Heavy Metal by Philipp Rietz (badbugs_art) is my favorite design this week. I like designs that tweak viewer expectations, and this definitely fits the bill by using unicorns, rainbows and bubble letters to illustrate the usually skull and doom heavy phrase Heavy Metal. It feels almost like an 80s glitter sticker, the kind of thing you’d paste on your Lisa Frank dolphin binder. What’s great about the juxtaposition, though, is that it kind of leaves you questioning why heavy metal is so consistent. Surely there’s a place in that style of music for dark songs about sunshine and lollipops. This shirt is like a gift to the imagination because it leaves you picturing a world where that kind of thing is possible.
In(dy) Case of Emergency by Evan Ferstenfeld & Ian Byers (FRICKINAWESOME) is a great take on Indiana Jones’s trademark common sense approach to problem solving. While some cinematic heroes are always more than the equal of every obstacle they encounter, Indy’s more of a regular guy. He knows that sometimes the best response to trouble isn’t the most showy one, and knowing when to run away, close your eyes, or pull out that gun for a single shot can save your life and keep you ready for the sequel. The danger of the settings and relatableness of Indy as a hero were two of the series’s biggest assets, so it feels right to see them both highlighted here.
Dodgebolus of Gymron by Rodrigo Leonardo Batista Ferreira (rodrigobhz) is definitely the sweatiest looking statue I have seen in my life. Like, who even knew that was a quality a statue could have? So huge props to the artist for making the gym uniform look so disheveled and damp, which can’t have been an easy feat when you’re still trying to make it look like stone. If the uniform were cleaner and crisper, he’d read as just any athlete- it’s only how exhausted and messy he looks that marks this as a design about gym class. So that’s extremely well done. What’s less successful for me is how the dodgeball is incorporated. While I love that the ball is the art’s sole pop of red (which draws the eye to it immediately and helps contextualize the rest), the way the hand grips the ball makes no sense and breaks the realism of the scene. I think a smarter choice might have been to change the arm positioning slightly to make the way it holds the ball feel more natural, because the current situation makes the ball look flat and disc-like rather than three dimensional.
Mister Rex by Winardi (Winardi) looks at first glance like it’s just an extremely impressive anatomical study of a dinosaur, splitting its skin in two to show the skeletal structure underneath. But as you zoom in for a closer look, there’s a surprise inside- there’s a strange little dude in there, and he’s wearing the dinosaur like it’s an elaborate costume. Even better, he’s not just some random guy, this fellow has the look of a steampunk inventor, kitted out with a fancy hat, formal suit and monocle. Suddenly it feels like you’re looking at a textbook illustration yanked from an alternate history when old timey genius got up to this kind of prehistoric pranking rather than, like, inventing the locomotive or whatever. It’s whimsical as heck!
Yosemite by Andy Smith (andysmithdesign) is a minimal nature design that keeps things nice and simple. The fact that the entire piece is housed in a hexagon gives the art kind of a seventies vibe, supported by the low color count. That makes this design feel a bit traditional, like it might be the logo for a long-forgotten forest preserve or even an eco-tinged utopian cult. It’s a neat trick- the art delivers some high-quality minimalism, and lets you decide what meaning you want to attach to it… even if it’s just that you like trees.
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).