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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.

19 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s Come Together

camiseteria come together

Come Together by Juanito Legal (Mr. von Dunham) gives Abbey Road a fun summer twist, making the quartet surfers and skaters instead of musicians. Since the vast majority of Abbey Road parodies replace the Beatles with characters from pop culture, this flip where they’re instead totally ordinary, relatable people feels fresh and interesting to me. It’s a design that asks you to imagine yourself and your friends as your own kind of Fab Four instead of putting the spotlight on fiction. Even better, it’s a very complete piece- I love that the faint background feels like a real city street, right down to other illustrated pedestrians en route to their own summer activities. And of course, that texture that runs through the whole piece helps it to feel like a well-worn shirt that’s aged through many summers of beachy fun.

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

18 July 2015 ~ 1 Comment

Shirt.Woot Derby #460: Grayscale

shirt.woot logo

There’s a very natural progression from the current Woot derby theme to the next one…

Starting Monday at noon: Derby #460: Grayscale

Black, White and/or Grayscale design on tee. All submissions should be on a black, white, silver, slate or asphalt tee.

This derby begins on Monday at noon and continues through Thursday at noon. 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.


The current derby’s theme was very similar, but more colorful- asking for Monochromatic designs on colored shirts. Here are two underdogs I’m rooting for:

shirt.woot steadily scarletshirt.woot drop in the ocean

Steadily Scarlet by krittikae is one of several similarly composed Clue entries by the artist this week, but this one is my favorite because I think the light ink colors will read really well on the cranberry shirt.

Drop in the Ocean by wotto smartly balances out some manic doodling with a pure droplet shape, a choice that keeps the design feeling sophisticated without sacrificing any of the characters’ playfulness.

This derby continues through Monday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $200 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.

17 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Pampling’s Summer Van

pampling summer van

Summer Van by JayHai is a pop culture extravaganza, packing fan favorite characters from video games, animation and more into a van headed for summer fun at the beach. What’s great about this set up is that it invites you to imagine how all these guys (and their wildly differing personalities) would interact, and how they’d participate in the same beach activities most people do. Like, of course Sonic would rather race the van to the beach than ride inside, and it’s easy to see how the minion and Pikachu might become fast friends. So the art feels really right in how the characters are depicted, and there are even some smart choices made in the small details (like the stickers on the van and the Bazinga license plate) that make it fun to keep exploring even beyond the character work. All in all, a very complete design.

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).

16 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Heavy Metal and more new this week

threadless heavy metal

Heavy Metal by Philipp Rietz (badbugs_art) is my favorite design this week. I like designs that tweak viewer expectations, and this definitely fits the bill by using unicorns, rainbows and bubble letters to illustrate the usually skull and doom heavy phrase Heavy Metal. It feels almost like an 80s glitter sticker, the kind of thing you’d paste on your Lisa Frank dolphin binder. What’s great about the juxtaposition, though, is that it kind of leaves you questioning why heavy metal is so consistent. Surely there’s a place in that style of music for dark songs about sunshine and lollipops. This shirt is like a gift to the imagination because it leaves you picturing a world where that kind of thing is possible.

threadless indy case of emergencythreadless dodgebolus of gymron

In(dy) Case of Emergency by Evan Ferstenfeld & Ian Byers (FRICKINAWESOME) is a great take on Indiana Jones’s trademark common sense approach to problem solving. While some cinematic heroes are always more than the equal of every obstacle they encounter, Indy’s more of a regular guy. He knows that sometimes the best response to trouble isn’t the most showy one, and knowing when to run away, close your eyes, or pull out that gun for a single shot can save your life and keep you ready for the sequel. The danger of the settings and relatableness of Indy as a hero were two of the series’s biggest assets, so it feels right to see them both highlighted here.

