A FARCE by Oliver Wiegner (ICE CREAM FOR FREE) is my favorite print this week, and honestly also my favorite shirt from Threadless in a long time. With it’s abstract, geometric feel, all-over sublimation print and unique citrus-y color palette, it feels incredibly fresh and different. I’m reminded of the abstract sublimation tees that Imaginary Foundation does, but this one is much more wearable to me because the contrast isn’t so intense. And best of all is the close up- overlapping ensures that there’s a fun visual experience no matter what distance the art is viewed at.
INTERNET by Billmund (Billmund) threw me for a bit of a loop because it reminded me so strongly of Every Legend has a Beginning… at Shirt.Woot. My confusion was heightened by the fact that I’m unfamiliar with Voltron, although learning that the show was about a Transformer-ish dude made of mechanical space lions made the fact that two artists built parodies around kittens being assembled make a lot more sense. At any rate, the Threadless version is better crafted and the way the cats look so fluffy adds to the humor of the idea. I also like the way it’s not just making fun of the show, it’s making fun of the internet in general – that makes it pretty wearable even for folks like me who missed out on the cartoon being parodied. But one thing about this design as The Next Big Tee winner does give me pause- I’m just not sure it’s even the best cat shirt printed this month (for me that honor would go to Meow or Never), much less one of the best designs of the year. Maybe the sales figures will prove me wrong?
MAGIC IS REAL! by Perry Beane (BeanePod) is a ton of fun, imagining a world where an ecstatic yeti spends his time rollerskating on rainbows. It’s a scene you see and immediately wish was real, so the “I believe in MAGIC” text on the shirt makes perfect sense and supports the art well. While I love the design, one bit takes me out of the moment a bit- the small hand and arm in the background. The size difference is fairly closely mirrored in the skates so it was probably an attempt to show distance, but to me that little arm ends up looking like it’s growing out of his back. I’d still wear it, though!
Poorkemon by Tiago Moller & Andre Muller (tihmoller) brilliantly imagines ways of recreating the starter Pokemon on a budget. So there’s Pikachu with a taser strapped to his back, Squirtle armed with a little super-soaker, and Charmander with a flamethrower (and in a great detail, there’s even a lighter taped to his tail). It’s a very complete imagining, right down to a Pokeball painted over a baseball. It’s the kind of thing that makes you see everyday objects as extraordinary, and what makes the design even more appealing is the care with which it has been executed. Everything feel very real, right down to the shading.
Sky Thrower by Kyle Cobban (CUBAN0) is, I have to confess, a design that I didn’t properly understand at all until I read the title. I understood that he was holding a flamethrower and I liked the look of all those illustrative lines… but it genuinely did not occur to me that the flamethrower was creating the sky until I read the title. Before that, I could tell it was doing something, but it wasn’t clear to me what the lines were meant to represent. I feel like color could have been used to clarify that, but in doing so a lot of the sophistication would have been lost. And since the art is so beautiful, it’s definitely better to have the concept be misunderstood by some if it means keeping that awesome look intact.
Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through reprints.