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.

12 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Psychedelic contest

threadless psychedelic

Crazy colors, trippy shapes, and going to the outer limits of your imagination… Expect all that and more in Threadless‘s new Psychedelic contest! Here’s what they’re looking for:

Step 1: Play Pink Floyd. Step 2: Close your eyes. Step 3: Allow a brain-consuming hypnosis state turn your flesh into noodles and your natural creativity into a mind-bending dream state. Step 4: Draw.

Your challenge is to submit a psychedelic design for a tee. Throw your comfort zone to the wind and let your imagination go for a ride. Free yourself and your inner muse with electric colors, fluid lines, and surreal shapes that will daze, confuse, and amaze us.

Like, expand your consciousness, man. (Or at least your Photoshop window.)

Enter before October 1st, 2014 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $2000 cash, a $500 Threadless gift code, and a $250 Amazon gift code.

11 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #373: Heavy Metal

shirt.woot logo

The theme for this week’s Shirt.Woot derby is Heavy Metal, and in an interesting twist metallic ink is allowed… though not required. Read on for details:


From hair bands to butt-rock and everything in between. Metallic ink is allowed but not required. If you DO use metallic ink, here are the rules:

-One color per design! Silver or gold!

-Use either gold (#b69624) or silver (#c5c7c9) metallic shimmer ink for your design – only one, not both (see above!!). Here is a swatch for reference!!!!

-No halftones or gradients!

-The smallest line we can print using metallic ink is a 4 point line in Illustrator, or an 8 pixel line in Photoshop. (Those numbers are based on your artwork at full size.)!!!!

No crème tees!!!!!!!!!!!

The derby opens to submissions at noon on Friday, with submissions continuing until Wednesday at noon. Voting is on-going from Friday at noon until Thursday at noon. Three winners will be printed the following weekend (as chosen by voters), with the printed designers earning $1000 for the first night of sales and a potential $2 per shirt sold on any sales after that date. In addition to the top 3 winners, Woot will select a few other pieces for a Plus! sale and inclusion in their catalog, with selected artists earning $2 per shirt sold.

10 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Astro Club and more new this week

threadless astro club

Astro Club by Eric Zelinski (EZFL) is my pick for Threadless’s best of the week, impressing with tons of retro charm. The boy feels like he’s been plucked right off the cover of a 50s era advertisement, pink-cheeked, bright-eyed and holding the promise of the future in his tight smile. I love the way he glances sideways at the viewer, as if to say “Can you believe how amazing this rocket is?” And of course the way the rocket is used is the bit that really takes the art to the next level, with a wildly careening yellow line trailing behind it that shows its zany path to the sky as it tumbles over, under and about the lettering and images. So much fun!

threadless the floor is lavathreadless booze hound

The Floor is Lava by Nate Christenson (natechristenson) translates every kid’s favorite rainy day game into video game style, with interesting results. It’s the winner of Threadless’s Video Games That Don’t Exist Challenge, which feels slightly awkward to me in that my only real criticism of the piece is that it doesn’t feel particularly video game-y. Really, the only clue that this is game-related at all is that seal in the upper right corner. If not for that, I’d have assumed the goal was to imitate a dramatic movie poster. There just aren’t that many video games (in my opinion) that are styled this way, with an imprecise illustrated style, bold halftones and a strictly limited palette. It’s absolutely a great shirt (and one that will resonate nostalgically with a wide swath of people), but the game thing is totally extraneous.

