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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.

19 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Music Tree at Uneetee

Uneetee‘s newest winner is one of the cleanest designs I’ve seen them print. Music Tree by Danr is a perfect merging of the tree with music, using an expanding scroll to form the trunk and branches. The colors are fresh and the concept is very well expressed. All in all, a great shirt and a very worthy winner.

17 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless Spring Cleaning Sale

Threadless’s Spring Cleaning Sale is underway, and shirts are all marked down by about $5- that means some pieces can be had for as little as $9!

Aesthetic Truculency by Kneil Melicano (roadkill3d) is the best shirt of a really amazing group. The visual humor is solid, but the value of the piece goes far beyond that- from the sharp flames on the candles to the velvety texture of the chair, the attention to detail and differing treatment of surfaces is awesome to behold. The use of the wallpaper fragment as a binding for the scene works well, and also firmly plants the surreal scene in the past. Amazing work.

Homage To The Hunter by Tony Elmore (empiricist) is a great use of the front and back of the shirt, displaying an idyllic scene of two deer in the woods on the front, and on the back showing the hunter poised to track down some dinner (complete with the family he supports, sitting just behind him). The design is in a line drawing style, with various textures inked in. A second color, blue, calls out the cold breath of both the humans and the animals involved. I really love this piece, as it does an expert job of showing what hunting is, and why it is, without devaluing any of the creatures involved.

Citrust Me by Thomas De Santis (Montro) takes a popular optical illusion and transplants it to a shirt. On the screen, the lemon shapes that form the leaves appear to blow in the breeze. In person, the illusion will likely not be as strong, as it is boosted considerably by the refresh rate of computer monitors. I have to say, even if it worked perfectly, I’d be a bit baffled as to why anyone would want to wear it- it’s not a particularly cool image.

Graphic Endeavors by Matt W. Moore is this week’s Select, a kind of visual experimentation of line, shape and color. It’s definitely full of motion and depth, and the odd choice to print a glowing outline on the back of the shirt is interesting, if a bit baffling. My only real objection to the shirt, though is the compact rectangular shape it inhabits- it kills the motion of the art on the shirt. Instead of checking out the cool ways the lines intersect, the eye is naturally drawn to the boring exterior edges.

Pinata by Priscilla Wilson (valorandvellum) is another example of the intricate linework its artist favors, and the textural quality of those lines really does a nice job of bringing the pinata to life. The subtle, explosive pattern in back adds a nice dose of action, and the creatures pulling the pinata rope on the back of the shirt are a humorous, whimsical touch. All in all, it’s a near-perfect shirt.

Clockwork Kit by Kerkko Ulmanen (gummi) is a type of design that I have nothing but disdain for- the kit. I don’t know why there are so many of these, as I’ve never actually seen one in real life. But some inspired designer, at least a year ago and probably more than that, realized that the kit is a pretty easy type of shirt to design. So that person did one, and then it blew the hell up and everyone else did as well. The only person I give any credit to is that first designer, because kits are just not witty. There’s no joke inherent in putting together a group of elements from a movie, pass time, or cultural event- and even worse, it’s an ugly, boxed in final product by definition. Super lame, especially since Threadless is already home to a much better Clockwork Orange inspired design.

Utility by Dan Rule explores the many uses of a utility pole. From locking bikes, to posting signs, to directing traffic and providing a perch for birds, the pole is used in just about every way imaginable. I like the idea of taking a look at the diversity of an urban environment, and the way a whole world grows around the pole. The strong vertical of the piece is attention getting and unique as well.

Happy Thoughts by Glenn Jones (Glennz) is a creepy look at optimism- a plane disaster, made a little more fun by the escape slide sporting a huge clown balloon. The calmness of the scene, even as a fire rages on the plane, is the same sort of odd lack of emotion that you see in airline emergency cards. Top that concept off with the artist’s signature clean lines and crisp style, and it’s easy to see why it was printed.

It’s Always Midnight Somewhere by Gregory James (farflung) is my second favorite shirt this week, and a really masterful take on classic movie poster illustration. I love the idea of two monsters from different worlds (werewolf and vampire) uniting to face an uncaring world. My one disappointment is the shirt color- I loved the mood created by the mint shirt color in the original submission, and to me the silver lacks some of that character. Still a great shirt, but not living up to its potential.

Overall, a pretty killer week- I ended up buying two shirts from this group, which is well above average. I’m glad the sale finally knocked some of these prices back down to a price I can actually afford!

