My favorite typography inspired T-Shirt brand, Ugmonk, just turned 1! And to celebrate, founder Jeff Sheldon, has released a limited edition (100 numbered) 1st anniversary Ugmonk tee. Only 100 of this shirt was made and it comes in special packaging and includes a hand numbered card. Unfortunately, the shirt doesn’t cost just a buck (we can dream, can’t we), it’ll set you back $30.
Are you a designer? Have you submitted to Finroo yet? If not, then you definitely should check them out. They are running a pretty cool promo for artist who submit to their site and get selected for print. Basically, if your design gets chosen for print you receive $4 for every shirt sold and they donate a buck to a charity of your choice.
The contest part involves you being able to sell out your designs. Finroo does limited runs and if you’re the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person to sell out your design you win cash (see below for details). If you’re the first to sell 250 tees, you win $2000. Not bad, if you’re a T-Shirt contest site junkie I highly recommend you check outÂ Finroo.
This is possibly the largest prize money ever for a single T-Shirt contest and I’m excited to see who’ll take home the cash! laFraise is kicking off their new site redesign in a big way, by giving out a truckload of cash. This is seriously a big deal, considering that Threadless, arguably the largest and most successful online T-Shirt contest site gave-a-way $20,000 for it’s Bestees awards, laFraise is going to giveaway â‚¬15,000 (roughly $20,915.59 USD) to the winner of their 15K contest. If you’re a designer, you definitely want to get in on this!
Read on for full details:
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.
And myÂ TypeTees Slogan-A-Day ExperimentÂ continues – It’s Week 6 and I am officially in it to win it. There’s no turning back at this point guys, because if I did, that would be a big shame. You’ve got me hookedÂ Threadless,Â slogan making has become an addiction! To see all of my slogans and to vote for them check out my Threadless profile page. Vote for me and I will make you chow mein if ever we meet in real life.
I really like this slogan, I forgot what the inspiration was – probably some minimalistic design I was admiring.Â
I think it was something @jeffrey said on twitter that was the inspiration for this sentence. And I have to agree, some of my best ideas were born while I was on the can. Hmmm….
Yawns are a very interesting thing. They don’t discriminate. Yawns are the unconscious STD, you pass them on without even knowing it – next thing you know, you’ve got 10 people yawning. What’s the psychology behind yawns? I need to look that up.
This is something a word snob that I follow on twitter had said: “”group of individuals” is one of the dumbest phrases in the world, and i’ve heard it twice today.” I took it and ran with it.Â
Spoilers, spoiler, spoilers. I am not a big fan of people that like to look up spoilers and then spread the gospel. These types of people annoy the heck out of me. Keep the spoils to yourselves!
I’v never really been a big fan of paper shredders. I’m not sure why. I prefer the one-on-one interaction of tearing paper into small little pieces with my bare hands. It’s so much more fun and not as noisy.Â
I really do (taps fingers ala Mr. Burns).
Beautiful/Decay just released their brand spanking new Spring/Summer line 2009 and it’s a conglomeration of colorful artfulness! And the new line is not shy of star power either as it features some big name designers like Clara Terne,Â Pablo Alfier,Â Â Jesse Auersalo,Â Oliver Hibert, Tommy Ruet andÂ James Callahan.Â
The tees are available now at the Beautiful/Decay Store. The tees do run on the high end at $29.95, but hey, it’s art so what do you expect!Â
Very cool interview by the guys over at LAist.com with Threadless Chief Creative Officer Jeffrey Kalmikoff. Those lucky LAists got to chat it up with Jeffrey at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco last week. Jeffrey talks a good deal about how Threadless was able to build it’s company by developing a strong community.
This is just too cool to not mention. These little T-Shirt shaped sketchbooks by Burak Kaynak might look a little gimicky but I think they are pretty awesome – especially if you are a T-Shirt designer.Â
As Burak says on his website, we all come up with great T-Shirt designs (or so we think) and for those genius moments this is the perfect little sketchbook! They will definitely help you to visualize your concept before you actually get to work on it on the trusty computer. I actually am not sure if this is for sale as I can’t find a buy link anywhere but you can check it out on Burak’s portfolio site or on his Behance page!
