Archive | design by humans

15 April 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Design By Humans’s All Over Contest winners

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Design By Humans has wrapped up their epic All-Over design contest, adding many new large print designs to their catalog’s already robust collection. Fans of the site will recall that they also boast a selection of from major pop culture behemoths like Star Wars and Marvel, so these new designs are in good company. Without further ado…

Finger Jungle by MartaZubieta was the contest’s First Place winner, and it’s very cool to see such an eccentric piece rewarded. The mint and pink color palette feels fresh and summery, and also prevents the concept from veering into overly spooky territory. I like the way it combines the texture of the green area, which is so vaguely defined as to read equally well as seaweed, hair, or something else, with the almost optical illusion of the fingers that jut through the strings and reach out for the viewer. This is a repeating pattern, but done skillfully and printed at the perfect sizing so that most viewers will never notice the repeats.

The Blast by nicebleed claimed Second Place. It’s a space shirt with a difference, eschewing the usual blue tones and stars for an unusual view of a spaceman walking through a mysterious landscape while everything around him glows with a sickly, uncomfortable shade of orange. There’s a real tension created here, with the astronaut’s slumped posture indicating that something isn’t right. A closer look reveals something even more interesting- the entire scene, even the hapless explorer, is covered in glitches. Like video errors, pixels form odd patterns and textures throughout the piece. It’s a unique way of expressing that something is alien, and that reality itself might have broken.

Radial by PolySciGuy earned Third Place. With its stark look of black ink on a white tee, the design is instantly bold and impactful. The line tapers and expands in a way that expresses motion, like the ripples coming off a droplet of water. There’s also something hypnotic about it, drawing the eye of the viewer directly into the center of the tee. Some will see it as purely abstract, while others might see a wormhole or whirlpool. Either way, you’re unlikely to have another shirt like it.

Beyond the top three, there’s still a lot of quality design in the mix. Here’s a quick look at two of my favorites from the competition…

Peaches & Corgis by sugararcade is almost impossibly cute with its rose palette and sweetly rounded illustrations. I love how the corgis have become even more rotund to match the clouds and circular fruit surrounding it. Each corgi has a different face and personality, with some shy and bashful while others beam with joy or even seem to glower with cartoon mischief. The areas of difference keep it fun to continue exploring visually despite the repetition.

Cthulhu by angoes ought to be a big hit with horror fans. It fills the entire canvas with an ornate Cthulhu from the mind of HP Lovecraft, so much detail packed into its cranium that you can see how it might make people a bit insane. In other areas, his wings loom menacingly and angry tentacles coil, ready to spring towards the unlucky. A sneaky red gradient helps to illuminate the details of those limbs while also giving the impression he has emerged from fire-y depths. This is all capped off with a splashy flourish of white lines behind him, like smoky tendrils of fog or or crashing waves. Very slick.

You can see all the Design By Humans All Over Contest designs in the DBH catalog.

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11 March 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Design By Humans’s All Over design contest

Design By Humans is back with a new All Over design competition, giving artists the chance to create artwork that uses the entire canvas of the shirt, front and back. No sexual content or copyrighted material is allowed, but the theme is otherwise open. Designs printed as part of this collection will be printed on-demand and use a cut and sew technique that ensures the artwork is precise and visible on all areas of the shirt.

Enter before March 28th, 2020 for your chance to win. Voting will be open from March 29th to April 5th, with winners announced on April 6th. 1st place will earn $350, 2nd place gets $250, and 3rd place receives $150. All printed artists (including runners-up) will retain copyright of their work and will earn royalties for each item sold.

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08 January 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Snowmen in Shirt Design: 15 great examples

As a classic winter symbol and source of seasonal nostalgia for many, the snowman is a staple of cold weather shirt design. Whether they’re melting as the sun grows hotter, celebrating the holidays, or behaving like humans, snow creatures of all sorts decorate shirts this time of year. Here’s a look at 15 great examples of ways snowmen have made winter shirts more fun…

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31 December 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Tee Contest Year in Review(s): 2019

Time for another t-shirt retrospective! Here’s a look at the best shirt printed in each month of 2019…


A Trip through Space and Time by Tom (Thomas Orrow)

“…it rewards your attention with moments like the realistic handwritten price tag tucked beneath the title…”

– Threadless’s A Trip through Space and Time and more new this week, January 31st, 2019


Super Reporter by Gianni Corniola (spike00)

“It might be fair to say that good ol’ Clark Kent was the real hero all along.”

