A Father and Son Project: Summer Melon Rain

This fun T-Shirt comes to us from Nio Marcus, the prodigal son of Zerobriant. It looks like art runs in the family! The story goes that Nio Marcus sketched one of his favorite fruits, watermelon, after telling his dad that watermelon seeds look like rain drops. After telling his dad this, Nio took a bite from a slice of watermelon, turned it upside down, and sketched away. Zerobriant fixed up the sketch and submitted it to Design By Humans. The result? Nio Marcus’ first DBH print!

Summer Melon Rain is available now from Design by Humans for $15.

Design By Humans Helping Japan

Our friends over at Design By Humans have pitched in to help with Japan relief efforts with the release of their latest tee, Help Japan. Johnson Flores, a Philippines native and Design By Humans member, came up with the aqua blue, white, and red design. For every shirt that is sold (up until today), DBH will donate $3 to the American Red Cross. Hopefully, they decide to extend this donation offer.

Interview With 2010 DBH 10K Winner Yonil

I had a chance to chat with the big winner of the Design By Humans 2010 $10,000 design contest, Jonathan Lax (who is better known in the design circles as YONIL). YONIL talks about the stress of competing, the inspiration behind We Did This To Ourselves, and what he’ll be doing with his big cash prize!

Coty: Yonil, congratulations on winning the Design By Humans $10,000 contest! What has the last few weeks been like having to wait to find out whether you had won?

Yonil: Thanx a lot man! I’ve been saying this to anyone who would listen from competition-day one: This was the most intense and challenging competition I have ever took part in.

A true mind and emotion rollercoaster. From the second you submit your designs up until the final stages there are almost two months of promoting & introducing your designs to friends, family and even strangers.

Then there’s the anticipation for every phase of the competition, seeing if you got up a stage or not. The last couple of weeks were really really hard to handle – no jokes – I personally, never actually thought I would win. fantasized, yes, but at the same time tried avoiding the thoughts about the whole thing. Winning was an absolute shocker for me.

Coty: You pretty much dominated the 10K contest having had 2 designs voted into the final top 8. What was your reaction like when Design By Humans announced you as the 10K winner?

Yonil: I wouldn’t say I dominated anything. Yes, I did have 2 designs up there in the final 8, but if you ask me if it made me feel any safer than all the others then the answer is one definite “No way”. After two failed attempts (in 2009 and 2008) to make it through the first elimination round at the DBH 10K, I was so happy to find two of my designs in the final 24 – you can’t imagine how happy. Then the final-8 day arrived and I had good faith that one of my designs will make it through. I wake up to see both made it through.

How do I handle this? What do I do next? Obviously I didn’t have such great promotional skills like others in the competition had, so I just went with spreading the word in any way I know of possible.

When they announced my design as the winner I was kind of shocked. My reaction was opening up a beer bottle (it was 9am here), sitting back on my sofa at home, letting all the stress wash away and simply enjoying the feeling. Good moment.

Coty: What was your inspiration for your winning design, We Did This To Ourselves?

Yonil: “We did this to ourselves” is a statement about what we do to earth. Us humans have to start realizing what is happening and face the facts that none are responsible but us and that is also why we’re the ones who must fix it. One plastic bag at a time.

Instead, it seems like we’re only getting more and more tangled in our problems for all the wrong reasons, rather than changing our ways.

Coty: The last two DBH 10K winners came from the Philippines. Are you happy to bring the prize home to Israel?

Yonil: I guess it’s nice and all, but it doesn’t work that way for me really. I judge a designer by her/his ability to create something I can relate to, appreciate and that changes my state of mind or emotion.

The country we live in isn’t really a factor you know…

Coty: Both Zerobriant and Christian San Jose/Archan Nair did an amazing job at promoting their designs. But at the end of the day, they didn’t win and you did. What did you do to promote We Did This To Ourselves?

