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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.

28 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Pampling’s Wallverine

Wallverine by JayHai is a silly pun with a surprising amount of depth. The character is immediately clear from his iconic mask and claws, to the point where the title at the bottom isn’t really necessary (although it does ground the art nicely). And the gritted teeth and narrowed eyes feel very authentic to Wolverine’s gruff personality. The thickly muscled legs, planted comically far apart, are a funny bit of visual humor. But what makes this design really special is its use of graffiti- from the sprayed logos to the scrawled “Jean was here” and subtle “Cyclops sucks”  messages, every detail contributes to storytelling and characterization.

Pampling has multiple prizes available. XPress Prize winners earn 1 euro for each product sold in the presale and XPress sale (with a guaranteed minimum of 500 euros). Shot Prize winners earn 1 euro per product sold (with a guaranteed minimum of 200 euros). Classic Prize winners get 300 euros. All designers are also potentially eligible for the 1000 euro Designer of the Month Prize (selected by the Pampling team taking into consideration sales success, priority, and participation).

27 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Gandalf the Gangsta and more new this week

Gandalf the Gangsta by Gulshan Kishor (Shadyjibes) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It’s a great pun, with an execution that suits the joke well. A highlight for me is the shifted sizes and baselines of the text, which indicates emphasis in a way that will have most viewers reading the phrase in their best DeNiro voice. I also enjoy how heavily wrinkled the character looks, with thick creases in his skin, beard, robes, and even staff- it’s accurate to Gandalf, but also suits the put-upon, tired-of-this attitude of the Taxi Driver moment as well. An unexpected, but very apt combination of pop culture.

Cat Tree by Tobe Fonseca (tobiasfonseca) is a fun repurposing of a familiar phrase, turning the tower-shaped cat toy into a literal tree full of cats. It’s an excellent fit because of the trope of cats needing to be rescued from trees, and the illustration smartly also references the classic “hang in there” poster with a dangling cat. The autumn palette of golds, tans, and oranges suits both cats and leaves well, and even better that allusion to fall (and the cat slumbering on the ground) makes the scenario seem more precarious by implying things will be falling.

Nature’s Embrace by Fil Gouvea (filgouvea) is a gorgeous illustration. At first glance, it looks like aa whimsically-colored green bear clinging to a large bouquet. But the scene opens up further with a closer look, revealing that the clumps of greenery are actually full-grown trees, complete with tiny birds flitting from branch to branch. I love this because it also makes you see the bear in a new light- perhaps what you thought was green fur is actually grass covering a bear-shaped hill? Either way, it’s a sweet concept that should appeal to anyone who likes wildlife and the outdoors.

Ex-Condiments by Ryder Doty (Ryder) makes no sense, and that’s exactly what makes it so great. There’s a line up of familiarly packaged sauces, with all the branding on their labels minimized and broken down into simple geometric shapes. Most viewers will easily recognize most from their own fridges, with mustard, hot sauce, and barbecue sauce among the gang. What makes it magic, though, is that these foods are not just characters, they’re dangerous fellows! Each bottle grasps a distinctive weapon, and some even sport scars or tough guy accessories. It mades everyday objects into something special and interesting, with a whole story suggested by their strange appearance.

Embrace the Pain by Airic (bewarethevipers) uses doodle style well, with a silly joke that benefits in humor from the slapdash look of the art. The loose drawing makes it feel as though the idea hasn’t been fully thought-out, and that reflects the “this is fine” nature of the bad situation being depicted. Hugging a cactus is bad enough, but this poor guy has made it even worse by doing it in the nude. Even the cactus looks uncomfortable with its lumpy stalk and too-high arm. The artificial cheer of the bubble letters sets up the scenario well, and the use of bright pink very appropriately makes the word pain a bit difficult to look at.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

26 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Derby Editor’s Choice: The Letter N collection

Subject matter and style were all across the board in Shirt.Woot’s Derby Editor’s Choice: The Letter N plus sale. With only pop culture out of bounds, nature and narwhals took the forefront. Here’s what caught my eye…

Best of the Bunch: Existential Narwhal by Zach Terrell nails the blank, empty facial expression of a narwhal in the throes of an existential crisis.

Nicest Surprise: Nature’s Rhythm by Patrickspens is a gorgeous, colorful surreal landscape that captures nature at its best.

Shirt(s) I Am Most Biased About: My design Team Nature takes enjoying the outdoors in a sporty direction while Support Nurses is a reminder to show support for healthcare workers.

