Hi! Welcome...

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.

29 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Campfire Stories and more new this week

threadless campfire stories

Campfire Stories by Timothy Premack (MackStudios) won Threadless’s Camping challenge, and it’s an excellent choice. I love the way the warmth of that bright orange fire draws the eye in, much as fires make people want to gather around them as darkness settles in. And the heart in the center of it all reflects that feeling of warmth, too, making you think about the feelings you have when a good campfire story is being told (instead of just thinking about the words or the subject matter of them). The typography is well-chosen for its task, with a ranch-style all-caps look that has reminders of rustic branding irons paired with a loose, painterly script that oozes like spires of smoke. It all combines for something that feels hand-crafted and reminds viewers of a near-universal (yet still very personal) experience.

threadless neko takarabunethreadless css animals sloth

Neko Takarabune by William Chua (xiaobaosg) sends cats to sea in their own tremendous (and well-crafted) ship. I’m fairly certain this is actually a parody of the anime series One Piece, based on the straw-hatted skull and crossbones that graces the boat’s sail. Since I’ve only seen a single episode of that show I can’t speak to how well this design works for fans, but the good news is that even without knowing who the characters are meant to resemble, this piece is a ton of fun. The costumes and expressions make it feel like there’s a really diverse group of kittens having a great time, and it’s neat to search through them trying to find a favorite. I also like the style of the water, which feels like a callback to the famous print The Great Wave.

Css Animals: Sloth by Florent Bodart (speakerine) is kind of an interesting piece, because at first glance it’s just a nice colored pencil drawing of a sloth. Below the illustration, more context is added with some italic text that calls out a description of the animal, written in the style of some CSS code. So there’s a bit of a style mismatch between the components, although ultimately it works because we’re so used to seeing text captions below drawings. For me, it’s much more the sun-soaked colors and soft lines of the sloth that make this a design worth wearing, though those who work with CSS regularly might find the humor more of an incentive.

threadless enjoy the coffeenthreadless a cliff's end

Enjoy the Coffee(n) by Tantan Warsita (maxdx) is a slick bit of visual humor with two punchlines. First is the idea of coffee so strong it could wake the dead, something any caffeine fiend can easily appreciate. And layered on that is this awesome visual gag of the skeleton lacking organs, which allows the coffee he sips to splash right out from his rib cage. My favorite bit is the way the skeleton is made to look a bit proper, because he’s not just drinking the coffee out of a mug, he’s also daintily holding a saucer underneath to make sure he doesn’t miss a single drop. Scattered mugs and large coffee beans litter the floor of the coffin, a choice I could take or leave although it does do its job of making sure no one mistakes the drink for anything but coffee.

A Cliff’s End by andremullerDKO (andrefmuller) won Threadless’s Uncharted 4 challenge, and it’s a lovely pick. For starters, I really appreciate the way the cartoon style of the shirt plays with themes from the game series, but doesn’t bind itself to the game’s own visual style. Taking things in a more comic direction lets the artist enhance the feeling of action and danger present in the scene, with literal skulls and bones trailing their jeep and Drake almost falling out of the car as he desperately grasps the steering wheel. Plus, the yellow to red gradient in the background (and the slight hint of palm trees) set just the right tropical tone for a treasure hunting adventure.

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).

28 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #550: Starting Line

shirt.woot logo

Shirt.Woot’s latest derby theme presents a unique challenge…

Starting Monday at noon: Derby #550: Starting Line

Design a tee from one of these templates that contains a single line. Get 3 Starting Lines here.

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.


Meanwhile, the current Tank Tops derby welcomes in the summer heat with an appropriate garment for the season. Here are two current underdog entries that I think could use some more attention:

shirt.woot summer snapsshirt.woot the sailor's snowman

Summer Snaps by Randyotter turns a vintage camera into a joyous character, eager to show off his photography skills.

The Sailor’s Snowman by MissyCorey is a bit of an unexpected mashup, but using old school tattoo style to tackle Frozen’s Olaf definitely gives this piece a fun, tropical feel.

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.

