ask yourself what the dinosaurs have done to deserve extinction, and picture the shirt’s wearer as causing it. That’s a great set up. The text treatment also has a cool graphic, a long dinosaur neck wrapping around the text and ending in knots. It does well because it takes advantage of the unique elements of dinosaurs, while injecting some extra humor. Awesome treatment.

I’m Like a Bird! by Lim Heng Swee (ilovedoodle) is a slick visual gag, something I probably would have named a favorite if I hadn’t been feeling some giraffe fatigue recently. The giraffe’s head is compared to the shape of birds, a nice utilization of the animal’s height that takes a more studied approach than most designs focused on the creature. I’m a huge fan of the color palette, which looks really fresh and warm. One quibble I have is that I feel like there’s a missed opportunity to mirror the bird-giraffe visual similarity with another animal or tree pairing in the background. While the current jungle scene looks fine, it would have been neat to have a bit of an extra element for people to find. Definitely great work regardless, though.

Television Made Me Do It by Aled Lewis (fatheed) is something that I regret to say I don’t dig at all. Let me rephrase that- the concept is reasonably funny and the drawing is well done. But I have no idea why this is printed on a shirt. The shape of the design is a square, which looks odd just hanging in space on a t-shirt. The diagram is complicated enough to require you to see all the steps to get the idea, which makes it unsuited to the way most people see tees. I’d say this sort of work is much better suited to a poster print, so I hope that is in its future.

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.

Continue Reading

11 December 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless Loves the Joy of Text

The Threadless Loves the Joy of Text competition is looking for designs that “manipulate text in a way that it becomes the design, rather than just being a part of it.” This should be an interesting opportunity for text-based designs, which usually having scoring trouble.

Enter before January 9th, 2009 for your chance to win a prize package including the opportunity to design two upcoming Typetees, a Wacom Intuos 6×8 tablet, Typography by Veer wall graphics courtesy of Blik, a $250 Blik gift certificate, every issue of every in print Stop Smiling back issue, and prizes from the Threadless community- all in addition to the customary Threadless prize of $2000 and a $500 Threadless gift certificate.

Continue Reading

03 November 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

A Dog’s Instinct by Tang Yau Hoong (i know very little about art) rates a my favorite shirt of the week. I love the spare style and use of one color, which sets the scene nicely as being a barren landscape. The cleverness of the conflating of the bare trees with the fish skeleton is hilarious, and I found myself imagining the dog’s joy at his discovery. It’s very solid all around.

Flowing Inspiration by Enkel Dika (buko) is the very striking winner of the Threadless Loves Drawing competition. It’s a surreal masterpiece, transforming the eye into a hooked fish and waves into a bird. Nothing is what it seems, which gives this design a lot of depth. That depth is also seen in the coloring, which has layer upon layer of watercolor-like shades. Truly skilled and imaginative work, it’s a great choice for the winning design of this very competitive contest.

Infamous Mishaps Throughout History by Aled Lewis and Mitch Ansara (fatheed and spacesick) is a nice concept based on the idea that many major architectural and sculptural blunders were the result of the same pink monster’s misguided playing. It’s well-illustrated, and the contrast between the cartoon vibe of the creature and the realism of the structures magnifies the humor. Where this falls a bit short for me is in the shirt composition- the various scenes feel placed a bit haphazardly, and I’m not drawn to the way the art fills the shirt.

Ninjas vs Luchadores by Michael Valadares Ferreira (Bisparulz) is this week’s Select, a smorgasbord of color and action that keeps my eyes busy and amused. Each fighter is unique, but done with that trademark rounded Bisparulz style. There are also cool details in the piece, like the animals who have entered the fight and the sleeping figure in the midst of the action.

Hide and Seek by Cheok Siew Yen (BubuSam) is another shirt this week using duality to tell a story. Red Riding Hood walks right into danger, in the form of a forest that is also a wolf. The color use is spare, really concentrating all the emphasis on the red (both logical and striking). Still, while I quite like the concept and the skill with which this was made, the shirt placement isn’t quite right to me- all the action is right at the gut, which doesn’t strike me as the most attractive option.

Royal Hush by Keith Kuniyuki (herky) is a frantic playing card, stuffed chock full of interacting elements. From afar, the contrast of the busyness and the expected playing card style makes it a winner. I’m less convinced in the close up, though, because the consistency of the style makes it all kind of blend together- which is too bad, because some of the play between pieces is very fun (I really like the way the snake and sword hilt connect, for instance).

Sleep Is So Last Night by Matthew Goddard (the_boxkite) has a look that is very well-suited to the subject matter. Unfortunately, the slogan strikes me as being incredibly unfunny. It’s a baffling pick, because a lot of submitted ideas are really clever- this one, unfortunately, just feels tired (I know, I know, terrible).

Now Panic and Freak Out by Olly Moss (Woss) parodies the iconic Keep Calm and Carry On posters, inflicting a bit of reality into those stoic letters. Immediately recognizable, funny, and timely- definitely a solid slogan shirt.

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.

Continue Reading

01 November 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless Loves Horror

Threadless Loves Horror. They love it so much, they don’t even care that today is Halloween and the season of horror is coming to a close. And frankly, I agree with them- Threadless needs a great scary shirt. Here’s hoping this contest produces it.

