Many T-Shirt enthusiasts think that they know the story of Threadless. We’ve heard the story before and I’ve actually mentioned it on this blog once or twice (at least). Threadless was the brainchild of then art student Jake Nickell, who was part of an online Â forum known as Dreamless. He won a T-Shirt contest on the forum and was inspired to start a T-Shirt contest that would be ongoing and would continually take in design submissions. And thus, Threadless was born and the rest is history.
But, is this the whole story? Not even close.
It’s been 10 years since Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart founded Threadless. A lot has gone on during that time. The Threadless book is a celebration of the last 10 years of T-Shirt design and business innovation. Â The book discusses the growing pains that the company experienced during its early years and how it managed to invigorate the design community. Most importantly, Nickell (and a few others) describe how the Threadless community became an integral part of the business.
The book is sectioned by years, with the early years (2000-2004) clumped into one section. Each section of the book features an essay by the founder, Nickell, as well as “think pieces” by well-respected people within the social media and business communities. I found the featured designer portion of each section to be quite intriguing. It was interesting to read how Threadless has the power to significantly change the course of ones life. Glenn Jones, a favorite of mine and a popular Threadless designer form the early years discusses how Threadless has inspired him to develop his own line T-Shirts based on his Threadless popularity.
The book is 224 pages long and features a lot of Threadless artwork, 300 full-color illustrations to be exact. The spreads are beautiful and presented in a fun and whimsical way. Many uber Threadless fans will dig the in depth look at the first batch of Threadless T-Shirts. Also included are numerous photos of the Threadless staff (aren’t they a playful group of people) and the Threadless offices.
If you are a fan of art then you will appreciate the innovative T-Shirt designs and artists featured in this book. If you are a fan of business then you will want to read this book to find out how a couple of art school dropouts turned an idea into a multi-million dollar business that would later become a featured case study for Harvard business students. And finally, If you’re a fan of Threadless then this book is a must read. You’ll love it. Seriously, why don’t you own it already?
Featured designers include: Ross Zeitz, Glenn Jones, Olly Moss, Chow Hon Lam, Aled Lewis, Julia Heglund, and Enkel Dika.
Featured “think pieces” by: Seth Godin, Scott Belsky, Karim R. Lakhani, Jeff Howe, John Maeda, Karen Wong, and Blake Mycoskie.
By Jake Nickell
U.S. $22.50 / CAN. $26.95
300 full-color illustrations
Want to WIN a copy of the Threadless Book? Awesome! All you need to do is leave a comment in this blog post and tell me what your all-time favorite Threadless design is. One random person will winÂ a copy of the massive and epic 200+ page 10-year anniversary Threadless Book! This contest will end on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 11:59 am Hawaii time. Go. By the way, I’ve already given away two copies of the book to my Facebook fans! If you’d like the inside scoop on exclusive giveaways then be sure to Like Co-Tee TV on Facebook!