WeLoveFine’s Mass Effect design contest winners have been announced, but I think that ThinkGeek selected the best of the bunch with their exclusive pick of Silhouara by Guilherme Meier. What’s smart about this design is that it highlights the shape of one of the series’s most unique and memorable alien types, the Asari. Even better, it uses that trademark flowing shape of the alien’s head to help direct the action within the silhouette, with the reapers gliding along similar angles. The cool sci-fi style of the buildings and structures seen throughout the game are also represented well. With those elements coming together, this is a design that should instantly resonate with anyone who played and enjoyed the series.
This week, Shirt.Woot shines some light on an art style not commonly seen in the derby…
Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #517: Abstract Impressionism
Design an abstract tee – no pop culture
This derby begins Thursday at noon and continues through Monday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $200 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, other designs will be selected and sold for $2 per item each. Both top vote-getters and selected designs will be sold in a future Plus sale.
Another style derby is currently underway, with artists unleashing their best attempts at Retrofuturism. One of the neatest things about this contest is all the different directions the theme was taken in, but here are two current underdog entries that especially stood out to me:
They’re Coming For You by thatquietgir1 is a perfect implementation of that 60s, geometric style and uses harsh angles to create a scene that feels genuinely alien and mysterious.
Retro-Owls by artguyaaron was the only entry this week to pursue the stylistic approach that Woot offered as an option, and in my opinion this cheerful owl print is both fun and one of the most wearable pieces in the contest.
This derby continues through Thursday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $1000 and $2 per item sold after the first day of sales. Those winners will be sold on Friday (1st), Saturday (2nd), and Sunday (3rd). Additionally, other designs may be selected for a Plus sale on the following Monday, with each selected design earning $2 per item sold.
Silly slogans feature prominently in Shirt.Woot’s Terrible Advice plus sale. Of the bunch, it’s these two suggestions that most made me laugh:
Best of the Bunch: Fight the Power captures the childish spirit of pointless rebellion.
This promotion will only last until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. So if there’s something you like, grab it fast!
Nightmares, sleep, and general oddness fill the ranks of the Weird Dreams plus sale. There are a lot of fun takes on the theme, but these are the designs that caught my eye:
Best of the Bunch: Storyteller impresses with tons of detail and a dreamy ambiance.
Nicest Surprise: I like the way Powered By Bacon has lines reminiscent of bacon streaming from that jetpack.
Shirt I Am Most Biased About: My design Flying Tacos is inspired by the classic flying toasters screensaver.
This promotion will only last until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. So if there’s something you like, grab it fast!
Revanche by Rodisley Jose da Silva is one of the most fun environmentally-themed tees I’ve seen in awhile. The title means Rematch, and that’s exactly what it shows- the woodsman may have successfully cut down a whole bunch of trees, but those logs have reassembled and seem to have revenge in mind. It’s a real stroke of genius that the logs haven’t built themselves into a giant monster or a weapon. Instead, by becoming a hand that loosely picks up the human, a more enigmatic story is woven. The viewer gets to ask “What happens next?” and isn’t just handed an easy answer. You could view the hand’s pose as one of disposal- picking up the man as you might a gross piece of litter. It could even be seen as polite, almost dainty. Or maybe the hand plans to flick him as far as inertia will take him. No matter what happens, it’s neat to see the care that has gone into illustrating the hand with so many logs, and the human’s sudden helplessness (and belated, useless apology) makes for a nice punchline.
Camiseteria winners earn R$800 cash and R$500 in Camiseteria products.
Monsieur Poulet has a whole collection of superhero designs by Jiro, but for my money the most fun design in the bunch is Trash Man. There’s a real complexity to this character that is unmatched by the others, and I love the way it invites you in to pick apart each piece of garbage that forms his body. Weird growths and colors add to the ambiance of grossness by suggesting mold and disease. I think my favorite aspect of the art, though, is the way it implies this hero’s incompetence. It’s hard to picture his plunger weapon and trash can lid shield as being successful against any foe, he’s currently being bested by a bird (that eye is definitely a goner), and to top things off there’s a banana peel on the ground that he’s for sure going to stumble over in a minute. That’s a lot of story in one still image, and it all comes together in an exciting, colorful way.
Winners at Monsieur Poulet earn 2 Euros per item sold, for a total of up to 2000 Euros.
