Tag Archives: contest

Make room for a new kind of design competition at Voteforart.com

I saw this alert for a new contest site called Voteforart.com and was intrigued by the concept of crowdsourcing designs for licensed Collegiate apparel. I wanted to know more, so I contacted Jeremy Parker and asked him a few questions. Here is what he sent back:

What is the concept behind Voteforart.com? How does the site work?

Voteforart.com is a new venture launched by the large apparel company MV Sport and will be the home for collegiate-licensed graphic design contests. Throughout the year, schools will hold contests for different themes, such as homecoming, start of the basketball season or a big event on campus. Artists from within the university and from around the world will submit designs and compete for a cash prize and a piece of school history. All submissions will be reviewed and approved by licensing and then posted on the site to be voted on by the Vote For Art community. The winning design will be printed on t-shirts and sold at the university bookstore. Vote For Art will give artists from all over the world the opportunity to break into an industry that before now has been impossible. It gives them an opportunity to get there work seen by thousands of people and make a substantial amount of money. We are not only helping artists get their work seen and paid for, but our goal is also to make college apparel a lot cooler.

How is your site similar/different than other shirt contest sites out there?

We are different then all of the shirt contest site that are currently out there because we allow artists to create licensed apparel. Additionally, the winning design for each contest is not only sold on our website but also at the University bookstore.

What inspired you to start the site and how did you get started?

In April of 2009 I was working on another business and we were selected to be a finalist at the University of Maryland Cupid’s Cup business competition run by Kevin Plank CEO of Under Armour. We did not win, but after the event I went to the University bookstore to by a magazine for my train ride home to NYC. At the bookstore I didn’t see any t-shirts that I liked. All of the designs were very simple and plain. I thought wouldn’t it be cool to create a site where college apparel could be crowdsourced and artists from all over the world could design what they would actually want to wear and fans and students of the university would be able to vote for their favorite designs. During the three hour train ride home I wrote up the >Vote For Art business plan.

What were some of the challenges with getting the site off the ground.

For Vote For art to work, I needed to partner up with a company that was already in the industry and held college licensing and had relationships with many college bookstores. After I returned from University of Maryland, I approached MV Sport, one of the largest marketers of collegiate apparel, with my idea and how I think we could revolutionize the collegiate apparel industry and create a new and exciting brand that would benefit the students of the university and artists from all over the world. Over the next 3 months, there were many meetings, business plan revisions, powerpoint presentations and in July I was given the go ahead.

I’m an artist. How do I participate and what do I need to know to be successful

It is very simple. Artists go to Voteforart.com and create an account. It takes literally 30 seconds and it doesn’t cost anything. Once you are signed up, you can submit to all of the contests that we have on our site. Currently there are 4 contests taking submissions including University of Maryland, Oregon State University and University of Wisconsin. In order to be successful, I would suggest first and foremost to read over the contest guidelines. Once you know all of the rules, download the school’s vector logos (we provide this) and create the most interesting and creative design. Once you have your design, place the design on a t-shirt template (we also provide this) and submit your work.

I’m a fan and an artist, can I do anything to get a contest at my favorite school?

Yes. Send us a message of what school you go to and we will try to set up a contest. Maybe you can help us out and be our contact at the University.

Looking into the future, what does it hold for Voteforart.com?

We are really focused on signing up more universities and creating a name for ourself in the industry. Since we launched in October 2009, we have signed up Purdue University, University of Maryland, Oregon State University, University of Wisconsin, Arizona State University, University of North Dakota and University of Kansas. We hope to be a site where artists can earn money and get huge exposure for their work. That is really our main focus right now.


Final Thoughts from PCT:

I like the concept of Voteforart. I think it’s a great opportunity to not only make money designing shirts, but to also get great crossover exposure to a huge college market. The potential alone for a shirt artist to get recognition outside the scope of the Shirt-o-Sphere makes this site worth your investigation. Check them out, and see. You might even find a team that you like.

Go Pac-10!

Recently awarded:

University of North Dakota contest at Voteforart.com

Contest now open for voting:

Arizona State University

Contests currently Accepting designs:

St. Claire CC
University of Maryland
Oregon State University
University of Wisconsin

Read about Voteforart.com in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Also mentioned in this article:

MV Sport
Under Armour


If you would like your site or shirt featured on PopCultureTees.com, send us an email and let us know.


