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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.

23 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Always Follow Your Dreams and more new this week

threadless always follow your dreams

Always Follow Your Dreams by Michael Buxton (DinoMike) is an amazing piece, and definitely my favorite print this week. That said, it’s also a design that makes me nostalgic for the Threadless of old, the one that would be debuting pieces like this instead of printing ones that already had successful runs at other sites like TeeFury, TeePublic and Shirt.Woot (as this one did). Sites used to each have a unique flavor, a catalog that reflected their specialty, whereas now they all seem to collect the same bestsellers. None of that makes this any worse as a design- it’s absolutely a favorite of mine! I love the way it introduces nightmares as a way to follow dreams, and how it cute-ifies a famous horror villain. The playfulness of the twirly text sets just the right whimsical tone. It’s just slightly a bummer that when it finally arrived at Threadless, it had been on so many other sites that instead of thinking, “This is great! I’m buying it,” I was instead thinking, “This is great! I loved it at TeePublic.”

threadless archelonthreadless act natural

Archelon by Mellin Paulo Bernardo (temyongsky) has a great, flow-y look that is perfectly suited to its aquatic subject matter. I love the liquid ebb of the rolling hills that sit on the sea turtle’s shell, and the way they feel like a continuation of the curves in the turtle’s arms. There’s a real softness to the piece, achieved both through those smooth lines and some subtle gradients, that give the design a sense of gentleness, like this is a turtle who really cares about the world on his back. It’s a unique angle on a familiar concept, and all the details feel just right.

Act Natural by Nicholas Ginty (Gintron) is a fun, floral-inspired take on the phrase. I like the way it layers its painted nature art with the rigid, precise lines of typography because that clash between the organic and the technical feels current (which can sometimes be hard to do with something as timeless and traditional as flowers). It’s very attractive, but I have to confess that I found it a bit hard to read. For me, the way the white petal curves and overlaps with the C on top makes it read more like an S to me if I look quickly. Some of the nature in the image is similarly difficult to parse, like the curving white tube. It looks a bit furry, could it possibly be a paw? And what about the maroon shapes below it? I’m not sure if I’m looking at mushrooms, a snake wrapped around something, or what. That said, despite my quibbles, I think the whole of the design functions well together and should find plenty of fans.

threadless big ridethreadless c'est la vie

Big Ride by Aneesh kumar.T.K (anivini) combines two very different things in a neat way, giving a Godzilla-like monster an old-fashioned bike. Part of the fun is that the style of bike used is usually seen in a much more gentlemanly context, ridden by guys with fancy facial hair and formal hats. So seeing it here, combined with the most barbaric style of monster imaginable, is really fun! It paints this creature as one who does really unexpected things, whether he’s riding the bike out of pure love for the object or in an attempt to be different than his genetic destiny. I love the fierce way he looks at the viewer, teeth bared like he’s daring you to make a joke about his chosen mode of transport. Plus, it’s funny to think of those massive, clawed feet trying to operate pedals made for humans.

C’est la Vie by Ross Bruggink (rhinosserossy) is another bit of humor based in upending expectations. In english, you’re more likely to find the emoticon paired with wording like “lol idk,” so the French used here feels like a surprisingly classy, even worldly, moment. Playful use of pastel colors helps maintain the carefree, silly feel of the image and unites the text with it. It’s a cute reminder that no matter how language or technology changes, some sentiments will always remain the same.

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).

22 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Wanderlust collection

shirt.woot wanderlust

Shirt.Woot artists had travel on their mind with the Wanderlust plus sale. Here’s a look at the designs that I think are really going places…

Best of the Bunch: One Time Event is a smart, fun piece that puts all pop culture’s favorite time travelers in one place.

Nicest Surprise: I really like the unconventional approach of States I Have Visited. You’ll Never Believe #12!

Shirt I Am Most Biased About: My design Road Trip is aimed at anyone who has ever wanted to take a joyride in a Delorean.

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

21 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot: Pop Culture IRL voting highlights

Shirt.Woot made video games, movies, television and more feel real with their Pop Culture IRL derby. This is the kind of subject matter that usually sells really well, so there are a lot of strong entries this week. That said, here are two current underdog entries that I’d like to see get some more attention…

shirt.woot hunter huntedshirt.woot mushroom

Hunter Hunted by albyletoy makes a mockery of Elmer Fudd and the Duck Hunt dog, combining their different styles effortlessly.

Mushroom by CrumblinCookie has such a dark, dramatic feel that it makes the world of Mario feel like a horror story!

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.

20 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Seeing Double design contest

threadless seeing double

Threadless‘s Seeing Double design contest seeks artwork that combines two images. Here’s what they’re looking for:

We want you to get creative and blend two things – alike or different – to create a cohesive design. By doing so, you can get some unique and beautiful imagery that tells a story. Exhibit a bear in its natural habitat, capture your loved one in an artistic way, or summarize a movie in one photo. The story is yours to tell – but make sure to create the dichotomy with double exposure! Show us how you can transform ordinary into extraordinary with a little remixing.

Enter before October 3rd, 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).

19 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Pampling’s Glass of Wonders

pampling glass of wonders

Glass of Wonders by LestatPrincess & ManuelDa is definitely an impressive feat, using careful halftoning to create a variety of different textures in service of its Alice in Wonderland theme. The design seems to take its cues from Burton’s vision of the Cheshire Cat, although this version definitely cranks the cuteness up to 11. While that cuteness is a huge asset to the design’s appeal, I think the art’s primary source of strength is actually in the visual flow it achieves. With swooping motions of the mirror’s ornate curves, the hat’s ribbon, the cat’s tail, and even a surreal, drippy spiral pouring from the tea pot, the print does an excellent job of making your eyes dance from one element to the next. It’s a motion that also feels perfectly in keeping with the frenetic, manic look and pacing of the story. The checkerboard pattern within the mirror is a smart choice as well, making it feel like there’s more Wonderland goodness just barely out of sight.

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).

18 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s Evolucao Go

camiseteria evolucao go

Evolução Go by Elton Tiago Pereira might be my new favorite Pokemon Go parody. It’s a clever use of the familiar evolution image that rises above its silhouette sameness with the injection of a full color Pikachu at the end, curiously watching the whole thing go down. What makes this piece really resonate, though, is the repetition of themes. Both Pika and the ape are animals, the hunched shape of the missing link reflects the smartphone posture of the modern human, and the early human hunter uses a spear to hunt while a smartphone suits modern man just fine. There’s even a slight implication that Pikachu (the creation of man) is the next step in evolution, which is interesting. But while all those factors are marks in the design’s favor, there’s also some weakness- I think the hunched figure at the computer is totally unnecessary and hurts the flow of the art. It feels strange to have two modern humans, for starters, and that low positioning of the computer man causes a large visual dip from the higher position of the humans on either side. It also makes the design much longer than it needs to be, meaning that all the artwork prints smaller than it would if that bit was removed. Still a funny shirt, but less effective than it otherwise could have been.

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

17 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #570: Dangers of the Deep

shirt.woot logo

Shirt.Woot is headed to the bottom of the ocean with their latest derby theme…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #570: Dangers of the Deep

Sharks, Leviathans, Angler Fish, those plastic rings around six pack of cans... show us your favorite aquatic nemesis. No cream tees.

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.