Amaze Red by Cheok Siew Yen (bubusam) is my favorite design this week, a fun envisioning of the Little Red Riding Hood story that shows the wolf as a maze that Red has to navigate to get to Grandma’s house. I like the way it makes the wolf more a metaphor for the challenges everyone faces than a literal animal villain, and the wolf’s cartooned shape feels enjoyably sinister and foreboding. But the shirt’s print doesn’t feel as strong as the design itself to me, because by printing on the lower corner the art is made to feel really small. The blank orange fabric becomes overpowering, almost as much a focal point as the art just due to its size and height. So that’s kind of a bummer, it’s disappointing that there wasn’t a solution that gave the art more prominence on the chest (which is also a more flattering look for wearers).
A Tiger for 100 Arrows by Dina Prasetyawan (kooky love) isn’t a design I expected to like, because at first glance it seemed like a less fun take on the tiger/arrows idea that we saw in a previous Threadless design, T Minus (less color, smaller print, and the tiger dies? NO FUN). But thankfully, my first impression was extremely incorrect, and this design really sings on the shirt. This is largely due to the proportions of the art, which were perfectly chosen to fill the full front of the tee. And on top of that, all the lovely angles of the arrows (and the spark of their red endcaps) keeps the eye moving and excited. The heavy dark stripes of the tiger’s face ensures that, no matter what else is going on, that face is a clear and distinct focal point.
Nar Wars by Austin Frankel (Rebelart) is another deja vu inducing design this week, doing the same thing as Re-Told With Unicorns except, uh, with narwhals. And unfortunately, it stands up a lot less well against the original, as the artwork on this one is weaker. While the unicorn version really fleshed out the dark side with Darth-like mechanical protrusions and even mirrored the movie with a missing hoof on the light unicorn, the narwhal version is content to leave all the focus on the horns. Both versions give us a Death Star for the moon, although the unicorn one is more realistic. It’s just tough to identify any way in which the narwhal version is superior, which sucks because this one had the benefit of seeing what worked and what didn’t about the prior unicorn shirt. Narwhals are a bit funnier than unicorns, but that’s not capitalized on by the art.
Parachute Moon by Arian Rrecaj (arianrrecaj) delivers a very dreamy scene, where a lone traveller floats through space using the crescent moon as their parachute. It’s a beautiful concept, speaking to feelings of peace, adventure, and independence all at once. By using a photorealistic moon, the viewer is invited to imagine this as real. The parachuter is less strong, a vague silhouette filled with a space-y texture. I think the choice to make the person a symbol rather than a unique character is a good one (because it lets you easily see yourself in their place), but theshape is so hard to read it’s unclear what the person is doing with their body. Some clarity there could have raised the level of the design overall, I think.
World of Bike by Matt Hoch (conceptart12) won Threadless’s Bicycles design challenge. As someone who hasn’t owned a functioning bike in about a decade, I wouldn’t have expected to like the winner of this contest. But you know what? It’s pretty charming. Seeing bikes filling out the shapes of the continents makes me imagine the different styles of bikes people all over the globe use (and indeed, several bike shapes are used in this), and the different places they go to on them. Plus, due to the circular nature of bike tires and their differing sizes, the eye naturally wants to hop around the composition. Good stuff.
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 Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints.