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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.

14 April 2008 ~ 1 Comment

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

Peaceful Kingdom by Brian Chang (beesneak) is my favorite of the week due to its expert handling of both color and line. The wavering lines give the impression of a strong breeze cutting through the quiet scene, with a lever of detail that makes it hard to look away from the composition. And the viewer is definitely rewarded for looking closely- the monkeys and the human explorer (somewhat camouflaged by their color) are a nice touch that you don’t pick up on at first. Plus, the subject matter of predator and prey napping together is definitely appealing.

This week’s Select, Fangs On The Mound by Mike Bertino, is another gem (I’d say it’s my favorite Select in quite some time). The custom split pea-colored shirt is eye-catching and unique, setting the stage beautifully for the decidedly off-kilter illustration. The artist has a great style (I especially like the textural roughness of his lines) and makes great use of the fang motif. Even better, there’s artwork on both sides of the shirt. I think this is a definite purchase for me.

The Season Has Landed by Freshfauxx (dhectwenty) uses that same style that the artist has used to great effect in numerous Design By Humans prints- bright, splattered colors contrasted with more solid black and white shapes. I think this method captured the motion of the owl really nicely, he almost takes on the look of a phoenix.

S’more 101 by Brad Colbow is… not a good shirt. It falls into a Threadless trend that I’ve never understood, that of creating diagrams of things that don’t need them. Which I would be fine with if the final product was attractive. It isn’t. It feels a bit boring and disposable to me, which is definitely not helped by the fact that the diagram is, according the the only way I’ve ever made s’mores, totally upside-down. I have no doubt that there are tons of other people who love this stuff and will buy it, but man do I not understand the appeal.

Such A Great Height by Budi Satria Kwan (radiomode) is a fun, iconic take on giraffes, using the overlapping of giraffe necks (coming from both the bottom and the top of the print area) to create a uniquely patterned group of animals. While this would have been a cool one-color shirt, the addition of two extra colors for giraffe spots clarifies the concept and gives the creatures a bit more personality. The only aspect of the design I’m not so crazy about is how it ends abruptly at the bottom. But even that has been mitigated a bit by the use of some leave patterns to make the color fade somewhat, so it doesn’t mar the shirt by any means.

My Fantasy World by Tang Yau Hoong (i know very little about art) is a very well-done illustration. It’s a great fit for the shirt. And… I don’t really get it, I guess. I have a hard time evaluating this one because I’m so far out of the target demographic here. I dunno, I think I’m just weirdly hung up on why the books would transform into flowers. Even looking at the drawing, I don’t see why it would be that of all things (the shapes just don’t feel related in a natural way, making it seem too strained for me).

Ignorance Is Bliss by Leon Ryan (d3d) has colors that just make me smile, as it looks as though the entire scene is lit by a sunset. The artwork is masterful, somehow combining text, character work, a realistic setting and flourishes into one tight composition. The color unites these elements, but in an especially slick touch, so do the details- for instance, the flourishes are mirrored in the lines of the guitar strings and the man’s tattoo. I would deem this the most well-constructed design I’ve seen at Threadless in ages, very impressive.

Reprinted this week: Eclipse! by Ian Leino and You Sank My Battleship by Ron Lewis.

Threadless Tee-V also released a new episode, Episode Four: Gimme S’more (which is exactly what it sounds like).

Threadless is an on-going t-shirt design competition printing seven new shirts most weeks. Winners are culled from submissions from site users, which are voted on by the community. Printed designers earn $2000 cash and a $500 gift certificate (with the chance to earn more through reprints or Bestee awards).

13 April 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New This Week at Design By Humans

Oceanic by handsforeyes is my favorite shirt this week by a country mile. Which I don’t mean as a knock on the other designs, it’s just that this one targeted my interests so specifically it’s prowess cannot be denied. The subject matter (crab claws fighting their way to the surface of choppy waves) lends itself to illustration, and the artist did a great job of using texture. The wave snippet on the should helps to keep the piece from being too boxy.

