16 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Catfeine and more new this week

Catfeine by kooky love (kooky love) is my favorite Threadless shirt this week. I love its casual oddity, from the lack of a most and mouth to the extra front leg- it creates the kind of character that looks ordinary at first glance (if a bit quirky), but becomes increasingly strange the longer you look. It’s relatable that the cat grips its red mug in such a human-like way, and the use of that bright red and then a piercing yellow for thee eyes ensures that viewers focus on exactly the right elements to start out the experience. The massive size of the eyes and stock-straight pose of the tail reinforce the idea that this is one veery alert, veery caffeinated kitty.

Venn Island by Rick Crane (ThePaperCrane) bisects a vertical venn diagram with a line and in doing so creates a pair of islands. Soft pastel colors and two palm tree symbols clarify the image even more, painting the island and below in blue tones that mark them as underwater, while pink, orange, and a series of short diagonal lines flesh out a sunset that gives the diagrams circular shape more context. It’s thoughtfully done in an appealingly minimal style, and works especially well because the geometric shapes and pastel colors suit a very beach-y art deco, Miami vibe.

Pizza Space by Jose Alberto Jimenez Mejia (alberto83aj) looks like an ordinary pizza from far away, dotted with circles that might be pepperoni, olives, or a wealth of other toppings. But with a closer look, a whole solar system is revealed- right down to a ringed planet and even a tiny earth. That thick black sauce is packed with stars, and even the crusts bubbles seem to signify something celestial. This pizza/space switcheroo is a trick that could only work with a black and white color palette, so it’s cool to see the technique exploited in this way, almost like an optical illusion.

Kawaii as F*ck by Vincent Trinidad (vptrinidad021) won Threadless’s Kawaii design competition. True to its name, it does incorporate thee trademark cuteness of the style in the character’s big eyes, red cheeks, and comically large grin. Text also forges a clear connection to the look’s Japanese origins. But what makes this design fun is that it doesn’t rest on its cute laurels, instead it creates contrast between that and the vulgar content, which is all built around a dancing hand that gives the viewer the middle finger as it smiles with a cartoon human face. I like this design makes kawaii an aggressive statement, not something cute and harmless.

Japan Wave by Ilustrata (Ilustrata) feels like an 80s cyberpunk fever dream, which I mean as a compliment. Japanese references abound, from the massive Godzilla bust in the foreground to The Great Wave, Mount Fuji, and even a serving of sushi round out the scene. Technology gets equal billing, with a loading bar, video control panel and Japan.exe program title filling in some blanks. It’s a reminder of a time when it seemed like the future would be made in Japan, and an era that still fills the heart of many with a whole lot of nostalgia. Plus, that almost 3D mix of pinks, purples, and teals is unusual and extremely attention-getting.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

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