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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.

26 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Beauty and the Beast and more new this week

threadless beauty and the beast

Beauty and the Beast by Patru Alin Mihai (Artemple) stood out to me as the best of the week because I love the style contrast- a very cartooned girl vs. a hyper-real blue tiger vs. the almost filigree look of the blood splatter. It feels like a collision of worlds, but an interesting one. The tiger’s crazed expression makes it clear that this isn’t exactly a “beauty tamed the wild beast” storyline, but she’s also not afraid of his wild ways and seems pretty content to be along for the ride, whatever carnage they encounter next. But while I think the design has a lot of merit, one choice prevents me from ever wanting to own or wear it- that weird butt shot. Why is it even there?

threadless linksythreadless sushi hug

Linksy by Alberto Arni (albertoarni) is another Threadless print that previously saw some success on other sites, a strategy I still don’t quite understand. But it’s definitely strong work that does a good job of capturing Banksy’s style. It’s interesting to see something pixellated given those graffiti’d spray paint dots, somewhat reminiscent of a graphic that’s been resized and resaved a few too many times, gaining small distortions each time. The heart/balloon connection is fun as well, immediately reminding the viewer of Link’s fluctuating number of hearts.

Sushi Hug by andrefmuller and tihmoller (andrefmuller) is a heckuva cute idea, interpreting the closeness of a stack of sushi as a warm embrace. The thing that really grabs me about this one is the surprising realism- the salmon has streaks and highlights like the real thing and even seems wet, while the rice starts to suggest individual grains in the mass with a series of grey circles. That level of skill propels the art beyond most other cute sushi designs.

threadless deadpoolthreadless psychedelic sorceress

Deadpool by ppmid (ppmid) shows that skeletons know how to have a good time, giving the bony dudes some time to relax in a giant skull-shaped pool. It’s one of those designs that makes no sense, but is fun enough that it doesn’t really need to. Like, there is a moment where you wonder why the black water isn’t running out of his eye sockets and mouth, or how this skull is so much bigger than the others in the first place, but it’s just an instant- all it takes is a glimpse of the skeletal antics in the pool and you sort of don’t care any more. You’re too busy picking a favorite- mine’s the little guy with goggles. I also like the choice to add that one gold tooth- it helps create an area of interest outside the pool.

Psychedelic Sorceress by Camille Chew (lordofmasks) is the big Psychedelic winner, and definitely delivers. It’s interesting to me because when I think of psychedelic art, my bias is to assume I’ll be seeing a lot of loose, drippy shapes. But even though the style here is very crisp and precise, it still communicates that psychedelic feel. I think it works by choosing subject matter that suits the theme (mushrooms, stars, third eye, etc) and then incorporating the psychedelia into the details (like the big cat’s wavy spots and the gold ground cover) and color choices. The result feels really fresh (rather than the more dated look a lot of psychedelia becomes trapped by) and unique.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn 20% royalties based on net profit (paid monthly) and a $250 Threadless Gift Certificate.

25 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Inspiration and Journals collection

shirt.woot inspiration and journals

Last week’s Shirt.Woot derbies tackled the related subjects of Journal cover design and Inspiration! It’s an interesting group since at least a couple of the Inspiration shirt designs would make perfect sense as journal prints (I’m thinking of Get to Work and Start Sketching specifically), though they weren’t printed that way. Maybe it would make sense for Woot to sometimes overlook which derby the entry was from and print it both ways regardless? At any rate, here’s the best of both worlds:

Inspiration Shirt I am Most Biased About: My Late Night Thoughts design is for all the insomniacs out there.

Best of the Journals: I love the simplicity and style of Take a Listen to the B-Side.

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

24 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s A Thief in the Night

camiseteria a thief in the night

A Thief in the Night by Lilian is another interesting pocket shirt concept at Camiseteria. It takes a square shape gamers are all familiar with, those question mark blocks from Mario that give coins or power-ups when punched, and reinterprets them as a place to keep your stuff. That makes this pocket particularly enticing to use- pop some coins in there and you’re pretty sure to get a laugh, and it’s fun to think of the pen or pencil you store in there as the creative equivalent of Mario’s fireballs. And of course, I love the way Camiseteria has printed the interior of the pocket. Seeing all those video game treasures there is a nice easter egg for the wearer.

Camiseteria winners earn R$800 cash and R$500 in Camiseteria products.

23 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Big Ass Prints contest

threadless big ass prints

Threadless wants artists to think big in their new Big Ass Prints contest! Interestingly, they’re not looking for sublimation prints- this time the print area is defined at 19.5 x 25.5. Here’s how Threadless describes the theme:

So much of the tee goes unused these days, and that makes us sad. Just think of all that inkless fabric. For our newest challenge, we’re hoping to change that! Your goal this time around is to design a tee that uses as much of the front of the shirt as possible.

Draw inspiration from designs like “Attack!” by Carbine,, Dear Parabumba by Aitch, “All Alone” by Niel Quisaba, and “Elephant” by Florent Bodart.

