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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.

16 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Rob and Big Loves Threadless

OK, confession time: I am a huge fan of the show Rob & Big. The size difference between those guys would have me laughing regardless of the other content, and I am a damn sucker for miniature horses as well so this show has pegged me perfectly.

So I’m pleased as punch that they’ve teamed up with one of my favorite t-shirt stores to create the Rob & Big Loves Threadless competition. In this contest, designers are charged with creating a shirt that explores the theme “Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend,” certainly a theme that’s ripe with potential.

Enter before February 15th, 2008 for your shot at the prize package, which includes (in addition to the customary $2,000 cash and $500 gift certificate) an XBox 360 Console with the Rock Band Bundle, a signed DC Board, Rob & Big DVDs, Wonder Showzen Limited Edition Lunchbox DVD package, and the oh so alluring promise of more prizes to come.

14 January 2008 ~ 1 Comment

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

Mr. Choppy by Aaron Hogg (hogboy) is my favorite shirt this week for a couple of reasons. It’s using Threadless‘s newly available simulated process printing technique, which has allowed the artist to create some really attractive color variations and realistic brush strokes. Mr. Choppy is both adorable and deranged, his differently sized eyes seem to telegraph a world of joyous cartoon violence. The vintaging is another great touch, and makes this stand out even more from the rest of the Threadless catalog.

Between The Eyes by Ron Lewis is this week’s Select shirt, and it’s a good one. The massive skull sports three sets of eyes with neon shades (and causes me to wonder what this dude’s nose would have looked like, dang). From the CMYK color palette to the huge decorative triangles, the design screams with eighties flavor. Definitely a neat shirt, but I’m not sure I see the Select-ness of it- I think something like this would do well in the regular Threadless competition.

Brazilian Spirit by Rodrigo William Rimes Rezende (rwr2) is another favorite of mine this week. True to its title, the colors are very Brazilian. But what really makes this great is the shapes- it’s kind of a deconstructed parrot, with bright, basic loops and flourishes contrasting with the realistically textured torso and head of the bird.

Whale Of A Time by Cookie is one that I don’t really get. Anytime I see a designer use the exact printing limits of the shirt, creating a huge rectangular swath, I always wonder what the thought process was. To me, a more organic shape is always a better direction to take. And I have to admit I’m not very taken with the whale, either- it’s not a particularly interesting shape, and the face is a bit charmless.

Surprise Gift by Jimmy Tan is a gorgeous two-color piece featuring a huge, elaborate bird cage and a fellow perched on the edge of it, with a chirping bird in hand. The cage looks a bit like a majestic temple, and you can read a bit of a story into the fact that the bird is happily chirping outside of it. There’s a black hoodie version of this with some metallic gold ink, and it looks even better. Definitely a cool piece.

Making Work Fun by Mike Sayre (mildish) is a nice, funny piece. The guillotine has a realistic wooden texture, and the clown facade is slightly distressed implying a lot of use. But if you stop to think about it for a second, it no longer works- heads aren’t placed in the guillotine in a way that would cause the cut out to work (the face wouldn’t be pointing correctly). Beyond that, I flat out hate the way it looks on the shirt. On Threadless’s provided product pictures, the girl version looks scrunched beyond recognition and the men’s version looks crooked.

House Salad by Jack Yu (dacat) and Evan Ferstenfeld (FrickenAwesome) is a genius idea, taken to the furthest extreme possible- and I intend that as a huge compliment. The house salad is exactly what it sounds like (a salad with bits of a house scattered about) but the strength of the shirt is in how far the pun is stretched. A container of ranch dressing sits above the plate and the silverware are a pitchfork and shovel. It’s a neat design, and it looks great on the forest green shirt.

I’m Sure I Used To Fit by Aled Lewis (fatheed) and Miss Scarlet in the Hall with a Revolver by Dave Pfluger are the reprints this week. I have to admit that I’m Sure I Used to Fit doesn’t do much for me- maybe it’s because I never owned one of those little cars, or because they’re always seemed fairly flimsy to me. To me, it’s just not an attractive t-shirt image. Miss Scarlet, though, is a shirt I love. There are a lot of neat touches, from the recurring x’s to the use of the gun for the L. My favorite bit is the visual comparison between the lipstick mark and the flower- it’s a great subtle touch.

