JoCo T-Shirt Contest

ByJoCo February 10, 2008

NOTE: I should have said this before, but the four awesome photos taken by Dale May are off limits for T-shirts – I didn’t pay for that. This includes labcoat me, leaning-floppy-disk me, sultry-on-the-bed-me, and sitting-at-the-desk-with-stuff me. And in general, please don’t use any source material that would be illegal for me to print and sell as a shirt.

I’ve been meaning to do this for some time but couldn’t quite figure out how I was going to handle the details – submissions, voting, etc. Then I hear about the launch of Pixish, where you can post image assignments, allow the community to vote, and offer prizes to the winners. Just the thing I needed. It’s in beta, so we’ll see how it goes, but I bet it’s going to be awesome.

The winner gets an 8 Gig iPod Nano, their choice of color, signed by me if they want, and loaded with my entire catalog. The top five get signed Thing a Week Boxes and downloads of the complete catalog. See other details on the contest page. I may or may not print the winning design (or designs), for instance if it turns out to be something embarrassing like a picture of me naked.

You have until March 2 to submit. Get cracking!


Nadine "CupcakeAndTea" O. says

OMG this sound like so much fun, must blow off german test for this ^0^

i can't wait :)

Jade says

Hey, this sounds awesome. I'll have to cook up something.

Jon Who says

Wooo! Shirt! Contest!

Yes, I've had far too much sugar. :P

randy says

If only it was something I could do (like a web application development contest). : )

JoCo is looking for a data driven web-based app provably resistant to SQL injection attacks and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities. Your solution must not require any software licensing fees while scaling for at least 400 concurrent users on commodity hardware...

I'm looking forward to your show in Alexandria, VA in March! Keep up the great work.


Nadine "CupcakeAndTea" O. says

oh btw forgot to mention it just an idea, but maybe pick two designs. one for your male fans and one girly one for the female fans ? just a though :)

Demetrius says

"I may or may not print the winning design (or designs), for instance if it turns out to be something embarrassing like a picture of me naked."

Great! ...*Now* what am I supposed to do with all these naked JoCo pics?

Demetrius says

Is there a limit on the number of submissions?

Dan says

where do i submit it?

Nadine "CupcakeAndTea" O. says

To Demetrius:
on the other ontest page it says this:
Maximum 5 photo or illustration submissions per member.
Images must be at least 300 pixels wide/high.
Any digital adjustments (color, contrast, sharpness) allowed.
Illustrations can be hand-drawn, vector line art, paintings, or mixed-media.
File types allowed: JPG, GIF, or PNG.

NMcCoy says

I lack the artistic skill to follow through on this, but I have a nifty t-shirt idea that anyone else is welcome to yoink.

There'd be text at the top, something like "Jonathan Coulton: the awesomeness of everything, now in musical form" and below it a collage in bold vector-art style featuring visual allusions to a bunch of songs: a beige bear, a giant metal Santa Claus, a zombie wearing a tie, a creepy doll, etc. Probably an explosions in the background. The goal is that any fan would be able to quickly get most of the allusions, and any non-fan would go, "Wow, that's an awesome collection of random stuff - what's with the killer robot Santa?" and the shirt-wearer could play and/or sing the song by way of explanation and thereby recruit another fan.

Shruti says

That does sound cool! (Though the text seems a bit superfluous and seems like it would take up more space than you'd have, what with trying to cram all those things on a t-shirt.) (And yeah, I too lack the computer-art skills to design anything.)

Mr.Nobody says

Well, it needs to have at least ONE monkey on it.
But, yea, sounds like an awesome contest. must... find... my... PEN!

Almost forgot...
TO DEMETRUIS: That's just creepy.

Samantha Murphy says

You should be so grateful I'm choosing not to enter this.

Tindomiel says

You're only giving us until March??? *cries* I have three other projects to finish by the end of the month! In place of the squid hat I think I'll just have to get my JoCo fix this way. :D

NMcCoy: I've been thinking for ages that JoCo needs a shirt like that, albeit without the text.

Also: okay so the minimum is 300x300. What's the *maximum* resolution and dimensions allowed? *cackles*

Dan Barbour says

This sounds awesome and i designed one already, however the site does not seem to be letting me upload it from "Microsoft: Paint". Any idea why this might be?

Tindomiel says

Check the format for your file; I think it needs to be either jpeg, png or gif.

Tindomiel says

Er, jpg not jpeg.

Whitmer08 says

woot!!! first to post a design..... i guess the means mine will suck :(

Demetrius says

I'm guessing that the image used for the contest would be different from the one JoCo actually uses to print shirts. The print version would need to be MUCH higher resolution that 300x300 (by a factor of 10, probably.)

