22 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: RNBW and more new this week

threadless rnbw

RNBW by Brent Schoepf (wowrainbows) has a minimal sophistication that made it an easy favorite for me among Threadless’s new Pride collection. I love the way it examines the look of a rainbow and simplifies it, transforming the arch’s series of bands into one continuous line. But the brilliance doesn’t stop there- the color of the rainbow also gets an update, and instead of a pure red outer core that becomes deep purple at the center, we get a cool gradient that winds all the colors around the rainbow’s new line, like some kind of beautiful snake. It’s not often you see such a classic symbol reinterpreted so spectacularly, which makes this design something very special.

threadless darcy's pridethreadless two dads

Darcy’s Pride by Cortney Emerson (CortneyEm) impresses me in part because it’s just so specific. Like, who’d expect to see a gay pride Pride and Prejudice parody? Classic literature fans are rarely pandered to in the t-shirt market, and when they are targeted at all it’s usually with the goal of keeping the target audience as wide as possible. So there’s something especially sweet about how unabashedly individual this one is. The shirt color is cream, typically one of the most unpopular choices. The protagonists are shown as silhouettes instead of cute cartoons. The color palette is all in dusty pastels, not the kind of bright shades that draw the eye in. Even the text is hand scripted rather than cleaned up with the smooth lines of a font. And all those quirks are exactly why it works- you can feel the enthusiasm and devotion of a fan at work.

Two Dads by Santiago Sarquis (metalsan) somehow channels the unsteady hand of a child’s crayon drawing with eerie accuracy. But it also knows when to break with that inspiration for maximum impact, like in the way it adds far more detail to the art than a real kid would bother with. So you get these great moments that add depth and character to the scene, like the props and very complete outfits on both dads. That choice also means the viewer is rewarded for looking closely with great extras like the construction worker’s rainbow sunglasses and the cat’s over-the-top reaction to the cop’s gun. It all combines for a really fun, wholesome feeling piece.

threadless milkshakethreadless a(r)chie

Milkshake by Archie Comics (ArchieComics) instantly appealed to me because it centers on the unique milkshake shape, such a nostalgic item. With its two straws and cherry on top, it definitely feels right out of the pages of that retro 50s Archie world, where the most pressing concern of the day is who Archie is dating. And I like that the comic image filling the milkshake shape doesn’t choose sides- both Betty and Veronica are there (though they seem more interested in the fries than Archie), which makes the scene feel more like a group of good friends having a nice time than any kind of romantic rivalry. There’s also some interesting contrast between the realistic feel of the milkshake and the drawn look of the art inside, which almost sets the scene for the upcoming Riverdale tv series.

a(R)chie by Archie Comics (ArchieComics) really caught my eye with its color scheme- those bright pinks and yellows remind me of a jukebox all lit up and shining. It’s a very optimistic piece, with Archie laughing as he rushes on toward his next adventure. And of course, tucking all this away into a giant R, set high in the pocket of the shirt, is the perfect framing. That letter jacket look screams high school and preppy, and that’s exactly what Archie is about. I love that despite the updated art style, it still feels like it’s channeling the spirit of a past, more innocent era.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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