15 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Wanderlust and more new this week

Wanderlust by Mike Marshall (Mike Marshall) is my favorite Threadless print this week. The soft, tactile look of the artwork caught my attention first, but what really ignited my curiosity is the unique take on the theme the artist takes. While most travel-themed designs glorify bright sunny days, exotic landscapes, and exciting landmarks, this piece feels much more measured in its enthusiasm. This bird doesn’t look very free, lumbered with a backpack so large it must nearly outweigh him. He’s not flying across rolling hills and scenic mountaintops, he’s trudging along a heavily thorned (and painful-looking) branch. Even the color palette feels a bit weary, like it’s baked in the sun a bit too long and lost some of its vibrancy. This is a design about undertaking a difficult journey, about following a path even when it’s not easy. And I think because it has that depth, to me it feels more real and more deep than the average travel shirt.

Wright’s Butterflies by skyte (lizej) imagines the geometric patterns of Frank Lloyd Wright scattered across butterfly wings. I love this combination because it focuses attention on the influence of nature in Wright’s work, which helps these butterflies to look a bit like more elegant, more refined versions of the real thing. Keeping it all in black and white is a neat choice as well, focusing very much on the structure of the shapes involved and their relation to each other for an appropriately architectural look.

Our Cabin by David Fleck (Fleck) is one of those designs that makes me want to reach out and touch it. With the tiny leaves that bunch and fade in the trees and the worn look of the house’s boards, everything has a texture to it. That attention to detail (and the fallen leaves on the ground) help the white of the shirt to read as a field of snow rather than an absence. And the coldness of that environment serves to make the little cabin, standing so straight and narrow among the tall trees, to feel even cozier. Even though we can’t see inside, glowing yellow windows and two pairs of shoes sitting outside the front door help to paint the picture of a happy home.

Book of Fire and Ice by dandingeroz (dandingeroz) pays tribute to Game of Thrones, using an open book as a stage. The two major factions of the series each claim a side, with a Targaryen dragon made of flames bursting from the left pages while a cold, snow-filled Stark direwolf howls from the right. And across these colorful backdrops, silhouettes of Daenerys and her dragons stand near Jon Snow with his wolf and a collection of crows. It’s definitely instantly recognizable and it’s probably smart to focus on two of the series’ most popular characters. But to me, it’s a slight misstep to do that while using the book so prominently- while fans of the show flock towards those two characters, it’s been my experience that book readers tend to be a lot more diverse in their favorites, with folks like Davos Seaworth, Mance Rayder, Wyman Manderly and other more minor players attracting lots of attention. The books are much more about a massive interconnected world, and the close focus on two of the relatively bland, but pivotal characters feels more in tune with the spirit of the TV show to me.

The Snuggle is Real by jack (cabinsupplyco) is an excellent bit of typography, starting with a strong slogan and using the style and placement of the lettering to convey its meaning. There’s a great conflict between the original phrase’s Struggle and this piece’s inversion of it with Snuggle, taking a harsh reality and replacing it with something dreamy and aspirational. Even better, the words fit together and nest inside each other to form a snug square, creating a scene that feels compact and cozy even before you read it. Really nice work, and perfect for wintery days.

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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