An interview with The TShirt Vault and $10,000 reasons why you need to keep them on your radar.

A big buzz has been brewing in the Shirt-o-Sphere about The TShirt Vault, a new contest site promising designers big rewards for creating standout designs and generating sales.

How big are the rewards?

1st Place – $5,000 cash prize + $3 Commission on each shirt sold.
2nd Place – $2,000 cash prize + $3 Commission on each shirt sold.
3rd Place – $1,500 cash prize + $3 Commission on each shirt sold.
4th Place – $1,000 cash prize + $3 Commission on each shirt sold.
5th Place – $500 cash prize + $3 Commission on each shirt sold.

** Winning designs are determined by number of shirts sold. **

Even if you are not one of the top 5, you can still earn pretty good money.

All other participants will receive $3 Commission on each shirt sold.

You can find more information about the site by visiting the FAQ section

Since it’s a new venture, I figured that people are going to have questions, so I decided to go to the source for answers. I asked the following questions to Ron, the man behind The TShirt Vault, and here is what he had to say:

How did you get involved with selling t-shirts?

I first started selling t shirt when I owned a live music venue. We had
thousands of bands come through and most of them were in need of good
quality merchandise with fast production so it could be shipped to next
city on their tour. I saw the need and wanted to fill it. So I turned the
basement of the club into a factory.

How are you involved in the industry?

I have been in the apparel business for many years. Everything from
manufacturing to sales. I currently have three apparel related businesses:
A clothing liquidation company, designing and manufacturing jeans and The
T Shirt Vault. Between the first two we ship thousands of garments each

Why did you start TheTshirtVault.com?

I have been throwing around the idea of hosting a t-shirt design contest
for over a year. Other t-shirt design contests are great for the company
making and selling the shirts and if the artist wins it is good for them.
But I noticed three major cons with their business models: there are tons
of great designs that never get printed, the artist get nothing if their
design does not win & the site holds the design for up to four months even
if does not win. I went to work fixing the cons and enhancing the pros of
other design contests. This is what I came up with:

-All designs chosen to participate will be available for purchase for
$19.99 with free U.S. Shipping and will be printed on American Apparel

-Make the prize money higher and add 5 places for winners.

-Give all artists $3 royalty on each shirt sold.

-If a design does not win allow the artist to remove their design quickly
and retain full rights.

How will The T-Shirt Vault stand out from the other sites in the

I think we have covered all the bases to create the best t-shirt design
contest model. We are offering the artists amazing prize money and
royalties and offering the customer a quality product at a great price.

I’m an artist, what can I expect from your site?

Your design will be printed with great quality and you have a good chance
of earning some great money for your artwork.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Deadline for artists submissions is Monday Feb 22nd at 11:59pm. If anyone
has any questions of comments please email me at submit@thetshirtvault.com


For the most part, the Shirt-o-Sphere has responded with positive anticipation. Many are waiting for the launch so they can start working towards that $5000 first place prize. Word on the net is that a wide range of familiar designers are going to take a chance and try to get the money. Since it’s a new venture, it’s wide open on who can win, so don’t feel like you’re out designed already. Submit and see!

As with any venture, there are some concerns and skepticism. The following are some of the major concerns and my opinions about them:

The site is new and unproven and is going to scam the community.

I don’t know Ron from Adam. I also don’t personally know the owners from any of the other site owners, yet I still send them money for shirts and designers send them designs for printing.

All sites were new at some point and needed the opportunity prove that they were going to legitimate players in the industry. You can go back to the beginning of the Majors and find that you could’ve applied some of the concerns you have for this site to them.

Concerns about the quality of DTG -vs- printing.

The major problem with DTG printing is not the concept, it’s the equipment. Low-end DTG printers, while costing around $10k, do not produce great results. Most DTG prints that we see on the street are from lower-end printers and tend to contribute to the negative opinions about the medium.

High-end production DTG machines cost in a range from $75k- $250K and produce amazing prints.

I’m not sure what type of machines The TShirt Vault will be running, so it remains to be seen what kind of quality they will produce. I just think it’s premature to dismiss the quality without seeing an actual shirt.

Why do you have to submit Hi-Res artwork on submission?

Unlike most contests, where the shirts are pre-sold and then printed in batch, the vote/sale is immediately put into production and shipped. All submissions will be available for sale on day 1 (March 1, 2010), so the Hi-res production image needs to be available to print the shirt.

