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Welcome to Compete-tee-tion! This site tracks all the biggest news in the t-shirt design competition world, from reviews of new releases to information on new contest opportunities.

18 July 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Life in Technicolor and more new this week

Life in Technicolor by Grant Shepley (Gamma-Ray) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I love how much symbolism there is in the idea of the sky covered in a TV test pattern. There’s the sense that the lone hiker is testing himself against the elements, the idea that while civilization creates order the outdoors is naturally out of order, and even the text seems to ask the viewer to take a minute to drink in their surroundings. On top of that, the striped sky and colorful landscape are beautiful to look at and read as a modern interpretation of the colors of the sunset. Excellent work, and very memorable.

Light the Way by Petr Stepanov (Steppeua) transforms a lighthouse in a novel way, changing the light into a giant hand giving the middle finger. While this at first feels very opposite to the pristine beauty of a lighthouse, it’s very true to their purpose- the middle finger calls out a hazard and warns others not to get too close. The busyness of the lower section of the illustration sets the scene nicely with a fence and a smattering of houses (and it’s fun to think about the kind of people who might live there!), while the top section only contains the gesture and a pair of beams directing more attention to it. This is a smart way to make sure the design’s joke gets seen immediately.

Nature Greetings by Tatak Waskitho (skitchism) takes its inspiration from the style of postcard that proclaims greetings from a location spelled out in a wave of shadowed letters. But instead of being from a precise place like Kansas or San Jose, this destination is Nature. The images within the lettering clarify further, showing a lush landscape of mountains, trees, and even a lake, the sort of idealized place many picture when imagining the Great Outdoors. Rather than leaving it at that, there’s a small tent with the words Let’s Camp scrawled on it tucked away in the bottom right corner. This element both helps to balance out the rest of the design (providing counterweight to the Greetings text) and brings the viewer into the piece- instead of just looking at nature, it’s now about really immersing oneself there.

AverageMan by Mathiole (mathiole) parodies One Punch man by making him even more ordinary. Instead of being a hero with an amazing skill, AverageMan is just a guy in his underwear wearing socks with sandals. He won’t save the day, though if you’re lucky he might save you a cup of coffee. The realism of the illustration, which takes pains to highlight his scruffy beard and leg hair, helps to make the character look especially lazy and unhappy, while details like the small 2.5 stars graphic at the top and the I Heart blank mug reinforce his lack of distinguishing features or interests. One Punch Man fans ought to dig this.

I Believe… by Peter Kramar (badbasilisk) has the feel of a buddy comedy, where two unlikely pals get into all kinds of hijinks. The bigfoot character has the feel of an overgrown hippy with his wild hair, roller skates, and neon rainbow accessories. Meanwhile, the alien who rides on his shoulders is small, hairless, and plainly dressed, very much the opposite of his bigger companion. Even their expressions couldn’t be more different, with the alien wildly enthusiastic while bigfoot remains pleasantly tranquil. It’s a a fun concept, and I love how clearly their personalities are channeled through their poses.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

17 July 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Editor’s Choice: NSF… Anyone! collection

Shirts with vulgar or potentially offensive messages were the name of the game in Shirt.Woot’s Editor’s Choice: NSF… Anyone! plus sale. From visual gags and puns to political messages, there’s something to offend just about anyone. Wear at your own risk! Here’s what caught my eye…

Best of the Bunch: Closeout Sale by Jennzilla reframes a classic Seinfeld joke in the style of the show’s logo.

Nicest Surprise: Duck This by krane0223 is a great drawing of a duck, rendered with such attitude that I could believe he’s barking out the shirt’s punchline.

Shirt I Am Most Biased About: My design Global Warming Is Hot knows that climate change is so hot right now.

This promotion will only last until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. So if there’s something you like, grab it fast!

16 July 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Countries derby voting highlights

Shirt.Woot went international with their Countries derby, asking artists to make shirt designs about countries (real or imagined) and the things they’re best known for. While some very familiar countries like Canada and Japan got quite a lot of attention, it’s also nice to see some more outside-the-box inspiration in the mix. Here’s a look at two current voting underdogs that I think could use some more attention…

Airstrike! by ste7enl connects Russia’s trademark architecture with their most famous gaming export, Tetris, for a smart gag that looks great while getting a laugh.

Middle New Zealand by jrberger connects Lord of the Rings to the land it was filmed in, something any fan of the movies can appreciate.

This derby continues through Thursday at noon. The top three designs (determined by votes and editor input) will each earn $1000 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, other designs will be selected and sold for $2 per item each. Both top vote-getters and selected designs will be sold in a future Plus sale.

15 July 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Industrial design contest

Think like a machine for Threadless‘s new Industrial design competition! Here’s what they’re looking for…

From warehouse districts billowing exhaust to steel skyscrapers, suspension bridges, and concrete galore, society grinds along with the advances afforded us by industry. The Industrial Revolution of the mid-seventeenth century forever changed urban life in the United States. Transitioning from hand production to machinery, cities embraced new manufacturing processes, harnessing steam and water power. The rise of the mechanized factory system fueled large-scale production and booming city centers blossomed across the nation.

