17 June 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Design By Humans: New this week

SAM by Mistyk is a crazy CMYK samurai helmet, an unreal mix of brightness that almost feels like a lost villain from some 80s cartoon. This new palette tweaks the familiar shape into something that seems alien, so at first glance I legitimately thought it was some kind of fish before all the clues came together. It definitely stands out in a crowd and brings something new to the samurai tee genre, though the T emblem on the helmet throws me for a loop. For me that moment is a misstep, because it reads as an artist signature or trademark and by being so mundane detracts from the delicious weirdness of the rest.

Smart by KUI2524 is one of those tees where I’m enchanted by the concept, but left feeling let-down by the artwork itself. Animals in people clothes is almost always a winning strategy, and the quirky color palette and foxy punning here ought to add up to success. But the art here is extremely rough, to the point where it’s very difficult to ignore. Instead of helping the animal to feel bedraggled, it reads as a dirty scan. This is especially unfortunate around the eyes, because the colors make that area such a focal point.

Space Cowboy by RicoMambo tells a pretty crazy story. The protagonist wields two massive guns, one of which practically leaps out at the viewer. His face is scrunched into a menacing snarl, far more emotion than one usually sees in a space scene. And his helmet’s reflection serves up the ending- another astronaut (not quite as proficient a quickdraw!) and a digital read-out assuring us that sun or no sun, this is high noon. It’s clever and well-crafted, but I question whether this arrangement is really right for a shirt. The astronaut’s dome is pretty low on the tee, which makes it less flattering a look than it might have been otherwise. I feel like it might have been a more effective poster, where a headline could sing out from the top and there’d be no worries of bulking up a t-shirt wearer’s gut.

Infested Mission by roncabardz is my favorite this week, a spooky snapshot of man in space. I love how it merges alien and human elements, clearly communicating that something is taking control and infecting this astronaut. Strange geometric lines encircle him. His suit fades out in drippy tears. His face is passive, seen through the open faceplate. And most disturbingly, there’s only a bright orb of light where his eyes ought to be. Dude is definitely possessed, and it looks great! Plus, I’m curious about the Sage Heather shirt this is printed on- it’s the first time I recall seeing that, and photos make it look quite nice.

Winners at Design By Humans earn $1000 and six shirts of their victorious design.

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