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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.

21 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Nacho Business and more new this week

threadless nacho business

Nacho Business by Mathiole (mathiole) is the design I like best this week, a silly concept that nails the execution. While the art looks rushed, this is part of its genius. Sometimes with comedy, particularly with puns, the more effort that appears to have been put into it, the less of a laugh it will get. That’s because it’s a form of humor that is reliant on seeming off-the-cuff, catching you by surprise. So this style supports the joke well, and despite seeming doodle-y there are actually a lot of smart details. For instance, having the nacho’s blood spill as cheese and break through the panel frame, and the way only a single cactus is needed to give the impression of an entire desert environment.

threadless the ghost of the mountainsthreadless as night falls

The Ghost of the Mountains by aparaat (aparaat) has a quiet sense of wonder about it that I find really appealing. Despite the low color count, most of the artwork feels very realistic- almost to the point where you expect to see the clouds drift across the scene, casting new shadows on the mountains below. And in the face of that photo-real feel, the art’s two more surreal elements (the ghost framing and the perfectly round hot air balloon) stand out all the more. An especially nice detail is that the passenger of the hot air balloon is peering through a telescope. I love that moment because it makes that character kind of a personification of the viewer, something that doesn’t belong in the scene (it’s a different style) but that enjoys and explores that environment. Neat!

As Night Falls by Grant Stephen Shepley (Gamma-Ray) is a new twist on the hourglass idea, showing night literally trickling from the top to the bottom like grains of sand. What makes this work for me is the spooky ambiance maintained throughout- there’s a gothic sensibility to the architecture, and the suggestion of a graveyard. The finishing touch that brings it all together is the specific way that night enters the daytime sky- not as grains of sand, but as a massive infestation of bats. Super creepy, and exactly the kind of art choice that ignites the imagination.

threadless visit mordorthreadless deal with it

Visit Mordor by Mathiole (mathiole) feels slightly weird to me as being the winner of the Landscapes contest, because while it certainly does show a landscape, it’s really the word Mordor and the association with Lord of the Rings that makes this design popular. In that sense, it makes more sense to me as a winner of a pop culture contest than as one about capturing an outdoor environment on a tee. After all, a pop culture shirt (or several!) prints at Threadless every week, but something truly glorifying landscapes is more rare. That said, there’s no doubt in my mind that this one will sell really well because it does a good job of subtly referencing the fandom while making attractive art that suits the vintage style of the poster style it mimics.

DEAL WITH IT by John Tibbott (quick-brown-fox) isn’t a design that appealed to me initially, largely because it felt like a pretty outdated reference. But what’s won me over a bit is how well constructed and thoughtful it is. For instance, there’s a slight fade above the sunglasses, giving the impression of the falling motion from the meme. And that’s not all, there’s also a pixel texture coloring all the white in the artwork (a smart choice because it gives a pixel effect without requiring strict adherence to the shape in the art’s letterforms and curves) and even a subtle swirl in the black areas that adds interest. Very polished.

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.

20 January 2015 ~ 1 Comment

Shirt.Woot’s Eggplant Tees and True Love collection

shirt.woot eggplant tees and true love

Shirt.Woot’s most recent derbies gave artists the chance to work with a fan favorite t-shirt color and to explore that t-shirt subject classic, love. Here’s a look at the stand-outs in each group for Eggplant Tees and True Love:

Best of the Eggplant Tees: Retro Robot Squad is a fun, colorful group!

Best of True Love: Together Forever is a great piece of cartooning, really capturing Peter Capaldi’s strong nose and prominent eyebrows.

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

19 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s Wake Up in a Bad Dream

camiseteria wake up in a bad dream

Wake Up in a Bad Dream by Eder da Luz impressed me with its realistic artwork, perfectly rendering that explosion in the sky and fire-seared horizon. There’s a lot to like about how the action plays out, with the old-fashioned plane helping to set a surreal tone and the protagonist’s total disinterest in the chaos around him. Instead of turning his head to see the actual state of the world, he’s contest to watch through a TV screen. It’s not even clear to me if that screen is hooked up to anything- that bright glow could just be a reflection of the explosions surrounding him. There’s also a great detail in the way an umbrella hangs off the back of his chair- this is a guy who is prepared for all the wrong things, and is in utter denial of his current situation. The subtle skull framing of the piece makes his fate clear, and thankfully doesn’t overplay its hand by making the interior conform to normal skull facial structures like eyes and nose.

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

18 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Spring Break contest

threadless spring break

Even though winter is still going strong, at Threadless it’s time to start dreaming up Spring Break shirts for their latest design contest! Here’s what they’re looking for:

Whether spring break makes you think of beaches, road trips, cocktails, or simply a whole bunch of time to catch up on sleep and awesomely terrible TV, we want you to design a tee that shouts “SPRING BREAK!” from the rooftop of every hotel across the Caribbean. Make it your personal goal that your design captures the anticipation, excitement, and glory of spring break in such perfect form that come March, every spring breaker from coast to coast will be sporting your tee in celebration.

And since spring break means tanned shoulders (duh), we encourage you to think outside the tee and submit your design on a tank!

Enter before February 5th, 2015 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $2500 cash and a $500 Threadless gift card.

17 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

WeLoveFine’s My Little Pony Team-Up contest

we love fine my little pony team up

WeLoveFine has a new MLP contest underway, My Little Pony Team-Up. This contest is inspired by the upcoming book My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria, and the winning design will be printed in the book as well as on t-shirts.

Enter before February 13th, 2015 for your chance to win. One Grand Prize winner will earn $1000 cash, their art printed in My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria, and a free copy of the book. Two Guest Judges Picks will each get $300 cash and a copy of the book. One Hot Topic’s Pick will receive $300 cash and a copy of the book. Two Runners Up will each get $200 cash and a copy of the book. The four highest rated but not selected for cash prize designs will each get a free copy of the book.

16 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Monsieur Poulet’s Ensemble (Together) contest

monsieur poulet ensemble

As a French t-shirt site, the folks at Monsieur Poulet were influenced by recent events when putting together a theme for their latest contest, Ensemble. That translates as Together in English, and this contest is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the recent attacks. Here’s what Monsieur Poulet is looking for (as translated to English by Google Translate):

We would like to illustrate the tremendous last Sunday of movement, this march for freedom of expression and against intolerance. We want placards, activists, slogans, pencils, Republic, different people, united against violence, strong symbols, panache and if more can be fun …. while there, it would be the cake!

 All profits from this competition will be donated to Charlie Hebdo and associations of aid to families of victims.

Enter before January 28th, 2015 for your chance to win. Winners at Monsieur Poulet earn 2 Euros per item sold, for a total of up to 2000 Euros.

15 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #405: Travel Totes

shirt.woot logo

Shirt.Woot’s latest derby themes have just been announced, and it’s a good time to be a hell-raising jet-setter…

Starting Friday: Derby #405: Travel Totes

Design a tote for traveling. Could be a design honoring your favorite (or least favorite) destination, the bag you take with you on a plane, train, or automobile trip cross-country, whatever.

This derby begins on Friday at Noon and ends on Monday at Noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $200 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, 5 other designs will be selected and sold for $2 per item each. Both top vote-getters and selected designs will be sold in a Plus sale on the following Monday.


Starting Monday: Derby #406: Rebel, Rebel

Submit your most rebellious, hell-raising tees. But no Creme tees allowed, because that’s for squares.

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.