We don’t care what type of theme you run with, we just want your submission to be HUGE! Just think of the front of the shirt as uncharted territory, and your design as the mapper exploring every square inch.

Start dreaming up those big ideas, and remember to smother that fabric with art!

Enter before December 13th, 2014 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $2000 cash, a $500 Threadless gift code, and a $300 Dick Blick gift code.

22 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Time & Space and more new this week

threadless time and space

Time & Space by Eric Zelinski (EZFL) won Threadless’s Minimalism contest, and is my pick for the best shirt of the week. Ampersands are pretty much the best shape in all of typography with the way their single line loops, crosses, and leads the eye, and this piece makes smart use of one by transforming the two holes into an hourglass of sorts. This creates an interesting contrast with the field of stars filling the form, a comparison between the infinite nature of space and the tight constraints of a dwindling timer. Quality work, and the kind of thing that keeps you thinking.

threadless you are lovedthreadless party heart

You Are Loved by Perry Beane (BeanePod) is a quirky charmer, carrying the phrase, “My internet friends think I’m a-ok!” It kind of hones in on one of the greatest things about the internet, namely that no matter how odd one may be, there’s bound to be an equally eccentric group on the net eager to welcome you in.  So it’s fun to see this blue guy’s quiet confidence and wide-eyed optimism, it’s evidence of the secure self-esteem that I think most people aspire towards. I also dig the way his A-OK hand signal grasps a star- it makes the background feel real, like he’s actually surrounded by glittery stars and is totally at home among them.

Party Heart! by Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez (MadKobra) transforms a realistic heart into the classic devil horns hand signal. I think what makes this one work is how well it captures that medical illustration look, it almost feels as though this graphic could be in a textbook showing an early artist’s attempt at anatomical accuracy. It takes a closer look before you realize the liberties that have been taken with the valves and you catch heavy metal reference. That subtlety is a great asset, and a big part of what makes this shirt intriguing in an area (metal) where being way over the top is the norm.

threadless dolphoxthreadless where is my super suit

Dolphox by Ross Zietz (arzie13) is a really unexpected experiment in negative space, using a fox to reveal a hidden dolphin. As far as I can tell, the animals don’t really have anything in common- they’re both just popular animals with shapes that happen to play well together. It’s impressive that despite the lack of any commonality between the dolphin and fox, the design still largely works. I think the element of surprise and the clarity of the artwork are the reason the viewer doesn’t question it more. Sure, if you really think about it the fox’s pose is pretty unlikely (if it’s moving forward, why would it’s tail be going so far forward like that?), but simplicity of style makes you more apt to jut accept what you’re seeing at face value.

Where Is My Super Suit? by Kelly Larson (Kellabell9) appeals to me the most of Threadless’s new Incredibles prints because it takes a kid’s movie and hones in on what makes it appealing to adults. It’s easy to imagine a harried parent with a few too many child-related obligations uttering this phrase, and I like the idea that the shirt’s quote portrays the wearer as doing their best, even wanting to go above and beyond what is humanly possible. Plus, that’s some gorgeous text work! I love the acrobatic way the lines swirl around, playful but still very legible.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn 20% royalties based on net profit (paid monthly) and a $250 Threadless Gift Certificate.

21 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

WeLoveFine’s Goat Simulator contest

we love fine goat simulator

WeLoveFine has teamed up with the anarchic video game Goat Simulator for a new design contest, all about the game where you get to play as an ill-tempered goat.

Enter before December 30th, 2014 for your chance to win. One Grand Prize winner will earn $800 cash. Three Guest Judges’ Picks will each receive $300 cash. One Runner-Up will win $200 cash.

20 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #385: Pullover Hoodies and #386: Exercise and Healthy Living

shirt.woot derby 385

This week’s two derby themes have been announced, here’s what you need to know:

Starting Friday: Derby #385: Pullover Hoodies

Hey, if you add a comma, it’s “Pullover, Hoodies!” That’s fun.

Black, Navy, Red, Royal Blue, and Brown? allowed.

- The max print size for an XX Hoodie is 15.5″ x 13″

This derby begins on Friday at Noon and ends on Monday at Noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $200 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, 5 other designs will be selected and sold for $2 per item each. Both top vote-getters and selected designs will be sold in a Plus sale on the following Monday.


Starting Monday: Derby #386: Exercise and Healthy Living

Sure, exercise will be the last thing you want to do while you’re drenched in gravy. But maybe the creative process burns off a few calories. We’d like to think so.

- No crème tees!

This derby beings on Monday at Noon and ends on Thursday at Noon. The top two vote-getters will each earn $1000 and $2 per item sold after the first day of sales. Those winners will be sold on Saturday (1st) and Sunday (2nd). The 3rd place winner will earn $250 and will be printed during the Plus sale. Additionally, other designs may be selected for a Plus sale on the following Monday, with each selected design earning $2 per item sold.