Threadless: Super Reporter and more new this week, February 7th, 2019


Mixed Message by Shadyjibes

“…a design doesn’t have to be complicated to be exciting and memorable.”

Pampling’s Mixed Message, March 25th, 2019


Rhinogami by Lucas Scialabba (palitosci)

“It feels really whimsical to see those tiny folds, and the interaction between the two animals adds to the feeling of each of their personality and character.”

Threadless: Rhinogami and more new this week, April 11th, 2019


Raven (Limited Edition Mineral Wash) by RAIDHO

“The traditional art style looks even more ancient when placed against the soft texture of the shirt’s fabric.”

Design By Humans’s Raven (Limited Edition Mineral Wash), May 10th, 2019


Family Fun by Gabriele Crotti (thecoolorange)

“The green ink and half-toning feel appropriately retro, and the bright orange draws your eye immediately to the disastrous fire.”

Threadless’s Family Fun and more new this week, June 27th, 2019


Life in Technicolor by Grant Shepley (Gamma-Ray)

“…the striped sky and colorful landscape are beautiful to look at and read as a modern interpretation of the colors of the sunset.”

Threadless: Life in Technicolor and more new this week, July 18th, 2019


Watermelon Ratio by Kinkajou88

“…it gives the feeling of eating a never-ending pile of melon.”

Pampling’s Watermelon Ratio, August 16th, 2019


Aerial Spectrum by waynem

“All these birds have been fitted together like a living jigsaw puzzle…”

Threadless’s Aerial Spectrum and more new this week, September 26th, 2019


Cat Metal by Jackson Duarte (JackDuarte)

“…head thrown back as though he’s about to let loose with a wild howl.”

Threadless’s Cat Metal and more new this week, October 17th, 2019


Fox of Leaves by NemiMakeIt

“I think the design’s best feature, though, is how it incorporates realistic vein texture into the leaves.”

Pampling’s Fox of Leaves, November 14th, 2019


Au Revoir by Norman Duenas (fhigi25)

“…the butterfly bursting through its flowery borders as if to dramatically underline how swiftly time flies.”

Threadless: Au Revoir and more new this week, December 18th, 2019

That wraps it up for 2018, but you can see how t-shirt art fared in past years in Compete-tee-tion’s 2018, 2017201620152014201320122011, and 2010 contest roundups.

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19 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Chess in Shirt Design: 15 great examples

As one of the world’s oldest and best-known strategy board games, Chess occupies a unique place in our culture as both a common pastime and a signifier of intelligence. Its pieces have shapes known worldwide, and even those who have never played the game know most of the basics and can rattle off a few of the specific movement styles each piece uses. Artists aren’t immune to the appeal of chess, and their efforts have illustrated some takes on the game that are brilliant, humorous, and even beautiful. Here’s a look at 15 of the ways artists used shirts to celebrate the game of chess…

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31 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Design By Humans’s Grim Ripper

Grim Ripper by quilimo continues Design By Humans’s recent trend of limited edition shirts using unusual printing techniques, this time with ink that changes color in the sunlight. The illustration goes from a somewhat grim black and white image of death riding a giant wave on a coffin surfboard to a more colorful depiction. While I would have preferred that specialty ink be used to expand on the story in some way (like Olly Moss’s famous Threadless print Vampire, which used color changing ink to make its protagonist appear to burn in the sun), I’ve got to admit that just by adding the bright yellow and blue this surfing design does feel a lot more bright and summer-y. Death remains his grim black and white self, but his surroundings are more recognizably our world. Pretty cool!

This limited edition will be available for preorder until June 10th, 2019. The expected ship date is July 5th, 2019.

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10 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Design By Humans’s Raven (Limited Edition Mineral Wash)

Raven (Limited Edition Mineral Wash) by RAIDHO is something special for Design By Humans, a piece being printed in a special way and only sold for a limited time. As someone who first became a DBH fan in the early days because of their innovative use of unique printing techniques such as oversized prints, specialty inks, and even embroidery, it’s exciting to me to see this reflection of their roots, as I think this direction stands out even more now in a market full of digitally printed shirts and it bodes well for future limited editions. And as for this design in particular, it’s a strong choice. The traditional art style looks even more ancient when placed against the soft texture of the shirt’s fabric. I also appreciate the way the symbol of the bird’s footprint is repeated to become a framing element in the yellow border of the background.

This limited edition will be available for preorder until May 19th, 2019. The expected ship date is June 14th, 2019.

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