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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.

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.

09 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Burnswell: Leave a Comment, Win a Shirt

Burnswell’s Big Deal competition needs your votes and feedback, and they’re willing to give a little incentive to sweeten the deal. They’ve started something called the Customer Comments Contest, in which one commenter on the winning design will be selected to win a free limited edition tee of the shirt they commented on.

So head on over to Burnswell and let them know what you think! A free shirt might be riding on it! Check out the full gallery of entries here and start commenting.

08 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Allmightys’s I Am Thinking Competition

Allmighty’s is a year old, and they’re in a celebrating mood. That’s why they’ve decided that for this month’s t-shirt design contest, anything goes. It’s totally open- just create a great-looking shirt, and show Allmightys that your design is what they should be thinking about.

Enter your work before February 11th for your chance to win. Winners at Allmightys receive a commission based on how many copies their design sells, with commissions of up to 2 euros per shirt sold.

There are a lot of other changes afoot at Allmightys as well, including an expanding of the Allmightys blog that will feature posts on art and design subjects by Allmightys members (you can already catch weekly badge reviews, provided by the illustrious a.mar.illo).

Another change is that shirts, formerly sold for 25 euros, are now only 21 euros. This includes all past competition winners and a special anniversary-themed shirt by frequent winner Yonil.

08 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth by Brian Walline (thunderpeel) is my favorite this week because the concept has so much appeal- a coalition of all the major dinosaur groups stand in all their military finery, with a backdrop of the globe and the meteor that signals their demise. The audience knows that this is a challenge the group can’t withstand, but when you see the steely determination in their eyes it’s hard not to root for them. The art is quite nice as well, and does a good job of capturing the roughness of dino skin.

The Select design this week is The New City Natural Dancers by Phillip Fivel Nessen. It’s definitely a bold choice, with bright orange costumed characters dancing on a pale green shirt. And I very much like the idea of it- costumes are a tried and true t-shirt standby, and the dancing element gives a lot of opportunity for a variety of exaggerated poses. My hangup is in the proportions of the characters, which just plain make me uncomfortable.

Sock Battle by Kasey Loman (hippiekasey) chronicles the epic rivalry between sock monkey and sock puppet dragon. And while your liking of the design pretty much hinges on whether you’re into the concept or not, there’s some nice texture work as well. I have a hard time with this one, mainly because the placement seems so awkward to me- it fills up an odd proportion of the shirt, with the monkey almost dead center. Meanwhile, the sock puppet dragon almost disappears around the side.

Two Man Enter, One Man Leave by Josh Agerstrand and Jan Avendano (smelly little bear) is notable because the collaborators are both multi-print powerhouses in their own rights (as ladrones/impossiblejosh and funkie fresh). And you can clearly see all that experience at play in this design, which combines a funny concept (a nerd sits atop a gladiator, on the prowl for lunch money) with some really intricate textural detailing- the dripping of the speech bubble is my favorite part.

Be A Panda by Jasmiini Ottelin (jasmintee) is the kind of innovative t-shirt concept Threadless is known for, featuring a panda suit that sits right under the collar and a panda head tucked under one arm. If you’re the type who likes a nice novelty t-shirt design, this is probably one of the most exciting shirt designs printed in a while.

Pair o’ Kings by Vincent Barnhart is a shirt that I like because of the excellent style employed on the cards- the cowboys are appropriately grizzled and they look completely at home in their texture-filled and detail-rich environments. The flourishes in back add to the mood of the piece. But for poker fans, there’s even more to like- the shirt is a riff on the fact that a pair of kings is called two cowboys in slang. Pretty neat!

Hunting by Chow Hon Lam (Flying Mouse) depicts a bird-shaped assemblage of leaves preying upon a helpless bunny. And frankly, this is the kind of design that shirts are made for- a bold shape and concept, with gorgeous detailing to feast your eyes on in a close up. The dimension in the bird is fantastic, and the way the leaves trail off the shape does a good job of guiding the eye around the composition.

Tree Town by Jérémie ROYER (Joe Flip) is the first of this week’s reprints, and it’s a great shirt. The idea that overpopulation has created this metropolitan death star (save for one token tree) is charming and humorous, and the art is nicely done. At the same time, there’s not really anything gained by maintaining this color scheme for this print- I think it would have been neater if they had changed things up and put it on grey or something like that instead. In general, I’d love if they’d have more fun with reprints rather than keeping them the same all the time.

