FormFiftyFive

Design inspiration from around the world.

What the FFF?

Founded in 2005 by an ever growing group of designers, illustrators, coders and makers eager to collect and share the best design work they came across, FormFiftyFive soon became an international showcase of creative work.

We scour the world’s best creative talent to keep FormFiftyFive a foremost collection of current design from both the young upstarts and well known masters. We’re constantly on the look out for new features that dig even deeper into what’s happening in the design community, so get in touch if there’s something you’ld like to see on here.

Have a look round, if you see something you love or hate be sure to comment, and drop us a line if there’s a juicy bit of creative gold you’d like to see on here.

Keep it real, the FFF team.

The FFF team

Glenn
Glenn Garriock — 1463 posts
http://www.garriock.com
Graphic designer – Uetze, Germany

Jack
Jack Daly — 1133 posts
http://twitter.com/Jack_FFF
Graphic designer & Illustrator – Glasgow,…

Lois
Lois Daly — 45 posts
http://www.twitter.com/the_loi
Lois Daly – Graphic Designer, Glasgow

Alex
Alex Nelson — 64 posts
http://twitter.com/lexnels
Designer/coder – Leeds/London/Melbourne

Guy
Guy Moorhouse — 45 posts
http://futurefabric.co.uk
Independent designer and technologist — London,…

Gil
Gil Cocker — 316 posts
http://www.sansgil.com
London based designer and maker who…

staynice
Barry van Dijck — 124 posts
http://www.staynice.nl
Designer & Illustrator – Breda, The Netherlands

Gui
Gui Seiz — 135 posts
http://www.seiz.co.uk
Graphic Designer – London, UK

Chris J
Chris Jackson — 68 posts
Graphic Designer – Leeds, UK

Tom Vining
Tom Vining — 12 posts
http://moreair.co
Graphic Designer – London, UK

Tommy Borgen
Tommy Borgen — 15 posts
http://www.uppercase.no
Graphic Designer – Oslo, Norway

Clinton Duncan — 24 posts
Creative director – Sydney, Australia

amandajones
Amanda Jones — 24 posts
http://www.amandajanejonesblog.com/
Graphic Designer – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Gabriela
Gabriela Salinas — 14 posts
http://gabrielasalinas.com/
Graphic designer – Monterrey, México.

Felicia Aurora Eriksson
Felicia Aurora Eriksson — 4 posts
http://feliciaaurora.com/
Graphic Designer – Melbourne, Australia

Got something for us?

If there’s a juicy bit of creative gold you’d like to see on FFF, or you’d just like to get in touch, email us on the address below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

You can also check out our guide to the perfect submission here.

submissions@formfiftyfive.com

Looking for something?

Categories rowsEverything Interviews Books Events Jobs

Threadless — Book Review

Ten years ago two students posted a thread on a forum asking for people to submit t-shirt designs, the best of which would be printed and sold. This was the beginning of Threadless, and a decade of online community based t-shirt design.

Today, Threadless is an international business that has a following of over a million members who design, critique, vote for and buy their products. The Threadless business model – now known as crowd-sourcing – is taught in business schools and the community has often acted as a springboard, launching the careers of several designers.

Threadless: ten years of t-shirts from the world’s most inspiring online design community celebrates the past decade of the company’s life. It relives the steps taken from the early days when the two founders invested $500 each to get their hobby off the ground, through to the Threadless of today, which has recently penned deals with the likes of Dell Inc., Havaianas and Disney – for whom they will be sourcing designs to be applied to laptop cases, flip-flops and t-shirts to promote the release of the film Tron.

The Threadless business model is based on being able to engage and involve the design community. This approach is reflected in the cover design of the book, which brings together the story of Threadless in a “colossal collaboration” of weird and wonderful characters submitted by previous Threadless t-shirt designers.

The book has been designed by A-Side Studio and takes the reader through a chronological journey of the company’s history, showcasing 300 t-shirt designs. Founder Jake Nickell’s account of Threadless’ growth sits alongside interviews with contributors successful in getting their designs onto fabric. There are image montages showing some of the most successful t-shirts being worn, and short insights into the story behind each design. This is interspersed with mini essays, both on Threadless and other topics, from guest authors including Seth Godin and John Maeda.

