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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.

16 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Sun, Waves, and Bites and more new this week

SUN, WAVES, and BITES by Elizabeth (Agimat ni Ingkong) won Threadless’s Summer challenge, and it’s also my favorite design this week. Using a fresh palette of teal, orange, and yellow, the bright colors and use of white space keep the art feeling light and fresh, like a breeze could blow right through it. I like the way the top three waves face right, while the bottom three face left- it’s a choice that helps the ocean to feel chaotic in motion without being visually busy, and also helps to steer the eye towards the large teal sun in the top corner. The shark fins are kept simple, which almost makes them look like sails. The notch in the fin is what marks it as shark rather than ship, but I wonder if that might be a bit obscure- until seeing this design and googling it, I had no idea shark fins could even get marks like that, and I suspect some other viewers will be similarly sheltered. Despite that potential flaw, it definitely nails the beach-y feel in a new and interesting way.

Bowserzilla by Ilustrata (Ilustrata) illustrates a classic video game villain in the style of a Japanese monster movie. So instead of seeing Godzilla’s form under the anatomical microscope, Bowser’s unique physicality is explored. His shell is highlighted, as is his fire-y interior, and he peers over his shoulder as if to say “You won’t find any weaknesses, no matter how many charts you check.” It feels aggressive, but also scientific, like this is important lore that a team of researchers has put together to inform young heroes. A great look, and one that would be fun to wear for most Mario-loving gamers.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

15 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Derby Editor’s Choice: Numbers collection

Math geeks should definitely get a kick out of Shirt.Woot’s Derby Editor’s Choice: Numbers plus sale, which features a generous dollop of pop culture, punning and other humor in addition to the math references. Here’s what caught my eye…

Best of the Bunch: It’s Nope o’clock by Bignellart nails the neon style, and its unamused owl is easy to relate to.

Nicest Surprise: Odd Numbered by Radicallizard was a favorite of mine in voting because of both the fun character and genuinely novel slogan.

Shirt I am Most Biased About: My design 99 features a lone beer bottle counting down the loss of its contemporaries.

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

14 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Life in the Style of Anime derby voting highlights

Shirt.Woot‘s Life in the Style of Anime derby encouraged artists to see the world around them through a new filter. Interestingly, most of the frontrunners took a pop culture approach, drawing characters from major film and TV franchises in anime style. But there are also plenty of designs that eschew media references in favor of humor or more everyday influences, for those looking for something a little different. Here’s a look at two current voting underdogs that I think could use some more attention…

Notice Me Senpai by Vorspiell imagines that sharks might just bite swimmers because they want their crush to notice them, which is a sweet take on a shark attack.

Super Happy Fun Shirt by krittikae channels the insane enthusiasm of advertising into a promotion of the shirt itself.

This derby continues through Thursday at noon. The top three vote-getters 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.

13 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Pampling’s Types of Cats

Types of Cats by Licunatt takes the familiar Schrodinger’s Cat scenario and translates it into a Venn diagram format. What makes it funny is that it doesn’t just take the known Schrodinger’s Cat stages and use them as-is, it further complicates the situation by adding the possibility of a zombie cat solution. Putting that zombie cat option in a highly visible place is a smart move, and helps increase the viewer’s interest in the rest of the design. The slapdash, sketchy style of the circles and hastily written text add to the humor by making it feel off the cuff, like a casual joke that was fired off without much effort. That style choice also helps keep the viewer from questioning the logic too deeply (which is good, since the box circle should probably encompass the zombie cat as well, killing the joke). But for people who want a new, silly spin on Schrodinger’s Cat, this shirt does its job admirably.

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).

12 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Modern Still Life design contest

Get inspired by the style of classic paintings in Threadless‘s new Modern Still Life design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

In a world that never sits still anymore, we could all use some still life vibes… with a twist! For this challenge, mash up this classic art form with the modern objects that have taken over our world. Still life is all about capturing the quiet stillness of everyday objects put together just right. Take this age-old concept and recreate it using the items we see and use on the daily: touchscreen phones, tablets, laptops, comics, etc. Recreate a famous still life image, or create your own from scratch.

