Is it possible to write about an online design contest without making comparisons to Threadless? Well, yes. Of course it is. But I'm not about to start doing anything crazy now.
Although LaFraise is somewhat similar to Threadless, the shirts available on the European design contest site have a certain aesthtic that differs from their American counterparts. Like Threadless, LaFraise can be a bit hit and miss, but when they hit the mark the results are fantastic shirts with incredible illustrations. The above is just a small selection of some of my favourites.
Unfortunately LaFraise doesn't ship outside of Europe, which I think is crazy. But if you are in Europe and you're in the hunt for a new t-shirt, LaFraise is definitely worth checking out.
Monday, July 30
Sunday, July 29
We all know that ninjas are masters of stealth and lethal assasins. Well what about a vector ninja? Huh?
The Skull Dezain is a self described Mouse Geisha / Vector Ninja (huh?) and well he sure has got the stealth thing mastered because I don't know a thing about him except that he's from Japan and has done some incredible work. His style sneaks up on you and then smacks you in the face assasin style with bold colours and strong imagery.
Links to places to find some of these tees can be found on The Skull Dezain website. Watch your back though...
Saturday, July 28
Scott Hansen makes beutiful pictures and beautiful music. He has made the most of these fabulous talents by putting some of the said pictures on tshirts and posters which can be picked up from his shop. Even better it's all on sale with 25% of everything right now.
To see more check out Scott's amazing portfolio site ISO50 - if you haven't already. Bam!
*THE SALE IS NOW OVER
Friday, July 27
Remember the artwork on the Alien Workshop skateboards when they were cool? Well if you do you'd be familiar with the design skills of Don Pendleton (the designer, not the pulp fiction/mystery author). Don moved over to Element last year but has just released his own label of clothing called Darkroom. Darkroom enables Pendleton to do what he does best - create stunning images and build a brand - however, this time he has a little more creative freedom I guess. The web site is coming soon (ah come on - let us at it!) but for now you can grab these goodies at the excellent Umbrella store.
Thursday, July 26
It's cold down here in the southern hemisphere at the moment. And if you're on the other side of the world enjoying (or enduring) the warmth, you'll get cold soon enough. So why not be prepared for any cold shiver that may inevitably head your way with some stylish limited edition tracksuits and hoodies from GAMA-GO. They feature beautiful printing and embroidery - click the pics above for close ups.
These winter warmers are strictly limited and available for pre-sale now - so if you want one don't dawdle.
And if you're enjoying the art on the GAMA-GO site have a look at Tim Biskup's site here. Good stuff.
Wednesday, July 25
Threadless has the ability to amaze and to disappoint. Fortunately this week we get the prior.
There's a whole bunch of great winners this week including submissions by (top to bottom) Emery Greer of Individualtee (again), Aaron Hogg of Moa Design (again), Michael Blaine Myers Jr (again) and Bradley Randall (1st win - Yay!).
Monday, July 23
I love simple things. Too often people mistake grandiosity with quality - and in the process over look the good that can be found in the slightly understated.
Amtrea illustrates how a tshirt site can be small and simple and still work really well. While there may only be 5 shirts, the site has a very pleasant feel to it - with nice design, easy navigation and, of course, cool shirts. A great example of how a small business doesn't need all the bells and whistles to make their mark.
Sunday, July 22
2x4 is a collection of great tshirts compiled by Damien Aistrope who's known for his involvement with Australian INFront. Oh and the work he's produced for some big names including Monster Children and Mambo. Talented huh? Well now he's gathered a bunch of other creatively gifted people together and asked four artists to create two shirt designs each. Only 200 of each shirt will be printed.
For the first series 2x4 is featuring the work of Adam Cruickshank, Emil Kozak, Noah Butkus and Jeff Canham, which is a pretty damn tidy lineup.
And yes, I'll spare you the lame math puns.
Friday, July 20
People Like Us have released a new range of iPod covers called Styles. They are covered in some seriously sweet art by some great designers and illustrators and are definitely worth a look if you want your iPod to look cool as hell and not get scratches and crap all over it. Sounds good to me.
Also released is a stunningly colourful new shirt (pictured) by JP33.
Wednesday, July 18
I'm sure a lot of Brisbane locals will be familiar with Fat Boys in the Valley and their $4 all day breakfasts. Sure you may have to line up for half an hour to order and wait even longer to get served, but sausage, bacon eggs, tomato and toast would be cheap at twice the price.