Inside You by Matt Palmer (bananaphone) is totally classic- I love the cheeky text and the burger’s hollow, imploring eyes. The colors scream fast food, and the style has charm to spare.

Overall, this week Threadless printed a really nice selection of shirts. Even the ones I don’t dig have some level of value to them, and I’m pleased as punch that the punny, cutesy stuff was kept to a minimum- these illustrative shirts do a much better job of standing the test of time.

06 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New This Week at Design By Humans

This week’s Design By Humans code: UK8AP4 will get you 15% off until January 10th. As always, let me know if you have a coupon code for DBH- I’ll list it at the top of my next DBH post.

My favorite shirt of the week has to be Victorian Facade (for sale) by iotadial. The drawing is rich in detail, with an antique-looking color palette and what I assume is a reasonably authentic architecture. The shirt placement also takes the style up a notch, wrapping around the side of the tee which adds to the sense of this facade’s impressive scale. DBH also notes that there are puff accents, which sounds pretty neat.

I think I just have to come right out and say that I don’t understand 3-D! Lightning Storm by yasly. I don’t really get why having a 3-D shirt would be cool- unless you passed out 3-D glasses to everyone you meet, it seems fairly useless. At the same time, I’m not really opposed to the concept as long as it looks cool in its non-3-D form. But that’s the problem with this one- without glasses, it looks like spilled Kool-Aid. Disappointing.

Crest of a Wave by WarholBot is a shirt I quite like by an artist I’d like to see more prints from. His detail- and texture-rich style is a great fit for this nautical theme, creating a shirt design that could also be a page out of a particularly good-looking children’s book. The whimsy of the ship riding on the back of a whale is really appealing.

Bisparulz is another artist I love to see printed, even though The Little Star isn’t one of my favorite works by him. It features some Bisparulz signature elements, such as the circular-faced cartoon creatures and their placement in a large triangular pile. I also dig the color palette, which takes on a bit of an otherworldly feel on the green shirt.

Pink Unicorn by carbon27 is the other shirt this week that I just don’t understand at all. I’m neutral on the concept, as I think heraldry has some t-shirt potential when done right. But the execution looks way too clip-arty for my taste- I don’t feel like I’m seeing the hand of an artist in the creation of this. If not for the large scale of the design, I think this is similar to a lot of already existing shirts (most of which, to be frank, aren’t very good, either). I do like the style of the ink splattering in the background, I just wish that technique had been used on a shirt design that had more merit.

So overall, I’m a bit lukewarm on this week’s selections. There were a couple that I think are pretty neat (though not enough to have me chomping at the bit to buy) and a couple that I am honestly baffled by. I’m hoping for some shirts that are more to my taste next week.

05 January 2008 ~ 0 Comments

The Secret Handshake Loves Threadless: Top Three

The Secret Handshake Loves Threadless, and I loved three of the entries for this Midnight Movie themed competition. Let’s take a closer look:

Midnight Recordings - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Midnight Recordings by Monkey III described the feeling of watching a midnight movie almost perfectly: the button icons from a VCR blown up huge, a wolf howling at the record button, and the text “just one more time.” It’s a fairly abstract take on the theme, and it makes for a really original shirt. I especially respond to the wolf’s textures and the way they overlap the design’s other elements.

My Kind of Movie - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

My Kind of Movie by farflung is a more literal interpretation of the theme, showing the artist’s idea of a great movie. A large, godzilla-like creature in a painted-on hero costume lays waste to a city, while a nearby plane plaintively asks, “What’s your problem, Kazanski?” The concept is made even more fresh by the stellar execution, which includes some fun paint drippings and textural details.

It's Always Midnight Somewhere - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

It’s Always Midnight Somewhere (also by farflung- that guy really hit it out of the park for this contest) is an immaculately illustrated portrait of a wolfman tenderly embracing his vampire wife. It has the style of an antique movie poster, and I love the way the fade out is handled at the bottom (it looks like the image has been shredded). The color scheme (set on a greenish shirt) keeps the concept from blending in with actual monster movie designs, as does the knowing look on the vampire’s face.

Overall, there was some really nice work for this contest. I was a bit disappointed that so many people seemed to base their shirt designs on the band’s song rather than the stated theme, but some fault for that also lies with Threadless for not rejecting any of those from the contest.