Prehistoric by Alex Solis (alexmdc) won Threadless’s Characters contest, which means it was also turned into a pretty cool desk toy. And it’s a great choice for that application because this is a visual gag that is arguably even funnier in three dimensions, when the flatness of the mammoth can be fully exploited. That’s no knock on how well it works as a shirt, either- this is a fun concept any way you slice it. I love the grumpy look in his eye, like he’s not at all amused by the way he’s being compared to obsolete media. But unfortunately for him, the comparison is very apt- both were giants in their time, and their time has most definitely passed.
Banana Fiction by Alberto Arni (albertoarni) ought to please the legions of t-shirt buyers who have a seemingly bottomless need for new minions gear. But while most minions designs bore me at this point, I’m impressed with the attention to detail in this one. I like that each minion isn’t just a yellow blob, they’ve each been massaged into minionized versions of the Pulp Fiction characters they imitate, right down to hairstyle and facial expression. Plus, isn’t replacing guns with bananas always funny? It’s smart work, and manages to make the subject matter feel fresh again.
Silly Karate by Mathiole (mathiole) calls attention to what every Karate Kid fan has always known in their heart of hearts- that crane kick move looked absolutely ridiculous. Highlighting the goofiness of that maneuver by comparing it to Monty Python’s silly walk is a masterstroke, especially since there’s considerable physical similarity between the two. The inclusion of those birds in the background and clear reference to the seascape of the movie help keep the karate reference strong.
High Voltage by carbine (digitalcarbine) is one heck of a slick illustration, immediately grabbing the eye with that red flash of lightning. The bolt is more a lightning symbol than an attempt to draw the thin, wrinkly crackle of real lightning, so it makes a nice contrast with the mostly realistic form of the man being afflicted. His hand is a mess of contorting joints, a painful convulsion that you can see also working its way through the rest of his body. The movement finally reaches his eyes, where things get a bit murky- are these tears turning to steam, or could we be seeing his spirit literally escape his body? Either way, it’s violent and dramatic, but so well rendered that you can’t quite look away.
Stealth by Sean Z (dicaeum) will definitely resonate with Photoshop users- and is Photoshop ubiquitous enough these days that the average person on the street will understand that the checkerboard pattern means transparency? It very well might be, and the helpful Opacity menu below helps clear things up. So it’s a design that is clever and I think reads surprisingly well, plus it’s nice to see all the symbols called out on the plane’s form, which help establish it as three dimensional and give it some personality. Solid work.
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).