Speak UpA Former Division of UnderConsideration
The Archives, August 2002 – April 2009
advertise @ underconsideration
---Click here for full archive list or browse below
T-shirt Submissions are in

The submissions are in and the voting is ready to begin. First of all, thank you all for taking the time to design something and put it up for public scrutiny.

Now, on to the voting. You have to choose your favorite three t-shirts from the listed submissions. After the votes have been tallied, the top three vote-getters will be announced and then the judges will deliberate, announcing the winner as early as next week. Enough talking, go vote!

You can also discuss the t-shirts here… wouldn’t be much fun without some critiquing.

PS. A few submissions were disqualified because they did not follow the guidelines or were not submitted using the correct template.

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
ARCHIVE ID 1595 FILED UNDER Speak Up Announcements
PUBLISHED ON Sep.15.2003 BY Armin
jonsel’s comment is:

#15 definitely made me laugh the loudest, but I'm not sure I want to wear it! But I love its opposite take on how "valuable" our opinions can be.

On Sep.15.2003 at 10:20 AM
Armin’s comment is:

I uploaded the wrong submission by Brent Seehafer (#36), plase reload your images.

>#15 definitely made me laugh the loudest

Is it sperm? I didn't get it.

On Sep.15.2003 at 10:40 AM
marian’s comment is:

So where are all those people who came out strutting when you announced the contest? I seem to recall "bring it on .." "be afraid ..." and "I'm going to kick your asses ..."

I see graham and Tan, but what about Kiran Max Weber? Rick G? Amanda? Sam?

Did these people get disqualified?

On Sep.15.2003 at 10:41 AM
jonsel’s comment is:


It's talking out your ass.

On Sep.15.2003 at 10:41 AM
Armin’s comment is:


Too bad the excution is so bad. I just couldn't tell what it was. Good idea though.

On Sep.15.2003 at 10:45 AM
vibranium’s comment is:

Wow, nice overall effort here, huh? One thought I had is at times some of these designs make 'speak up' look like some kind of advocacy group. For like Animal Rights or Child abuse...

I'm torn, need more time to decide. I feel like a dumbass deciding when I never threw anything into the pile...I SUCK!

On Sep.15.2003 at 10:46 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>Did these people get disqualified?


On Sep.15.2003 at 10:46 AM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

but what about Kiran Max Weber?

Work. Met a girl. Preparing for Screen. Got sick.

On Sep.15.2003 at 10:48 AM
Patrick’s comment is:

The hardest question, both in designing and voting, is "Would I want to wear this?" I had some other ideas that would have been more illustrative and eye-catching, but the answer to the above question was "no."

The thing I notice is that there is a distinct lack of visual references to design. There's not a single one that gives you a clue to what Speak Up is about (mine included, and I wrestled with this issue before submitting).

On Sep.15.2003 at 10:49 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

I think I was disqualified :o(

Oh well.

I like the concept of 03, though I think it could have been a bit more subtle.

I love 8, 9 and 10.

22 is clever.

I don't 'get' the RV, Tan, but I like the look.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:01 AM
Tan’s comment is:

There's a megaphone on top of the RV -- like for elections campaign road trips.

and plus, I had the RV image, and thought it'd be cool to wear.

and, I had to submit something to back up the smack talk -- so marian wouldn't be able to grill my ass afterwards.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:12 AM
Rick G’s comment is:

No, sorry-

My father is very ill and I haven't really had time to do anything. Been sitting in a hospital room when I'm not at work.

Sorry to be a bummer. If you smoke, quit now. It ends badly.


On Sep.15.2003 at 11:14 AM
rebecca’s comment is:

I would like to stipulate that I'm only willing to pay $10 plus shipping if these shirts come in Youth Large or smaller. I don't need another nightdress.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:15 AM
Rick G’s comment is:

Oh, and it's all about #18.


