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19 December 2007 ~ 1 Comment

Discogs Loves Threadless

Discogs is database just for music-related data, so it makes sense that their Loves Threadless contest has the theme of Music: Past, Present, Future. They’ve also pumped up the Threadless prize package of $2000 cash and a $500 gift certificate to include a 16GB iPod Touch, Shure SE 210 sound isolating earphones and a pair of Alesis M1 Active mk2 Biamp Monitors.

The deadline for this competition is January 20th, 2008.

19 December 2007 ~ 0 Comments

How to: Use Bleach to Stencil Shirts

Entering t-shirt competitions isn’t the only way to be able to wear your work- there’s also the world of do-it-yourself.

Phelyx at Stencil Revolution posted a great guide to using bleach to stencil shirts, and the results are pretty awesome. I’m going to have to try this when it’s a little bit warmer outside…

18 December 2007 ~ 1 Comment

Allmightys MechTech Competition Winners

The MechTech contest at Allmightys has come to an end, and winners have been announced. Top honors went to Skeletroid vs U-botron vs The Aerobots by Puzon, which is colorful and exciting, though also a bit cluttered for my taste- I feel that the even distribution of color keeps anything from really standing out. White Robot by mickeyns got second place, in a decision that I find fairly confusing. This looks like any one of a hundred japanese-inspired robot shirts to me, and while I’m sure it’s marketable I just don’t see much artistic appeal. I’m really happy about the third place pick, though- Soulmachine by a.mar.illo was a favorite of mine in the voting round, and I find it to be both a unique take on technology (heavy on nature-inspired textures) and a gorgeous shirt.

There were also several special selections printed, including Nature and Technology by garygeorgec, which was another early favorite of mine.

The next competition at Allmightys will be announced in January.

17 December 2007 ~ 0 Comments

$10 Sale Extended, More New Shirts at Threadless

Yes, you read that correctly- Threadless’s $10 sale has been extended through Wednesday. And there’s a whole new crop of shirts to spend your cash on…

Stat City by Graham Dobson (manlooon) is a reprint, and frequent readers probably recognize that I’m not typically a reprint fan. For me, the thing that makes this such an exception is that it is an unusually well-concepted and conceived shirt. It uses every kind of chart imaginable to paint a charming image of a city run with mathematical precision. It also pops well on the shirt due to some great use of perspective and a good-looking color palette (with just enough orange to make everything pop).

Swiss Army by Glenn Jones (Glennz) is another classic reprint, depicting a Swiss tank with guns that interchange like the knives on its Swiss cousins. It’s solid, attractive and easy to get- my only (minor) complaint is the shirt color- I could see this design working on a number of shirt colors, so it’s curious to me that they’ve repeated the heather gray of the last printing- even just a switch to silver or asphalt would have given a little more variety.

Oh My! by Michael B. Myers Jr. (slaterock) glows in the dark. Or, to be more specific, the shirt features a little rabbit. In the dark, you can suddenly see a huge, looming monster about to prey on the rabbit. This is a pretty great implementation of glow ink, as it really transforms the image. My only quibble is that for me, the rabbit is not quite enough to hold my attention on its own, meaning that I would really only wear this somewhere if I expected the lighting to change frequently.

Hairwolves by Joe Van Wetering (speedyjvw) is my other favorite this week. It’s a large, textural print featuring some very charismatic hairy beasts. Their differing personalities and ways of dealing with the hair add a cool humor element to the piece. Also, even though it’s still in stock, I’m already hoping for a reprint- I think this shirt would be flat-out amazing with a subtle color palette and a flock ink.

Keep Your Eye On The Bowl by Emery Greer (emeryg) just looks like a Threadless shirt. It has the kind of bold, easy joke that most consumers associate with the brand. The trouble with this one, for me, is that I just don’t think the joke is funny. I mean, yes, certain football games are called bowls. And yes, stadiums have a bowl shape. But haven’t we all seen mash-ups of that idea a few hundred times already? It’s just kind of dull to me. I think I even used to watch a cartoon where the stadium was literally a bowl. Not that funny then, not that funny now.

Meashirt by Ben Mautner (Royal Sapien) is retarded. I know, that sounds (and is) really mean. But I just hate it so much! It’s awkward to look at, both as the wearer and as a viewer. It isn’t particularly attractive. And worst of all, I don’t even think the measuring portion works- you’d have to hold things up to your chest to measure them, which is ridiculous. This is the kind of thing that long sleeves were made for (and indeed, they could carry a ruler easily). What I’m saying is, there’s no good reason for this to be on a shirt. At all. (Oh, and judging by the Threadless blogs, the measurements aren’t even correct- you’d think someone would have looked into that…)

Hadrian by Cesar Suarez is this week’s Select shirt. I’ll admit, I find it a bit perplexing. It’s a gorgeous image, to be sure- a faithful interpretation of a bust of the Emperor Hadrian, framed by a rainbow foil accent. I’d wear it, for sure. But it’s not a very Threadless shirt- it’s more the type of shirt I’d expect to buy as a high-quality souvenir or in a museum book store. Not a bad thing, by any means, it just has me questioning what prompted the design of this shirt, and if there’s a message that I’m not catching.