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

25 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Modern Classics design contest

Refresh something familiar in Threadless‘s new Modern Classics design contest. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Classics are revered. Classics are timeless. Classics are meant to be completely reinterpreted by your brilliant creative mind. But how exactly? Look at the most memorable and iconic works of the past and draw inspiration from them, while also referencing counter culture to inform what you might reshape visually to make them modern. Is it as simple as a bit of graffiti mixed with Whistler? Or maybe it’s time to turn the Renaissance into a Renai-seance? Maybe Mona Lisa needs some accessorizing? Or conversely, you could even take that wonderful weirdo Warhol down a few notches! However you do it, look to redefine classic works of art, design, and popular culture, and breathe some contemporary life into them.

This contest opens to entries on May 27th, 2020 and ends on June 12th. One winner will earn a $500 Threadless gift code. All designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

23 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #763: The Blues

Color inspires Shirt.Woot‘s latest derby theme…

Starting Monday at 8PM: Derby #763: The Blues

Any interpretation you like. Pop Culture is allowed, but no cats, no butterflies. If you feature a giraffe, you must feature a zebra. If you feature a saxophone, you must not depict a guitar in the same design. If you feature the ocean, your design must contain an orange starfish. If you feature a microphone, Nina Simone’s name must be hidden in your design.

No politics, no cream shirts.

This derby begins Monday at 8pm CST and continues through the following Monday at 8pm. Three designs (determined by votes and editor input) will be printed as daily offers on Tuesday through Thursday and earn $1000 and $2 per item sold after the first day of sales. Other designs may be selected for a Plus sale, with each selected design earning $2 per item sold.

22 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Superhero Day Jobs derby voting highlights

Shirt.Woot‘s Superhero Day Jobs derby was almost two subjects in one, with some artists drawing superheroes in ordinary moments while others tackled the heroic occupations of real people. There’s a lot of humor and appeal in both approaches, but these are the two current voting underdogs that I think could use some more attention…

Dual Career by BoggsNicolas nails the determined expression on the face of its feline protagonist.

Real Life Superheroes are the Frontline by zerobriant is chock-full of some excellent lettering.

This derby continues through Monday at 8pm. The top three designs (determined by votes and editor input) will earn $1000 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, other designs may be selected for future plus sales and sold for $2 per item each.

21 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Design and Sell Your Own Face Masks

Now that face masks are becoming commonplace in the USA and across the globe, there’s a huge range of creative possibilities for artists to explore with this new accessory. From funny jokes that lighten the mood to abstract patterns or even important messages, there are a lot of ways for people to use masks to communicate their beliefs, interests, or aspects of their personality.

If you want to get started with your own masks, here are three sites that will have your art up and available for sale within minutes! Note that all of these masks are intended for non-medical use.


Pictured: Rainbow Smile Mask by Alice Carroll

Here’s what you need to know about these masks:

  • Two layers of 100% brushed polyester with a sublimation print on the outside layer
  • 7.25″ x 4.6″ with over-the-ear elastic straps
  • For every mask sold, Redbubble will make a donation to Heart to Heart International
  • Prices vary, starting at about $12 each (with a discount for purchases of 4+ masks)

See the full RedBubble mask catalog.


Pictured: Vote QR Code Vote.org Election Mask by fishbiscuit

Here’s what you need to know about these masks:

  • Basic (single-layer) masks are sublimated polyester, while Double-Layer masks are polyester exterior with microfiber lining
  • Basic masks have over-the-ear fabric loops, Double-Layer masks have over-the-ear elastic loops
  • Double-Layer masks include an area where a filter (not included) may be added
  • For every mask sold, TeePublic donates one medical-grade mask to Direct Relief
  • Basic masks are currently priced at $10 each, while Double-Layer masks are $15 each

See the full TeePublic mask catalog.


Pictured: Pink Oh No Face Mask by Oh No Face Masks and MedshareDonate

Here’s what you need to know about these masks:

  • 2 ply polyester with print on one side and reversible to black on the other side
  • 7.5″ x 4.5″ with over-the-ear elastic loops
  • A portion of proceeds from each mask is donated to Medshare, up to a $500K maximum donation
  • Masks are priced at $17

See the full Threadless mask catalog.

Bonus – Masks that require some crafting at Spoonflower

Pictured: Spectacular Cats DIY Face Mask Kit by cynthia_arre

Here’s what you need to know about these masks:

  • Each kit makes two double-layer cotton masks
  • 9″ x 3″ finished masks with elastic or twill tape to secure the mask around the head
  • Kits cost $10, with each kit making two masks

See the full Spoonflower DIY Mask Kit catalog.