On Sep.15.2003 at 11:16 AM
Armin’s comment is:

I completely missed Darrel Austin's submission. It's the last one, if you like it and have already voted you may vote again, but only if it's for that one. Your past votes will count too.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:17 AM
Michael’s comment is:

Not to be a baby, but mine seems to have been disqualified too...not sure why.

> there is a distinct lack of visual references to design.

I completely agree. Why is it so hard to say "graphic design"?

That said, I'm digging #13. Looks very Speak Up-ish. Also liking the idea of #30, just wish the type was stronger.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:31 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Well, if Tan's shirt wins, then it's obvious that we all need to chip in and get an actual Speak Up RV.

I'm in.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:31 AM
Tan’s comment is:

right on bro. a '74 Winnebago with an 8-track player.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:34 AM
marian’s comment is:

I'm just going to put a little plug in here for my design (#13) (I don't recall any rules forbidding me from trying to persuade the judges).

Initially, it may just look like a gratuitously pretty thing. BUT, the custom lettering of Speak Up is based on Unibody Italic (the pixel font used on this site), the ornament is obviously in keeping with the pixel ornamentation on this site, and as a whole it represents the complex and eloquent interaction of this community (as well as the occasional sidetrack as represented by the long curly tail). Plus, it passed my "I'd wear that" test (though we've already established I have a little different dressing style than most of you).

Having said all that, I'm really fond of the headless bodies of #18. We are the opposite of talking heads, no? I'd wear that, too.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:45 AM
Tan’s comment is:

hey, no campaigning!

well, except unless someone asked about your RV, and you just answered...

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:49 AM
Sam’s comment is:

Nice efforts, everyone. It seems right to me that the idea is speaking rather than graphic design--the dialogue is the heart of speakup, and besides, any tshirt is designed inevitably anyway. A design just about design would be less good.

Sorry I didn't submit, but I am no longer a graphic designer. If anyone needs me to revise proposals and get repeated print estimates, I'm your man.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:50 AM
Lea’s comment is:

I'm #12 -- interesting. The deadline (Sept.12) was my bday and my submission # is 12! Oooh aaaahhh...

Here is my thought process:

I tried to subtly reference graphic design with my little morse code treatment. It spells "speak up" in morse code! (and lookey, the exclamation mark might be a little morse code) What's better than visually representing a sound code? Considering "Speak up" is about talking. But we're graphic designers...

LOL. That is my attempt at being clever.

Ahem. I really like #26. Because I like cats. And it's cute. And I look good in Green. #29 is pretty clever too... Am torn. Will decide later what to vote (yah, I'm not gonna vote for mine... sniff)

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:52 AM
Lea’s comment is:

P.S. I'm most likely going to buy a shirt if it was printed on say, an American Apparel M/One Size women's tee. ;) Well, it doesn't have to be American Apparel, but they do a good job.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:54 AM
Patrick’s comment is:

>I completely agree. Why is it so hard to say "graphic design"?

FYI, I originally had crop and registration marks around my bubble (#28) to reference the process of design. But it took away from the concept (that the bubble was eminating from the wearer) so I removed them.

Speaking of other options, I could'a turned this in, but it broke the anti-acronym guidelines.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:56 AM
Tan’s comment is:

hahahaha....Patrick. hysterical.

I would've worn it just for spite!

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:58 AM
Michael’s comment is:

Marian: I see the sidetrack now. Very funny/smart.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:58 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Apparently, I missed another one. This is harder than I thought. There is a new t-shirt by Michael Mesker (#39) at the bottom. Same deal as Darrel's: if you like it vote for it and it will be added to your previous voting.

Sorry for all the confusion.

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:00 PM
pa’s comment is:

>I completely agree. Why is it so hard to say "graphic design"?

i don't think there is a need trying to express graphic design. if the design is any good the graphic design is embedded anyway. i think the design should focus more on making your voice heard.

i personally go for the simple versions. (may i plug #03? and for the californian's... vote NO on the recall)

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:04 PM
marian’s comment is:

Patrick, I LOVE your alternate. I love it because it's such an in-joke, and Armin seems to be kinda exclusive in an inclusive kind of way.