Submitting a design does not mean that you give up your rights and copyright law grants you some protections if your design is printed without your permission. Until you accept any prize money, you still own your design.

If you are still on the fence or have any questions about the site, I would strongly suggest that you send them an email and base your opinion on how they respond.

If you are holding onto your only design, I can see how you might be concerned, but if you are sitting on a few unsold designs, Why not take a chance and give The TShirt Vault an opportunity to earn your business.

I can think of $10,000 reasons.

Remember, the submission period for this contest ends on Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 and you can’t win if you don’t enter. Grab a design template here and then submit your design here.

The first contest starts on March 1st and runs the entire month, so there is plenty of time to build your own buzz and increase your chances of winning a top prize.

Good luck to everyone and I’ll be checking out those designs.

FCC DISCLAIMER: The government would like you to know that the site featured in this article has purchased advertising that is currently running on PopCultureTees.com. While I appreciate the support, it has not influenced my opinion or writing and hope you too can see that this statement is merely a formality.


If you would like your site or shirt featured on PopCultureTees.com, send us an email and let us know.


Feature Site: Chimpogo

Today’s Sunday feature site is:


We asked them a few questions to get us better acquainted.

Describe your site:

Chimpogo.com is an online creative community and ongoing t-shirt design competition. The site allows members of the chimpogo community to upload designs and illustrations they’d like to see featuring on t-shirts. Members then score and blog about the uploaded designs. Based in large part on the member’s feedback the judges pick a design each week to be printed as a T-shirt and the winning designer is awarded £500 to go with the joy of seeing their design become an actual t-shirt.

How does your site work?

The site is very straightforward. From the homepage you can click through to the “Submit a Design” page or navigate to the shop where you can check out the entire range of Chimpogo T-shirts. Clicking on a design will take you to a “Rate A Design” page where you can give the design a rating of between “0” (pretty useless) and “5” (love it). If you love it so much that you’d like to buy it if it gets printed you can click “I want it” and Chimpogo will send you an email if it gets printed.

Collision – £21 + shipping

Who is the target customer for your site?

Anyone who loves t-shirts and has an interest in visual design. At the It’s a pretty even mix between guys and girls with the age range typically 17-30. About half our visitors come from the UK. Our other major markets are the US and Europe, although we’ve also sold t-shirts to customers as far afield as China and New Zealand.

Freestyle round. Say what you want.

We were inspired by both the success and shortcomings of various clothing brands on the web, in particular threadless.com who pioneered the online t-shirt competition model in the US.

Being a t-shirt obsessive and having ordered numerous t-shirts from overseas websites I was frustrated with the variable quality and poor customer service often encountered and believed there was an opportunity to harness the amazing community of creative’s and designers based in London, UK to provide something better.

So far feedback has been overwhelmingly positive (although we’ve always got areas where we can improve) our customers love the quality of the t-shirt and the softness of the print (a big thing for us).

Customers who buy the t-shirt love that they have been a part of the creative process, it’s their comments, scoring and support for the design that has ultimately led to the t-shirts creation, which gives customers a real buzz, they don’t get with a product bought from the high street.

In 12 months time we hope to still be having as much fun as we’ve had since we launched Chimpogo. We’d like to increase the prize money and increase the amount of print runs we do each week. We’re also looking forward to partnering with some amazing brands to offer even better opportunities for our community of designers

Once Niños – £21 + shipping

RoShamBo time! Rock, Paper, or Scissors?


So far, rock wins. The t-shirt community also wins each time a great new site opens up to expand the possibilities for designers to be showcased. Give Chimpogo some support by visiting their site and checking out the designs.

Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing!


Desired Hearts

Desired Hearts, a t-shirt contest site built around the idea of contributing to charity, has just launched with some great designs available for sale and to vote on.

Says the co-founder and creative director: “We’ve thought a lot about the industry and the other sites that are doing this (Threadless and Design By Humans). We never want or plan to become those sites although the general idea is very similar. However, the core idea behind Desired Hearts is the contribution to charities while building an upscale, trusted brand.”

“So instead of battling Threadless and Design By Humans on how much we can pay the winners, we’ve gone a different direction. From now on, we’re going to give $5 to charity for every shirt purchased. That’s 20% of all proceeds going to the charity of your choosing. We want to do this because it’s what the site and the brand is all about: showing the love.”

Click here to check em out.