Yonil: Can’t say I did something completely new here but here’s the list of my exact actions:

  1. I obviously emailed every single person I know about the competition asking them to vote for the design and comment. Some friends and family members helped by spreading the emails around to their circles of friends.
  2. After making it to the final-24 I designed a minisite so that people would know exactly what I’m talking about when asking for their vote and so that they could find instructions on how to register to DBH easily. This is the address: http://yonilatdbh.weebly.com/
  3. Posted pics on my website (www.yonil.com), on Flickr, Emptees and Deviantart requesting people’s help if they like the designs.
  4. Using facebook in every way possible, posting the links to the minisite and directly to the design at DBH, opening events for every round of the competition and posting pictures of the designs everywhere I could.
  5. Also on Facebook I uploaded a picture of the designs asking people to tag themselves in it so that as many people as possible would see it and read the info. I promised to have a raffle for all the people tagged and give out a free shirt to five people in case I got 1st place, and so I did.
  6. I printed out little business cards about myself in the competition and handed them out at the local Pecha-Kucha night in Tel-Aviv.
  7. Friends obviously helped a lot posting the links on their facebook walls and promoting my designs on their blogs.

Coty: Some critics say that contests like these are more so a popularity contest than about the art. That is, the most and original and unique pieces do not always win. What would you say to these critics?

Yonil: I don’t really like competitions based on popularity only where “most votes=win”.

If you go by votes, my designs in this competition were far from first place – I’m 110% certain of that – so I wasn’t the most “popular”.

I think that DesignByHumans have found themselves a very good formula for picking out their winners. Yes, one of the elements for judging a design is the number of times it’s been voted for, I think that’s mainly what makes this website a community alongside it being an online store, but the votes are merely one factor in the whole formula, and if you ask me, far from being the most important one.

I’ve seen designs with as much as 30 votes get printed and vice versa, designs with tons of votes that didn’t print. I’ve seen designs that I like get printed and designs that I don’t. What’s important is that the DBH staff get the final say – and this is exactly how I believe it should be – it is their business, it is their store and the public opinion is important, but it’s only an indicator for finding out where the wind blows.

Coty: Of course, people want to know what you plan to do with the big $10,000 prize. Do you have anything crazy planned for the cash?

Yonil: I just got engaged last week. So most of the prize money will probably go into the whole “getting our life started thing” I dunno – Ikea furniture maybe? How whack is that??? heh…

The one thing I do know I will be getting for myself is a Wacom Cintiq LCD screen/tablet. Been fantasizing about this one for too long.

Yonil Announced as Design By Humans 2010 10K Winner

Big congratulations to the 2010 Design By Humans $10,000 contest winner, Jonathan Lax (affectionately known as Yonil in the T-Shirt community). Yonil was indeed one of the favorites in the competition, with TWO designs making it to the top 8 finale. I actually thought that having two designs in the final would have hurt Yonil (because it would force people to choose between his two designs, thereby splitting the amount of votes he would receive). Well, he sure did prove me wrong.

Lax edged out my selection to win it all (Zerobriant) and trumped the defending champion from 2009, Christian San Jose. There’s a new design powerhouse at Design by Humans, and for the first time in two years, that person is not from the Philippines (remember, AJ Dimarucot won the big prize back in 2008 while San Jose’s Filipino inspired Mecha-Labaw won it in 2009).

I know that you are all excited to pick up We Did This To Yourselves by Yonil and you can do so now at Design By Humans for just $24.

Congrats, Yonil!

DBH 10K 2010 Top 8 Revealed

So it turns out, I’m pretty damn good at spotting a good T-Shirt when I see one! I say this only because 4 out of the top 5 five T-Shirts that I selected as my favorites from the Design By Humans 10K Top 25 finalist were selected in the recently revealed top 8. Of the 5 I selected as my favorite contenders, only Into The Light by Muttley failed to make it into the Top 8.

The next step is, well, I’ve got to choose my top 3 and eventual winner. I’m going to stick with my core favorites for the top 3 and that would be: Never As It Seems by Zerobriant, The Siren Song by Christian San Jose and Archan Nair, and Unleashed Imagination by Buko.

The Siren Song seems to be the obvious choice as being selected as the winner of the 10K contest. The design team duo that created Siren Song include last years 10K winner, Christian San Jose. They’ve even got an entire site dedicated to spreading the word about The Siren Song. The thing is, it’s not something that I would wear, so it’s not the design that I am going to choose as the winner. Having said that, Siren Song is in the early lead with 89 votes.

Buko’s Unleashed Imagintion is an amazing piece, in my opinion. However, it seems to be trailing in terms of votes (you can see the vote count for the first two days). I think Unleashed Imagination is a long shot at winning, unless of course, Buko find’s a crazy way to collect mad votes.

