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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.

17 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Planet System and more new this week

threadless planet system

Planet System by Bernhard Trunkle (b3rni) gets my nod for best of the week because I love the way it reframes Pluto’s expulsion from the solar system. Instead of human scientists making the decision, here all the planets have teamed up to knock the poor guy right out of orbit. There’s some fun character work in each planet’s expression (some are pleased or even downright ecstatic, but Neptune seems shocked and reaches out for his exiting comrade). Plus, using a Newton’s cradle as the apparatus holding the planets gives a nice double-dose of science-y appeal.

threadless quit your jobthreadless rocket cats

Quit Your Job! by Sam Lee (samintune14) certainly has a jovial spirit that is easy to relate to. There’s a sense of freedom about it that fits the theme well, although the roughness with which the businessman is drawn might be a bit polarizing. Personally, I’m a bit on the fence- I like the idea of a loosely-drawn person, but his mitten hands and different-length legs are visually distracting to me. Similarly, the briefcase stuffed with papers isn’t the right size, looking more like a weird handbag or toolbox (I initially mistook it for a radio!). Some of the other choices are much more successful, like the confetti-like yellow and blue curves and the stepped type treatment on the “Quit Your” text that gives the quitter’s dancing a sense of grandeur. A mixed bag overall, but the appealing theme ought to carry it without to much trouble.

Rocket Cats by Ronan Lynam (RonanL) taught me something interesting- I somehow had no clue that this is what a rocket launcher would look like. Despite a healthy diet of GI Joe cartoons and action movies, it turns out that to me the defining visual element of a rocket launcher is, well, rockets! So without the title, this design would have made no sense to me at all. I’m not sure if this is a quirky personal thing or at all indicative of other people’s ability to recognize machinery, though. At any rate, there’s some nice work here. I like the thick, almost woodcut look of the art, and I like the grumpy response of the kitten on the bottom left who is being stepped on. So there’s definitely some fun to be had for folks who are a little more up on military technology than I am!

threadless take a breakthreadless join or don't

Take a Break by Wacharapong Sisapon (uptme) caught me by surprise- I couldn’t tell from the thumbnail image in the catalog that it was a pocket tee, so that was a neat thing to have revealed on the product page. I suspect it looks even better in person than it does in the photos, because the pocket is difficult to see here but ought to be a lot more obvious when movement of the shirt and dimension come into play. While the something-in-your-pocket illusion has been done a lot, two things make this rendition feel new and unique. One is the unique pose of the astronaut, which makes the pocket feel more like some kind of space age hammock. The second is the way the pocket isn’t a pocket, exactly- it feels like it’s used here as almost a black hole in the darkness of outer space. Very interesting!

Join or Don’t by Evan Hinkelman (parallelish) takes the fire and revolutionary spirit of the famous Join Or Die graphic and turns it on its head, exchanging viciousness for apathy. It’s a very complete transformation, starting with the headlines above and below the illustration and even carrying into the snake itself. His closed eyes and shut mouth make it look like he’s dismissively sticking out his tongue rather than threatening anyone. There’s even a wonderful final detail in the abbreviated captions on each snake fragment- taken together, they spell “CHILL OUT.” It’s not often that you see a design simultaneously this laid back and also this conceptually complete.

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.

16 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Watercolors contest

threadless watercolors

Threadless sets their targets on a popular art style for their latest themed contest, Watercolors. It’s a style that’s resulted in a lot of great Threadless shirts already, so this should be a good one!

Enter before October 6th, 2014 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $2000 cash, a $500 Threadless gift code, and a $300 watercolor art prize pack.

15 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Formamentees’ Back to School contest

formamentees back to school

Formamentees is a new-t0-me t-shirt site, based in Italy and founded with the goal of bringing exclusive, well-designed tees to Europe. While artists can submit their work on any theme through the site’s free submission form (the site will make an offer if the design is selected by curators), they’ve also got a themed contest on now seeking Back to School designs.

Enter before September 30th, 2014 for your chance to win. One winner will earn €500 and a €100 Formamentees Gift Code.

14 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Bad High School Mascots contest

threadless bad school mascots

Threadless is feeling some high school nostalgia with their new Bad School Mascots competition! Here’s hoping there’s a wonderfully weird winner. The contest description, direct from Threadless:

“Ladies and gentleman, give it up for your 2014 North Springfield Prep Fightin’ Snap Peas!”

Yea…something about that just doesn’t scream “school pride.” What other absolutely ridiculous mascots can you think of? East Grason High’s Screamin’ Scooters? The Nebraska University Shoe Shiners!

Your challenge is to submit a design for a tee featuring a bad school mascot.

Think of a mascot who would suck all of the pep out of the pep rally or couldn’t possibly lead ANYBODY to Nationals.

Time for the big game! Go, team, go!

Enter before October 2nd, 2014 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $2000 cash, a $500 Threadless gift code, and a $250 sports equipment prize pack.

13 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s $25K Cup

shirt.woot logo

Attention artists! Shirt.Woot is giving away a total of $25,000 in October- and here are all the details:

The Shirt.Woot $10K cup in July was such a big success we’re going to do it again — only bigger! In October we’ll be doing a 25K Cup, and this time we’re getting our daily artists in on the fun! Here’s how it’s gonna work:

All designs submitted for daily consideration from 9/9 through 9/30 are eligible. We’ll pick our favorites from the bunch to run as dailies in October. The top-selling October daily tee on its first day of sale will net the artist a cool $10,000 in addition to their normal payout. And if we don’t pick your design as an October daily, it’ll still be up for contention to run at a later time or debut in various other events throughout the month.

Interested? Of course you are! Submit that daily art now!

In addition to the prize for Daily designs, we’re giving $10,000 to October’s top-selling derby shirt. We’ll preview all of the derbies in advance like we did last time, so you’ll have plenty of time to perfect your sure-to-be-best-selling tee. Keep an eye out for the official Derby announcement 9/25!

Wait a second… MATH MATH MATH… that’s only $20,000. To get us to that sweet $25k we’ll be awarding extra prizes to the 2nd and 3rd place finishers of each category (derby and daily).

And there you have it. The Shirt.Woot $25k Cup! It’s coming in October, so get busy NOW!

That’s definitely a great opportunity for artists to make even more cash than usual printing at Woot!

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.