Calling all designers – get ready for the newest tee design contest site to hit InternetLAND. The name of the site is ShirtFight and it was started by husband and wife duo looking to improve on the current crop of tee design competition sites. They’ve done their research and have also approached designers for their input as to what they would like to see in a competition site. Although the site is not officially open (they open on March 5), you can sign up to receive a 5 day advance notice of the first design challenge.Â
Miss Etti, one part of the founding couple, sent me ShirtFight’s pledge to the tee design community:
- We’re going to keep things fun, that’s important to us. We’re doing weekly themed competitions, and we’ll keep them interesting. And we aren’t just going to throw cash at the winner and call it a day…that’s boring! I can’t give you any details just yet (it’s hush hush), but we have a lot of great ideas to put a smile on the faces of our artists and community members every day.
- We’ll always keep our community priority #1. We’re nothing without you guys! That’s why we’re going to keep the lines of communication open, constantly ask for your opinions and feedback, and do what we can to make this the most artist-focused t-shirt design competition site out there!
- We want to keep the individuality and the uniqueness for our community (the artists *and* the customers)…and to achieve that we’re never going to carry more than 21 shirts at any given time. It drives me nuts to see hundreds of pages of shirts on a site…it’s like being lost in a sea of tees! By showcasing the very best designs, we get to focus everyone’s attention to the talents of the artist. Plus, if we only carry a select number of designs at a time, this eliminates the “Damn, everyone is wearing a Threadless t-shirt!” syndrome.
The weekly cash prize will be $500, but in celebration of their launch, the first contest will be two weeks long with the winner receiving $2009 cash! Pretty awesome, eh! And think about it, your chances to win at ShirtFight might be better than at some of the more crowded and established competition sites. Why not try ShirtFight out when it opens on March 5 – are you up for a good fight?Â
Design By Humans has undergone a facelift, and I think it’s for the better! I really dig the changes that they have made to the DBH site. Everything looks so much cleaner and less cluttered. The changes affects not only the t-shirt buying consumer, but also the dedicated DBH voters and, maybe most importantly, the design submitting artists. They have also added a new forum to their site, it’s a bit bare at the moment, but I am sure it will pick up steam once more people figure out it’s there!Â
As a consumer, it’s important for me to know how the actual product looks – and the new DBH does a great job with this. They now offer multiple angles from which you can view their t-shirt designs in the individual product pages. The submission process has also changed, so if you regular submit to DBH be sure to check out the submission format changes, you can view them here.Â
The only thing that I find a bit weird, is that on the product thumbnail page (see below for example, or go the men’s product page here), they use the same guys repeatedly. Granted, the model changes by row, but still, it’s kind weird seeing the same dude over and over again. It’s kinda creepy in the cloning sense. Other than that minor detail, I dig the changes they have made over at Design By Humans!
“DBH is about the artists, their fans, and t-shirt lovers.Â So, to improve the experience for all of you, we have launched this new site with many improvements.
For shirt lovers, we have changed the way our shirts are displayed, giving you a much better view of our shirts. Our new product page shows you the shirt from several angles, and you can open a larger version of any of our product photographs. And while you are shopping, adding an item to your cart no longer takes you away from your browsing.
For our artists, we have a new submission process with a new format for your submitted art. This, along with our new visual design, will allow us to do a much better job of showcasing the quality art that you submit. We also have a new design guide to help you format your art for our new site.
As for the fans of the artist, we have a redesigned vote section. It gives you a better view of submitted art while you are browsing and, if you click a design, a large image of the art and its intended placement on the shirt. You can also see all designs that you have voted for and keep track of which of those become printed.
Also, for all of you, we have a new forum, so that you can interact with us and each other more directly.
And we are not yet done. Stay tuned.” -Lanaer of DBH