Captains of commerce, we welcome your depictions of the city’s grittiest inner workings in this industrial design challenge. Show us how steaming vats of productivity, assembly lines, factory workers, and commerce of all kinds have shaped the efficient ways of our modern world. We want designs with moxie—spin those wheels and give us all you got.

This contest opens to entries on July 19th and ends on August 2nd, 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn $1 to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

13 July 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #717: Gaming and Movie Mashups

Two popular pastimes collide in Shirt.Woot‘s latest derby theme…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #717: Gaming and Movie Mashups

Ahh the ultimate pop-culture derby…we are looking for mash-ups of movies and games. The games can be video games, board games, card games, back-yard games…if you can play it it’s valid! And movies are movies yo…so you know how they work. Mash em up together, spit out a great design that folks will want to buy on a shirt.

No cream tees yada yada…oh and we have a GUEST EDITOR for this one!!! It’s @krittikae, so bring your A-game and don’t let her down.

This derby begins Thursday at noon and continues through next Thursday at noon. The top three designs (determined by votes and editor input) will each earn $1000 and $2 per item sold after the first day of sales. Those winners will be sold on Friday (1st), Saturday (2nd), and Sunday (3rd). Additionally, other designs may be selected for a Plus sale on the following Monday, with each selected design earning $2 per item sold.

12 July 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Pampling’s Allergic to Your Bullshit

Allergic to Your Bullshit by EduEly is a very relatable slogan, and encapsulates the annoyance of allergies well. Just a constant stream of runny noses, congestion, and general aches, all because of a largely invisible source. It’s bullshit. And it mirrors some of the same qualities as dealing with an irritating person- it’s repetitive, gives you a headache, and it feels like it will never end. You can see the cat’s misery in this design and feel terrible for the poor critter, while also appreciating that for a lot of others, the cat is the cause of the allergies. It’s the human condition- one man’s quirk is another man’s pet peeve, and we’re all bound to annoy each other with our bullshit eventually. So the slogan and choice of a cat as the protagonist is perfect, although I can’t help but notice that a highlight line at the edge of the dark sections of the cat’s ears would make them read more clearly, making the piece even better.

Pampling has two options for winners of their contest. XPress winners earn 1 euro per shirt sold, with a minimum of 100 euros guaranteed. If the design sells well, designers may have the option of earning 500 euros to give Pampling the exclusive printing rights for one year. The second option is Classic winners, who earn 680 euros cash and 120 euros in t-shirts (or 720 euros cash) for the first 400 units and exclusive rights for 3 years. If the design is reprinted, the artist earns 850 euros cash and 150 euros in Pampling products (or 900 euros cash).

11 July 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Spirit Animal Cat and more new this week

Spirit Animal Cat by dandingeroz (dandingeroz) is my favorite Threadless print this week, which takes its inspiration from traditional Japanese prints like the famous Great Wave Off Kanagawa. But in addition to the landscape, there’s also another image being formed- the curves of the waves, tree with blossoms, and orange sky create the silhouette of a contemplative-looking house cat. It’s an image that immediately captures the imagination, feeling both like the cat embodies the spirit of the place and that these scenes might depict what’s on the cat’s mind. The depth of the layers (especially because of the addition of the temple in the back) and sheer amount of detail help to create a piece that stands out as a lot more thoughtful and artistic than the average cat shirt. Good stuff.

Family Time by Walter Wilkes (WallyWilkes) won Threadless’s Time design contest, and it’s a very worth winner. I like the way it takes a familiar phrase literally, and then follows that thought to its logical conclusion- a family of clocks, with the digital mother and analog father holding hands with a child whose face contains elements of the faces of both its parents. It’s sweet, and in its posing manages to imply that this trio is spending valuable time together. A simple heart (not really needed, but not a bad addition either) makes sure the message reads loud and clear.

Hungry Shark by Perry Beane (BeanePod) is a fun bit of 80s summer awesomeness… with a modern twist. The 80s style references are clear enough, with their familiar visuals channeled in the zebra print, geometric shapes, neon palette and confetti look. But below the Hungry Shark text, there’s a callback to the recent Baby Shark song, making the cruelest thing about this shirt not the obvious severed limb but instead the fact that whoever sees it is now doomed to have the song lodged in their head. Still, it looks quite cool, so it’s probably worth the chance of earworm.

Pacer by Juan Pablo Betancourt Falco (panobetancourt) is a design that I didn’t expect to like, as I don’t have any interest in cars and generally prefer cleverness to pure art. But there’s something sneakily charming about this design and the way it grabs the eye. The strong angle and perspective used pull you into the vehicle’s interior, where the illustration style becomes sketchier as though obscured by reflections on glass. And the human hand’s rendering of the car’s lines make it feel worn, like a machine that’s been used hard through the years and acquired a few well-earned dents. Pretty neat!

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.