27 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Camp IWannaTee and Apron collections

shirt.woot camp iwannatee

Shirt.Woot took full advantage of looming Summer activities with their outdoorsy Camp IWannaTee plus sale. Here are the designs most worth gathering around a campfire for…

Best of the Bunch: Where is my Coffee! is a masterpiece of cartooning, really capturing the bear’s growly anger.

Nicest Surprise: Dog owners ought to appreciate the sweetness and enthusiasm of the pup in Ruffin’ It.

Shirt I Am Most Biased About: My design Bug Juice is a tribute to summer’s most iconic beverage.

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

shirt.woot aprons

Cooking, baking and grilling formed the focus for Shirt.Woot’s New Aprons and a Tee plus sale. Here’s a look at the aprons that I think rose to the occasion…

Best of the Bunch: Let Me Whisk You Away! is the perfect mix of puns and cuteness, with a little bit of retro flair.

Nicest Surprise: Penne for Your Thoughts keeps things simple, but it’s the perfect choice for a joke like this because it really lets the humor shine.

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

26 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Word design challenge

threadless word

Threadless might be targeting some bold typography with their new Word design contest. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Damn, chocolate, awesome, splendid, greetings, onomatopoeia, hellacious, terrific, marmot.

There are lots of great words out there. But you’re gonna have to choose just one. For this challenge, pick a word that deserves to be shouted from the rooftops. Then, design the hell out of it.

This one’s all about typography, hand-lettering and making your word be the focus of the design. So craft each letter with care.

Enter before June 14th, 2016 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).

25 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #549: Tank Tops

shirt.woot logo

Shirt.Woot wants to keep you cool in the summer heat with their latest derby theme…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #549: Tank Tops

Design a tank top, It’s Summer and we all need something to wear in the back yard, or at least our neighbors keep telling us that. A set of tank top templates(.ai, .psd, .pdf…) is available here.

This derby begins 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, wordsmiths tackled Shirt.Woot’s Slogans derby in all kinds of fun ways, with themes ranging from parody to food to animals and beyond. Here are a couple of current underdog entries that I’m rooting for…

shirt.woot world class button mashershirt.woot i ouch do ugh my ack own oof stunts

World Class Button Masher by lunchboxbrain is smart and simple, love the use of the red ink.

I OUCH do UGH my ACK own OOF stunts by ApeLad  is one of those designs that just gets better the more you look at it, with each letter cartooned to include its own unique injuries and sad, befuddled expression.

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.

24 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s Waris Peace

camiseteria waris peace

Waris Peace by lonrules is a slick one color piece, with its golden ink looking a bit like metal against the dark of that black fabric. It’s a color choice that imbues the art with feelings of tradition, gravity and richness. This sets the scene perfectly for the design’s macabre mood, which uses a bird (often used to symbolize peace and freedom) as its victorious warrior, perched on the skull of an avian foe. In addition to forming a strong graphic backdrop, the two arrows feel like an especially appropriate weapon to showcase since like birds, they fly. On that note, there’s a tiny human skull as well, pierced by another blast from the air in the form of lightning. To me, this inclusion makes it seem as though all the humans may have perished, with only birds left to continue their pointless, deathly squabble. It’s an ominous sentiment, and one echoed by the roughly scratched lettering that repeats the shirt’s title.

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

23 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Alice Through the Looking Glass design contest

threadless alice through the looking glass

Threadless is celebrating the upcoming Tim Burton movie with their Alice Though the Looking Glass design contest. Here’s what they’re looking for:

The sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass delivers the same visual opulence and eerie fantasy. When Alice returns to Underland and finds the Mad Hatter in peril, she journeys back in time to confront her friend’s past.

Let the surreally saturated colors, couture costumes, and nonsensical characters of Alice Through the Looking Glass inspire your next design. Whether you view the Cheshire Cat, the Red Queen, and the other inhabitants of Underland as lovable eccentrics or truly the stuff nightmares are made of, you gotta admit they’ll look fantastic on tees and totes!

Enter before June 9th, 2016 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $2000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Additionally, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).