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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.

15 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #555: Trucker Hats

shirt.woot logo

Hold on to your hats, there’s a new derby theme at Shirt.Woot…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #555: Trucker Hats

At last! An opportunity to be “that” guy. Or gal. Design the front panel of a hat. Designs need to be 3 colors or fewer and must be solid inks (no halftones or blends). The printable area is approximately 5.5″x2.5″.

This derby begins 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, patriotism takes many forms in the current USA! USA! USA! derby. Since a Woot email announced that this theme was coming in advance, there’s an especially high level of skill on display. Here are two current underdog entries that I think are worthy of some fireworks:

shirt.woot sea to shining seashirt.woot the new colossus

Sea to Shining Sea by kellabell9 uses the flag’s familiar stripes in a unique way, showcasing some of the country’s most famous skylines.

The New Colossus by Wingfeather might not have the most readable text, but its concept of using powerful words to form the Statue of Liberty is beautiful and memorable.

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 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Home: Wall Art design contest

threadless home wall art

Threadless‘s Home collection is ready for another expansion with the new Home: Wall Art design contest. Here’s what they’re looking for:

Are you the next Picasso?

It’s worth a try! At the very least you can adorn the walls of Threadfans all over the world! Our wall art collection is constantly growing and we want you to be part of it. Use this canvas to showcase your illustrations, typography, photography and more – the possibilities are endless.

Enter before June 27th, 2016 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $1500 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Additionally, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

13 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

WeLoveFine’s Star Trek design contest winners

we love fine star trek airlines

Star Trek Airlines by Mark Ciavarella is the Stephen Ricossa Judge Pick from WeLoveFine’s Star Trek Design Contest, and it’s also my favorite of the bunch. To me, this minimal style really captures the optimism of the series, the idea that humanity could solve all its problems and truly help to make the universe a better place. By taking its cues from the Pan Am logo, this design seems to be saying that we’ve already started on that journey, and one day we’ll be navigating the stars. Also, it’s pretty neat to see a Star Trek shirt that isn’t afraid to deviate from the show’s trademark futuristic font. Changing it up here helps enhance the retro quality of the design, letting you look at the future through the rose-tinted glasses of the past.

Check out all the Star Trek design contest winners at WeLoveFine.

12 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Same Old Shirt and more new this week

threadless same old shirt

Same Old Shirt by Vo Maria (vo maria) is my favorite design this week. I love the way it takes a phrase about things being boring and tired, and combats that by packing the text with typographic flair and visual motion. The best part is that, although very detailed and well-crafted, the font used does have that antique feel that makes it feel like, well, it really HAS been the same old shit for a very, very long time. It’s a fun take on the idea of a vintage shirt, poking fun at itself but still beautiful enough that you’d be excited to wear it. The tiny text fleshing out the concept is a nice thought, too, and a neat extra for the few who get close enough to see it.

threadless i'm sorry for what i said when i was hungrythreadless call of the wilderness

I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry by Tobe Fonseca (tobiasfonseca) takes another familiar phrase and gives it some more amusing context by attributing it to a very remorseful bear. I think it’s his sheer humility, the deep bow of his head and the downward cast of his closed eyes, that makes this so funny. He’s so sorry about it that it makes you wonder what he did, and the picture of mayhem created by the imagination enhances things even further. The fur detail is also a major asset of the piece, both because it characterizes the bear as a bit of a soft, cuddly fellow and because it adds to his realism. The phrase is already very easy to relate to, so making the bear feel real only adds to the kinship people will feel with him.

Call of the Wilderness by aparaat (aparaat) uses a minimal style to pack in a ton of cleverness. There’s a bit of an optical illusion tucked away in the shape of that wolf, with a tent and campfire formed by the lower outline of his body. The wolf isn’t just a wolf, either- within his shape sit a field of stars (one of which becomes his eye) and a simple suggestion of a crescent moon. His pose is interesting, too, because one paw is raised and forward while his head pivots to peer at the two stars behind him. An action pose, and one that speaks of striving, but also one that feels like the stylization of a statue. I like the ambiguity of the unevenly dashed lines below the wolf and tent scene, which feels to me like the reflection of stars on water. Really slick work from start to finish.

threadless in memoriamthreadless magic mushroom

In Memoriam by Graja (Graja) uses signage-style simplicity to illustrate some of Game of Thrones’s most iconic deaths. This is a really inspired style choice since it ensures that it won’t spoil the fun for readers and watchers who aren’t yet caught up (the figures are vague enough that their identities aren’t obvious unless you know the character’s method of death) and also because it turns the design into a kind of trivia game- can you correctly name each victim? There are so many that it’s genuinely a bit of a challenge, and GoT’s death-heavy narrative style makes this a perfect way to pay tribute to the story.

Magic Mushroom by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow) is a neat piece of nostalgia, harkening back to the way we think of the ’70s now. The entire design is an ode to psychedelic art, with a strong mushroom motif that hints strongly (along with the pipe) at a cheeky drug culture theme, disguised just enough to make it okay to wear in front of any audience regardless of age. The slightly dingy color palette hits just the right vintage tone, as does the main mushroom’s wizardly appearance (I mean, he actually has a wand!). I think most people with a lasting affection for the 1970s would get a kick out of this one.

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).

11 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #554: USA USA USA

shirt.woot logo

Shirt.Woot prepares to be patriotic with their latest derby theme…

Starting Monday at noon: Derby #554: USA USA USA

Design a tee about America. No cream tees.

This derby begins 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.


Meanwhile, vegetables, flowers and other outdoor staples are filling out the ranks of the current Garden Variety derby. Here are two current underdog entries that really grew on me…

shirt.woot succulentsshirt.woot jelly babies

Succulents by hiphippo stands out from the crowd because it doesn’t attempt humor- it’s just a nice drawing of some desert blooms, kicked up a notch with some quirky color choices.

Jelly Babies by Randyotter provides the perfect answer about what jelly beans would grow into.

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.

10 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Tanks and Starting Line collections

shirt.woot tanks and tees

Shirt.Woot got ready for the incoming summer heatwave with a new Tanks and Tees plus sale, many designs referencing the season or seasonal activities like vacation in some way. Here’s what I think brought the most heat…

Best of the Bunch: Six Pack Abs succeeds by channeling enthusiasm and keeping the six pack pun from being the only joke.

Nicest Surprise: I like the low-key charm of Oceanesque, which uses a low color count to focus on the forms of various sea life.

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

shirt.woot starting line

Meanwhile, artists tackled a unique challenge to create designs for the Starting Line plus sale, using one of three lines provided by Woot to base their art on. That vague theme led to a lot of diversity in subject matter for this group! Here’s what caught my eye…

Best of the Bunch: Taco Inspector keeps things simple, appealing and wearable.

Nicest Surprise: There’s a ton of implied story packed into An Adventurer Like You, and that makes this a design that’s fun to look at again and again.

Shirt I Am Most Biased About: My design I Hate the Rain imagines a raincloud who can’t stand getting wet.

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

09 June 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Disguised design contest

threadless disguised

Things aren’t what they seem in Threadless‘s new Disguised design contest. Here’s how they describe what they’re looking for:

Whether it’s a pattern with hidden elements, your attempt at a Magic Eye illusion, or one character dressed up as another, your mission for this challenge is to create a design that is more than meets the eye! Hide something special within your design that we might not find on the first look!

Enter before June 28th, 2016 for your chance to win. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Additionally, all designers printed will earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).