This contest opens to entries on August 17th, 2018 and ends on August 31st, 2018. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

11 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #669: Wordless Humor

Give your keyboard some peace and stick to the visuals in Shirt.Woot‘s latest derby theme…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #669: Wordless Humor

We could all use a good laugh. So Derby #669 should be chock-full of visual gags, jokes, puns and other laugh-inducing antics. But we want you to work for it. So no text. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Also, no cream tees and no politics.

This derby begins Thursday at noon and continues through next Thursday at noon. The top three vote-getters 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.

10 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Groovy Rubber Monsters and more new this week

Groovy Rubber Monsters by John Tibbott (quick-brown-fox) is my favorite Threadless design this week. It immediately made me smile, an unexpected burst of nostalgia that centered around a very common toy (those old monster finger puppets) that I hadn’t thought about in years. The illustration captures the whimsy of the toy, the way it feels in memory with its loose, wavy arms, wide fanged grin, and charmingly bulging eyes, while cleverly avoiding the less appealing reality of the toy (nicked paint that often made the characters more ghoulish than silly, and rough, webbed edges where the mold wasn’t precise). The rainbow type treatment and rounded cartoon letters amp up the retro feel, leaving the viewer with the impression of a weird, wild kids program in the style of Sid and Marty Krofft. So fun!

Feel Better! by Katie Lukes (k_lukes) won Threadless’s Over It challenge, which asked artists to draw over photos. While the concept of a bandaged earth is nothing new, the sheer amount of bandages, especially when paired with the planet’s very innocent, optimistic face, manages to make it still feel funny. A single bead of sweat, almost lost in the blue of the ocean, is the only clue that the earth does understand it’s plight- and once you see that, it’s hard not to view those eyes as panicked instead of merely wide. I really like that character choice, because it makes you truly emphasize with the earth and how it’s doing it’s best… no matter how much we try to destroy it. That kind of perseverance is admirable.

SNOOZER by Ian Byers (ibyes) is a nice bit of sloganing, changing the common phrase from “you snooze you lose” to a message more appropriate to a sleepy sloth. And indeed, the sloth is so tuckered out that he literally naps on top of the word Snooze, using the lettering like a kind of makeshift hammock. His long limbs and bulk block just enough of the lettering to create interest, not enough to affect readability. Although both the tree branches and the sloth are largely filled in with textural dashed lines, by shifting the lengths and spacing of those lines both are still made to feel like different materials. I also like the way a butterfly makes an appearance in the upper left- it’s a nice moment that gives the scene an observer, and also helps to fill in the environment that the story takes place in.

Retro Radio by BullyandBunny makes a great first impression with its bold shapes and cool spin on a famous lyric. The big, bulky old-fashioned boombox is like a time machine taking you back to hip hop’s early days. The hand-drawn style reflects the roughness of the era, with the hand-lettering feeling like an aspiring rapper’s scrawled notes, carefully considered but with individuality pumping through each line instead of clean vectors. The very thin flecks of black in the white of the piece make me think it may have been created with a scratchboard technique, and if so it was an excellent choice. It helps the design to read as more gritty than designed or cartooned, which works well with the theme.

Make Fun, Not War by Rodrigo Leonardo Batista Ferreira (rodrigobhz) makes little green plastic army men even more playful by equipping the toys with water weapons instead of the real deal. So instead of grenades, the figures lob water balloons, and instead of shooting guns, they’re pumping out rounds on colorful supersoakers. It’s a design that feels instantly exciting and energetic, like a water battle you’d love to be a part of. The contrast between the dour green of the toys and their new neon accessories (along with some extremely blue water) makes the joke pop out right away. My favorite touch is the way that some toys have pretty unfun jobs, like the poor guy mopping up a puddle and the flag signaler- it’s a nice callback to the weird, boring choices for some of the figures in the original toys, like the radio operator.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).