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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.

01 November 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Uneetee’s November $1500 Winner

Pick Up the Peace by a nameless artist in Madison, Wisconsin has just won November’s $1500 prize at Uneetee. Inspired by legendary band The Who, this design uses words and phrases (which I guess are song or album titles?) to form an image of the band. This shirt will be for sale at the $10 price until November 5th.

And remember, Uneetee is accepting submissions for next month’s contest. The prize structure will be a little different, as cash is now guaranteed for all of the top five. First place still gets $1500, but amounts are now offered for the following four rankings as well: 2nd will get $750, 3rd gets $500, 4th gets $400 and 5th will receive $300. Definitely an improvement, I like seeing more work rewarded.

31 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

La Fraise American Politics Winner

La Fraise has announced a winner in their American Politics contest: U.Scream, by Conker. They’ve further upped the ante by using some special printing techniques- discharge and gold foil (both never before used at La Fraise). That’s pretty cool, I love seeing companies experiment like that. Perhaps the industry is feeling the pressure to branch out due to the rising star of Design By Humans?

So far the design isn’t available in the American La Fraise store (I have high hopes that it will be offered in the near future). Europeans can of course purchase the design right now from the La Fraise store, on both t-shirt and long sleeve.

30 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

ConceptShare’s T-Shirt Contest

ConceptShare is a web-based design collaboration system, and it looks pretty cool (I’m actually working on a project right now that would be a good fit for this, if there was any budget for this sort of thing).

It’s just… a little interesting to me that when an idea-sharing website decides to have a t-shirt contest, they’d provide so little information about how it’s supposed to work. Share your ideas, guys. I’m not a mind-reader.

Here’s the information I do have: 1) The winner will get an Ipod Touch, 2) the shirt design should have the ConceptShare logo, and… yep, that’s the information I have.

Tragically, a free account at ConceptShare is not enough to let the user view other submitted entries, but if you have a full account you can check those out here: http://community.conceptshare.com/

Also, just a note for all of the world’s contest organizers: It will help out your submitters greatly if you would kindly provide the time frame of the competition (an ending date would be nice). Also, when speaking of t-shirts you should inform users of any color and size limitations, as well as if the design can be on the front and back of the shirt.

29 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

In addition to a new crop of shirts, Threadless has also unveiled a new front page design. I’m really into it, as it does a nice job of promoting the community aspect of Threadless in addition to the shirts. Plus, the addition of the $10 Thriftee bargain is great- one shirt at a time will be offered for $10 until it sells out, then another shirt gets that billing. Pretty awesome!

BEarth by Steven Lefcourt (Ste7en) is totally gorgeous. It stands out from most Threadless shirts because there’s no overt pun, nothing with a face on it, and there’s no pop culture reference. Just beautiful art with some depth. I’m very excited that this is being offered in zip-up hoody form, because it’s a great fit for that format. Definitely a worthy winner of the Mae competition.

My other favorite this week has got to be Halt! Who Goes There? by Steven E. Hughes (castle). It’s a neat concept (and pretty accurate to the way children play with cardboard boxes), but the execution is what makes this design such a winner. From the fur on the dog to the folds of a shirt, textures enhance the mood of the piece. The shadowing is also done well and serves to anchor the art to the shirt. But my favorite part is the angle of the artwork- it really invites the eye into the cardboard box. So cool.

This week’s Select is Preparing for the Goblin Fire by Chris Pottinger. I like the drawing, it does a nice job of being disgusting and cute at the same time. But, as I’ve said about past Select designs, I wish it took the t-shirt medium further. Why not use a puff or gloss ink on the boils? Why not use a less typical shirt placement? Design By Humans has shirts with interesting printing techniques almost every day of the week, and I think Select designs should be more up for that challenge. Why not take the opportunity to experiment?

Delivery by Jean-s√©bastien Deheeger (nes-k) is about the plight of a stork. This will probably sell out quickly, which does nothing to change the fact that I don’t care for it. As a concept, this kind of thing just seems very overdone to me. I’m completely fed up with detail-free vector creatures and their constant single bead of sweat.

Children Under the Bed by Meg Park (MegP) is in the same category as Delivery for me. Even though it is being printed for the first time today, I feel like I’ve seen it a million times. It is well done, don’t get me wrong. It’s just hard for me to conceive that there wasn’t something a little more innovative that might have been a better choice for a print.

More Reasons Not to Go Camping by Chris Thornley (Raid71) is completely amazing. The linework conveys a multitude of textures and the splashes of red add a nuance of aggression to the piece. The only thing that kept this from being my favorite of the week is the color scheme- I preferred the blue on brown color option, and I’m pretty tough to please when it comes to natural and cream colored shirts. Still, I’d love to see a third set of reasons not to go camping, because these shirts are solid gold.

Ambition Killed the Cat by Neil Gregory (NGee) is the first reprint of the week, and I’m not really a fan of it. It’s just not my sense of humor, I guess- seems a bit obvious and (even worse) visually uninteresting.

