Thursday, February 11, 2010

Contest Watch: Week of February 4

We all know what Sunday is, right? Of course we do! Which is why we're starting off this week with a freakin' spaceman in a business suit. SUPER AWESOME! Biotwist's Travelin' In My Spacesuit can.and.will destroy whatever pathetic lameness is in store for you this weekend. The colors are bright and spacey (and the negative space usage is brilliant), the motion is perfect, along with the powerful pose of powerful power. I like how this spices up the monotony of the average desk job in a way that anyone with said desk job would appreciate. Sadly, most o' them stiffs would never don an awesome tshirt. Suits are professional, and you never know when you need to network! For the rest of us that aren't totally boring, though, this piece, up for votes at Design by Humans, is plenty appealing and incredibly wearable.

Ok, fine. You want something sweeter. Well, Goodjoe is always a great place for something heartwarming. The premiere feel-good tee shop is having a sale throughout the month of February... $15 tees, free shipping on orders over $30, free MP3s, donating to the homeless... they're goin' crazy, so we definitely think now would be as good a time as any to give them some lovin'. And speakin' of lovin', who loves ya more than your family? Besides possibly Telly Savalas. So warm your heart with ansharp's charming tale of a family unlike any other. Because they're made of corn. The Corn Family comes with one simple flaw, to me: it needs less label. The illustration is too charming to really need them, and the strongest jokes here make themselves... the "pop" corn, the "baby" corn, the brilliant corn dog... c'mon, that dog alone makes this shirt worth a vote and probably a buy, right? The tee really owns its stylistic reference point... this definitely is distinguishable as a family portrait, but I love how arbitrary the family is. I mean, seriously, corn? It's definitely a different idea I haven't seen anywhere else. That could be for many reasons, but we all know I love the weird and wonderful, so I'm not going to complain, especially when the design is smartly done too: the small "baby" variety, the fresh cob as the son, the uber-processed, possibly stale chip grandfather, and a pet that isn't even technically the same species (corn dogs are delicious and meaty, despite their batter, after all). With just a little less text, this would be perfect.

Fine, fine, fine, family love is weirding you out in the context? Let's get some real romance on with Threadless, then. Will that make you happy? Fantasize about that perfect first date, finding someone who really seems to be just like you, and sharing a romantic dinner. It's perfect! Except when you find out he is potentially a cannibal. An Awkward Moment is a tee I can relate to all too well (but I don't share those stories with just anyone). Designed by how-is-this-dude-not-printed-yet Nathanwpyle at gmail.com (someone contact this dude and give him money for something or other. His name is his contact info! It's easy, Threadless!) the scene leaves a lot to the imagination. Is this dude a psychopath? Did a makeout session go horribly wrong? Why are people made of spaghetti? My guess is miss pastawoman spent too much time talking about babies, and pastaman got bored. Can't blame him. But yes, romance. Isn't it romantic? Not only that, but the design is illustrated very attractively yet simply, perfect to dampen what could border on gross-out humor into pure ridiculousness. This is Threadless to a T.

God, seriously? You're STILL not satisfied? It's just like a man-or-woman to never be happy with what they get. How about something pink. Pink's relevant, right? How about this shirt. It's got lots of pink. Ecsu is totally forging a path to your fickle little heart with Decay (We are all made of stars). No, no, it's not about decay as such. It's about how you're a star, my dear. And maybe a little about decay too. Consider the cascading repetition of the theme, the rebuilding and refleshing. It's stunning, especially the way every layer is styled differently... the realism of the skeletal arm at the top; the visceral, sinewy musculature, sprouting buildings throughout the arm; the angular, shattered, withered third iteration; and finally, the rigid sheath=, reflecting the universe from it. It's powerful imagery, skilled execution... and really like nothing else I've seen. It feels like a Threadless select, aesthetically. It pushes the envelope of what is accepted on a shirt, and it does so with a total minimalist palette to convey some serious detail and diversity. The textures and executions layer wonderfully and powerfully. It's hard to explain the appreciation of the piece without jumping around and getting disjointed because part of the power is in its own section-by-section layout. I have no clue what I'm saying any more. Suffice it to say this is awesome.

Yeah, I noticed that wasn't good enough for you. I shoulda known it wouldn't work when you weren't impressed by Spaceman in a Suit. But honestly, this is the best I can do. Any more, er, topical, and I'd... well, look at this shirt. It's Mind Effusion by Rameque. I talk about flow a lot in tees, and here's an example of that flow making a tee 100% more wearable in its own shape. The streams of things spewing from the character's hood lead the eye, and make the circular piece feel way less rigid than it could otherwise. The real selling point is the wonderful color scheme, though. There's lots to look at, and lots to follow. There's a striking image, powerful in its nearly haunting nature. Without killer colors, though, it could be lost. There are a lot of elements in this piece that, done differently, could have yielded a far less successful piece, but altogether, we have a unique and attractive and wearable final product. Now, my friends, it is late, and if I continue this ridiculous dialogue any longer, my face will flow out of my own head like this, but less awesome. Go vote.

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