eHalcyon wrote:If you bothered to read the thread, you'll see that Adder DID address the post. He simply addressed it incorrectly. The question Beffy asked was "what is a good reason to like a shirt?" whereas Adder answered "what is a good reason to like this shirt?". I'm sure it was an honest mistake, because I saw the latter as well when I read Beffy's post. I only read it again because that would have been a pretty stupid question to ask of Adder.
Since I clearly misread
When it comes right down to it, there are plenty of reasons TO like a shirt, and they are all personal. What is more true is that there are specific reasons to NOT like a shirt. When I'm scoring shirts, I ask myself a few questions:
~have I seen this anywhere before? In this case, yes, I have. I've seen the concept plenty, and I've seen the style about weekly here since December. From there I ask "is this better than what I've seen." There was a "Seven Ate Nine" joke on Threadless not too long ago up for scoring that was a great take on the idea. The seven and nine were in shadow, with the six cowering afraid in the corner. The execution and conceptualization took it above and beyond any other realization of the theme that I'd seen, and it was a tired, tired theme. This simply doesn't do anything new with tired material.
~how is it executed? With this, I generally go for style over cleanliness. when you look at Edgar's work, it's distinctly him... you can tell every line means something, and every line is intentional. If you go to Threadless and look up buko, you'll see a guy who is nearly flawless in his linework and his use of technique and how things sit on a shirt... a total pro. Simple needs to be distinct, and ornate has to work as a whole. To the same degree, if work looks rushed or forced, it's wrong... there's a line between a shaky style and just not caring. This is executed cleanly, but in no way does it stand out from any other designer. It could be ramy. Hell, it could be eHalcyon's Pica Republic design.
~concept. Most shirts need concept. It doesn't have to be a worldbreaking one, but it should be a solid one. The broader your concept, the more "done" it can be. The more specific your concept, the more you need to do to it to prove yours is the best. It is inarguable that this shirt has a tired concept... it's more inarguable, as far as I'm concerned, that a shirt that simply is something that already exists (which is to say, a shirt which is a literal representation of an iphone, without parodic elements... not necessarily a shirt which is a literal animal or plant) has no concept other than "buy this, it's familiar!" By comparison, we could look at Cho's "Tycoon of Ice". Penguins are incredibly tired, but because they are a less-specific theme, he was able to breathe life into them at a time when people were sick of them... the proper businessman standing by while grunt penguins harvested gleaming ice took a cute item and turned it a bit sadistic... the angle was different, even if the subject was the same. As for his steampunk penguin, well, we won't get into that.
~lack of concept. Some tees are all about art. Regardless of what wooters believe. Design By Humans has a lot of shirts that are ludicrously cluttered, but also many that, with no concrete theme, turn a t-shirt into fashion. If you look at something like Casajordi's "The Red Dream," or his "Death," you see a piece that evokes a mood, but treats the shirt as a canvas instead of trying to slap a concept on. If you're making an artistic shirt, you need to truly respect the shirt as a canvas... I've seen plenty of perfectly fine portraits or sketches slapped on a tee, and they're just wrong for the medium. Not only does it need to work on a shirt, you need your art to be engaging, special, and something you'd want to see all day, and know other people can see all day. Obviously this doesn't effect this entry, because this entry is about concept. But the best tee designers know how to use their canvas no matter what.
~when I'm truly deciding my favorites of favorites, I often consider: who else would sell this? If a design is so one-note that it would only fit in one site's catalog, it tends to be a shirt I'd wear more rarely. Finding Technicolor could have been a Threadless shirt, for example, while most everything that has won in the past few months, even the pieces I've liked, are the sorts of things only woot would ever print. There's no other site where this shirt would stand a chance, and objectively, it makes me wonder why it stands a chance at this one. Same with threadless' recent "booty fruit" or DBH's "Typographic pandemonium." There are some pieces that are perfect because they are so distinctly one site's bag, but things like those make me wonder whose brilliant idea it was to option that piece over one that they could snag before another site, giving them the advantage.
And sometimes there are the personal touches. I've voted for shirts I knew I was biased toward for personal reasons... they held a certain connection or just made me smile unavoidably or whatever. But I always still apply my criteria to the designs. That all aside, even if people are voting for this solely because of a personal connection, I find it so very hard to understand what personal connection, past "ooh, I know that phrase!" It can't just be the cute. We've seen the cute before. I've voted for scads of cute shirts over the internet, but it's always cute plus concept... cute plus awesome style... that should not be all you need. Cute is soooo broad, and there's sooooo much out there in sooooo many styles. to vote solely for cute is to admit you don't know what you're doing... there are quality levels and gradations.