Bear Hug by jaynajaynajayna is a huge one color drawing of a bear. Which makes for a great shirt, because bears are awesome. The positioning of the bear is perfect for the medium, as his ear sits on the sleeve and the off-centeredness adds some visual interest. While I realize the Hugs text is fairly central to the concept, it also makes the shirt less wearable for me- it just feels kind of twee. Maybe if the text treatment were different I’d feel otherwise. But the good news is, the text isn’t too visible.

WinterTale by hyperhyphen is a design that works well mainly due to color choices- they’re bright, bold, and full of motion. In that sense, I think the subject matter (a dragon and a tiger) are secondary to the style, which is definitely a cool approach. I feel like the texturing takes the design up a notch, giving the impression of paint on canvas rather than just another dragon shirt.

Memory Ln. by ste7en mixes humor with good design, using the phrase Memory Lane literally and creating a street map of the mind. The CMYK color palette is pretty fresh, and the details (such as continuing the jokes on the street names, such as Fetal Ave.) are dead on. But what really sells the concept to me is the use of the heart as directional diagram on the sleeve- it adds a second joke to the shirt (heart on my sleeve) and makes the concept more polished.

Ink Alphabet by luke9480 is for some insane reason only available as a girl’s shirt, which is insanely vexing- there’s nothing particularly feminine about it that I can see. The design uses the alphabet to show ink bleeding from letters, so the letters transform from smooth, dark shapes on the left to a colorful chaos on the right. It’s gorgeous, and I think the use of a clear foil overlay would just make it pop even more in person.

Design By Humans prints a new shirt every week day, with winners chosen from the designs voted on and submitted by site members. Prizes are available for Shirt of the Day ($500 cash and $250 credit), Shirt of the Week ($1000 cash), and Shirt of the Month ($1500 cash, $250 credit). Printed artists also have the opportunity to earn residuals through DBH’s Rockstar Awards Program.

13 April 2008 ~ 1 Comment

American Apparel Shrinking Test

The folks at Spreadshirt recently did some testing on American Apparel shirts to determine how much they shrink after many washings. It’s interesting to note that even after 20 washings, the shirts only had minimal shrinking. This is likely due to the fact that the shirts were hang dried… which makes me wonder if there’s been a similar test done by anyone of how AA shirts old up after being heat dried.

The Spreadshirt UK blog has some great in-depth information on their test results.

12 April 2008 ~ 3 Comments

Design a Shirt for Obey and Metropark

12 April 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #38: The Year You Were Born

This week’s Shirt.Woot Derby is all about you- or at least all about the year you were born. So it’s time to try your hand at summing up your birth year in a shirt design, without the use of crutches like text and copyrighted imagery.

The derby is open to new entries until Wednesday at noon. Voting is on-going until Thursday at noon. The top three shirt designs, as voted on by Shirt.Woot members, will be printed the following weekend. Each printed designer earns $1000 for the first day of sales, augmented by a $2 per shirt bonus for every shirt sold after the first day.

09 April 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Attn Board Game Fans: Pozy.com Seeks Alien Designs

Hardcore board game fans probably already know about Pozy.com. They’re a site selling massively discounted board games, with just one available every day (sort of a take off on the business model of Woot.com).

Anyway, the main page of their website features an alien. And they’re pretty sure Pozy fans can make an even better one. The winner gets some serious board game riches: $225 of Pozy priced games (which basically means at their half off rate). Plus, the design will be displayed on the web page- and possibly shirts.

If this sounds like a challenge you’re into pursuing, check out the contest brief and make sure you get your entry in before April 20th, 2008.

Thanks to Joe of Fantastic Bonanza for the tip!

09 April 2008 ~ 1 Comment

New Shirts at Camiseteria

Camiseteria just printed six brand new shirt designs, all culled from the submissions i their on-going t-shirt design contest. My favorites are Carnabrasilia by Draco and Big Sushi by Leonardo Matos. Both have a fresh, colorful and cartoon-y appearance, very much the vibe I associate with Camiseteria’s catalog.

Camiseteria is Brazil’s on-going t-shirt design contest. They welcome entries from all over the world, and winners earn R$600 cash and R$400 in Camiseteria products.