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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.

18 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Kubo and the Two Strings design contest

threadless kubo and the two strings

Threadless is focusing the might of their artists on the upcoming animated movie Kubo and the Two Strings for their latest design contest. Here’s what they’re looking for:

Have you ever accidentally summoned a spirit from your past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta? You may not be the son of a legendary samurai and goddess, but we’re confident it’s your destiny to hone your magical design powers to create some epic designs of adventure. Use the shamisen-shredding Kubo, his allies, or the evil gods and monsters as your inspiration. Show us your best interpretation of the whimsical world of Kubo.

Enter before August 29th, 2016 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $1000 cash, a $500 Threadless gift code, and movie memorabilia (a set of character faces used in production, a signed LAIKA custom poster, and a pair of Nike Kubo sneakers). Additionally, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

17 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot: Derbathlon voting highlights

Shirt.Woot’s latest derby was sort of a unique endeavor because the Derbathlon theme had three categories (Concept, Technical, and Humor) that gave so much leeway to artists, it was almost like having no theme at all. You’d be hard pressed to come up with a t-shirt idea that couldn’t fit in at least one, if not more, of those groups! Despite that embarrassment of riches, though, total vote counts on entries seem to have remained pretty low. That made it easy to find under-rated but very wearable designs, like these two…

shirt.woot never give upshirt.woot every day is rest day

Never Give Up by colinvh has a really cool setup, with that vibrant comet bearing down on a nervous T-Rex. Surely positive thinking will save him!

Every Day is Nap Day by rasabi is a gym shirt for people who wouldn’t even dream of hitting the gym, i.e. most of us!

This derby continues through Thursday at noon. The top vote-getter in each category will earn $1000 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, other designs will be selected and sold for $2 per item each.

16 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Black and White design contest

threadless black and white

Threadless is mandating a sharp color palette for their new Black and White design contest. Here’s what they’re looking for…

It doesn’t get much simpler than this – use white ink on a black background or black ink on a white background. That’s it! No midtones/greys are allowed, so get creative with your crosshatching and halftoning. You can do a lot with just one color: use it as a chance to show off your intricate line work, typography, or keep it minimalistic with negative space.

Enter before August 29th, 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).

15 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s Eclectic Neighborhood

camiseteria eclectic neighborhood

Eclectic Neighborhood by Báda is a really fun twist on the strange crests birds sometimes have, imagining them as zany haircuts. The gag is well-framed, starting with the top left bird- he’s the only one in the flock whose dome is totally smooth, and the best part is the way he seems to be reacting to that reality with a perplexed look (and maybe even a hint of sadness). From there, the “hair” gets increasingly unlikely, with a greaser look, mohawk, wave and even dreadlocks gracing the other birds. And because this design is all about shape, the mostly grey and black color palette makes perfect sense. Small hints of red in the leafy background and buds move the eye around a bit, but never distract from the main attraction of the birds. It’s all very intelligently done, especially the way each bird has a very different character not only in their crest style, but also in the patterning and shape of their body elsewhere.

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

14 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: We Never Had It Anyway and more new this week

threadless we never had it anyway

We Never Had It Anyway by Adam Priester (Adam Priester) is my favorite design of the week. I love the way it makes such great use of a massive all-over sublimation look, really emphasizing the scale and majesty of its contents. There’s a nice bit of storytelling in this image, conveying the idea of a lone explorer who climbs to the top of a rocky outcropping only to see a very strange, perfect black triangle rising past the clouds, like a symbol for mountain somehow stuck among a range of the real thing. The use of black and white is really clever with that stripe of clouds separating the two and serving to highlight the solitary human figure. And of course, I also appreciate the beautiful layers and lines in the rock, contrasting so well with the perfect black of the triangle.

threadless wanderthreadless frozen fire

Wander by Ross Zietz (arzie13) is one heck of a weird parody. In the current climate of pop culture mashups everywhere, it feels kind of odd to see commercial branding used to glorify nature rather than poke fun at a TV show or comic book. It’s especially strange here since on the surface, nature and Wonder Bread are pretty much polar opposites. But that’s exactly the genius of this design, I think. Looking at this you can’t help but think about how ill-applied the word wonder is to a grocery shelf, when outside it amazing things like that mountain range exist. And the replacement of the word with wander invites you to imagine all the cool things that exist just past that mountain, too. The big yellow setting sun ties things back to Wonder Bread’s circles and also helps reframe the mountain’s color choices as indicative of a gorgeous sunset. Good stuff!

Frozen Fire by Miguel Espinoza (migfunk) has some fun with a narwhal’s horn, using it to toast marshmallows with a penguin buddy. But of course, this being the freezing cold ocean and all, it’s not quite the outdoorsy campfire scene it looks like at first glance. Instead of a fire, they’ve got a jagged little iceberg, and the sky isn’t just dotted with stars, it’s also sprinkled with snowflakes. There’s a nice shooting star effect (in the form of an arching line) that helps blur the line between star and flake, and that ambivalence helps it to feel like we’re seeing things the same blurred, imaginative way the animals are in their pretending. The consistent, dashed style is visually pleasing, and also calls to mind the flickering light of a campfire.

threadless frozen planetthreadless the shape side

Frozen Planet by Eric Zelinski (EZFL) makes kind of a perplexing first impression- I was initially reminded of a moldy peach because of the white coating on the outside. So reading the caption was a relief, and once I had that concept in mind it was easier to see the outer shell as freezer burn and ice crystals. The rest of the layers, especially that mint chocolate chip and melting core, feel more ice cream-y and make you want to bite right in, though. There’s something really magical about the idea of a planet-sized dessert.

The Shape Side by Skylar (the Sleeping Sky) is an unusual, geometric take on the iconic look of Darth Vader’s helmet. This bright, pop-y, and very 80s looking style is such a mismatch with Vader’s constant darkness (both in wardrobe and spirit) that the art becomes really funny, almost like a clown version of a villain. So I think Star Wars fans in the mood for something a bit wackier than the usual fare will appreciate this one. There are also some nice, subtle touches in the still very geometric white highlights and the chunky gradients that break up each shape.

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).

13 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #565: Back To Class

shirt.woot logo

Back to school season is officially in session with Shirt.Woot’s latest derby theme…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #565: Back To Class

Design a tee for one of your classes. Biology, P.E., English, Home Economics, Woodshop, Chemistry, History of Hats, Famous Jeffs 205. . .whatever else they’re teaching you kids these days. We graduated in 1923.

This derby begins Thursday at noon and continues through next 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 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Monsieur Poulet’s Poissons

monsieur poulet poissons

Poissons by Ken Brockman is a great piece from France’s Monsieur Poulet that uses its limited color palette well, with a variety of patterns and shapes that make this school of fish seem to contain a whole ocean’s diversity. It’s all very intelligently done, because colors overlap each other and break up into larger and smaller chunks that give the illusion of uniqueness. Smooth curves and size variation help keep the eye moving through the group, and there are beautiful elements to notice within each fish which reward the viewer. I like that the illustrative style has a bit of roughness to its edges, helping the art to feel handcrafted and loose rather than rigidly vectored. And of course, the large printing is the perfect choice, because it lets the fish seem to fill and swim around the fabric.

Winners at Monsieur Poulet earn 2 Euros per item sold, for a total of up to 2000 Euros.