Create a Webcomics Community T-Shirt Contest!

Started by Rob, March 09, 2010, 11:15:12 PM

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Most of you are familiar with Joe Cook of Shattered Myth by now (AKA Cebronix here on the site).

Joe has been writing the T-Shirt articles for us and educating us on how T-Shirts are made and all that.

Soon he'll be working on part 3 which will cover the conversion of a raster image into a prepared file that is ready for the shirt printer; and here's how you can help.

We're holding our first contest to create a T-Shirt for this site; Webcomics Community. Here's how it works.

Submissions will be accepted starting now up until 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Sunday March 21st. That gives everyone about 12 days with two weekends in there to work on their submissions.

You can submit as many designs as you like (within reason).

Submissions should be posted in the discussion thread for this article so that everyone can see them (feel free to place your design on the shirt color you think it will be best suited for, for extra points but the final design file should have no background unless it is part of the design).

All submissions should be posted in the form of a Jpeg or Png file type. PSD's, EPS, TIF and PDF files are also ok for the final winner but should not be posted on the forum for obvious reasons (like no one will be able to see them).

Smaller images should be posted on the forums. You should be prepared to produce the larger size/higher resolution file upon winning however. Your submission should be under 12" X 12" inches with a minimum 100-150 DPI at full size.


If we get loads of submissions we will use a poll on the site and let the community (anyone can vote regardless of whether or not they have an entry in the contest) narrow it down to the top 5 candidates. Of those 5 the Webcomics Community staff will choose the winner with Joe's advice and consent. Staff can enter designs into the contest but must recuse themselves from voting if their design is chosen for the final 5. I will reserve my vote in case a tie breaker is needed.

If the final winner's submission file is not usable he/she will be given the opportunity to remake it in a proper format. Should he/she decline then second place will take over as "the" winner.

The winner will agree to surrender the rights to the design to me to use at my discretion and must say so in writing.

First Prize

The winner of the design contest will receive two free hours of professional file conversion work on a design for their own personal webcomic/website. Anything beyond two hours of prep and you will have to come to some sort of agreement with Joe (Cebronix). Most simple designs will not take anywhere near 2 hours and Joe will review your design before he begins your prep work so you will have an idea as to how long it will take before your prize is used up.

Additionally, Joe has generously donated one "Digital Print" T-shirt of your design and size choice (it will have to be on a light colored shirt as those are the rules with digital printing) as part of the prize (he's also donating copious amounts of his time which makes him just a super super guy). Although your file prep will prepare your design for the higher quality "Screen Printing;" printing one shirt is prohibitively expensive. So you will receive one free digital print instead.

A couple of tips. If you haven't read and absorbed parts one and two of the T-Shirt article now is definitely the time. In fact I'm going to link them again:

Part One

Part Two

Understanding the complexities of shirt design will give you a better shot at creating a viable design. It may look amazing but if it's too intricate it will be extremely difficult to transfer to a format Screen Printing can work with. Conversely if it is too simple folks might not vote for it.

Watch out for trademark infringement. Don't use any copyrighted or trademarked logos or characters. There are probably a dozen colleges that have trademarked some variation of a design incorporating the letters "WC" so watch out for that. Trademarks are searchable. You can search through them here at the US Patent and Trademark site although I wouldn't recommend it. It can be a headache. All I'm saying is, if you plan on incorporating letters as initials like "WC" or "WCC" into your design you will have to be careful not to copy anyone's trademark.

Lastly I want to address the issue of spec work. I know there are some folks who are adamantly opposed to anything that requires an artist or designer to do work for free in the hopes of winning some sort of remuneration and in many cases I would agree. But I do not ascribe to the school of thought that all spec work is bad. Good work whether it wins a contest or not, always improves your skill and can be incorporated into your body of work.

But I'm not looking to get into a debate on the issue. Those who are staunchly against spec will probably never see my perspective and they certainly aren't going to change my mind.

And in this case the design is being made with a specific purpose that will benefit many of us in the community.

We need a design for the conversion tutorial. I personally have never really understood what the printer needs to use my design and I've had particular difficulty in the past with Spreadshirt and Cafe Press rejecting my designs. It is my hope that Joe's next T-Shirt article will enlighten us all, in a practical, usable way, on how to overcome these obstacles so that more of us who want to open stores and sell comc related merch can. That's the goal here.

Although I have no desire or intent to sell "Webcomics Community" merch at this time I thought this was a good opportunity to get a neutral design for use in the article and have something in the wings should we ever decide to sell a shirt or a mug or something. This place is free for everyone but me you know. If I can make back some of the bandwidth and domain costs selling coffee mugs I just might do it and I won't make any apologies for it. Right now I have much bigger fish to fry, but this is a great "two birds with one stone" situation.

So if you loath spec and/or you already know how to convert a design for use by a printer then I invite you to ignore this contest. You aren't compelled to participate. But I'm not going to allow any debate or discussion on the subject in this thread. If you want to start up another thread on the subject somewhere else on the forums feel free. That's what it's there for. But not here. In this area we are running a T-Shirt design contest.

If you have any questions about the contest please ask them in the discussion thread for this article. If anyone spots any holes or problems with the rules please PM me and I'll take any amendments into consideration.

So crank up your imagination and get drawing. I'm very interested to see what you folks might come up with. And hopefully in a few weeks we will all have a better understanding of how this complex part of the webcomics business works.



Neat, I better finish all my other stuff so i can do this in time. =)


,,People never grow up, they just learn how to act in public."


I put that one in their just for you Gabor.


I can't bare all of these word mix-ups.

Bear/bare is my biggest grammar pet peeve.



Wow. Not a single entry.  ???

I'll give this contest another week. If I don't have anything by next Sunday I'm going to call a code on it and save Joe the effort.

Learning how to format a design for a T-Shirt printer is something I really wanted to know but if no one else is interested enough to participate then there's little point in publishing the article.  :-\


I've been working on something for the past hour or so, so even if you don't get anyone submit anything good you'll at least have someting.  :P


Please people, don't let my stick figures win!


Thanks Wendy. ;D

Have I told you lately that you're awesome! :-*


I've extended the deadline for submissions to the end of the month. If you are interested you have until the end of March to kick something into the kitty.  ;D