Overall, this is a pretty typical week for Threadless- a couple I love, several I am indifferent to, and a couple that I flat out don’t understand. I’m glad to see some lower scorers get printed though- it seems like every shirt I really love struggles to top a 2 in the Threadless scoring system.

13 January 2008 ~ 2 Comments

New This Week at Design By Humans

Human Sushi by ar-optic is one of the best joke shirts I’ve laid eyes on lately. I love the idea of this grumpy, sumo-sized fish dining on human flesh (his expression is so bored- humans? again?). It’s a great contrast with the pure terror of the human, who can only watch as his leg is devoured. But what really makes this such a great shirt is the way it sits on the shirt. From far back, you notice the pleasing shape of the fish character. In the close up, the rest of the drama is revealed. It works beautifully at both distances.

Some Things Can’t Be Saved by polynothing depicts a saintly-looking little boy, hoping to bring his broken stuffed animal back to life. The best part of the shirt is the gold foil behind the boy’s head, making the shirt look like something right out of a church mural. It’s a cute idea for sure, but the price ($24) made my eyes bug out- just how much does gold foil cost, anyway? Yikes!

When Hands Attack by handsforeyes is an amazing illustration, no doubt- I love the chubby hands he draws, which always seem charmingly clumsy to me. And this is a very cool shirt, with the design dipping off the bottom of the shirt and an attractive ink gradient adding to the other-worldly feel of the piece. Really nice, and I hope to see more printed by this artist soon.

The Groove by theInkSpot is, frankly, a huge disappointment for me. It’s frustrating, because I often love naive illustration, but I just am at a loss to see the charm in this one. Part of the problem for me is the color palette, which is so bright and busy that everything in the blue area is totally lost. I just can’t seem to find the fun here.

Sure Shot! by eskimokiss is a shirt with a one-color poster on it, jam-packed with eighties nostalgia. And, this is another one I don’t really get the appeal of- to me, as a shirt it isn’t that attractive. The color palette is a big question mark to me (black on silver? what does that add?) and the symmetry of the poster just adds to the lack of interest. Maybe it’s because I was born in ’81 and the poster dates to ’85- I’m just not that nostalgic for this stuff. It’d be fine as a poster, too, but I’m a bit lost as to why it would be a shirt. The use of glossy ink to mimic cellophane tape is inspired, though- I just wish a cooler poster had gotten this treatment.

Overall, another so-so week for me. But Human Sushi is my favorite shirt in awhile, which almost makes up for it.

12 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

T Addict is Looking for Shirt Designs

You might be familiar with the blog T Addict. They’re a great source, especially for postings about innovative and fun t-shirt designs that are currently being voted on.

It looks like the mind behind T Addict is putting together a t-shirt store, and if his posts are any indication, he’s got great taste so I’m excited to see the results. They’re paying out $150 to $250 per design, and will be choosing designs at some point in the next two weeks. So if you’ve got something they’d dig, check out the blog and drop them an email.

12 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Sale at French Loser

French Loser is the design competition most likely to reward colorful, innovative illustration. And luckily for broke people like me, they’ve got a sale running that chops 20 to 30% off the usual price of their shirts.

Check out the whole collection, it’s all fantastic. And if you’ve got a style you think French Loser would dig, try submitting your work- winners get 2 euros per shirt sold.

10 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #25: Citizenship

This week’s Shirt.Woot Derby theme is a doozy: Citizenship. And as if that weren’t already a tough enough challenge, the powers that be have further decreed that all shirts must be text-free. They’ll also be rejecting anything that has an anti-immigration message.

Submissions can be entered starting at noon on Friday, continuing through Wednesday at noon. Voting is on-going until Thursday at noon. The three top vote-getters will be sold next weekend, earning their creators up to $500 for the first day of sales and an additional $2 per shirt sold after that point.

Derby fanatics already know about Best Losers (your source for information on losing designs) and ShirtDerbyStats (vote estimates for fogged shirts), but they’re also good reading for more casual derbiers as well.

10 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Computer Arts and Spreadshirt: Win 30 Shirts with Your Design

Computer Arts has teamed up with Spreadshirt to offer some lucky person 30 free shirts with their own design.

All you have to do for your chance to win is log into Computer Arts (registration is free, and the subscriber number is not required) and answer a quick question about Spreadshirt. Easy as pie.

The contest rules seem to imply that this is only open to residents of Great Britain, but I confess that I entered anyway.