17 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: New this week

The i in TEAM by Jaco Haasbroek (Haasbroek) is one of those simple, elegant solutions that leaves you speechless, wondering how it is that no one has ever done it before. The blocky lettering is necessary for the joke, but it also bears more than a passing resemblance to the kind of sturdy text that appears on real team sportswear. What’s additionally neat is that when you see the design, you can also instantly imagine the sort of person who would wear it- someone who plays a team sport, but hasn’t conformed to the stereotype. And of course, all the design nerds who love the visual wit of it. Easily the best shirt this week, despite some quality competition.

House Brawl by Alex Solis and Alice X. Zhang (silverqe) is likely to be the best-looking Harry Potter fan shirt in existence. It’s also an interesting shirt to review as a non-fan, because it’s not entirely clear to me which parts of the shirt are invented and which are directly from the text. So I’m presuming that each house is represented as these animals in the book, weird as it seems to me that a badger would be the mascot of anything (yes I know about Wisconsin, and that’s weird too). The lion and snake duke it out, while the badger and eagle are like “Oh jeez, you can’t take those two anywhere.” Which is probably accurate to how those houses behave in the books. Presuming that’s all true, kudos to the artists for creating a design that is true to the spirit of the books, yet is still stealthy enough to escape notice among non-fans. With that said, the layout is a little weird to me- the banners look like they’re hanging really low on the shirt, and it looks awkward to me on just about every cut of shirt shown. I think adding some length to the banners (or even just printing them higher) could have solved this.

In Flying Colours by Tang Yau Hoong (TangYauHoong) has so much color, it’s crazy! Bright, saturated tones form simple shapes that show buildings and landscape intermingling beneath a vintage-looking sky. There’s some really nice layering here that gives the impression of city and wilderness co-existing, as well as creating some pretty rad color combinations in the fades. The content of that wing is truly gorgeous work. My problem is that, personally, I’m not interested in the wing itself. Since it contains all the other artwork, it becomes the biggest and most prominent part of the image- frustrating since it is also the least interesting bit. Its crisp style seems at odds with the delicious softness of the other art.

Italyc by Nathan W. Pyle (nathanwpyle) is another brilliant design this week, reinterpreting a classic monument with a simple addition. The type style menu is a cute reminder that the famous leaning tower is just an ordinary building… with one tiny difference. I think some of the design’s appeal lays in how it combines work with play- the classic vacation destination is seen through the lens of ordinary office drudgery, and focuses on the best aspects of both worlds. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could click and change real objects in the world around you?

Beard of Cloud by Ben Chen (ben chen) envisions a cloud as a classic gentleman, complete with fancy bicycle, monocle and top hat. It’s almost total nonsense, but one element ties the ideas together: a rainbow as mustache. Oddly, this is also where it gets into trouble with me, because the mustache’s shape is so far from that of a rainbow that it feels like a huge conceptual reach. I feel like the traditional rainbow shape isn’t that far from what a mustache actually looks like, so it’s confusing to see a stylized version that departs from that. It’s a cute mustache, don’t get me wrong, I’m just not sure it actually reads as a rainbow at this point. I’m tempted to say that a two color version, with a black mustache, might have been just as much fun and avoided the problem.

Willy’s Gullwash by Richard Fulop (fuloprichard) is a really fun illustration, starring a stoic, mechanical-looking whale who moonlights as a carwash of sorts for dirty birds. It’s silly but it works, and seeing those birds squeezing through the baleen is good for a laugh. Cloud-looking smoke contributes to the mechanized feeling and also creates a nice sense of motion across the tee. What really makes the design work, though, is the placement- the whale gets some appropriately huge real estate, dominating the tee, while the smoke trails all the way across the sleeve. Even though the shirt ends, it feels like the design just keeps on going. Nice.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints.

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