Black Attack by Rafael Marques (filds) is my favorite of Threadless’s new Marvel designs. It’s the bold graphic style that makes this one a winner, using just two colors to create all its imagery. And despite its simplicity, it gives you all the visual information you need- Black Widow’s symbol, a stylized action scene, and a dramatic superhero pose. It all adds up to a smart design with wide appeal, and artwork that draws the eye.
Urban Warfare by MARVEL (Superheroes) feels a lot cooler than the typical branded comic book tee, and that’s because it showcases its comic book artwork so well. Housing the illustration inside the Punisher’s symbol is a brilliant move because it lets the art read strongly both up close and far away, and the way the symbol’s edges cut off some of the art just makes it feel more intriguing. In particular, cutting off the word Punisher feels exciting because it helps to create the feel of a character bigger than life, whose boldness can’t be contained. The design also does a good job of creating more visual interest by using such bright graffiti graphics as a backdrop to a dimly-dressed character. There’s even an interesting moment where the large skull’s eyes create the illusion of demonic horns on the skull on the Punisher’s t-shirt that hints at the character’s darkness.
Bulletproof by MARVEL (Superheroes) is another design that I think is a cut above the usual official comic book merchandise. What I like best about this one is how clearly and quickly it communicates two things- 1) this character is dangerous, and 2) this character is damaged. There’s also some cool symbolism in seeing his Punisher symbol layered over an actual skull, showing the idea of a secret identity. But while I enjoy the piece conceptually, I was disappointed at how overwhelmingly grainy it looks close up. To me, that heavy distressing is a mistake because it detracts from the strong imagery at the center. I think the design would have been stronger without it, in part because the skull underneath would have read more clearly and looked more realistic.
Hero or Villain by Daniel Stevens (dnice25) is another design centering on the Punisher’s symbol this week, but it fills the logo in an interesting way. Instead of showing a scene or a character, this design packs the shape with layers of newspaper headlines, all of which combine to tell the tale of a brutal, morally grey hero. I like that positioning because it makes the Punisher someone you know of only by his deeds, rather than showing the actual guy. He’s more of an elusive figure, made of rumor rather than fact, someone you want to know more about. Smart stuff.
Panther Hunt by Daniel Stevens (dnice25) caught my eye because, even as someone who doesn’t know anything about the character the Black Panther, I found myself really enjoying this design. It stands out in this group because every other hero seems to be protecting a city or surrounded by modern weapons, whereas this guy is very much surrounded by and a part of the natural world. He’s like a ninja among the trees, full moon to guide his movements instead of streetlights, and his action pose signals grace, precision, and athleticism. I look at this image and I want to know more. Plus, I love the lushness of that forest environment, looking green, dense and deep in a way that indicates vastness.
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).