Chimpogo recently announced new standard shipping rates of Â£1 for UK & Europe orders and Â£2 for the rest of the world. Woohoo, let’s rejoice! Or, at the very least, buy some T-Shirts! And if you’re so inclined to test out these new shipping rates then feel free to take a peek and the two suggested tees below, a free gift from me to you (no shipping required).
It was my pleasure to interview Dale Edwin Murray for this weeks Indie Tee Spotlight. He has definitely made a name for himself in the crazy world of T-Shirt design and has been very successful in submitting designs and winning at some of the top T-Shirt contest sites around, like, Threadless, A Better Tomorrow and Shirt.Woot. Dale shares a little bit about how he got his start, what you can do to improve your chances of submitting a winning design and why he doesn’t wear his own shirts!
Coty: How did you get started in the T-Shirt design business?
Dale: I help start an online t-shirt store about 5 years ago. I was initially involved in content management and marketing and somehow ended up designing all of their own brand tees. I went freelance about 3 years ago and have been doing t-shirt design ever since.
Coty: What was your first experience in submitting to a T-Shirt design contest? What did you learn from that initial experience?
Dale: My first experience of a t-shirt contest was subbing something to threadless. It was a long time ago and looking back on it the design was pretty awful. It scored pretty badly and got hardly any love from the crowd over there. I learned a number of things from that experience – firstly that t-shirt design is not as easy as it might first appear. There is definitely an art to it and just because you are a good designer doesn’t necessarily mean that you can do commercially appealing tees. It also became apparent just how much competition there is out there. Subbing to threadless was definitely a useful way to get unbiased feedback on those initial designs. It told me that I needed to go back to the drawing board and come up with something better and better each time.
Coty: You’ve submitted to and won at Threadless with the designs Squeeze Me and Music Business Remastered. With Threadless receiving over 2000 submissions a week, how difficult is it to get noticed and printed at Threadless? What tips do you have for those trying to get printed by Threadless?
Dale: There is a lot of competition at threadless. There are a plenty of very talented designers over there and they get a ton of submissions. So yeah it’s tough to get printed. I thought it was never going to happen! And I’m finding it just as tough to get printed for a third time! I guess the advice I would give would be to take your time with getting your design just right before you submit it. Try and get something perfect and resist the urge to get it subbed quickly. I think it is also important to try and get involved in the community over there, to participate in the blogs and critique/score/comment on other people’s designs. Try and get yourself known and as silly as it sounds, get a good, easily recognisable avatar.
Coty: Which of your designs is your favorite to date? Why?
Dale: I guess it would have to be Music Business Remastered. It is my highest scored design on threadless and went down pretty well there in terms of sales as well. I guess that’s what I’m always striving for, a design that looks great but also sells well. Funnily enough on my way to the gym the afternoon I actually saw a guy wearing the hoodie version – that made my work-out much easier!
Coty: Aside from submitting to contest sites I am sure that you do freelance work outside of T-Shirt design. What, if any, type of graphic design work do you do outside of designing awesome T-Shirt designs?
Dale: I’m lucky enough to have enough t-shirt design work to not have to diversify at the moment. I say luckily because I really love doing tee design. But in the future I would also love to move into other areas – editorial illustrations, album and book covers – that kind of stuff would be cool. But at the moment I am all about tees!
Coty: Digit Duel is the “sequel” to your first Threadless design, Squeeze Me. I’ve got to ask, what’s the story behind these squeeze characters? How’d you come up with the concept of colorful beans on oversized hands? And secondly, are those the hands of Dale Edwin Murray!
Dale: I have absolutely no idea how that idea popped into my mind! I was just doodling these little bean characters and wanted a way of making them look really small in relation to something else. I thought it would be cool if they were interacting with something rendered in a photo-realistic kind of way – a mixture of fantasy and reality if you like. So it sprang from there I guess. So I took a photo of my own hand squeezing a grape to get the perfect pose. Yep, those are my hands – complete with freckles!
Coty: With a growing collection of Dale Edwin Murray designed tees circling the Internet, I wonder, does Dale wear his own tees?
Dale: I have to admit that I don’t wear graphic tees at all – my own or anyone else’s. I only wear plain tees. I used to wear a ton and still have them all in my wardrobe but I don’t feel right wearing them anymore. That’s what happens when you hit 30!!!!
Thanks to Dale Edwin Murray for taking the time out from creating wonderful tees to chat with me! Be sure to stay up-to-date with Dale’s latest designs by visiting his online portfolio.
Last September I did a post on 5 Ongoing T-Shirt Design Contests and today I talk about 5 more! I’ll be taking a look at Cameesa, Chimpogo, Wooshka, Code-Creations and Itself.Â
As always, each of these sites have different sets of rules and regulations. It is important to note the differences in terms of exclusivity and rights to designs. And of course, your pay day and royalties (if any) will differ based on the site.Â
1. Cameesa. How it Works:Â Cameesa is based on the concept of “Crowdfunding.” Instead of voting for tees, Cameesa users financially support designs (i.e. pay 20 bucks if they wish to see that design printed). Â Selection Process: Selection of tees into the Cameesa shop is based on whether the tee was fully financially supported. If the submitted tee reaches a support threshold of $500 then then it appears in the Cameesa store.Â Rights: Your design cannot be used for up to 90 days once it has been submitted. If it is not chosen to be printed after 90 days then you are free to use it however you wish. If your design is approved and sold on Cameesa then you cannot reproduce, sell or submit the design elsewhere.Â Pay Day:Â Â The shirt designer automatically receives $200 cash for each tee that reaches full financial support as well as $50 into their Cameesa balance and a free t-shirt with the design printed. Every member that financially supported the design will receive a t-shirt for every $20 they supported with. Profits from the tee sold in the Cameesa store is split three ways, amongst the designer, the financial supporters and Cameesa. The designers and financial supporters only receive residuals after the 125th shirt sold. Official Rules.Â
2. Chimpogo. How it Works: Chimpogo works very much like Threadless. Designers submit designs to Chimpogo, the staff manually approves each design and once approved they are moved into the rating section. Selection Process: Users rate tees on a scale of 1 to 5. Every week the Chimpogo staff shuffles through the best designs and prints one. Rights: You may not submit your design to other contests for the duration that the design is entered at Chimpogo. If your design is selected then Chimpogo will then retain the rights to the design.Â Pay Day: The designer receivesÂ Â£500 (about $722). No profits are made by the designer on a per shirt sold basis. Official Rules.
3. Wooshka. How it Works: Wooshka, like Chimpogo, works very much like Threadless. Selection Process: Tees are rated on a scale of 1 to 5. Wooshka staff then choose from the highest rated tees and every couple of weeks, new tees are chosen to be printed. Rights: You may not submit your design into any other contest for up to 90 days after submission. If your design is selected for print then Wooshka will retain all rights to the design. Pay Day: If the design is selected then the designer receives $500 and a gift voucher of 200 Wooshka credits. Official Rules.Â