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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.

25 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New at Uneetee: Abstract Thinking

Uneetee‘s newest contest winner is Abstract Thinking by jsheldon. The design uses a large swath of vectory swooshes to represent a woman’s hair, and the swooshes themselves are well-constructed. That said, two things about this piece don’t really work for me- the bulk of the collective swooshes (they feel too large and over-powering on the shirt to me, as I don’t feel there’s enough negative space to offset that) and the woman’s face (the proportions there feel off to me, and it just doesn’t seem to have received any attention in terms of the linework). I’d deem this an idea that could have been really cool, but ultimately came up short in my opinion.

Uneetee announces a new $1500 winner every week, with designs chosen from the collection of submitted designs that the community has voted on.

24 March 2008 ~ 1 Comment

Spring Sale, More New Shirts at Threadless

Thanks to some server hiccups early last week, Threadless decided to extend their Spring Sale until Wednesday. There’s also a sweet coupon for the occasion: code spring08 will knock $5 off an order of $50 or more for the first 5000 people who use it.

Current by Dan Rule is a great take on infinity, using the easily recognizable symbol to form a river that flows into itself. The gorgeous hand-drawn style conveys the speed of the river well, and the inclusion of both human and natural elements mirrors the sense of interdependence that the symbol implies. The canoes are an especially nice touch, and they make me imagine riding that river for an afternoon of endless fun. While I love the design, though, the placement is incredibly awkward for ladies- a little smaller and a little higher up, and I doubt there would be so many complaints.

Staring Into Space by HORT is this week’s Select, using some puff ink and a custom shirt color. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan- while I like the idea of puff ink, the shapes over astronaut faces is more weird than attractive or interesting to me. I’d call it a cool visual experiment, but not one that I would personally want to wear.

King of Clubs by Ron Lewis recasts the king from a deck of playing cards as a boom box-toting hipster, complete with oversized sunglasses and a sweatband. I like the element of repetition and the use of halftones and patterning here, as they suit the subject matter very well. This is the kind of pun-based shirt I love to see Threadless run, because the art stands on its own even without the crutch of humor.

HOT DANG! by Andrew Bargeron (r.o.b.o.t.i.c.octopus) is like a movie poster adapted to a shirt, broadcasting the awesomeness of a little flick starring a motley crew of monstrous misfits. Heavy on neons, weaponry and fur, the shirt has several unique characters and part of the fun is imagining how they interact. The most appealing of the bunch is the one who gets center billing, a kind of blue bigfoot who dresses like Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future.

My Broderie Tyrannosaurus by Cheok Siew Yen (BubuSam) is the token cute shirt of the week, but it’s a good one. The mixture of the cute and the terrifying is traditionally a pretty successful gambit, and it works- the use of so many different patterns is another nice element, and it kept my eyes moving around the scene. My only quibble here is with Threadless’s printing- I think that given the subject matter, some stitching (or even puff ink) effects would have boosted the design to an even higher level.

Let It Grow by Florence (florever) is the Discogs Love Threadless winner. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed in this choice because I’ve seen the guitar/tree thing done many times before (and there was a lot of originality in the entries for this contest overall). But independent of concept, the art itself is very nice. It’s a well-drawn illustration, and the use of a colored gradient does a lot to set it apart from other concepts like this in the marketplace.

Reprinted this week: We Can Fix It by Budi Satria Kwan (letter) and Sublimi’mAwesomeinal, a Type Tee with a slogan by mcgowen007.

Also debuting this week is Threadless Tee-V, a weekly video that shows goings-on at Threadless headquarters. In the future, it may also include giveaways and promos. This week’s installment is Episode One: Spring Cleaning.

24 March 2008 ~ 2 Comments

New This Week at Design By Humans

More Colors In a Grey World by dhectwenty is the most eye-catching shirt of the week, and it does what its author does best- large splotches of bright color in shapes and patterns that communicate motion. It’s an intriguing image, and I found myself wondering whether the gasmasked protagonist was shielding himself from the splatter or using the large white shield to make art.