On the other hand, I quite like Best Mime Ever by John Schwegel (fizzgig). My usual complaint about how I would prefer if they switched up the color scheme for each printing still applies, but the image itself is solid.

Overall, a pretty nice week for Threadless. I vastly prefer this week’s selection to the past two weeks’, so I’m hoping things are on the upswing.

28 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New This Week at Design By Humans

Use code EKMKME before October 31st to get a 15% discount on your Design By Humans order. And if you have your own discount code, feel free to post it in the comments.

My favorite shirt this week was The Ultimate Shirt by Moss, but it was a difficult choice since there were so many cool designs. Just about every t-shirt cliche is featured (I’m especially partial to the smoking unicorn, but it’s all great). The style (reminiscent of the doodlings a high schooler might do in his notebook) kicks things up a notch. Totally solid.

Madre Tierra by Ninhol depicts a mother nature figure who is created from landscape patterns and homes. It has a great folk art feel to it, and the colors really pop on the brown shirt. The sheen accents (judging from the close up images, it looks like they’re used on the pink areas of the shirt) probably add a lot to this one in person, as well.

Goodbye Old Friend by Sonmi is the story of the sun mourning his friend, a snowman. The style is amazing, as there is a real sense of sorrow and weariness in the sun’s eyes. The color palette is another huge plus- it has an antique aura to it, which adds to the viewer’s understanding of the sun’s plight. He’s probably said goodbye to many more snowmen since the image was created. And, you know they were totally tight because they have such similar taste in hats! Poor sun.

Migrate South by cpdesign is one of the better penguin/flight shirts I’ve seen. The characterization of the penguin is interesting, as he’s full of grim determination (instead of hopeful, the direction most of these shirts seem to take). The attention paid to the background is also a selling point because I like the way simple bird outlines haunt the background and the angle of the clouds provides some additional visual interest.

Dead Pony by cbuchholz shows a Ford Mustang being ripped apart by vultures. It’s a cool visual even if (like me) you aren’t enough of a car person to get the car/horse pun. While some people in the comments are up in arms about the addition of splatters, I actually disagree- I think they add a grittier feel to the piece. It just looks like more of a finished product to me than it did previously. I’m considering purchasing this, and before it wasn’t even on my radar.

Overall, this was a fantastic week- some really top-tier artists were printed, and there was a nice variety in style and technique. Also, congratulations are in order for akoelle, whose Squid Count was named Shirt of the Week.

Remember, Design By Humans is an on-going t-shirt design competition. If you’ve got a great shirt concept, submit it for your chance at up to $3500 (plus residuals).

28 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Scribtee: ShirtCity’s Contest Has a Life of Its Own


Scribtee is the new t-shirt design competition on the block… though it’s not entirely new. Scribtee is an outgrowth of the contest that ShirtCity has been running, but now that they’ve got some great designs for sale, it’s ready for prime time.

And that incubation stage at ShirtCity means that Scribtee won’t have the same issues as a lot of other start ups. Their voting system is built to filter out people who score their own work highly and score everything else as low as possible. And experience has taught them to hide scores until after voting so that members won’t be unduly influenced.

The prevailing style at Scribtee so far is cartoons with clean lines, much like some of the punnier offerings at Threadless. At least twice a month new shirts will be selected from the designs submitted from Scribtee members, with the winner taking away $500 and a $50 Scribtee gift certificate. If a non-winner is chosen to be printed, that designer will get $300 and a $50 Scribtee gift certificate.

27 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

The Comebacks Loves Threadless: Top Three

Now that the Loves Threadless contest for The Comebacks has passed the submission deadline, it is time to take a look at my top three picks for the winner:

I'll Pass - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Kolb’s I’ll Pass is easy to relate to, as I think even accomplished athletes have taken a minute here and there to just enjoy their surroundings. I love the sweetness of the image, and the drawing style just amplifies it. I think this is the front-runner in the competition, and I’d be more than happy to see a win for this one.

intimidation - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Katiecampbell’s Intimidation is great for totally different reasons. I love the way two styles combine in this design- it reminds me of how animals arch their backs and raise their fur to threaten predators. Except, you know, hilarious. I think the sign of how great this concept works is that I can perfectly image what those football players actually look like- even though they’re barely visible.

The Visiting Team - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

I’m pretty fond of Edword’s The Visiting Team, as well. Perhaps, given the current climate in the sporting world, the next generation of athletes really will be robots and lizards the size of buildings (steroids have side effects, right?). There are some other cool elements at play, too, such as the strong diagonal of the image (very visually pleasing) and the fact that the monsters play on even in the face of a destroyed city. Quitters never win, and these dudes are winners.

While I think the top tier of the Comebacks Love Threadless contest are pretty solid, overall this wasn’t a great competition. I think the combination of a terrible theme (Keep Your Eye On the Ball) and the sports focus didn’t do much to inspire the designers this time. So, while I have high hopes for a cool winner on this one, at the same time I never want to see another eyeball playing sports, ever.