There are lots of reasons why shirt.woot should subscribe to the Editor's Choice philosophy for EVERY derby. From a pure sales perspective, it wouldn't be that different. Every shirt that went up for sale this week outsold the first-day numbers of at least one of the actual voted winners, which means, simply put, that the most popular shirts vote-wise are not necessarily the most popular woot-wide. If woot can get similar sales numbers whether utilizing votes or their own tastes, I see no reason not to go with their own tastes.
That leads into the real reason for more woot control in derby prints, though... simply put, woot selects more awesome pieces than wooters do. Sure, they have the occasional dud, like anyone, but overall the quality is dramatic in its discrepancy. Look at Flying, by ilovedoodle. This is easily one of woot's most charming and well made pieces. The color palette is lovely and subtle. The execution is crisp and striking. The layout is economical while also being complete: that is to say, a lot of canvas space is used, but the fill is tasteful and subtle. Also, there's much to be said for the layers. The coral and waves and cloud all stack like a parfait of whimsy, and the whale, rays, penguins and birds all occupy their positions perfectly. It's a piece that is almost too elegant for woot, which is why it could stand alone as reason enough for woot to always pick editor's choices from every derby instead of the mediocre work the voters choose. This is an undeniably worthy print.
Also undeniable in its own way is Omnitarian's Taco Cat, which is probably one of the most bizarre character tees out there. That's what I love about it, though. The palindrome it's based off of conjures such a perfectly odd image that the resulting construction is wonderfully appealing simply for the oddball image it puts forth. It works without getting the title because it really is a pure nonsense character. This sort of nonsense character, however, is the sort of character which should stand alone on a tee. It's striking in color and style, making it worth looking at, and it's unique enough to be intriguing to the eye and ergo intriguing to the wallet when considering a purchase. Being unique is the best thing a stand-alone character on a t-shirt can have going for it, because it gives the character a power that a trademarked character would have. It's distinctive enough to work. And when that distinction is that you're part taco, it's also delicious enough to be a must buy. It stands out in woot's catalog, and that alone is reason enough to print it. Without editor's choice prints, this would never exist, and almost unarguably, it deserves to more than most prints do.
As always with woot and my choices therein, I don't expect these to last past next Monday, the 8th, so if you dig 'em, snatch 'em up now. There's always a chance that you might luck out and find one available past then, but that simply should not be a risk we take on great shirts.