Enter before December 1st, 2008 for your chance to win a collection of horror DVDs, CDs and toys, a 2 year subscription to Rue Morgue Magazine for you and 2 half year subscriptions for 2 of your friends, an autographed Tobe Hooper 8×10 from the set of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, your design featured in an upcoming issue of Rue Morgue Magazine, Rue Morgue prize pack including a Rue Morgue Radio t-shirt, Rue Morgue Magazine t-shirt and hoodie, Rue Morgue Mug and more, a 1970’s vintage modified jazz Fender bass guitar, a limited edition skate deck, designed by long-time Alkaline Trio artist Heather Gabel, a signed Alkaline Trio Agony & Irony CD and poster, a Wacom Intuos 6×8 tablet and a collection of Devil’s Due Publishing comic books including issues of Halloween, Hack/Slash, and Chopper Zombie. All this is in addition to Threadless’s customary prize of $2000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift certificate.

Continue Reading

14 October 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

Dead Shred by Matthew Skiff (iThew) is my favorite shirt of the week- and not just because it’s a great-looking design on my favorite t-shirt color. I love it because it stands in opposition to the Threadless norm of smaller print sizes and obvious humor. It reads as kind of an Egyptian answer to the magic that is Teen Wolf, and the bandages flapping in the wind echo the motion of the pose nicely. It’s a cool look back at the eighties, but with a sense of the absurd that grounds it in a more modern era. Great work, and a definite buy even for this non-skateboarder.

The Tree Referendum by Esther Aarts (gumbolimbo) is one of the big winners of the Threadless Loves Democracy contest, depicting some animals voting on the merits of a new barn to replace their tree. It’s definitely a clever scene, and does a great job of breaking down politics to its most basic components. The animals are well-rendered, and the style is unique. But for me, the concept itself just isn’t very wearable. It takes too long to get, isn’t terribly funny, and doesn’t sit well on the shirt to me. As a print it’s great, but to me the tee falls short.

E Pluribus Unum by Joe Carr (ISABOA) is for me by far the most successful of the Democracy winners. The reason it works so well is that it isn’t constrained by the concept of voting- it’s about the larger idea of people uniting under one idea. Even if you have no clue what the theme was and you just glance at the shirt, the concept is clear and amusing. A huge group of people form the number 1, which is reasonably funny in and of itself. The variation in characters is nice as well, though I do wish there was more interaction between the figures. Overall, good stuff and wearable even outside of the election season.

This week’s Select is By The Moonlight by Brian Morris, a nice spooky design just in time for Halloween. The thing that grabs me about this shirt is the skillful characterization of the skull- those empty eye sockets somehow convey a bemused kindness. That said, the work on the rest of the shirt doesn’t quite live up to that standard. The shape of the sky seems chosen at random (though I do like the element of having two moons) and the uniformity of the bouquet makes that section of the art dull and lifeless. It feels unfinished, but the skull itself is so well put together that it still kind of works.

Yes or No? by Ericka Gonzalez is an all-over print of stylized political buttons. I’m pretty fond of the button designs, they feel very classic and there’s a nice range of styles in the buttons shown. My issues with the design are twofold- first, I have trouble seeing this as a concept worth wearing anywhere but in a polling booth (it’s essentially election polka dots), and two, there aren’t that many unique pin designs, especially considering how often they occur on the shirt. It’s an interesting design, but to me it only makes sense in terms of the Democracy contest.

The Other Vowel by Chris Sharron is a truly hilarious concept, imagining the vowels as playful children and the letter Y as… well, that weird kid who eats glue. He’s not quite like the others, after all. The drawing is on par with the freshness of the idea, giving each letter a distinctive personality (my favorite is the bookish I) and displaying their character through toys, hair and head gear. Here’s the problem for me though- it just sits so oddly on the shirt. I really, really wish this had been printed as front and back, giving the vowels center chest placement and dropping the Y on back. To me, that would make for a more pleasing shape on the human body while increasing the estrangement of the Y. As-is it’s a decent shirt, but the odd art placement makes it less attractive than it could have been.

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.

Continue Reading

23 September 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

Dangerous by Draco ( is the best Threadless shirt this week. It’s a slick text treatment that transforms the letters into a snake, complete with photographic texture that gives the fantastic scene a sense of realism. The unsuspecting nature of the bird sets up some impending doom and contrast, which further helps to bring the shirt to life.

Judith + Holofernes by Frank Barbara (franx) is an amazing drawing, and a highly worthy winner of Threadless’s True Stories contest. It’s a perfect fit for that competition’s sex and death theme, with a great mixture of realism and symbolism. There is definitely a lot to like here, from the soft fleshy gradients (pink for the living, blue for the dead) to the almost decorative flourish of the hair. I’m really intrigued by the unrealistic style used on the blood- that really makes this stand out, and I think it grants the shirt a bit of whimsy in the midst of the otherwise horror-tinged scene.

Raise and Rise by Peter Taylor is this week’s Select. It’s unlike any other shirt I’ve seen, featuring two bulbous, balancing creatures. They’re very circular characters, and remind me a bit of swollen humpty-dumpties with full-body tattoos. From neck to ankle they’re coated in a doodle-inspired texture, which again relates back to the circle theme. The coloring is another nice touch, as the way it falls outside the art’s borders helps to give a feeling of motion. It’s not a shirt I’d personally wear, but I love that people are creating things like this.

Battle For Centaurus A by Ryan Lin (Kojima) combines a space battle with a glow in the dark ink treatment. The style is clean and simple, and the colors are fresh- it feels a bit like the coolest side-scrolling video game you never played. The front and back print is a nice value-adder, making this more of a unique-seeming piece. I think this is a good example of how a really great execution can make even fairly lackluster concepts feel interesting.

Home Grown by Dan Rule imagines plants clipped into the shapes of instruments. I’ll be honest, the concept doesn’t really work for me- I just plain don’t hear the phrase home grown applied to music enough for this to be funny. On top of that, the topiary conceit is feeling a bit overdone to me, so I think it would take something really unique to make me take notice and want to buy. The art is high-quality, it’s just thematically a weak design to me.

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.

Continue Reading