We've seen Kindred Market before in the long long ago, and thought hey, that's a pretty cool concept, but wanted to wait to see more. What concept, you ask? Well, Kindred runs a shirt contest of a different sort. Instead of printing the hottest tees, they give birth to a brand, which hopefully will then create hot tees. It leads to a decidedly mixed-bag feel to the site: you have stunning art mixed with vectormash and even slogans, but the potential is what makes the site so interesting. Instead of waiting every week for a single shirt to either be awesome or horrible, like some sites, there is a whole new brand under their umbrella to judge on quality. Which is kind of exciting.
This week, however, Kindred has brought us a line that should excite a number of you out there in tee land. Welcome friend-of-the-blog BootsBoots to their market! Boots is known for an oddball sense of humor and a quirky sense of cuteness, and the pieces up from her line's first release highlight this for sure (as well as her admitted penchant for text-text-text). Honestly, it's nice to see how completely the pieces selected for the launch speak to the designer's overall style.
Unsurprisingly, my favorite of the group is her long-unprinted Intergalactic Hitchhikers. It's an example of how cuteness can still be unique and personal in style, and it's also the most original and artful of the crop. If I had to break down the success of this to one element, I'd say "arrows". The arrows give a nice flow for the eyes to follow, and facilitate the composition of the overall design. They also bring in the color contrast that really makes this pop... the orange highlights against the blues really make this lovely and eyecatching, and unlike some halftone experiments, the glow here works as a matter of those contrasts. It adds to the otherworldly feel. I'm also a pretty big fan of the mediocrity-snarking "Lulz 101," which takes a well-deserved swipe at, well, something like 75% of the tee world, but this one always seemed to sum Boots up in an image.
I understand Kindred works in DTG printing, which isn't my ideal method to buy, but also has a screenprinter they use for store orders, which is all the more promising. I have no clue where they wholesale to, so if you're on the hunt for a solid screened design, I don't know what to tell ya, but it's definitely worth checking out if you're a Boots fan... her pieces are currently pretty damn reasonably priced, too, so it's a chance worth taking. Either way, we'd love to congratulate her on the new shop, and we hope the concept is something that not only takes off for her, but for kindred... who knows what they can offer if they start getting some serious exposure.