Dodgebolus of Gymron by Rodrigo Leonardo Batista Ferreira (rodrigobhz) is definitely the sweatiest looking statue I have seen in my life. Like, who even knew that was a quality a statue could have? So huge props to the artist for making the gym uniform look so disheveled and damp, which can’t have been an easy feat when you’re still trying to make it look like stone. If the uniform were cleaner and crisper, he’d read as just any athlete- it’s only how exhausted and messy he looks that marks this as a design about gym class. So that’s extremely well done. What’s less successful for me is how the dodgeball is incorporated. While I love that the ball is the art’s sole pop of red (which draws the eye to it immediately and helps contextualize the rest), the way the hand grips the ball makes no sense and breaks the realism of the scene. I think a smarter choice might have been to change the arm positioning slightly to make the way it holds the ball feel more natural, because the current situation makes the ball look flat and disc-like rather than three dimensional.

threadless mister rexthreadless yosemite

Mister Rex by Winardi (Winardi) looks at first glance like it’s just an extremely impressive anatomical study of a dinosaur, splitting its skin in two to show the skeletal structure underneath. But as you zoom in for a closer look, there’s a surprise inside- there’s a strange little dude in there, and he’s wearing the dinosaur like it’s an elaborate costume. Even better, he’s not just some random guy, this fellow has the look of a steampunk inventor, kitted out with a fancy hat, formal suit and monocle. Suddenly it feels like you’re looking at a textbook illustration yanked from an alternate history when old timey genius got up to this kind of prehistoric pranking rather than, like, inventing the locomotive or whatever. It’s whimsical as heck!

Yosemite by Andy Smith (andysmithdesign) is a minimal nature design that keeps things nice and simple. The fact that the entire piece is housed in a hexagon gives the art kind of a seventies vibe, supported by the low color count. That makes this design feel a bit traditional, like it might be the logo for a long-forgotten forest preserve or even an eco-tinged utopian cult. It’s a neat trick- the art delivers some high-quality minimalism, and lets you decide what meaning you want to attach to it… even if it’s just that you like trees.

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).

15 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #459: Monochromatic

shirt.woot logo

Forget colorful cacophony, Shirt.Woot has something more understated in mind for their latest contest…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #459: Monochromatic

Design with just the color of the shirt you are using. A red shirt with red inks, or a blue tee with blue inks, green with green… you get this picture. Up to 6 inks.  No black, white, silver, slate, asphalt or cream tees.

This derby begins on Thursday at noon and continues through Monday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $200 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.


Meanwhile, the Emotions derby is still underway and open to both new entries and voting. Designs run the gamut from happiness to anger and even to apathy, so there’s something for just about anyone who has any feelings at all. Or not, there’s even a robot in the mix. Here are two underdogs I’m rooting for:

shirt.woot true loveshirt.woot blockhead mood chart

True Love by orabbit is a smart piece of design, expertly using the mug’s handle to form half of a heart. Between that and the smooth way the coffee’s steam floats above the text, this definitely feels more sophisticated than the average Woot entry.

Blockhead Mood Chart by thatrobert impresses with minimalism, capturing the feeling of Peanuts comics while only hinting at Charlie and his emotional quirks.

This derby continues through Thursday at noon. 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.

14 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Under the Big Top and Logo Tees

shirt.woot under the big top and logo tees

Shirt.Woot’s design contests last week spanned the gamut from corporate to circus art, and now it’s time for some of those staff favorites to fill out Woot’s Under the Big Top and Logo Tees plus sale. Here are some shirts that caught my eye:

Best of Under the Big Top: Magical Creature Crackers is a fun Harry Potter flavored take on a favorite childhood snack.

Best of the Logo Tees: Takeout‘s surprisingly detailed and arty approach won me over in voting, glad to see it printed.

Shirt I Am Most Biased About: My I’m Feeling Hungry design is in the mix, combining cookies with Google.

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

13 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s Balaio de Gato

camiseteria balaio de gato

Balaio de Gato by Danilo Lucas is a really fun, refreshing take on the cat shirt. I love that at first glance, it’s not even clear what you’re looking at. All you see is a manic arrangement of jagged, neon shapes. The small faces are the first clue that there’s something beyond the abstract here, and I like that the cat’s expressions are as puzzled as most viewers’ probably are at this stage. But once you figure out that you’re looking at a huge pile of cats, there’s a lot to like. It’s fun to try to figure out where one cat ends and the next begins, and there are tails, ears and whiskers jutting out in all sorts of unexpected ways. Even the lightning bolts along the edges start to feel like stylized cat tails. And of course, the graffiti-inspired style of the fake paint drips helps confuse things further and keeps the eye moving at a fast clip through the scene.

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