Universe Walk by Nevermine (Nevermine) is my favorite design this week. The characterization of planets as snail shells is a really interesting choice, creating images in the mind of slow, but consistent and dependable orbits as these guys ooze their way across space. There’s even a great detail in including stars in the snails’ trails, kind of a just-so story for how all those stars got there in the first place. And of course the planets themselves look amazing. I love the choice of keeping Earth’s colors and style close to reality to ground the piece, while letting the colors of the other planets become more whimsical and rainbow-infused. It makes the design’s theme very clear, while also being true to the fantastical nature of the idea.
THINK BIG! by Grant Stephen Shepley (Gamma-Ray) is the winner of Threadless’s Shadows contest, and is pretty much the epitome of what that theme was asking for. I like the way it takes a very every day kind of symbol, the sort you see so often you barely bother to think about what it represents anymore, and shows that symbol’s inspiration is all it’s detailed, active glory. There’s great motion in both the pose of the bucking steed and in the rider’s arms and cape, contrasting well with the small stillness of the chess piece. I’m a bit undecided on the particular distressing used on the shadow because it feels very square to me (full of solidly horizontal and perpendicular lines, which undercuts the otherwise organic feel of the art), but the triblend fabric might help mask that issue in the actual print.
Hydro-Electic by joseph (jodabaum) centers around one of the most iconic and wearable symbols in shirts, the lightning bolt, so it’s already on to a winner. But what makes this design special is that inside that jagged lightning shape is a crazy crashing of a hundred tightly drawn waves. It’s chaos tucked away within a well-ordered shape, and each twisting and collision of water results in something genuinely interesting to look at. And to cap things off, there’s one final detail at the point of the bolt- a surfer, riding out these wild waves. Very complete, and a design that uses a simple silhouette to create detail that makes it fun to look at over and over.
Celery Stalker by Paul (thedeetzes) is probably the week’s most charming tee, centering on the shiftiest-looking vegetable I’ve ever seen. With his squinting eyes and thin mouth, the dude could not possibly look more suspicious as he peers around the corner. What really makes this shirt a success, though, is that it’s not a design that rests on its laurels. On top of great characterization of the celery and its motives, it somehow manages to also be quite a beautiful piece. The leafy section is stylized with color shifts that seem just this side of realistic, like we’re seeing shadows on those thin leaves as a gentle breeze ruffles their position. Even the wall he hides behind has a speckling of grey to make it feel like concrete. It’s always nice to see a pun design that also has some artistic sophistication.
Ready to fly. by Jimena Salas (JimenaSalas) is like looking at origami birds through a kaleidoscope, and I’m kind of loving it. There’s something neat about the way it starts off as an abstract pattern and only reveals that birds as you take a closer look. The simplicity of form means there’s not a lot of personality in these birds, but it’s still interesting art to look at because of a couple of smart choices. One is the way birds are allowed to run into each other and combine when their same-colored pieces touch, creating new shapes. Another is the restraint shown in not keeping the design symmetrical. Since the colors and shapes aren’t perfectly regular, that break of the pattern invites you in to see what the design is really about. Definitely a unique new addition to the Threadless catalog.
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).