This week is Bestees week at Threadless, and there is a lot of quali-tay work coming out on it. For my money, Andyg's "Capistrano Spring Break" is the best of them all, and not just because it's the 13th CW entry to get printed. The bright and joyful colors are a home run, and it is a worthy addition to Andy's classic cartoonist style and adorably devious content. For more, check out the original review.
Also worth mentioning from the new crop: smusi's "I Am Shy But You Can Reach Me." Besides exhibiting one of Threadless' artists' lesser praised skills (turning out great titles), it is a beautiful, subtle and evocative piece. Deer and trees are perhaps tired
themes, but to me the execution here is what not only keeps this fresh, but makes it powerful enough that even its decidedly feminine touch doesn't keep me from being tempted to purchase it. A solid piece from a designer who's about as new to the site as one can get.
As for the Bestees themselves, the horse I picked for Design of the Year didn't win, but the winner was nevertheless fully worthy: Roadkill3d's "Red," yet another shirt we've discussed before. Again, it's the impeccable illustration that sells this first and foremost, but the clever noir twist on the classic story is enough to make even a late-in-the-year print like this one good enough to overtake over 300 other pieces. Very well deserved.
In fact, most of the rest of the awards were, if not spot-on, very well-chosen. Designer of the year was no contest, as was Newcomer of the year... both winners had an incredibly deserved lock on the titles. The Slogan and Select awards were given to unarguable quality. The only questionable call, to me, was the "Groundbreaking" design... I'm fairly unsure what prompted its print to begin with, though. The complete results are in the link above, but I'd like to make a specific note of their "Unprinted" winner, Jean_Warhol, elsewhere known as Warholbot. While I probably wouldn't have selected his "Un Deux" as his first Threadless print, the designer's distinct, often colorful and always thrillingly odd work has always struck me as so obviously Threadless that he wasn't even on my radar for the award... I simply kept forgetting he had never printed. Needless to say, a very well deserved "finally" print, and hopefully a stepping stone to seeing some of his best stuff make it to cloth as well.