Review: The Threadless Book (and win your own copy!)

by Andy on October 15, 2010

threadless book review

I didn’t really know what to expect from the Threadless book, before the release I’d thought it was cool that they were putting something together for the 10th year, but I hadn’t paid much attention to what was going to be in the tome of ten years of Threadless dominating the ‘indie’ t-shirt landscape. Frankly, I’d expected there to be lots of pretty pictures, and the same stories trotted out as we’ve been hearing for years about their airstream office, and how ‘different’ they are from a regular company. Well, you do get that, there are lots of pictures, and and lots of stuff that we’ve heard before from Threadless about the company, but there’s a lot more than that going on here.

One of the interesting things about Threadless is how their business model has had a much wider impact on the industry than just within their company, I’m not going to exaggerate and say they’ve changed the world, but their business practises, have made a lot of people sit up and take note (they aren’t a case study at Harvard Business School for no reason), and that is reflected in the book quite a lot, with mini-essays from people outside of Threadless such as Seth Godin talking about them and how they’re different to the norm. As someone that has studied Threadless closely over the past 5 years I really enjoyed those aspects of the book, getting a fresh insight from people outside the company (that other tee companies could probably learn from). That said, it was interesting for me to read about the earlier days of Threadless, since I first heard about them in late ’04 and other than the ‘creation’ story about the Dreamless forum, there were a few years I had no knowledge of that this book fills in quite nicely.

Of course, t-shirts are a visual medium and so is this book, there are hundreds of pictures of their tees, not all of them (I presume), but all the iconic designs are included along with interviews with their designers. It’s great seeing the designs printed onto paper rather than my LCD screen, digital is great and all, but print has a certain special something about it, and since Threadless clearly haven’t cheaped out on the printing it really is a treat for the eyes.

Clearly, I’m pretty impressed by this book, I was hoping to receive something pretty that I could leaf through when I was bored, and I got that, along with something that was occasionally more thought-provoking than I hoped. If you’d like to get a copy of the book, I have most excellent news, the publishers (Harris & Wilson) have offered to give away 2 copies of the book to HYA readers. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post telling me what is your favourite Threadless design of all time, and you will be entered into the giveaway. Entries are open from now for 1 week (until Friday 22nd October), when I will pick two random entries. Please note that this competition is only open to people from the UK as it is the UK publisher offering the books to be given away.

If you would like to buy the book, if is available for $15 on the Threadless site (down from $22), for $15.30 on, and £8 on


  • Socially Exceptional


  • Christopher Guaman

    I’ve recently found about Threadless and they are awesome, and it’s great to see this type of dedication for t-shirts!

  • Laura Pavey

    Has to be When Pandas Attack. Coolest shirt I’ve ever seen which is why I bought it

  • Khoa Phan

    Of all time would be have to go to… “You’ve Got Some Splaining To Do”.

    For one it was first I got Threadless shirt that took my threadless virginity. And two it’s so hilarious! Mom and Dad white milk and baby chocolate milk… Mom got it on with chocolate syrup or something.

  • Liam Cairney

    I, too, only found out about Threadless a few months ago and have already bought far too many of their shirts. The book sounds like a very interesting overview of their ground-breaking history.

  • Colin

    Favorite of all time has to be “Fish Tank”

    I’ve owned that tshirt for years and without fail it invokes a conversation. People either get it or take a while and go “OHHHHHHHH a fish TANK” I get it. It’s such a classic tee and it’s so simple.

    Love the colouring too.

    It’s staying in my closet.

  • Persephone

    I am not sure I understand the idea of a book devoted to its own brand of t shirts but a few years ago I would have said the same thing about a website devoted to them. My niece, who I adore, loves Threadless tees so if I win the book, I will give it to her.

  • Nick

    I’ve been a fan of Threadless for years, and i would love to see all these T-Shirt-Pictures again!

  • kevin


  • twoeightnine

    One of the early greats, Damn Scientists. I’ve now had three different versions of it.

