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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.

27 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s Solitude

camiseteria solitude

Solitude by Tobé Fonseca starts off with kind of a goofy concept- a bird sees another bird’s shape in a cluster of three leaves. But largely due to some smart composition work, it ends up being surprisingly effective. Branches weave an ornate, symmetrical pattern that frames the art, almost a natural birdcage. There’s also something interesting happening with the bird- his tail feathers are highly detailed and precise, while the feathers around his head are messy. This has the effect of making him look befuddled, even though much of his face (including the eyes) isn’t visible. And to cap things off, the background is completely epic, complete with stars and clouds. That background infuses the design with a sense of wonder, like maybe, just maybe, those leaves really COULD be becoming a real bird.

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

26 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Find What You Love and more new this week

threadless find what you love

Find What You Love by MidnightCoffee (MidnightCoffee) is my favorite design this week, largely because of those lovely painted shades and textures. It manages to feel both handcrafted and realistically dimensional, which is pretty impressive. But even more than the art style, the message of the piece is really engaging. I like the kind of cheerfully destructive vibe of it, that your limited time is very much worth wasting if you enjoy every second of it. After all, everyone dies of something- there’s some wisdom in carefully selecting your destructive impulses and selecting something (as implied by the inclusion of the pen) that contributes something to the world while you’re enjoying yourself.

threadless black holethreadless i'm listening

Black Hole by etdraws (etdraws) uses a simple combination of a colored gradient and geometric shapes to create something beautiful and otherworldly. I like the concept both because it looks cool, and because there’s something about seeing geometric shapes (which could be considered basic building blocks) in a cosmic setting that feels so right, like it’s representing the elements that exploded from the big bang and we’re seeing the beginning of the universe.

I’m Listening by Je-Yeon Kim (itsjeyboy) won Threadless’s Pet Peeves challenge, and it’s definitely a great visual depiction of a very annoying habit. Dealing with distracted smartphone users is an experience pretty much everyone can relate to as well, so it’s a universal theme. But here’s where I often get a bit tripped up by shirt designs- who are the people buying and wearing this? It feels to me like people who perpetuate the habit wouldn’t wear it, largely because they wouldn’t want to call more attention to their own poor behavior. But would people who are annoyed by it wear it, either? I feel like the art implies that the person wearing it is the one saying “I’m listening,” so I can’t picture the annoyed wanting to be mistaken for the annoying. There’s a suggestion in the comments that this design would make a very appropriate smartphone case, and that’s an application that makes a lot more sense to me. After all, there it’s a reminder of what not to do, a last appeal to manners over alleviating boredom.

threadless almost take offthreadless inspired by

Almost Take Off by radiomode (radiomode) uses watercolor really expertly. I love how furry the bear looks, and the way his subtle “this may have been a mistake” expression comes across, easily read as either regretting that he’s starting to fly or that he’s annoyed he hasn’t managed to get higher. This style also works well for the balloons, since it expresses their dimension, lightness, and transparency. Good stuff!

Inspired By… by John MacDougall (macdoodle) is a fun take on the penguin-in-a-tux concept, escalating the idea by pairing the fancy animal with a piano (and its matching black and white keys). There’s a lot to like about this one, from the almost papercut look of those flat, solid shapes to the penguin’s self-satisfied expression (a perfect match for his preppy little bow tie). But what I like best is that, despite the simpleness of the shapes and style employed, the details aren’t skimped on. There’s a soft shadowing beneath the piano and bench, and the kicky splay of his legs communicates clearly that despite his seriousness, the penguin is really enjoying playing this tune.

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).

25 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #462: Vintage

shirt.woot logo

Shirt.Woot goes from the ancient kind of old to the newer version with their latest derby…

Starting Monday at noon: Derby #462: Vintage

Design a tee with a vintage flair. Lots of things can make some thing feel vintage: past events, antiquated products,  art style. colors used, distressed texture … No cream tees.

This derby begins Monday at noon and continues through 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.


History continues to get a shirt-y makeover in the current Antiquities derby, with Egyptian art getting an especially high number of related entries. Here are two pieces I’m rooting for this week:

shirt.woot pharoah commandershirt.woot try the liver

Pharaoh Commander by piidesign is the Cobra Commander mashup that I never knew I wanted to see! I like the way it manages to land almost exactly at the 50% pharaoh, 50% Cobra percentage line.

Try the Liver! by cdrewlow capitalizes on a particularly geeky mythology reference, and gives it a fun mod art style.

This derby continues through Monday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $200 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.

24 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s The Occult contest

threadless the occult

Threadless delves into dark magic with their latest themed design contest, The Occult. Here’s what they’re looking for:

Does your skin crawl when the lights go out? Have you heard whispers in the dark, been under a spell, discovered strange symbols beneath the floorboards, or watched your Ouija board spell your deepest, darkest secrets? First of all, that’s terrifying. Secondly, it’s time to translate that terror into bewitching art.

Drag out everything in your otherworldly arsenal that defies scientific logic. Channel ghosts, witches, magic, and ancient symbolism to tap into all things paranormal. Forget the laws of nature, and allow the inexplicable to give us the chills.

Enter before August 11th, 2015 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Additionally, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

23 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Zen and Emotional Tees collection

shirt.woot zen and emotional tees

Shirt.Woot’s derby plus sale this week is for Zen and Emotional Tees, so there’s an interesting mix of the even-keeled and deep feelings happening with the artwork. Here are the pieces that stood out the most for me:

Best of the Emotional Tees: True Love is a sophisticated piece for the coffee fanatics.

Best of the Zen Tees: Everything’s Zen has a traditional feel, but still looks like it would wear wonderfully.

Shirt I am Most Biased About: My cookies and milk themed design A Balanced Snack snuck into the Zen group.

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

22 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #461: Antiquities

shirt.woot logo

Shirt.Woot looks back to the past for their latest derby theme…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #461: Antiquities

Design a tee that pulls design elements or references historical events, art and cultural objects from between ~8000BC – ~1000AD.

This derby begins on Thursday at noon and continues through Monday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $200 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.


Meanwhile, Woot’s Greyscale derby continues to deliver some great designs with a limited color palette. Here are two underdogs that I’m rooting for:

shirt.woot fortune tellershirt.woot black cat crossing

Fortune Teller by maloandthewhale is an appealing mix of childhood nostalgia and hand drawn type.

Black Cat Crossing by oakenspirit really captures the grumpy malevolence of that cat, who appears to be some sort of Godzilla-sized supervillain.

This derby continues through 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.

21 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

WeLoveFine’s Circle K Stallyns

we love fine circle k stallyns

WeLoveFine‘s Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure winners have been announced, and my favorite of the bunch is Circle K Stallyns by J.Q. Hammer. What’s great about this piece is that it gives Bill and Ted a strong comic book style, imagining something amazing erupting from their hands when they hit a signature air guitar riff (air guitar as a superpower works perfectly with the movie). There’s a really fun 50s/60s vibe to the coloring choices, making this feel like a long-lost Archie spin-off cover that’s been aging all this time in someone’s basement. That said, there’s definitely also some room for improvement. The sharp edges of the rectangle make the art feel kind of puny and undersized on the tee. I think a smarter choice might have been to distress the edges a bit because that would be in keeping with the antique comic look and would also help the design to feel more natural on the shirt.

Check out the other Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure winners at WeLoveFine.