My choice to win and my personal favorite from the bunch has got to be Zerobriant’s Never As It Seems. I think it’s an amazing concept and it IS something that I would wear. The haunting blue hues and mysterious imagery make Never As It Seems my choice as the winner of the 10K contest. The thing is, Never As It Seems is trailing Siren Song in the early going.

So those are my top 3 and my predicted winner, which is your favorite to win?

dbh-top8-2010

And this is my top 3:

Never As It Seems by Zerobriant (my pick to win)

Never As It Seems by zerobriant

The Siren Song by sirensong (the early leader and defending 10K winner)

The Siren Song by sirensong

Unleashed Imagination by buko (the underdog)

Unleashed Imagination by buko

DBH 10K 2010 Top 24 Revealed

Every time around this year the T-Shirt community builds up a frenzy in anticipation for the Design By Humans Contest. For the Design By Humans community, this is the time of the year that matters, and for the bright artists that make up the top 24, this is their moment to shine and make some big bucks doing it. Every year, the team at Design by Humans choose the cream of the crop for their community to vote on – the big winner wins a whopping $10,000. Past winners include AJ Dimarucot, whom used his winning to start his own clothing line for infants. Last year’s winner, struck gold with Mecha-Labaw.

As we’ve seen with the past DBH 10K contests, it doesn’t just take a great design to win, but also plain old hustle. Every vote counts, so each designer tries crazy tactics to garner the most votes. 2009 winner Christian San Jose pulled out the big guns with a full fledged social media campaign, and it paid off. 2008 Winner AJ Dimarucot used the power of family to spread the word, and that did the trick for him.

I’m interested to se what this years DBH cream of the crop do to set themeselves apart from the competition to win the hears and votes of the design voting public. That’s what I’m interested in.

Oh yeah, and I also like to pick my favorites. Here’s are my top 5 favorite designs from this years top 25! Which do you love?

Into The Light by Muttley:

Into The Light by muttley

The Perfect Murder by alvarejo:

The Perfect Murder by alvarejo

Never As It Seems by zerobriant:

Never As It Seems by zerobriant

The Siren Song by sirensong:

The Siren Song by sirensong

Unleashed Imagination buko:

Unleashed Imagination by buko

And here are a few thumbnails of the rest of the top 25:

DBH-10K

Fullbleed Series 10

Designer Rob Dobi just released Series 10 of his Fullbleed line and I have to admit that it doesn’t disappoint. Dobi has a specific style, he does not rely on other artist for his brand, instead he relies on his own imagination and design skills to bring his concepts to life on T-Shirts. Fullbleed, which originally started as a side project of Dobi’s, has now become his full-time job. It’s easy to see why.

Series 10 consists of 10 new tees, a new hoodie and three silk-screened prints. It looks like nearly half of the T-Shirt line consists of prints on American Apparel Tri-Blend shirts. I’m a huge Tri-Blend fan so this is a welcome inclusion. The shirts are priced from $18-$20, with the hoodie priced at $40, and the prints $18.

Fullbleed Series 10

Rob Dobi also had one of his design selected for print at the popular T-Shirt contest site, Design By Humans. Gateway is available now from Design By Humans for $19.

Gateway By Rob Dobi Design By Humans

Interview with DBH 10K Winner Christian San Jose

Fresh off his big $10,000 Design By Humans win, Christian San Jose (aka csj89) sat down to talk with me about his winning design Mecha-Labaw, the stress of competition and the power of social networking and good old hustle.

Mecha-Labaw by Christian San Jose aka csj89

1. Congratulations on winning the Design By Humans $10,000 contest!It’s been about a 2 month wait since the start of the contest – what has your anxiety level been like during the last couple of weeks?

Thanks Coty! It was really a roller-coaster experience, from the joy I got because of all the support by friends and people that liked the design, to all the stress that came from thinking of new ways of promoting it, even the anxiety that each new round (and the consequent vote reset) brings. I barely slept in August, because if you stopped promoting, there’s a big chance somebody will get ahead.

2. What was your reaction when you found out you won?

My initial reaction was a huge sigh of relief that it was all over. But that didn’t take long, I jumped around and screamed a lot too. I was at my day job with all my officemates awaiting the countdown, and everybody cheered loudly when it was finally announced. I think I high-fived about 30 people, even the CEO who didn’t know what was happening.

