Anouk by Florent Bodart (speakerine) won Threadless’s Big Ass Prints contest, and is an excellent choice. It’s the kind of design that impresses with it’s sheer opulence and amount of detail, so it definitely benefits from the extra large size. It leaves the fancy collar feeling even more fragile, lacy looking even more intricate, and fabric even more pristine- totally in opposition to the dog, who looks to be some kind of lab, which marks him as the sort of animal more prone to playing tug of war and running through mud puddles than the kind who could stand any kind of outfit, much less one this extravagant. It’s also nice to see a black dog rather than one with lighter fur because that both makes the very pale human hands seem like an even more deliberate choice and makes the outfit something you notice a split second before the dog comes into view.
Dunk Gizmo by Phil Jones (murraymullet) captures the mischievous spirit of the dunk tank pretty precisely. The whole function of the apparatus is to create a situation where you take a happy, dry person and cause them to become wet and ridiculous looking (helpfully, there’s even a porthole to make sure the full extent of the dunk is seen by all). Sure, in this case it’s slightly exaggerated because Gizmo’s about to become, like, an entirely different creature, but who wouldn’t want to get a little revenge after being dunked? His transformation is relatable.
Ride With Me by Jimena Sanchez (monitosbonitos) feels like a really refreshing design to me- no pop culture reference, and the style (while very cute) doesn’t feel like the usual big eyes, big grin sort of illustration so common to t-shirts. Instead, it’s very breezy and understated, with thin lines, long, fluid strokes, and the slightest suggestion of pink adding color to the rabbits’ faces. It’s wonderfully understated stuff, but I think what I love best is the way the swiftness of the linework seems to communicate the speed of their little vespa. So sweet!
Perfect Gift by Elia Colombo (gebe) is technically a food with faces design, something Threadless has historically done a lot of. But what makes this particular design stand out to me is the restraint shown- I think most shirt artists wouldn’t have stopped at showing the joy of the soy sauce, they’d have escalated and also given the sushi a comic scream. Keeping things simple pays off, keeping your eyes on the sauce and keeping the mood perfectly cheerful. It’s just a nice, cute shirt about enjoying food- no need for any other punchline.
It’s Not a Phase by Aaron Jay (randyotter3000) has a fun take on fruit, imagining their leaves as haircuts. That means the pineapple’s stalk is a seriously crazy mass of spikes, almost like Sideshow Bob’s, and of course the smartly groomed apple won’t stand for it. It’s a silly concept, but what makes it work is how completely the artwork commits to it. The red apple is exploding with rage, with a mouth that almost seems to spit his words out. Meanwhile, the pineapple is the ultimate slacker- with half-lidded eyes and a perfectly mellow expression, he’s so unfazed by it all that he almost looks about to fall asleep. Some really lovely shading finishes the piece nicely, making it as fun to look at as it is to laugh at the joke.
Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn 20% royalties based on net profit (paid monthly) and a $250 Threadless Gift Certificate.