Hi! Welcome...

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.

18 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Birdtopia and more new this week

threadless birdtopia

Birdtopia by Santiago Sarquis (metalsan) won Threadless’s Seeing Double challenge, and it’s a beautiful pick. What sets this design apart from most other silhouette-enclosed pieces is the realism involved. Instead of just looking like flat shapes, each layer within the bird’s form has a detail and roughness to it that makes it feel authentically like the landscape it represents. Using the flock of birds to break free from the form is a smart move as well, as it helps inject some movement into the scene and make it feel more dynamic. And of course, the biggest change from the silhouette style norm is that this bird shape isn’t quite a silhouette- the head, the feet, and part of the branch are all fully realized so precisely they could almost be a photograph. Looking at this design, it really feels like you’re seeing this bird at two moments in time, both at rest and in flight among its flock.

threadless explosionthreadless find your exit

Explosion by zinn (azizaninn) only needs one ink color to tell its tale of mass destruction. Instead of color, it creates a moment heavy in contrast and impactful size, allowing the highest puffs of the mushroom cloud to claim the shoulders while a silhouetted human figure stands in the center of it all at the bottom hem. You get the sense from his position and fist-clenched posture that this character probably created the explosion, but the heavy leftward lean of the cloud’s spire makes it clear that this was a wild pop of power, not something intended or controlled. It’s a memorable shirt.

Find Your Exit by Mathiole (mathiole) uses a graffiti style to create a surreal scene. A young boy in shades of grey uses colorful chalk to draw a bright window, presumably to escape the doldrums of his monotone existence. But in drawing this other world, something amazing happens- three birds appear. Because of how high they are on the canvas, we know the boy didn’t draw them (he already has to stand on his toes just to reach the window’s top edges). But are they more refugees from the boy’s grey world or, amazingly, have they actually flown in from the place he created? That ambiguity is what makes this design special, the question of whether he was inspired by the birds to make something beautiful or if his creation is what allowed the birds to congregate.

threadless vive tu vidathreadless swim the sea

Vive tu Vida (Live Your Life) by Allyson (zelally) is a nice mix of watercolor and typography. The use of watercolor in the background allows each simple floral shape to become more complex, packed with texture and subtle color shifts. Since (at least to my eye) none of the silhouettes feel specific to real flowers and the colors are bright and varied, I feel like I’m looking at a tropical bouquet. That pairs well with the adventurous message of the text. I like that the “live” portion of the phrase is given a loose, scripted font (implying freedom and excitement) while the “life” portion is much more solid, almost architectural in its strength and grounding. Those two styles both represent different aspects of how the slogan might play out, and by showing both the message feels deeper.

Swim the Sea by Jacy Corral (hyssopdesign) uses a great quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. While it’s wonderfully worded and a popular, relatable sentiment, my fear with the text is that since there’s so much of it and it’s all expressed in the same way (and in an unfamiliar, scripted way rather than plain text), it’s not the kind of design most viewers will immediately take a shine to. That said, the photograph filling out those letters is a great moment for those who give it a chance, revealing a magnificent curl of blue wave that highlights the word Sea.

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).

17 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Good Vibes design contest

threadless good vibes

Threadless is focused on positivity of all kinds with their new Good Vibes design contest. Here’s what they’re looking for…

We could all use a little more positivity in our lives. The world can get crazy, but it’s important that we remain optimistic. We’re looking for designs that remind us to focus on the good. Create designs that will make people smile. Create designs that give people hope. Create designs that just make you feel good. Keep it simple with bold typography, or capture our attention with beautiful illustration. Good vibes only.

Enter before November 29th, 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).

16 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot: How It’s Made derby voting highlights

How-to guides, cat jokes and visual humor filled out the ranks of Shirt.Woot‘s How It’s Made derby. Here’s a look at two current underdogs that I’d like to see get some more attention…

shirt.woot ball of yarn made ofshirt.woot anatomy of thanksgiving

Ball of Yarn Made of? by ndikol is a smart and silly yarn origin story, imaging cats making yarn balls from their own hairballs.

Anatomy of Thanksgiving by carlhuber makes perfect sense for the holiday- after a big meal like that, it can really feel like your entire body is made of turkey and all the fixins.

This derby continues through Thursday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $1000 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.

15 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Things I’m Thankful For collection

shirt.woot things i'm thankful for

Shirt.Woot’s Things I’m Thankful For plus sale has some designs that refer directly to Thanksgiving, but also many others that stay wearable year round. Here’s a look at what I’m thankful made the cut…

Best of the Bunch: Good Morning! envisions a coffee cup’s lid as a sombrero of sorts, and then uses a realistic-looking coffee stain around the rim to make the art even more charming.

Nicest Surprise: Shirt.Woot is usually very heavy on cats, so it’s nice to see a dog design like Best Job Ever! in the mix.

Shirt(s) I Am Most Biased About: My design Music is Universal sets the solar system in the grooves of a record, while The Great Outdoors shows a landscape from above in the silhouette of a flying bird.

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

14 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Monsieur Poulet’s L’Observatoire

monsieur poulet l'observatoire

L’Observatoire by Mutis Liber caught my eye because of its interesting textures, and because it’s not initially clear what the art is illustrating. The shapes initially reminded me of tree stump as seen from above, cracked and weathered but with a certain softness and depth that pulls you in. The reality is even sweeter, appearing to depict a star-filled night sky as seen from a very unique perspective, inside some kind of cavern and peering out through the rock formations. Because of the pointillism style and one ink color technique used, there’s a harmony between the two sections. Stars in the sky have equivalents of the same size and color echoed within the texture of the rock. The result is peaceful, a meditation on the quiet beauty of nature. While rectangular designs can sometimes look odd on a t-shirt, this design even manages to negate most of that by using very soft edges and an unusually long rectangular shape that suits the length of the shirt well. Nice work!

Winners at Monsieur Poulet earn 2 Euros per item sold, for a total of up to 2000 Euros.

13 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s Sonho de Voar

camiseteria sonho de voar

Sonho de Voar by Alan Maia caught my eye because even though I don’t understand Portuguese, the design’s message about celebrating the wonder of flight still read crystal clear. The surreal style, which makes the human pilot smaller than the birds, highlights just how amazing flying is. Compared to the fact that humans can build machines to conquer the air, this crazy contraption and the mutant bluebird flock almost seem… well, plausible. I think the parity in size between the birds and the human also accomplishes something else- it emphasizes the point that he’s in the bird’s world, and that this whole experiment was an attempt to be more like them, to explore this place they’ve claimed. And if you do read Portuguese, the text adds some beautiful depth to the scene as well, translating as “Things are more beautiful when viewed from above.” It’s certainly often true visually, and also metaphorically- sometimes a little distance helps put the world in perspective.

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

12 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #578: Retro Gaming

shirt.woot logo

Shirt.Woot is headed back to the arcade with their latest derby theme…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #578: Retro Gaming

I love video games so let’s make some designs that evoke a retro-gaming style.  These can be pixel art, the art on the box that looked nothing like the actual game, or something else that looks like it had something to do with video gaming in the 90’s or earlier.  Keep in mind that these don’t have to reference any existing game, though they can if you want.  No creme tees. No Super Mario Bros.

This derby begins Thursday at noon and continues through next 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.