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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.

18 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

La Fraise Germany’s Virtual Nights Contest

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La Fraise‘s German site has a competition running right now to design the official shirt for photographers at Virtual Nights, a German (and soon to be international) party and photo community.

Anyone can enter (it isn’t limited to Germans), they’re just looking for a well-designed, two-sided shirt that features the Virtual Nights logo in some way.

Enter before November 5th, 2007 for your shot at the prize of 1000 euros and a Nikon S200 camera.

18 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Sale at Allmightys!

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Until October 31st, you’ll be able to get Allmightys shirts for just 18 euros. They’re got some nice work available, such as Hanging With the Crowd and Dream Monsters (pictured above).

And remember, Allmightys has a t-shirt competition underway. Check out their Mech Tech contest page for details.

17 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Matthew Dear Loves Threadless

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There’s a new Loves Threadless competition underway, centered around the theme “Good to be Alive.” Matthew Dear, some sort of electronic musician person, is the sponsor of this one (I have never heard of that dude, but he has good taste in t-shirt stores I guess).

The prize package is sweet: in addition to the usual Threadless prize of $2000 cash and a $500 gift certificate, the winner will be getting a Traktor Scratch professional DJ system, a signed cd and a collection of Ghostly International cds.

Designs should be entered before November 16th, 2007.

16 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

La Fraise Invades America… slowly

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I’m a big fan of La Fraise. They’re a t-shirt design competition based in France, so they have a different sensibility than most of the other contests. They’re also huge enough to have versions of the site for different languages, including English, which makes it very accessible for Americans.

Except for the store. Americans can only buy La Fraise shirts from their Spreadshirt site, and unfortunately most designs aren’t available there. Some of the designs that are available are very nice (I own Notre Planete), but it’s frustrating to see how many awesome shirts don’t make that leap (including the two pictured above). For instance, the recent Einstein and Chuck Norris shirts have a lot of appeal to Americans, but were never available to that audience.

I’m hoping that the American store evolves, and soon, because I know I’m not the only one disappointed by the current state of affairs.

15 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

Note to all potential Threadless hoody purchasers: Threadless is having a 24 hour sale on all hoodies tomorrow (Tuesday), so you’ll be able to get any hooded sweatshirt for just $25 (a much better deal than the typical $40 cost).

Now, on to the new shirts…

Justified and Amplified by Mike Harding centers around a great concept- a nun plugs in her acoustic guitar into a wall of amps. Hello, Vatican! The art is restrained, letting the nun take center stage, with bright orange cords to add interest. It’s a great piece.

November Was a Good Month by Mike Sayre (mildish) is graphically well-done. It looks like what it is supposed to. This is the most positive I can be about this shirt, because I think conceptually it’s pretty lame. I get that it’s a play on how both people and books can get checked out, but it’s just not very funny. Even worse, having a boring checkout card floating in the middle of a shirt is deeply unattractive. To me, this one is not even close to the Threadless standard.

The Greatest Connection by Melanie Hudson (melh696), on the other hand, is exactly what Threadless does best. It’s a unique (and amusing) concept, drawn up with tons of style and personality. I like that, while similar, the girls aren’t exactly identical. The intersecting of the hair also adds a lot to the design.

Playground Joust by Jillian Nickell is, to be frank, the kind of shirt that I wish Threadless would stop printing. While the illustration is very nicely done (and I’ve certainly appreciated other designs by this artist), the concept feels so played out to me that I can’t really support it. It feels more like an old magazine illustration than a current t-shirt, which is not helped by the fact that I haven’t seen one of those bouncy horses in over a decade.

Viking Bird by Graham Shepard (Tonteau) is totally sweet. I love the personality that the bird’s lines imbue him with, from the tilt on his little hat to the grim determination depicted in his sharply angled wing. The spears overhead and the choppy waters beneath set the scene, and the large print adds to the drama. It’s a slam dunk, easily my second favorite of the week.

My Rules by Christian Einshøj (splatkunst.dk) is a Rock, Paper, Scissors shirt. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said. The joke is okay, but you have to be really close to even read it. It’s just not a good fit for the t-shirt medium, in my opinion.