Anyway, it was during one of these half hour waits that I first came across the work of local Brisbane artist Glenn Manders. Glenn, also known as Bad Teeth, is an artist, designer and the publisher of the Bad Teeth zine. He has also decided to sharpen up some totally boring tshirts by covering them with his totally awesome artwork. Visit the Bad Teeth Store Myspace for more info.
Good news at Threadless this week - the delightful 7.00 design by serial winner Budi Satria Kwan, aka: Letter, has been reprinted. What's also great is that you can go to Blik and get this design as wall decals. Awesome
Tuesday, July 17
If you're still reading despite my increasingly corny post titles (it's actually funny when you're sleep deprived, I promise) you may be interested to know that Beautiful/Decay are having a clearance sale. 42 items from their massive range have had their prices chopped and are just begging for you to buy them. It's not just t-shirts that Beautiful/Decay have offered up for your retail pleasures either - there's also hoodies, jackets, very fetching scarves and delightfully moody bottle openers with 'tude to boot (pictured).
Monday, July 16
Remember when everyone used to skateboard? Or at least almost everyone. When I was about 17 you couldn't walk down the street without someone whizzing past you on a board, and most of us never walked anywhere anyway. But for some reason people stopped. For me it was a combination of not having anyone to skate with when I moved and just getting old and sore. I still have a push every now and then - but I suck. Bad.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that skateboard companies had to undergo a bit of a metamorphisis to stay afloat when the sales of skateboarding paraphernalia started to decline. Many made the subtle progression from skate-lords to fully fledged streetwear brands, and one of the most successful at this transformation was Zoo York. Their stuff is cool and always has been. And they are still a skate brand at core, but have a range as big as any brand that has their roots in streetwear.
I haven't bought any of their merch for a while so I was pleasantly surprised when I visited their site and realised they were still pushing out incredible stuff. I did buy a Zoo York shirt back in early 2003 and it's still in good condition - and I wear it a lot. Hopefully the quality is still that good. If only all t-shirts had that kind of longevitity - I'd have thousands. But I would need a bigger room and a new wardrobe...
Saturday, July 14
Who'd want to work for a golf magazine? Boring! A mad-keen golfer is the obvious answer right?
If I started a magazine I'd want to write about stuff like skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, hot chicks, cool clothes and sneakers, designer toys, art, photography, music and travel. Unfortunately the clever buggers at Monster Children have already done that, with a good dose of humour and swearing added to the mix. The result is one of the coolest magazines in Australia right now. Oh, they also have a gallery and a shop - from which you can purchase skateboards, tshirts, posters and more - all by leading artists including Natas Kaupas, Campbell Milligan, Andrei Molodkin and one of my all time favourites, Evan Hecox.
Friday, July 13
Designgive are having a crazy sale - everything is $10 including hoodies and they are still giving $1 from each sale to a charity that you get to choose. To top it off they have released the brand new limited edition designgive shirt - Global Saturation. It's available in guys short sleeve only and will only be printed once! Oh the delightful rarity. But it's only on for 3 days so be fast.
Death By Tshirt has joined the Myspace revolution!! It's a great place to say hi, meet our friends and post your tshirt designs or art and illustrations.
Oh the bad news is for me - i ruined some knee ligaments last night and have to go get an MRI later this afternoon. The good news is that I will be at home in front of the computer quite a bit, so stay tuned for heaps more hot new tshirts.
Wednesday, July 11
Oh yeah, some sweet stuff at Threadless this week (thank goodness...) dominated by my Asia-Pacific neighbours Kristy Anne Ligones, with the beautifully illustrated Dead Sucker (top) and Andrew Harbott with his entry In The Fast Lane. Sweet!
Monday, July 9
I have a friend that thinks that because I work on computers all day that I'm the world's biggest nerd. Sure I may have some nerdy aspects, but I'm not a programmer, web developer or network administrator so I think I'm far from nerdy. Still she insists on introducing me to other "nerds" as "this is James, he works on computers too!"
Then when questioned about my nerdiness I have to explain that I'm a graphic designer... which is normally when the other guy says something like "I'm a systems analyst - you're not a nerd." So I end up with no nerd-cred either.
Anyway, I have come to accept and embrace my nerdier elements including my fondness for kerning, my obsession with pantone swatch books, my unhealthy relationship with Photoshop and my never-ending need to make sure vector paths have as few points as possible... (ok, so maybe I'm uber-nerdy...)
Luckily for me the mega-design-nerds at Chopping Block have a sweet little shop cutely titled the Chop Shop which caters for those of us who dedicate way too much thought to things like leading and resolution. The site has a good range of shirts for guys and girls and even has a downloadable Chop Shop song by They Might Be Giants. Could it get any nerdier? If yes let me know!