Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wanted: Dead and Alive

There are a lot of t-shirt sites out there that lie about their content. Shirt.woot rarely causes you to make the titular exclamation. Uneetee most certainly sells more than one tee (this very blog has a similar lie within it). Up until now, Threadless was bar-none the biggest offender, as I own many of their tees, and I promise, there are numerous threads in each one. Still, while there are many areas a new site can never hope to compete with the big boys in Chicago on, they've met their rival when it comes to untruth in marketing: Full Metal T-Shirt. More like full cloth t-shirt. What a waste of a possible gimmick.

In all seriousness, though, FMT are fairly new to the tee world, and like all new sites, not everything can be perfect. Right now, though, they seem to have some excellent balances in place. Their prize payout is low, but they offer huge profit-per-shirt returns to offset it. Their print method is Direct-to-Garment, a process more often associated with print-on-demand sites, but they put enough care in to make one think twice about their preconceived notions. And while their tees are definitely a bit pricier than one would presume, you can save 10% with our special code, singularitee10. Oh, I see what I did there. Clever.

If you're the sort who can't say no to a sale, even one that isn't going to expire, my hands-down favorite tee in their catalog is Hector Mansilla's "Schrödinger's Fish." And that's not just because it's a former Contest Watch design. It's a smart design, which is something I can always appreciate. It takes on the old Schrödinger's Cat paradox, something that has perturbed sensible people since 1935. But while Erwin's hypothetical tabby cannot literally be both alive and dead at once, Hector's fish is, and is illustrated beautifully as such. The piece shows a definite familiarity with the concept, but appreciating it does not require as such. The fish, shown through three frames, has some charming character to its illustration, and the idea that the one leaking frame would also drain the life from the fish itself not only offers a beautiful juxtaposition of the life-and-death scenario of the inspiration, but it speaks to the truth of what a fish is... without water, it will die. Of course, one should never underestimate the colors, either... they're often the first thing to draw me into a piece, and here, the gold frames on black and the wonderful shade of blue are just perfect for my taste. And while this is one of my true favorites of the designer's, it'd also make a great companion piece to the his "Color Bleeding," up for support on Cameesa (and no, I will not stop pimping that shirt until more of you realize how awesome it is. Only $10, guys!).

Tomorrow, I'll be posting up a print review of these guys, so watch for that. Seeing the shirt in my hands definitely changed my mind about the site, so if you don't trust my word, hopefully my archaic camera will be enough to sway you.

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