Renee says

“I may or may not print the winning design (or designs), for instance if it turns out to be something embarrassing like a picture of me naked.”

In other words you just *might* choose, as the winning design, something involving a picture of you naked? ;)

Roman V says

You guys have got to remember that t-shirts are a good form of advertising, so maybe you can have a plug somewhere it might not hurt....... Then again, it might be extremely painful, who knows,

Demetrius says

"Roman V Says: "

I would think a URL could be added to the back of any shirt, if it didn't make it prohibitively expensive to print. Then, it could be as big as you want - and you wouldn't have to work it into the design.

Mark Gordon says

I'm thinking that SVG might be a better choice for a computer-based original. Various tools can be used to convert to raster formats (jpeg, png, gif), but with arbitrary resolution.

Cambiata says

I saw this at work and couldn't wait to get home and start working on a concept. Good times!

James says

I sooo wish I had talent....

Jon Who says

Me too. And a decent idea. (Just keep waiting Jon, soon you'll get a signature and we can relax)-I'm not creepy, I swear :P

Fraya says

Yay pure uncut Columbian grade awesome now injectable directly into the eyeball... just what I was hoping for. I was starting to build up a tolerance to the usual headphone IV on infinite loop.

JoCo says

Yeah, the minimum size is kind of an unnecessary spec for the purposes of a shirt design, but it was required when I set the thing up. And maximum size, I don't know. Just make it shirtable and we'll be in business.

Tindómiel says

Ok. :) I had to ask; I'm just anal-retentive like that sometimes. I notice now that Cafepress shirt template is 10"x10" so I'll keep that in mind.

Colleenky says

Did anyone notice any guidelines regarding the voting? I.e., can you vote for more than one design?

Gary says

I had the shirtables once. Missed a whole week of work.

LSK says

Collennky: You can vote for as many designs as you wish for, but only once.

JP says

Yes, finally a task worthy of my stick finger army and kindergarten like artistic ability. My design will make the rest of you feel good about your design.

"Well at least it doesn't look like the pile of crap that guy did."

Alex says

So the voting only begins after March 2, right? Or am I just missing where I can vote for the designs right now?

Andrea says

Question: Can we modify photos from your online press kit or would that violate the photographer's copyright?

@JP, never underestimate the power of the stick figure.

manyhills says

@Alex: if you click on one of the images at the bottom, and you're logged in, it should give you the option to vote, via two natty and handily labeled buttons.

@Andrea: especially a stick figure carrying a bazooka.

JoCo says

@Andrea: I should have said this before, but the four awesome photos taken by Dale May are off limits for T-shirts - I didn't pay for that. This includes labcoat me, leaning-floppy-disk me, sultry-on-the-bed-me, and sitting-at-the-desk-with-stuff me. And in general, please don't use any source material that would be illegal for me to print and sell as a shirt.

Arkenwraith III says

I posted the "Mandelbrot Fractel" T-Shirt design.... and i'm happy :)

I really think "Misfits Unite" would be a good shirt it always makes me smile.

Len says

Thanks man!

Hey, BTW, the Code Monkey brain one is cute, but you forgot to ask me if you could use the monkey...I know it's on JoCo's site, but I'm just sayin'.

Colleenky says

alex: You should be able to vote right now. The Pixish site doesn't seem to be working properly at the moment. Last night, I was able to click on each design and was given the option to vote. Now you can't click on the designs. Also, more designs have been submitted than are showing on the page.

jon says

Yeah, some designs are missing. The one with the still alive guitar was one I'd have worn. One of my favorites

Colleenky says

Update: One must be logged on in order to vote. Oops. However, I still think that there might be more submissions than are showing up on the contest page.

Len says

I think once you vote on them for the day, they disappear until the next day. I believe I saw all of them when I checked the site today.

Scottus0 says

Is it awkward that my design uses a Creative Commons-licensed photo by one of the other submitters?

Colleenky says

Len: But I haven't voted on anything yet. And I haven't even seen the still alive guitar design that jon mentioned. Also, are there just fifteen designs? There were fifteen last night and fifteen today, but some are different. I can't imagine that the exact same number of people withdrew their submissions as have submitted new designs. I've sent a message off to Pixish. Maybe it's a Vista thing.

Andrea says

@scottus0, was the photo licensed in such a way as to allow commercial use?

@JC, thanks for the clarification, and someone appears to have used the floppy-shirt picture already, so oops... Can you remove illegal entries from the running yourself?

Scottus0 says

Yeah, I made sure that it was licensed to allow commercial use. Specifically it was under an Attribution-Share Alike license. I only noticed after I submitted that the photographer, Dan Coulter, had submitted their own design to the site as well.

Jacob says

I am SO all over this.

And I did not realize "bajillion" is a word.


