Saturday, February 05, 2011

Tee Time

Editor's note: I was writing my newest review about comic book software when I realized it was taking too long to finish, so I decide to take a "Tee" break and offer this article up while I was reading, uh, researching the comic book post to come. Enjoy.

My daughters are crazy about tee-shirts. That and my recent review about making custom t-shirts for them has led me on a merry chase across the internet, finding companies that make interesting, fun and cool t-shirts. I would like to spend this blog telling you about a few of them, and then picking out some shirts that just screamed, "That's perfect for..."

You have to know up front (some of you do already), that I am a big fan of science fiction (sci-fi to the unwashed masses, SyFy to the illiterate cable channel). So some of these tend to favor that genre, but there are more than enough t-shirt designs to satisfy everyone.

So, you know the score by now. The product needs to be good, but so does the website. Here are some sites that offer great designs, but also feature really cool website designs. I'll point out the particulars below.

Designer Tees
Big, bold and colorful, these sites feature the users as the artists. You can submit your own designs and have them rated by both the site and the audience.

Design by Humans – this one I like almost more for the website. They feature multiple views of each shirt (both men & women when available), as well as a really cool zoom feature that superimposes an enlargement of the model with a semi-transparent background. Nice!

Threadless – Best of both worlds, new shirts, and reprints of past favorites, the users decide which are the ones most likely to reprint. Lots of original designs, check out "Spacebar" and "Bike Chaos." I like the way they tell you how many of each size is left.

Shirt w00t – like the main w00t site, they offer a special on one of their tees each day, but also have a section where you can review and purchase the most popular ones. Make sure to check out "It Came out of Nowhere" ,"Nevermore" and "The Binge."

TeeFury – Grab it while it's hot because tomorrow it's not. One design offered each day, gone tomorrow. Check the archive for past designs. Such a shame, some of the past designs merit a reprinting. Their website says ownership is retained by the designers, so you may be able to find them elsewhere.

Pop Culture Tees
More text-y and less beautiful perhaps then the designer tees, but if you enjoy humor, sarcasm and plays on words,  then these sites are the places to go.

Headline Shirts – You have to pick carefully from here, but there are a few gems. Check out "DaVinci Rock Man, "Double Solo" and "Napoleon Beach Cruiser" Buy two or more shirts and they ship free.

redbubble – Lots and lots and lots and lots of shirts. Often with t-shirt color options. And other items as well. Huge selection. Many Star WarsFirefly and Dr. Who themed, if you like that sorta thing, lol. Did I mention the big selection?

SnorgTees – voted by me as the site most likely to find a tee shirt for someone in a split second. I will elaborate further a little later. A large selection of great designs that I wish I could buy all my friends.

ThinkGeek – If you think Geek is chic, this is definitely the place for you. Not only tees but hundreds of other products. And BTW geek does not just mean sci-fi, but all things geeky, cheeky and nerdy. Like Monty PythonXKCDStar Trek (remember the pizza cutter?) and Firefly. Check 'em out.

Blade Runner, et al.
Ok, ok, I know I am getting very specific here, but I had to show you these sites, not only because it's related to one of my favorite movies of all time, Blade Runner, but also because the sites are – Just. So. Cool.

Dark Bunny Tees – Lots of "inspired by" t-shirts that run the gamut from "Aliens" to "The Warriors" all very nicely designed and perhaps subtle enough that only the initiated will understand the references. Nice job.

Last Exit to Nowhere – Lots of "inspired by" t-shirts that run the gamut from "A Clockwork Orange" to "Videodrome" all very nicely designed and perhaps subtle enough that only the initiated will understand the references. Nice job. Yes this is almost the same description as the one above, but hey, it fits.

Memetic Tees – Unabashedly science fiction, mainly BladeRunner with some Neuromancer and Alien thrown in for good measure. They print on long and short sleeve tees as well as hoodies and messenger bags.

Wake Up Time to Die – I know, an unusual domain name, but it's a line from Blade Runner. I especially like the ZORG shirt from the 5th Element and Club Obi-Wan from the The Temple of Doom. They also feature some shirts inspired by the "Lost" franchise.

And now the shirts by person
These are shirts I found mostly on the SnorgTees site that screamed certain people in my head. You know who you are:


andrew

paul and/or dave

scott