12 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: My First Apocalyptic Dictionary and more new this week

My First Apocalyptic Dictionary by Graja (Graja) is my favorite Threadless shirt this week. The art nails its upbeat, retro style, and that is a recipe for hilarity when combined with the dark, complicated subject matter of the apocalypse. One of the things I really appreciate about this piece is how thoughtful it is- instead of going with short, easy words like Bomb or Gore, it makes the concept much funnier by choosing more specific and complex words and phrases to better create the scene of just how screwed up the apocalypse would be. My favorite is the use of Hecatomb, a word so obscure that I actually had to google it (it means “an extensive loss of life for some cause,” usually in the context of a public sacrifice). Using this kind of terminology communicates clearly the difficulty living through the apocalypse might present, even for little kids.

Sun’s Out Guns Out by Christopher Phillips (cpdesign) won Threadless’s Fitness Tanks challenge. I love the way this design takes two unique features of the crab, its large claws and red color, and uses props, setting and text to give them a new context. In this piece, the crab got those bulky arms by lifting weights, and his positioning in the sand under a bright sun makes his color appear to be a sun burn from flexing on the beach all day. It’s a charming idea, especially because of the way the crab’s tight tank and grimacing expression help to emphasis his physique as he strains to show off those muscles.

Life by BB TAMAGOTCHI (bbtamagotchi) is a cute two panel comic strip, and one that sits well on the shirt. I like the way the title of the comic operates as context for the graphic, which shows a fresh ice cream cone and then its melted future. By adding the title, even the first image of the ice cream cone becomes something different than you thought it was- not just a happy, smiling scoop, but instead a lump of cold experiencing an ice cream headache or anticipating being consumed by sharp teeth. Maybe that’s why the smile remains in the second panel- he may be melting, but perhaps ice cream prefers a death by natural causes to entering the food chain. Another advantage of this comic style is that it naturally allows for the artist’s signature, letting it be prominent without distracting from the humor of the graphic above.

Book Camp by Katie Lukes (k_lukes) reminds me of the Shirt.Woot design Reading is the Best Vacation, but the difference in style makes them feel distinct. I like the way this piece keeps its forms simple and uses watercolor-style washes to create soft textures within each shape. This choice helps the book to feel worn, like a favorite read that has been paged through many times, and gives the moon and pages an inviting glow. There’s a great ambiance to the design, and it reminds me of reading as the light fades and a hot summer night begins to cool in the darkness.

Bone Lover by Vincent Caduc (weird&co) is a classic joke done well, with its cartoon dog skeleton (love those bony ears, haha!) happily fetching its own leg bone. There are so many smart choices in this piece, from the way the artist eschews anatomy in favor of recognizability in order to make the dog instantly visible, to the way the dog’s paw bones remain below his missing leg to call even more attention to the absence above. In the interest of keeping things cheerful and simple, even the dog’s teeth have been eliminated. It’s excellent work, simplified beautifully, and is the kind of one color print that perfectly suits the t-shirt medium.

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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