16 March 2008 ~ 2 Comments

New This Week at Design By Humans

Design By Humans has some great shirts, so if you buy be sure to save 15% with the coupon code DBH22.

I Challenge You to a Duel by ckoelle is my favorite shirt this week, dominating the field with its retro-style illustration. I love the idea of two proper gentlemen settling their differences with an impromptu bicycle race, and the differing treatments of the bikers’ speech balloons adds a cool element of hope and victory.

All is Vanity by mathiole is a colorful, chaotic print featuring some fit ladies with beastly faces. To me, the hand-drawn elements are what really make this a great piece, meaning that it sings in a close up in a way that can’t be seen in the full shirt view. This mixing of technique is cool, innovative, and ultimately very eye-catching.

Strange Cloud by huebucket is a delicate line drawing that comes to life because of the bright gradient it was printed with. The colors evoke a sunset, and the lines expertly find the middleground between wisps of cloud and strands of hair. I don’t really understand what the woman’s expression is meant to portray, but it’s intriguing and doesn’t detract from the piece.

Double-crossed by stubbythumbs is a stencil-inspired depiction of a business man making a deal with the devil. But in keeping with how cutthroat business has become, he appears to be set to cheat the devil. The stencil style is a great fit for t-shirt art (they deal with the same sort of color restrictions, so it makes sense) and the anti-corporate message fits it well.

Lonely Planet by opifan64 is a dreamy drawing of a guy with his own small planet. In his solitude, the planet’s other inhabitant (a tall tree) has taken on animal characteristics, maybe giving the hermit a pal to pass the time with. It’s well drawn, and the colors almost seem to glow in the deep black of the fabric. Great work.

Overall, a really great week- there’s not a single shirt that I wouldn’t have wanted to see printed, and there are a few on my Buy list. I have nothing but good things to say about the selections this week, which is awesome. Best week in a while, and maybe even one of the best weeks yet.

16 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Allmightys and Popdeck present Out and About

For their newest design competition, Allmightys is trying something new- they’ve teamed up with Popdeck to create a contest that will result in a winning shirt and a winning deck- while they don’t have to match exactly, they should be related.

Allmightys is also allowing people to enter shirt designs without an associated deck design, though those submissions will not be eligible for the Gold Prize. Allmightys may choose to print Silver, Bronze, and Special Selection winners in addition to the Gold Prize.

Submissions fitting the theme Out and About should be made before April 21st, 2008. Winners receive a free copy of their winning shirt and a commission on all shirts of their design that are sold.

15 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Suicide Monkey at A Better Tomorrow

Bold cartoon graphics, cutely grotesque styling and a strong sense of motion propelled Suicide Monkey to the top of the heap in A Better Tomorrow‘s on-going t-shirt design contest.

While the whole site is in German, entries from all over the world are welcome. Printed artists at ABT receive 500 euros.

15 March 2008 ~ 1 Comment

Shirt.Woot Derby #34: Canada

I’ve got to say, this week’s theme for the Shirt.Woot Derby is a bit of a letdown, especially after two weeks of really fun concepts (Line Art and Lyrics). This time around, designers have to make a shirt about Canada. So far, the field is pretty cluttered with maple leaves, moose, and the word Eh, which I guess is to be expected.

The derby is currently open for submissions, and will remain open until Wednesday at noon. Voting is open until Thursday at noon. The top three vote-getters will be printed next weekend, with the winning designers earning $500 for the first night of sales and an additional $2 per shirt sold after that point.

13 March 2008 ~ 2 Comments

Human Giant Loves Threadless

Ok, before I summarize the contest, I need to get one thing out of the way: I love Human Giant. I think they’re hilarious, and after I watched this season’s premiere I IM’d half the internet trying to get them to watch. So, this pretty much rates as the best contest ever, in my mind.

The Human Giant Loves Threadless competition is looking for designs made with the theme Old-Fashioned Fun. They’re a sketch comedy group, so I assume anything with a good sense of humor has the edge to win.

Enter before April 15th, 2008 for your chance to nab the huge prize package: $2000 cash, a $500 Threadless gift certificate, a Sanyo Xacti Digital Camcorder, a costume from the first season, an autographed Human Giant poster, personalized character answering machine messages, a signed t-shirt gun, a headshot of Cody Austin from Shutterbugs, sweatbands from the T-Shirt Squad, and a deck of cards from the Illusionators. It’s like a fan’s dream come true, I swear.