Lamonstre by Derin Ciler (MEKAZOO) is a great parody of the Lacoste brand that works on a couple of levels. For starters, this design really nails the look of the Lacoste gator, from the colors to the specific shape of the scales and eyes. That strong similarity helps this Godzilla version to feel like the mutant version of the original, like it’s been zapped by radiation or something to become its current monster-y self. The other bit of brilliance is in the size gag- it’s just plain funny to see a monster that is usually the size of a skyscraper so tiny here, a mere blip. Really, it’s the perfect polo shirt logo parody.
Fabulous by Missaire Julien (CORSAC) is, like the following four designs, from Threadless’s Hats challenge, so we’re seeing a lot of pieces that, while printed on shirts, aren’t necessarily intended for that canvas. But apart from informing the simplicity of this piece, that ancestry doesn’t in any way impact the appeal of the shirt. And for all its minimalism, there’s something pretty neat about it. The word Fabulous tends to be associated with the bigger than life, the extravagant, and the extreme, so it feels humorous and playful to see it applied to a simply made basic t-shirt. I also like the choice to make the blue stripe (probably the least fabulous color) the biggest and most prominent, which contributes to the sense of fun the design channels.
Royal by Steve The Great (mike bautista) is definitely a design that works better in hat form, where its rough crown makes perfect sense. But while the hat version is superior, the t-shirt remains surprisingly wearable. It has one minor advantage in this medium, which is that the roughness of the line is more evident at this larger size. The only problem is, with this level of simplicity and the generic subject matter, how many people are really going to want to pay full price?
Third Eye by John Tibbott (quick-brown-fox) might be another piece most at home as a hat, but a couple of choices keep it surprisingly wearable as a shirt. One of these is the use of the circle of lines, which make the eyeball active and communicate the idea of being all-seeing. The other is the unusual color palette, which uses purple where most artists might have chosen black and colors the whites of the eye with a golden yellow. It sets up the narrative that this might not be a human eye, and the bizarre unblinking look of it makes it the kind of image that keeps pulling your interest.
Goat Skull by Deniart (Denilson) strikes me as the most t-shirt wearable of all the hat designs. A big part of that is because, while it reads well at a distance, it also packs more detail (and thus more visual interest) than the rest of the field. Also, it’s notable that in a group of flat images, this is the only one that feels dimensional- you can see shadows created by the curves of the horns, and the arrow is visibly behind the skull. That depth and motion makes this more interesting to look at and moves the eye around the piece. The subject matter is also general enough to reach a big audience (it feels a bit like a logo for a metal band) while specific enough to ignite some excitement (there aren’t that many shirts with cleanly drawn, bold ram’s skulls that aren’t also emblazoned with a bunch of text). Good stuff.
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).