The New Sound… by Andreas_Mohacsy is one of my favorite pieces in the DBH collection- it’s an intricate, sketchy portrait of a centaur whose head seems to be engulfed in musical ideas. I love the colors and the attention to detail. I think I can honestly say that it is unlike any other shirt I’ve seen, and it is even more attractive to me because of that fact.

Revolution by phoenyx is the second DBH print to feature large text with imagery filling the letters, but the choice of photographic images instead of illustration gives this piece a completely different feel. The mixture of nature, architecture and human elements causes the viewer to question what a revolution consists of, and what is at stake when one occurs. A cool, thought-provoking design.

Bad Memory by conker is a shirt about nature’s unfortunate future. A young girl picks flowers, dreaming of what once was, while the backdrop of a hand implores the viewer to stop before it’s too late (or maybe just to stop and think). The colors are subtle, lending a thoughtful vibe to the design. Especially nice is the construction of the thought balloon, as the chaotic cloud shape brings to mind an explosion just was much as an idea.

Generic Ability by Stinger is, as the title implies, a bit generic. This is by design, as the concept was to create an original shirt out of tired and unoriginal elements. I definitely respect the experiment, but I’m not so fond of the final product. While the color scheme is enjoyable, my verdict is that the end product still has the taint of the generic qualities of its inspiration. It’s not a bad shirt by any means, but it is a bit more generic than I’d have hoped that DBH would be interested in printing.

Overall, it’s a very nice selection of shirts. I’m loving the level of variety- the five shirts chosen have almost nothing in common.

22 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Rethink Clothing Seeks College Artists

Rethink Clothing is an apparel line with a difference- their goal is to employ college students as artists, and they give them a whopping 35% of the profits to make sure that those hard-working students get some much-needed cash.

If you think you’re up to the challenge of designing a cool, wearable shirt and you can prove that you are currently enrolled as a college student, take a look at the Rethink Clothing Artist Application.

22 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s Levi’s Contest Winners


Camiseteria‘s Levi’s winners are… shockingly good. I was pretty skeptical about how the shirts would be, because I tend to prefer the Threadless-style branded contests where the actual brand isn’t the focus. But Camiseteria’s members did a great job working within those constraints.

For instance, Modelao is a gorgeously drawn portrait of a chimp model. His pose and his eyes communicate a lot of character. It’s pretty much my favorite shirt they’ve ever printed. The other contest prints, Factory and Misture Tudo e Deixe Ferver, also have their merits, promoting the product but also cloaking it with a great design.

Camiseteria is an on-going t-shirt design contest based in Brazil. Winners at Camiseteria receive R$600 cash and R$400 in Camiseteria products.

21 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #35: Spring

Shirt.Woot‘s newest derby is about to begin, and the theme is certainly broad: Spring. The only stipulations are no spring holidays and no text. With this many options, why do I suspect florals and trees will take all the top spots?

Anyway, the derby opens Friday at noon. At that time, people are free to submit entries and to vote for their favorites. Entries can continue until Wednesday at noon, and votes continue until Thursday at noon. The top three vote-getters are printed the following weekend. Each printed winner gets up to $500 for the first night of sales and an additional $2 per shirt sold after that day.

19 March 2008 ~ 2 Comments

Seaman Myth at A Better Tomorrow

A Better Tomorrow is probably Germany’s most prominent t-shirt competition site, though also a very fun place to peruse for non-German-speakers. Part of the fun, I think, is the sometimes enigmatic designs. Seaman Myth by FLSE.OE is a great example of this, as the title and specific design choices make me think it must be a reference to something, though I can’t for the life of me place it. At any rate, it has a giant smoking fish. And a pipe-smoking fisherfellow… who might be holding a magnet. And hey, is that a candle in the front? I’m confused, but I like it.

A Better Tomorrow is an on-going t-shirt design competition where winners take home 500 euros when their work is printed.