Ferix says

Heh, im done with mine, who knows, I could win, =P

jon says

I got one up. It looks like there's a problem with early entries. You can search for them, but they aren't listed easily like more recent entries.

Scott says

Et tu, JoCo? Spec work is bad for the illustration/design industry. I would encourage you to abandon Pixish. Offering your work for free may work for you, but adding legitimacy to a website that asks the online artist community to do the same is unfortunate.
Check out metafilter and for more on the ongoing debate regarding this new and suspicious site. Please.

e.deavila says

Maybe somenone can help me. The site Pixish won't let me upload any of my files to the contest page. Any ideas?

Mark Gordon says

@Scott: I think he was asking for designs from his fans, chiefly via this blog, rather than from the online artist community. I sent him a draft design a couple weeks back, unsolicited, saying that I'd love for him to use it, and I wasn't asking for any money. It's not like I need the cash to pay for my copies of GIMP and Inkscape. There's a theme here; I wonder whether you're going to pick up on it.

Colleenky says

e.deavila: Apropos of one of my previous comments, first, are you logged in? :-) Once logged in, go to the contest page. Click "Submit." Immediately below "Choose Your Picture," there is blue text that says, "Add More Pictures." Click on that and you should be able to upload your pics.

If I remember correctly, once you've uploaded the picture(s), you will have to go back to the contest page and click "Submit" again. Then click the radio button for the picture(s) you want to submit and click "Add'em."

If you've done all this and still can't upload pics, I got nothin'.

Ceridwyn says

There doesn't seem to be room for comments on the photos over at Pixish so I'll just say this here, while all the submissions are great, I'd like to give big props to Brad's submissions!

All of them are great, and I especially love the lady version! Would look great on a nice baby-tee! XD Its lovely!

As an ex-graphic designer, I want to whip something up but have had no ideas so far and seeing the calibre of work already there it might be a bit late!
(Though a signed pink iPod nano does sound /EXTREMELY/ tempting ^_^ )

Great work all, good luck!

Oh! I think I just had an idea...

/scurries to the dusty studio to work on it!

Ceridwyn says

Quick question, where could one procure a JoCo photo that would be able to be used legitimately as a base for a graphic piece of work then?
In my student days I was very blasé about copyright issues and I'd hate to run afoul of them now!

I'm after a headshot, either a profile or 3/4 turned preferably if anyone can recommend one.

Note: I don't intend to reproduce the original photograph but use it as a base for a piece of graphic art.

Brad Marshall says

thanks a lot for the props Ceridwyn

and as far as the headshot goes i really cant help you with that so sorry!

Bob says

> Quick question, where could one procure a JoCo photo that
> would be able to be used legitimately as a base for a graphic
> piece of work then?

Probably in the press kit found under

Mark Gordon says

> Quick question, where could one procure a JoCo photo that
> would be able to be used legitimately as a base for a graphic
> piece of work then?

In San Francisco? ;-)

Ceridwyn says

Thanks Bob, I had already had a look through there but clearly people are using pictures as a base for the images already being submitted and those don't look like them.

The one with the trooper is close to the angle I'm looking for but I'm worried the contrast might be too low.

Basically what I'm asking is, say I do an image search on Google and find a photo that looks like what I'm after, if I vectorise it and mess with it, do I have to worry about copyright issues then?
Grey areas worry me!

As long as I change it enough is it not then /my/ creative work, not the original photographers?

The legality of this concerns me.

Ceridwyn says

Haha thanks Mark ;)
You send the plane ticket over and I'll be happy to take my own photos!
More than happy in fact!

Jon says

Len, I'm putting one up with your work in it. I don't know how to contact you, but say the word and I'll take it down.

JoCo says

Let me just say a couple of things about photos and images from other places: first, photos are not great for printing Tshirts. I should have mentioned this earlier on, but designs with fewer colors are easier and cheaper to print - full color photos get expensive and don't look very good. Also, you shouldn't really take something that's copyrighted and use it in a design that I'm going to eventually sell (and this includes Len's images), whether you're going to alter it or not. Len's images have a creative commons license, but it's got a non-commercial element to it, which means his stuff can't be used in a commercial way without his permission. Same with photos - you can probably find some on flickr that are licensed CC-attribution without the non-commercial clause.

Ceridwyn says

I dunno if that was in response to me or in general.
If it was to me, I guess I didn't explain my idea well.
If it was in general then ignore this next part! :D

I just wanted a photo to start from, to then use a vector trace tool on, create a stencil-esque image and use that to produce my final image. It would be in a limited palette and would not be a photo. Similar to the idea in this one but not in the same style necessarily.

I'm trying to find something that isn't copyrighted but short of snapping your visage myself (tricky from New Zealand though if you were obliging that would be fine too! :P! that could be difficult. A brief google image search doesn't offer up much.