Booze Hound by Tidy Ink (seanistidy) is a design I quite liked at first glance, but the more I looked the more questions I had. The basic concept of illustrating the phrase booze hound as a hard-drinking dog is pretty funny. The lettering is done with some nice, subtle flair, with hard edges to give dimension and distressed centers that keep the eye interested. But the details are a bit odd- is the dog’s head emerging from a large crack? It certainly looks like it, but I can’t imagine why that would be. There are also stylized droplets emerging from the crack, a floating broken bottle, and another floating bottle for the dog to drink from. Also, what’s with Old London Town? This design feels like it must be referencing something I’m unfamiliar with, because otherwise I just can’t make sense of the choices.

threadless rainmanthreadless careless whisker


Rainman by Victor Calahan (v.calahan) combines rain and a fellow in an old-fashioned hat, so it’s probably not surprising that it reminds me a lot of Rene Magritte’s work. And that’s definitely a good thing, because this piece channels the sense of wonder and imagination of the Surrealist movement. I like the soft, sly humor of constructing the man’s coat out of raindrops but still giving him an umbrella- you sort of get to come up with your own story for what’s going on, whether he’s protecting his rain from the calm skies above or he just likes rain so much he dresses for it full-time. The blue of the shirt opens up all kinds of possibilities- maybe he’s the raincloud in the sky, about to unleash his bounty on the land far below! I love a design that makes me think, and the art’s grainy texture gives it a perfect vintage feel.

Careless Whisker by David Olenick (DRO72) imparts a simple truth with a wonderfully simplified illustration. The element I always love about designs the artist does in this style is that while they often look vector-perfect at first glance, a closer look reveals some distressing and hand-crafted roughness that helps the art to feel more personal and unique. I’m especially impressed with the uneven pupils, which really give the cat this amazing crazy-eyed glint that feels perfectly feline. Plus, it looks great on the triblend shirt!

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn 20% royalties based on net profit (paid monthly) and a $250 Threadless Gift Certificate.

09 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Famous Businesses collection

shirt.woot new designs famous businesses

What would it look like if your favorite famous character worked for a living? Shirt.Woot artists took a crack at the idea in the recent derby, and now it’s time for some of the Famous Businesses that didn’t land in the top three to get a chance to print.

Best of the Bunch: Souls: The Spice of Life makes me think the reaper could be quite a restauranteur.

Nicest Surprise: Schrodinger Pet Cemetery is a nice nod to science among the pop culture parodies.

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

08 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s O Grito

camiseteria o grito

O Grito by Ionn made an odd first impression with me because I found it near impossible to parse as a thumbnail. The odd angle of the head and quirky arrangement of hands and hair threw me for a bit of a loop, because I could tell it involved a face somehow but wasn’t clear on where any of the features had wandered off to. Now, there’s definitely an argument to be made that when a design involves a gut-wrenching scream, it should be a little disconcerting to look at. But what really struck me when I zoomed in for a closer look is that this piece is disturbing for all the wrong reasons. Those massive hands are clearly meant to belong to the screaming girl because of their angle, but they’re much too large and thick to suit her. The burst of light coming from her mouth obscures her face so much it becomes difficult to discern what’s going on back there. There seem to be three distinct styles being used- one for the hair, another for the hands and face, and a third for the birds and clouds. It just plain doesn’t make sense visually, and not in a way that feels purposeful. Although I think the concept had promise, the artwork doesn’t pass muster on this one.

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

07 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Blank You Very Much’s Modernica chair contest

blank you very much modernica chair

Blank You Very Much and Modernica have teamed up for a new design contest… and while the subject isn’t t-shirt designs, it’s something a lot of tee artists might excel at applying their skills to. The challenge is to create a design to be applied to a Modernica fiberglass chair, and just about anything goes.

Enter before September 28th, 2014 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a limited edition Modernica fiberglass chair with the winning design.

06 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Pampling’s Space Battle

pampling space battle

Space Battle by 2mzdesign has some fun with those miniature rides often found in front of grocery stores, giving it a space battle theme and showing tiny versions of our favorite pop culture aliens lining up for their chance to ride it. The best moment is ET, who reaches that familiar finger forward to push the machine’s button. It’s neat to see all these characters (especially the bad guys) drawn with little kid proportions. But where this design falls a bit flat is with the background- it’s a murky white mess, resembling nothing so much as a poorly erased chalkboard. I think the whole shirt would be stronger if the background was either substantially faded, or if something that made more sense was used instead (such as the faint suggestion of a convenience store entrance, or maybe a planet).

Winners at Pampling earn 1200 euros cash and 300 euros in Pampling points.