I’ll Pass by Andrew R Kolb is a great take on a sports-inspired shirt design, depicting what sports are like for the non-athletes among us. A contented little boy plays with a flower, far away from the action of the soccer game he should be participating. The style is cartoon-y, a nice fit for the theme. I think the exaggerated posture is an especially nice touch.

Overall, I found this to be a nice collection of shirts. A couple of clunkers, to be sure, but that’s bound to happen when you have a target audience the size of Threadless’s. I’m more excited than ever to see some of the newly allowed printing techniques hitting the shelves, since there were definitely a few shirts this week that I think could have benefited from their use.

16 December 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New This Week at Design By Humans

As always, I’ve got a Design By Humans coupon code: try DBH22 for a discount at checkout. If you’ve got a code, post it in the comments and I’ll post it at the top of my next DBH post.

I had a really hard time picking a favorite shirt this week (there was a ton of top-tier work printed), but in the end the color palette of Harvest by radiomode won me over. The colorful shirt makes this piece stand out from the rest of the collection, and the use of pattern is gorgeous. While it is done in a distinctive asian style, the creativity of the artist still has room to play. The blue cloud-like structure in the back does a great job of establishing an environment for the scene.

Incognito 7 by aliadotony is another favorite. Collaged work is difficult to get right (most people simply layer things, while good pieces in the genre have subtle play between elements based on size, shape, color and texture), as are transparencies (a lot of artists end up detracting from their work). This gets both of these difficult elements 100% right. The layering of photograph, type, illustration, and color is graphic, inviting, and wholly unique. It’s an amazing piece.

I have a lot of favorites this week, I know, and Fawn Memories by slaterock is another one. I’m a huge sucker for patterns, and this is another piece that uses them to perfection. The combination of the expressive lines of the drawing with the precision of the patterns is a good one, it keeps my eyes drifting around the image and noticing new details. The grimness of the characters’ expressions sets this apart from other works in this style- I got the impression that what they represent (nature) was being destroyed, so they were attempting to evolve to suit their new environment. Oh, and it looks really cool.

Neptune’s Realm by ryozilla is another shirt this week that stands out from DBH’s other offerings. The large pattern is distinctive and attractive, with fun details that you notice as you get closer to the wearer- nautical elements tucked away in the pattern, including fish, cannons, anchors, and a large ship. The gradient of the ink (which fades between colors) is another highlight, capturing the feel of seeing the sea at twilight.

I was also glad to see that Booyah! by RikkiB got printed this week. It has all the hallmarks of RikkiB’s work- hand-drawn patterns, bubble letters, lightning bolts and a tight color palette. It’s got the style of a seventies era poster, updated for a more modern time. Also, I have to admit that I will pretty much wear anything that says “I said good day sir!” Fantastic.

Awesome week of shirts- my favorite in awhile, and definitely a week in which I could see myself buying a wearing a bunch of shirts. I’m still wishing there was more variation in the shirt colors available at DBH (shirts tend to be greys, black, white and brown, while I’d prefer some more bright colors in the mix), but I definitely can’t complain about the quality of the designs available. Good stuff.

15 December 2007 ~ 0 Comments

You the Designer’s Guide to Shirt Design

The graphic design bloggers at You the Designer have posted a great guide to designing custom shirts. It’s especially good information for beginners, and includes tips on why your work might be getting rejected, industry terminology, and some places to submit your work.

Thanks to Eden from Shirts on Sale for the tip!

13 December 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #20: Winter

Shirt.Woot‘s newest Derby theme is Winter. It’s a nice, general theme, but with a few restrictions- no winter holidays allowed. Also, no text of any kind.

As usual, the Derby fun starts on Friday at noon when Woot opens up the Derby to new submissions. Voting begins at the same time, continuing until Thursday at noon. The top three vote-getting entries will be printed next weekend, earning their designers up to $500 for the first day of sales and $2 per sale for each shirt sold after that.

For a fuller Derby experience, point your browser towards Best Losers (which includes awards for the best unsung Derby designs) and ShirtDerbyStats (for comments on individual shirt designs and vote total estimates for the Fog).