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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.

21 August 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless


For me, this week wasn’t quite up to Threadless‘s usual standard. But there are still some gems to be had in this new crop of shirts.

Grandma Clock was the surprise of the day, and I mean that as a huge compliment. The subject matter is bizarre- strange, multi-eyed faces sit atop a jumble of stripes, white speech balloon shapes, and… oh yeah, a bunch of yellow boobs. It’s deeply strange, it’s a lot of fun, and there’s no way this would have made it through the voting process. In other words, it’s the perfect Select tee.

The Great Outdoors is a gorgeous and innovative composition by an artist who is still fairly new to the site. A lot of his work has been similar to this, in that a jumble of characters and setting indicators combine in an almost collaged manner. They’ve all been great designs, and while this wasn’t my favorite I’m gad to see one of these in print.

Carnie Nightlife is kind of an interesting case for me, because I love the artwork. The problem I have is that I’m really not crazy about the way it looks on a shirt. Different strokes for different folks and all that, but I think the placement makes the white expanse of the shirt more of a focus than the art.

As for the rest… Butterfly Fish, Quack Attack, Polar Gardening and Make Yourself at Home are all really solid compositions, very much in keeping with the cutesy side of the Threadless aesthetic. They’re not bad shirts by any means, I’d just prefer to see some more innovative stuff being printed. There’s always a time and a place for cuteness and cleverness, but the catalog is starting to feel really over-saturated with it these days.

Thumbs up on the reprints, though. Both Lions Are Smarter Than I Am and the A City Built on Rock n’ Roll Would Be Structurally Unsound are on par with the current level of submission quality, if not a bit higher. Which is exactly the type of reprint I like to see.

20 August 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Keydon: Store Launch


Keydon, a new t-shirt design competition site, has just launched its store. There are already some really nice shirts available, including Moops in the Clouds and Nuclear Family (both pictured above).

While the voting portion of the site has yet to launch, submissions are being accepted. Keydon has a unique reawards system for designers that includes awarding the creators of best sellers with a car or a laptop (“http://www.keydon.com/cgi-bin/store/commerce.cgi?page=contest.htm”>click here to learn more about Keydon’s contests).

20 August 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Zazzle Talking Food Winner and New Fake Mascot Contest


Zazzle has announced it’s Talking Food competition winner: French Toast tote bag by jenimp. While I’m generally a talking food hater, this one is actually pretty cute. The French toast has a beret and says bonjour!

And as one contest ends, another has begun. The current contest theme is Fake Mascot, which is a very promising topic. As before, one grand prize winner will receive $1000 cash and 25 runners up will get $25 Zazzle gift certificates. And there’s no shirt limitation- any Zazzle product can be used.

19 August 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Parappa the Rapper Loves Threadless: My Top Three

Gmail loves Threadless isn’t the only competition that just passed the submission deadline- Parappa the Rapper Loves Threadless just passed its submission deadline as well. Some really great entries were posted, all dealing with the theme of “I Gotta Believe!” Here are my top three:

I Believe [I can fly] - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
I saw daddy planting a Buddy tree - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Mystic Rain. - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

I Believe [I can fly] uses fifties-era cartoon styling to create a scene that communicates childhood wishful thinking. It’s very charming, and speaks to anyone who was once a child with an impossible dream.

I saw daddy planting a Buddy tree uses a surreal, saturated color palette to great effect. Rather than being a sad scene of a child mourning his dog’s death, it almost seems to deal with an alternate reality where a child really can bring his pet back to life with a little hard work and determination (and, of course, a watering can).

Mystic Rain is a bit of an odd one, it depicts a leafy cloud raining leaves on a paisley tree. The color palette is completely fresh, standing out from just about any shirt I’ve ever seen. And more than any other design in this competition, it looks amazing on a shirt- from composition to color to theme, it is truly made for the t-shirt medium.

Although the Parappa the Rapper competition was often overshadowed by the Gmail contest (they ran concurrently), I think it was actually the more successful of the two. It had more solid entries (in my scoring, anyway) and lacked the sheer volume of designs by untrained and untried designers that marred the Gmail competition. During the Parappa contest, I scored nine designs with 5s (four of which were $5 scores). Of those, none were dropped early and three are still being scored.

18 August 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Gmail Love Threadless: My Top 3

The Gmail Loves Threadless competition deadline has passed, and I think all the major contenders for the prize are currently posted. Here are the three I’d most like to see take the top prize:

Home Is Where The Hub Is - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Industrial Age Internet Revolution - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Girls Love Technology - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Home is Where the Hub Is is a portrait of a robot family, beautifully styled and distressed. Use of a bright teal for the cords and other details makes this robot design stand out from the crowd.

Industrial Age Internet Revolution imagines the email process as a collection of gears and cheerful creatures. The gears create a really fun shape on the shirt, and the color selections are irresistible.

Girls Love Technology is loaded with shapes and colors, depicting the romance of a girl and a robot. The detail in the background adds a little something to each viewing (I like the calculator that says hello).

Overall, this was a really successful competition. I gave 5s to a total of seven designs (one was dropped early and another is still scoring), which is well above average. Granted, an influx of new iPhone-crazed submitters also meant that the level of total crap was at an all-time high (if I never see another lego or stick figure sub, it will still be too soon). But the resulting winner should be fantastic, so I think it was worth it.

18 August 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Uneetee’s Top 20 August Finalists


Uneetee has just announced their top twenty finalists for August’s $1000 contest. Vote now to help decide the winner.

There are some really nice designs in this group, I’m rooting for What? by Rikki B and Violently Peaceful by Chandheeb Rajakumar.

17 August 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby: Maps

Shirt.Woot‘s weekly derby is currently accepting map shirt designs. This week they’re being pretty quick about rejecting designs that don’t fit the theme, so hopefully this week will be controversy-free.

There are a few new rules that potential submitters should be aware of:

1) No designs on black or asphalt tees will be accepted (this is both to prevent monotony and to preserve Shirt.Woot’s remaining stock of those very popular colors).

2) Voters are now allowed to “un-vote” for designs that they no longer like as much.

3) Shirts will only be printed on the front (no more two-sided designs).

The new rules and increased presence of moderators is definitely a step in the right direction, and I think the new crop of designs reflects that. There are already a few promising shirts being scored, and it’s still the first day.