However, one of the biggest downfalls of the schedule was its Thursday placement. This was particularly negative for the poor woot design... the derby, as readers will recall, ends every Thursday. Voting simply cannot happen between contest watch column and end of voting, unless I was to set an alarm for the column. With this in mind, I opt now for the simpler Wednesday schedule. Shirt.Woot has, of course, made this consideration wholly moot by scheduling a pretty trash derby, although they -also- have recently started a derby print schedule which honors the top vote-getter, but then selects the next two choices editorially. We at the blog are intrigued, and just wish someone had thought of this brilliant idea years ago.
The second problem, however, was the five-design layout. As time went on, finding five pieces of ANY quality became difficult, especially as more and more new start-ups went under. No more. The contest watch segment will thereby vary in length by quality, time, and other factors to be considered. I do not wish to include vast amounts of entries, but I will not force in mediocre work just to fill a quota. Also, since I just started committing to this blog again, I don't have the time to browse errdamnsite this week anyway.
And so, with the arteries of the shirterweb still as clogged as those of a homophobe on a chickenbender, let us consider a few pieces.
If I was more of a hipster, I would get on my fixie and listen to as much Arcade Fire on my iPod while shouting bad mustache puns for as long as it took to get to the Threadless retail store in Chicago if they printed shesmatilda's Hunting Season 10,000 Years Ago. It fits that segment of the Threadcrowd perfectly, being a wolf like them, while also being visually alluring in a way most such tees simply are not. Consider the framing, for starters, composed on the diagonal along the silhouette of the wolf and allowing for so much more action to take place... an entire hunt scene, showcasing the wolf in its most domestic role, as hunting companion for man. In this way it's almost the hippest dog lover tee you've ever seen, praising man's best friend for as long as it's been called by that name. The colors make it an absolute visual feast, as well: vibrant and bold against each other, spreading a rainbow across the main image. Each color is further enriched by the textures... the rough jagged peaks along the green plains, the frosted streaks along the ice blue mountains, the orange-yellow nebula of clouds filtering over the red sky, all contributing to an incredibly full experience in the space of what could otherwise be a trite vehicle.
In the "cunning as a weasel" category, ZERM's Time to Hide is everything Threadless humor used to be with a bold lavender blank to boot. The art is simple, subtle, and the joke is not immediate, which makes it that much stronger when you get it. The average viewer might not catch it at all, but it's all in the shadows. Once again, this is what separates the average from the superlative: when a designer can take a concept that we've all seen attempted in a million different, boring, identical manners, and make us forget we've seen ANYTHING. Which we really haven't in this shirt. There's nothing there to see at all, right?
But there's nothing we like more at Singularitee than straight up wearable art, and if there's anyone who embodies this notion, it is igo2cairo, illustrator extraordinaire, who is still hitting 'em out of the ballpark with regular frequency if his Come Sail Away is any indication. The linework is impeccable, made all the more charming with the vintage feel of the design on the whole... the wood forming the ship, the masts and sails and big vicious looking narwhal frontispiece, and the whole of it looking like a woodcut or a sketch from an inventor's old notebook, which takes the imagination one step better... for some reason, the more archaic and classical an image appears, the more fantastical these turns make it seem, as if a winged ship is less impossible now than it was in the past. Regardless, I repeat myself: wearable art. A piece that works just as well as a shirt as it does being examined up close. I couldn't be happier to get to see it at this point. It's the sort of work we fight for.