Shirt.Woot looks toward the future through the lens of the past with this week’s derby theme…
Starting Monday at noon: Derby #516: Retrofuturism
Design a tee with this awesome style in mind. Show us the future that the past wanted us to have. It could be an antiquated product that is promoted as new, or robots (you can’t go wrong with robots), or space travel, or just a stylistic thing.
This derby begins Monday at noon and continues through Thursday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $1000 and $2 per item sold after the first day of sales. Those winners will be sold on Friday (1st), Saturday (2nd), and Sunday (3rd). Additionally, other designs may be selected for a Plus sale on the following Monday, with each selected design earning $2 per item sold.
Meanwhile, maps and other directional indicators are out in full force for the current Navigational derby. Here are two current underdogs that I’d like to direct some more attention towards:
Compass by p0ckets takes a classic visual form and adds interest with a subtle map in the background
I’d be lost without you by Gordonbdesigns has got to be the cutest GPS I’ve ever seen, and matches the font style and art style very well.
This derby continues through Monday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $200 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, other designs will be selected and sold for $2 per item each. Both top vote-getters and selected designs will be sold in a future Plus sale.
Life is Damn Good by Fil Gouvea (filgouvea) is my favorite Threadless design this week. I love the mixture of the flowers, which often read as formal or traditional, with the playful, casual text. That disparity in style continues in through the way the text and plants are illustrated, contrasting crisp, realistic leaves and flowers with very sketchy, hand-crafted lettering. That style clash and the bright white color choice help the words to immediately stand out and impart their message, but they still feel incorporated into the foliage because the birds, flowers and leaves literally weave their way around and poke through the letterforms. Another choice that really pays off is the way the birds are close in color and tone to the leaves, making them the last element you see. By doing this, the artist ensures that the longer you look, the more rich and lush this nature scene feels. Smart!
Crescent Moon by CARBINE (digitalcarbine) won Threadless’s Optical Illusions contest, and it’s a great pick. While the idea of optical illusions brings to mind the old classics (impossible triangles, vases that look like faces, etc) this piece really took the theme and ran with it to create something both new and extremely interesting. Something I really like about the concept is the way it makes the astronaut seem sinister, like he’s something alien, in the way he’s interacting with the environment (and really, with their faces obscured by masks, it’s kind of amazing astronauts aren’t used in this way more often in shirt design- there really is something inherently mysterious and creepy about it). There’s this awesome sense that the astronaut is doing something amazing, bending space to his will and discovering things no one was meant to see or experience. I have a feeling this idea is one that will stick with me the next time I see a crescent moon…
Blackhole of Shame by lycocorax (micronisus) explains the Big Bang in a unique way, imagining that a big black dog scratching at his safety cone was the cause of the Big Bang, creating our universe. To me the best part of this gag is the way it uses the curved model of the universe as the cone of shame, a cool take on the similarity of both shapes. But of course it doesn’t stop there- the difference between the dumbness of the dog and the intelligence of astronomic theory is further highlighted by a bunch of mathematic notations and informative labels. While I think a few of those labels detract from the humor (Dark Ages and Throat feel kind of out of place), for the most part they’re effective in making the diagram feel real.
AvoCardio by mogumogu (mogumogu) is exactly the kind of food-with-faces cuteness that Threadless excels at. And there’s a lot to like about this shirt, from the fresh color palette to the silly pun of the title. There’s a cool balance to the way the circle of the avocado pit (and missing pit) are positioned above the bicycle’s wheels. I also enjoy the way the two halves are extremely similar, but not quite identical- in addition to the pit, their sweat and the direction of the eyes help to make them individual characters. The half with the pit even has an extra energy to his smile, as if he’s still gloating over his little victory.
Fingerprint by Neil Dominic (…Dom) might be a late arrival to Threadless’s collection of X-Files tees, but in my opinion it’s also one of the best. Although very minimal, it encapsulates a lot of the series’s charm. Hiding an alien face in the fingerprint is reminiscent of the way Mulder always saw aliens in unexpected places. Fingerprints in general are a nice callback to the forensic investigations the agents undertook. And there’s even an X symbol tucked away where the alien’s nose would be, a nice detail that ensures people make the X-Files connection instead of seeing the design as about aliens more broadly.