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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.

15 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Wanderlust and more new this week

Wanderlust by Mike Marshall (Mike Marshall) is my favorite Threadless print this week. The soft, tactile look of the artwork caught my attention first, but what really ignited my curiosity is the unique take on the theme the artist takes. While most travel-themed designs glorify bright sunny days, exotic landscapes, and exciting landmarks, this piece feels much more measured in its enthusiasm. This bird doesn’t look very free, lumbered with a backpack so large it must nearly outweigh him. He’s not flying across rolling hills and scenic mountaintops, he’s trudging along a heavily thorned (and painful-looking) branch. Even the color palette feels a bit weary, like it’s baked in the sun a bit too long and lost some of its vibrancy. This is a design about undertaking a difficult journey, about following a path even when it’s not easy. And I think because it has that depth, to me it feels more real and more deep than the average travel shirt.

Wright’s Butterflies by skyte (lizej) imagines the geometric patterns of Frank Lloyd Wright scattered across butterfly wings. I love this combination because it focuses attention on the influence of nature in Wright’s work, which helps these butterflies to look a bit like more elegant, more refined versions of the real thing. Keeping it all in black and white is a neat choice as well, focusing very much on the structure of the shapes involved and their relation to each other for an appropriately architectural look.

Our Cabin by David Fleck (Fleck) is one of those designs that makes me want to reach out and touch it. With the tiny leaves that bunch and fade in the trees and the worn look of the house’s boards, everything has a texture to it. That attention to detail (and the fallen leaves on the ground) help the white of the shirt to read as a field of snow rather than an absence. And the coldness of that environment serves to make the little cabin, standing so straight and narrow among the tall trees, to feel even cozier. Even though we can’t see inside, glowing yellow windows and two pairs of shoes sitting outside the front door help to paint the picture of a happy home.

Book of Fire and Ice by dandingeroz (dandingeroz) pays tribute to Game of Thrones, using an open book as a stage. The two major factions of the series each claim a side, with a Targaryen dragon made of flames bursting from the left pages while a cold, snow-filled Stark direwolf howls from the right. And across these colorful backdrops, silhouettes of Daenerys and her dragons stand near Jon Snow with his wolf and a collection of crows. It’s definitely instantly recognizable and it’s probably smart to focus on two of the series’ most popular characters. But to me, it’s a slight misstep to do that while using the book so prominently- while fans of the show flock towards those two characters, it’s been my experience that book readers tend to be a lot more diverse in their favorites, with folks like Davos Seaworth, Mance Rayder, Wyman Manderly and other more minor players attracting lots of attention. The books are much more about a massive interconnected world, and the close focus on two of the relatively bland, but pivotal characters feels more in tune with the spirit of the TV show to me.

The Snuggle is Real by jack (cabinsupplyco) is an excellent bit of typography, starting with a strong slogan and using the style and placement of the lettering to convey its meaning. There’s a great conflict between the original phrase’s Struggle and this piece’s inversion of it with Snuggle, taking a harsh reality and replacing it with something dreamy and aspirational. Even better, the words fit together and nest inside each other to form a snug square, creating a scene that feels compact and cozy even before you read it. Really nice work, and perfect for wintery days.

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).

14 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Editor’s Choice: Road Trip collection

Shirt.Woot’s Editor’s Choice: Road Trip plus sale might drive many to pick up some new t-shirts. This collection has something to offer for more than just fans of the open road and travel, though- there’s also a smattering of pop culture references and even some text art for those looking for something beyond an ode to cars. Here’s what caught my eye…

Best of the Bunch: The History Machine by kg07 is a real feast for the eyes with its textured brown shades, the kind of illustration thick with little moments and details to take in.

Nicest Surprise: Road Trip Therapy by eduely has a playful flow to its type that first impressed me in voting.

Shirt I Am Most Biased About: My design Punch Bug! commemorates a favorite road trip pastime.

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

13 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Literary Greats derby voting highlights

Shirt.Woot buried its nose in a book for the Literary Greats derby, which had artists both paying tribute to genre classics and celebrating the medium of books in general. Readers will find lots to like, both artistic and slogan, but here’s a look at two current voting underdogs that I’d like to see get some more attention…

This Book is Lit by Wheels03 brings back font memories of personal pan pizzas as prizes for reading, and the lit/literature joke adds some humor to the nostalgia.

Better Late Than Never by jasneko puts a fun spin on Wonderland’s rabbit, and the art conveys a franticness that sells his nervous energy.

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.

12 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Pi in Shirt Design: 15 great examples

In terms of accessible, fun, and interesting math designs, pi shirts tend to be the cream of the crop. There’s so much potential to explore in both humor and the beauty of numbers that artists have found nearly as many ways to express the concept as there are digits in pi itself. Here’s a look at 15 of the best ways pi has been used in shirt design…

11 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Plant Life design contest

Get in touch with nature with Threadless‘s new Plant Life design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

You can never have too many plants. Whether your living room looks like a portal to the rainforest or you prefer plant art that requires zero watering, it’s time to show us your green thumb! We’re challenging you to create a plant design that will add a little greenery to any room. Think plant patterns of Monstera leaves on a tapestry, flourishing florals in a framed art print, designs of lavish leaves on leggings – whatever speaks to you!

This contest opens to entries on November 16th, 2018 and ends on November 30th, 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).

10 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #682: GraTEEtude

Thanksgiving inspired Shirt.Woot‘s latest derby theme…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #682: GraTEEtude

Gratitude may be evergreen, but we think November is a GREAT time to be GRATEFUL! Designs for next week’s GraTEEtude derby should demonstrate or celebrate gratitude in all it’s forms. You can even show us what you are grateful for. But here’s the deal. This is NOT a Thanksgiving derby. Been there, done that. This is about GRATITUDE, not a turkey-filled holiday. Thanksgiving designs will be rejected and sent to the back of the fridge with the leftovers. Also, no Grateful Dead and no cream shirts.

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.

09 November 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Pampling’s Not Today

Not Today by Skitchism is a great match between message and style, using a rough, doodled look that adds weight and authenticity to the art’s Not Now, Not Today text. The cat is perfectly lazy, flopped on its back with paws thrown flat like a splat. And on top, the shirt uses a large blanket covering the kitty to impart its slogan. It’s a billboard-like effect, making the words even more prominent than the cat whose actions they describe (this is partly due to the color choice of the lettering). But what I can’t help notice is that, although the design is appealing, I’d almost rather have a literal blanket like the cat’s with its message of sloth than wear a shirt showing the situation.

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).