Working through the 224 pages, it is interesting to see the successful styles and trends  evolve as the book progresses. Early Threadless designs use largely one or two colour vector graphics applied to a standard area on the chest of the shirt. Later we see more complex designs that lean towards a hand crafted aesthetic. To a degree, this reflects the past decade of design in general, but it also shows how Threadless has refined its printing and production techniques over the years. As Threadless has grown, so the company’s core market has changed; once strictly a designers’ playground, it now appeals to a wider creative audience.

All in all this is an enjoyable book. It might not be one of the design classics that you return to time and time again, but it is much more than just a catalogue of t-shirt design (although if you’re interested in trends of t-shirt design over the last decade it provides a useful reference). It’s a story of the conceptual development of a creative business, an insight into designers’ personalities, and a demonstration of the success of interactive techniques to involve customers in decision making, creating a community of users and designers. It contains a good mix of image and text and is accessible and visually appealing. The tone at times is rather self congratulating, but perhaps this can be excused given the success of Threadless over the last ten years. As the sleeve text says, Threadless “is a t-shirt store, but that isn’t really the point”. This celebration of a “global t-shirt phenomenon” will appeal to anyone interested in what happens when you combine popular design, a community approach and a constantly evolving repertoire of products.

You can buy the book here for only £8.00.

Words by: Mark Ferguson. Photographs by: Malcolm Menzies. Location: Fabrics Galore – London.

UPDATE: Like always, because Malcolm has done such a good job of shooting this lovely book we’ve put up the hi-quality original shots of the Threadless book online on our FFF Flickr Pool.

Filed under


Liked that? Try these

Have your say

    hank
    11th Nov 2010
    7:53 am
  1. such an excellent idea for a book! seems perfect for christmas or something similar.

    <a href=\\"http://www.threadlesscoupons.blogspot.com\\">threadless coupon</a>


  2. LukeTongeLukeTonge
    11th Nov 2010
    10:29 am
  3. Nice review Mark, I took a look at it over the weekend – there’s definitely a great story behind it that deserves to be told.


  4. Mark
    24th Nov 2010
    1:31 pm
  5. Thanks Luke.


Leave your reply below

Supported by

Recent features

View all features

Topics

Recent Jobs

+ Add a job to this list

Studio Manager

tothepoint, London Bridge
out

Head of Digital

Eden Project, Cornwall, UK
out

Creative

HAVAS LYNX, United Kingdom
out

Junior Designer

Greenspace Ltd, Bethnal Green, London
out

Middleweight digital designer

MailOnline, London
out

Design Intern (paid)

One Big Company, Clerkenwell, London
out

Junior Designer

Weber Shandwick, Glasgow
out

Chatter

Very nice work. Been a long time admirer of Iain’s work… I just didn’t know it was him that did it!

petemandotnet on Iain McIntosh

So, when talking about originality, why do people still use those popular artist quotes about art/idea theft? Just as unoriginal, just as idiotic. No wonder some of them defend such behaviour when all they do is ‘copy/paste’ themselves, think of …

TUB on Peter Tarka

What you are failing to understand about the current design society where young designers are being pressured to be noticed by their skills in software and “finish” not so much on their conceptual outcome.

But you need to understand as you …

Luke on Peter Tarka

“undeniable skill”? Everyone can download a free 3d model, buy or download a ready 3d light/vray/render studio and hit “render”. That’s not a skill imo. :)

sak on Peter Tarka

The event of BCN x MCR was an absolute joy. The exhibition – excellent and the talks engaging, varied and insightful. I particular liked the talk by http://www.laurameseguer.com/ due to the way she described the process of type design. Overall the …

Rob Walker on BCNMCR Reviewed

I’m just loving the scale and the work put into this design. Cant of been easy to do this on a wall. Sorry to sound so simple but it looks great I don’t think the passing public are going to …

Simon on Papercut: update

Playlist