  • Jamie

    Would have to be ‘friday I’m in love.’ A great looking t-shirt with a great design of a great song. My first Threadless buy of many!

  • Patrick

    Oooooo its sooo pertty. I vant!

  • Patrick

    O ya and my favorites are The Simpsons Still Life and a shirt I think called Fast Food where the Burger, Fries, and Soda are running.

  • Adam vaudin

    I love nick’s work, so graphic & beautiful. Its also super bold to me & really wearable.

  • Windy Stroud

    Love all the art work and Tees.. In fact I think my family is planning a tee shirt intervention for me… Watch out for my episode..LOL

  • David Robinson

    My favourite Threadless design has to be When Pandas Attack by Jimiyo. Love Jimiyo’s art in general, so had to snap that one up. Needless to say, it’s worn regularly!

  • Keith.

    It has to be ‘Three Keyboard Cat Moon’….one hell of a shirt design!


    Great read! I also Love the work of A-Side Studio. Would love to see the book in person.

  • Ben Schwartz

    I needddd this book. For college! My dorm would be forever changed for the better.

  • liz jeans

    Everything Will Be Alright

    ILoveDoodle has a fantastic portfolio of Threadless designs :)

  • Euan Gallacher

    Would love to get my hands on it. Working on a new tshirt/clothing brand as part of a final year project at art school. Another book to get lost in would be nice!

  • GothamKnight

    Like others I only stumbled upon Threadless a few months ago and I love their shirts. Some of them I dont properly ‘get’ but most are incredible. My favourite shirt that I’ve bought is Funkalicious.

  • T V

    Mmm Books

  • Amy Georgina

    It has to be Living in Harmony, I have the hoodie which thanks to colder weather I can wear again, and everyone comments on it, even my 83 year old cousin… I want the matching Blik wall sticker! Threadless rocks!!

  • hellomynameis

    Looks like a pretty sick book.
    Wouldnt mind getting my hands on this.

  • Tom Neal

    This book looks incredible! The new holy bible?

  • Tom Bryce

    Space and Time by Jublin!

  • Aiden Knowles

    in my eyes Threadless always comes top (sorry DBH). I love the fact that they use all styles and every designer would get the chance to get there art printed, not to mention they printed when pandas attack wich is probably in my top 5 t-shirts of all time.

    i would definitely love to get my hands on this book

  • Will K

    It doesn’t get better than this baby!
    I mean, who doesn’t love robots?

  • Geoff

    Well Funkalicious is always the one I get the most comments on when I wear it, but my personal favourite has always been Homework Evidence,guys

  • Mathew Kirkham

    Favourite design – ‘God Save The Villain’

  • Eric

    Threadless are an absolute inspiration to not only those with their own indie brand, but also other small business start ups. This book is an absolute must.

  • Neil Dewhurst

    It was a happy day when The Communist Party was reprinted, that’s for sure.

  • Ruth

    The book sounds great – glad it’s being published in the UK as well since there must be lots of UK customers of Threadless.

    I love the “Rock out with your cock out” T – epitomises to me what really letting go is about! But my new favourite is “WAKE” by Phil Jones (girly) looks great, and pretty unusual (like most of Threadless’s offerings!)

  • Pingback: Threadless tees $10… again, for Halloween this time!()

  • IamHagel

    Funny how last night you mentioned you didn’t realize how popular Funkalicious was. It is by far my favorite design. I have the regular t-shirt, which I bought when the reprinted it the first time. I have the iphone cover, and I also have the Gilt tee they released in a limited edition on high quality shirts. I’m a huge fan of Threadless and have skimmed the book during their threadless tour. If you select me to win I’ll give you an address in the UK.

  • Pingback: Camiseteria finally get the attention they deserve, on Google Street View()

  • Emily

    Choosing a favourite Threadless tee is a nigh on impossible task! I have to say though that I’m currently loving It’s Not Piracy If There’s Not a Parrot Involved :D

Previous post:

Next post:

Get smart with the Thesis WordPress Theme from DIYthemes.