Royal Intrigued Series 1 by Chalermphol Harnchakkham (huebucket) is this week’s Select. While I enjoy the artistry and concept, I expect more from Selects- where are the specialty inks? the mixed media? the unique printing techniques? It’s a great drawing, but as I look at it all I can think is that at Design By Humans, there would have been actual pockets stitched in. Maybe Series 2 could go there instead?

Adultery by Jean-sébastien Deheeger (nes-k) was reprinted this week. It’s a neat, easy to grasp concept drawn in an interesting style. While I’m not big on reprints in general, this is a solid shirt.

If You Can Read This Make Me a Sandwich by Anthony Mihovich was the reprinted slogan this week, and I’m not a fan. The slogan itself is alright, but it’s been done better (I’m referring to Seibei’s Sandwich Dinosaur). Beyond that, I don’t understand the logic of reprinting slogans- the prize for a winning slogan is only $200, so to me it makes more sense to just print new slogans every time (given the high number of quality unprinted slogans).

Overall, I don’t think this was a great week for Threadless. I disliked about half of the new shirts, which might be some kind of a record. Still, there were a few gems. Hopefully next week will be better.

14 October 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New This Week at Design By Humans

Design By Humans had a bit of a theme going with their shirts this week, titled Halloweek. I’m a sucker for themes, so it definitely appealed to me- especially since these aren’t shirts that are exclusively for Halloween. They’ve got that spooky element, but still wouldn’t be out of place during the rest of the year.

My favorite this week was unquestionably Forbidden Platypus by Wandering BErt. It’s a very neat combination of images- Robby the Robot carrying a platypus, the most ridiculous of all animals, instead of a beautiful woman. The concept grabbed me instantly and made me picture what could have happened to lead to this moment.

Guard Your Grill by eskimokiss is a great use of both an oversize print and gold foil. I wouldn’t have guessed that overused skull imagery could look fresh to me, but it totally does here. The execution is top-notch, handily setting it apart from a sea of similarly-themed shirts.

Vintage Spirits by danr really sings with the vibrant ink they’ve used. While I liked the original submission, the newly vivid colors gave this one new life. It’s a gorgeous illustration as well (I wish it were shown up close on the shop page, because the details are on point). Danr’s on a bit of a roll at DBH- of his four submissions, this is the second of his that has been printed.

Pink Shirt by jublin has a seriously nice color palette- the pinks look great, and the unusual drawing style gives the sensation of being trapped in a hideously cute nightmare. I have no idea what’s going on in this one, and I like it that way.

Voodoo! by LucaT is the only one this week that I’m not really sold on- I loved it in voting, but the changes made in production don’t really work for me. Instead of a charcoal tee, it’s been printed on navy blue. The pink was brightened, and there is much less distressing. The new colors, in particular, just don’t hit my eyes quite right- I find that shade of pink on navy blue to be very uncomfortable to look at. It’s possible that it looks better in person, but that’s not something I’d risk a purchase on at this point.

Overall, though, it was a pretty great week of shirts. There was a nice variety in imagery (if not in shirt color). If you’re considering a purchase, try coupon code YP1B6M for 15% off.

Remember, Design By Humans is an on-going t-shirt design competition. If you think your design has what it takes, enter it for your chance at up to $3500 (plus residuals).

13 October 2007 ~ 1 Comment

T-Shirt Design Tips: Vector Design Tutorials

The easiest way to ensure that your work will be accurately reproduced on a shirt is to create a vector file of your artwork. Most beginning designers, though, are more familiar with raster programs such as Photoshop than they are with vector-based alternatives like Illustrator.

Luckily for all those people, there are some really nice vector tutorials online. The guys at Fantastic Bonanza found three great tutorials, and they’ve even got the contents summarized (complete with pictures!) so that you can find the tutorial that’s right for you.

If you’re into the distressed look, you should also take a look at U.S. Screen Print and Inkjet Technology’s Industry Downloads page- they provide some free overlays for distressing.