I know copyright etc is something a lot of people care deeply about but it can quickly turn into scary waters for someone wanting to create an piece of artwork if they need a base to start from. =S

Muddy waters...

JessRoqs says

You MUST make posters of the Bed and leaning-floppy-disk pics. Do what you need to do to make it so you can sell these as posters. I know tons of girls who would kill to have a poster of you. :)

e.deavila says

Ceridwyn: I think your best chances for finding a pic you could use would be in this flickr group.
Hope it helps.

Now if I could only get my pics to show on the assignment page, all will be good in the world.

Al says

To lower the number of colors in the photo, try using the "posterize" or "threshold" effects in Windows Movie Maker (or equivalent).

Jesss says

Is anyone else having trouble viewing the submissions or voting? I have been unable to scroll back and see designs that were posted earlier, like ColleenKy's JoCo signature. I have also been unable to figure out the mystery of voting.

Can anyone clue me in?

Ceridwyn says

To vote you have to be logged in, then click on the image and u'll see two buttons below, a Yes and a No.
As for the weirdness of what it displays yeah I have that too. Use the little buttons just above the pictures to show in a grid view which helps but it still doesn't seem to display them all.

Maybe it only shows a certain number per day to avoid mass voting?

Roll on weekend so I can get stuck into my submission

Wayne says

Wouldn't this be a better contest to hold on Threadless, anyway? It sounds like Pixish isn't really for new designs, rather for graphic assets.

Colleenky says

Why does the stinkin' site have nav arrows if we're not supposed to use them? That doesn't make sense. I assume the site is just new and buggy. I have reported the viewing problem to Pixish, and their response was something like, "We're on it! Thanks!" But apparently it's still a problem. We've been discussing it on the forum, and it seems to be pretty universal across OSs and browsers.

As a work-around, voting will cycle you through all the submissions. And anything you've already voted for will show a button with something like "Withdraw your vote?" instead of Yes and No. Hope this helps.

[...rackin frackin beta grumph...]

CupcakeAndTea says

Some the image don't even show up :(

Im having problems uploading too i signed up and uploaded the same image twice with requirements JPG and 300x300 and still wont let me upload it

Colleenky says

@All: You can report problems with Pixish here:

CPowers says

Hey, I see a few peoples with the same problem I have. That being that I can't submit my pics to the contest, even after they are uploaded to pixish.
Have any of you figured out how to make it go, yet? I've contacted Pixish, but not goten word one back from them yet.

Richard says

Where did you get the floppy disk t-shirt?

CupcakeAndTea says

no solution as of yet :(

Thomadeus says

It looks like, even though pixish says the contest is open to jpg png or gif pictures, it is only accepting gifs. Try again as a gif and see what happens!

Colleenky says

I don't think that's it. I was able to submit my jpgs no problem, while e.deavila had trouble with his gifs.

e.deavila says

Yeah, the way I had to set up my pic were idiotic. I could only upload gifs, but the site doesn't actually show my gifs.... Just a "no picture" icon. I know it is going to bite me in the butt. Who wants to go through the trouble of going to my pixish page to see the real pics, but still have to click to the broken gifs to vote?

I know this is a beta site..... But I am sooo annoyed.

e.deavila says

So removed my broken gifs...... They thought if they removed them and I re upload, it would work. It didn't. So not only are my gifs still broken but now anyone who had voted for me before must re-vote. That's it... Where's my box of bullets?

Colleenky says

I see e.deavila's pix now (the pngs)! Also, even though nothing actually shows up, the arrows work and show "x - y/z photos". At least now we know how many submissions we can't see (50 at the moment). Improvement?

e.deavila says

Yup I was finally able to upload good pics

Jeremy says

So... anyone else having a massive 404 failure over at Pixish? I dutifully went to sign up to post my entries, but the entire site worth of links is returning 404s.

Hopefully they'll sort *that* out before the 2nd, or I'll have to pout.

Jeremy says

Got the 404 thing worked out.

I originally thought I'd enter a few thoughts here (incidentally, I have vector back up of my images, should they be needed, you know, for any reason...any reason at all) and have a chance, but then I saw some of the later submissions.

Um, wow. :) I'm looking at you, Tony Harsh. I *so* voted for these since I can't really vote for my own with out gaming the system. :) Nice work!

Jonathan, you have an embarrassment of riches here, I think.

heather (errantdreams) says

I looked up, and suddenly it was after 3/2, but the contest page says the deadline is 3/8, so I'm going to hope that means you extended it. I've submitted a design that was a joint effort with my business partners. It's rather different in style from the others you've gotten, which might not work in our favor, but then that never stopped us before! *fingers crossed*

ayşe says

heyy herkese slm!