Back in 2005 I stumbled across a pretty ingenious and groundbreaking website. It was Threadless. The whole idea surrounding the site was to allow anyone in the world to submit ideas for t-shirts. The collective public would then score designs and choose which ones made it into the online store. The focus group members were the actual consumers. It exploded and became a very successful company.
So, back in 2005 when I found the site, I was enthralled and obsessed early on. I wanted to win! I wanted to be one of the chosen ones to gain the fame and glory (and money) of that tight nit group. I started submitting designs and won my first time with design number two. I won again with design number 4. Then I won a special contest sponsored by Zach Braff (of the then popular tv show Scrubs) and he wore my shirt in an episode. It was pretty cool. I won a fourth time to make “Select” status. By then I had learned a ton and had cemented my love of t-shirt design.
At that point I decided I’d done what I wanted to with Threadless and set out for new venues. I will always be grateful for Threadless and the community that they set up. They were always kind and easy to work with. Maybe someday I’ll submit again.
Only the first four featured designs here were printed by Threadless, the rest were only submissions. Some of them received really high scores and votes but still weren’t selected for print. Of those, several were optioned by other t-shirt companies and sold in their stores. Some of these designs were created for specific challenges or contests and others were just for free play.
When it came time to title a design, I usually had several titles in mind and often switched back and forth throughout the design process. Listed here are the titles I currently settled on as I composed the portfolio.