3. What was your inspiration for Mecha-Labaw? What did you try and accomplish with this design?

I came up with Mecha-Labaw because I wanted to do an illustration that had something to do with my country. I came across a large water buffalo photo, and I always wanted to draw something intricate and robotic or mechanical which I haven’t done before. So it all came together with the artwork. It became an artwork in honor of a national symbol in the Philippines.

4. The final two in the DBH 10K came down to you and AJ Dimarucot aka collisiontheory, the reigning 10K champion. Did you feel like you had a good chance at upsetting AJ and winning it all?

Honestly when the contest was nearing its end, I already had my mind set that there’s no chance I’d win over AJ. Since the votes were hidden, I based my thought on the comment count and at the time, I had over 400 comments, and AJ’s sub was close to around 700. During the most part though, I never stopped asking for votes despite the little chance. AJ and I are good friends and colleagues outside of DBH, we’re even neighbors, and I closely followed his win last year – how he continuously promoted his design and got votes from everywhere. I followed his plans from last year (newspaper and web ads, giving away design resources), and added schemes of my own. Last August, I did 4 seminars discussing graphic design and t-shirt culture in schools and organizations, and after each talk, I had a chance to promote Mecha-Labaw and ask for help. I also included Mecha-Labaw in two group exhibits I was apart of during the voting process. I also work full-time as a web designer in an Internet Marketing company, so that experience helped me in brainstorming and coming up with the landing page for voters – www.mechalabaw.com, and the placement of promotional blog entries in high traffic websites.

5. You really pushed hard at promoting Mecha-Labaw. At what point in the contest did you think, “geee, wouldn’t be great if I actually set up a website just to promote Mecha-Labaw?” Was the website something you knew you wanted to do from the start?

It was a plan since the very start of the contest, the site was done right after I submitted Mecha-Labaw to DBH, and it was made public just after the announcement of the Top 20. I planned and scheduled all my promotions days ahead of the submission, and at first it was supposed to be hosted at www.csj89.com/10k/ so I could easily spread the link around, but that link was already hard to remember. The direct DBH link was also long and hard to remember, and previous DBH experience dictates that some new DBH visitors get lost when presented with the direct vote link. They didn’t know if they had to register first, where the vote button was and whatnot. I made a landing page with a memorable domain name to make the vote process as easy and smooth as possible. I also included a shirt give-away raffle promo for anyone who re-blogs, for incentive. The site was hosted on the same server as my portfolio (www.csj89.com), and the new domain name was just $9. Not a bad price considering all the help it provided. I wish I could show you the old piece of paper I drafted all my initial promotional ideas on but I can’t seem to find it now.

6. Are you satisfied with final colorway that Design By Humans decided to go with for the Mecha-Labaw print?

Very satisfied on my part, I love the colorway they chose. Some of the buyers want lighter choices though, it’s all up to DBH if they decide to print it again.

Mecha-Labaw Original Mock Up

Mcha-Labaw Final Print

7. Finally, I think most people are interested to know how you’re going to spend/use the cash prize?

I’ll give $1000 to charity, buy a Macbook, and keep the rest of the money in the bank for future savings.

Thank you very much Coty for this interview, and again I’d also like to thank everyone who supported Mecha-Labaw in the contest :)

Design by Humans Announces 10K Winner

Congratulations to csj89 for winning the Annual Design By Humans $10,000 Contest with his entry, Mecha-Labaw! He edged out some pretty tough competition,including last years winner, AJ Dimarucot aka collisiontheory. It seems that my 10K predictions were not too far off! Both shirts are now available for sale at Design By Humans.

How many of you are already preparing for next years 10K contests? Better get those creative caps on soon because I am sure that the year will fly right on by!

Mecha-Labaw by csj89

Twilight Rain by collisiontheory

DBH 10K: The Final Four

I’ve been tracking the Design By Humans 10K contest since it was first announced and I am excited that they released the final four designs that are up for voting! As some of you might know, I chose 5 designs that I thought could win the 10K contest and now just one of those has survived the final round. Twilight Rain by collisiontheory is the lone design left amongst the ones I had predicted to win. Also still left in the competition is Mecha-Labaw by csj89 whom we ran a special post about (written by Blake from YouDesignIt.com) discussing how he had taken a different approach to promote his DBH 10K entry.

So, here are the final four contestants. Be sure to get your vote in before August 23rd. Who do you think will win?

Mecha-Labaw by csj89

Twilight Rain by collisiontheory

SOS strawberry flavour by gloopz

Journey to the City of No Horizon by TangYauHoong