See, I like it when I get a little background on the design. Like Lea's morse code, I didn't see that, and now I like it more. We all know that it's death to a design to let it go marching off to the client all by itself, without us there to defend it. So I say, don't wait to be asked, I'd like to hear from the designers re their Ts.

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:10 PM
Paul’s comment is:

Lea, go right out and rent Election if you haven't seen it. Aside from being a great movie, it is a cautionary tale of what can happen if you don't vote for yourself.

Voting for my own (#5) was the easy part: there are some fun/sharp tees up there! Had to go with #32, despite thinking it was more anti-trapping than site-sprecific, but it passsed the would-I-wear-it test with the best score.

(Armin, the "blank" taget won't stay in my code! 'sup??)

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:12 PM
Justin’s comment is:

I struggled the most when deciding if I would actually wear the shirts I picked. I decided I would wear one and that's it but I wouldn't pay $10 plus shipping. I find better band shirts than these at shows for $10 straight.

I was very sad to see that not one of the good people at Asterik Studio stepped up to display their talent in this area. They would have taken the contest handsdown.

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:15 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I laughed really hard at Patrick's alternate T. Hilarious.

> Armin seems to be kinda exclusive in an inclusive kind of way.

Is that possible? : /

Yeah, all feel free to explain your t's.

>Armin, the "blank" taget won't stay in my code! 'sup??


On Sep.15.2003 at 12:15 PM
marian’s comment is:

Oh, yeah, and Lea, I like #26 for almost the same reasons as you. I'm really in favour of putting kittens into design. No really, I am. I think they're under-represented.

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:23 PM
Tan’s comment is:

yea, Kris and the boys at Asterisk would've so taken this thing. But they're probably slammed doing their own shirts.

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:25 PM
Paul’s comment is:

>>Armin, the "blank" taget won't stay in my code! 'sup??


When I put target="blank" into my external href it drops out after I preview or post it! I type it in, it goes away; inexplicable.

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:27 PM
Lea’s comment is:

Paul, hahaha... strangely enough, I actually watched the first part of Election. But it was at a really conservative friend's house, so when her mother came in, we had to quickly switch the movie off and watched TV. Pretty brutal, LOL. Never saw the end of it. :(

Heh, Marian. If all else fails, put a kitty on a girl's tee. It will be sold. :) Especially if the kitty is black and feisty looking. ;)

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:30 PM
Brent’s comment is:

My shirt (#36) was a reflection of my fascination with decibel meters that came on 70s radios that I was always collecting when I was a teenager. Putting the needle in the red always made people speak up (the neighbors, my mom...) and I wanted type that reflected the ugly, blocky number displays to complement.

Lea- I liked your design even before I learned that it was morse code.

Tan- Looks like it was done for house industries, I like it, but in the sort of "I don't get it" way.

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:36 PM
Paul’s comment is:

It is important that you finish that movie, Lea. Very important. Just lock the door next time.

As for my design (again, #5), I took the guidance "It has to make people’s heads turn. And feel that they too want to Speak Up." as my main inspiration. Speaking up as catalyst, as power, as something with consequence, with the forced perspective putting the power in the hands of the viewer. The rough style was to make it feel home-spun and grassroots, same for the lettering. (I actually had a really sweet version of the lettering in Goudy Italic, but although it looked nicer and more "design-y", it made the whole thing seem contrived and self-conscious.) I also really liked that "Speak up" is a universal call to action, one not constrained to design or this site.

All this is of course predicated upon thinking it's cool to blow things up. Which I do.

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:44 PM
Lea’s comment is:

Boy, do I feel stupid. This is what happens when you don't FULLY read instructions. You're able to vote for more than one! So, YAY, I voted for my tee (#12) in the end (the other, obviously, was the kitty one and the other... let's just keep that an evil secret!)

On Sep.15.2003 at 12:47 PM
Patrick’s comment is:

When worn, mine (28) should read as a word bubble coming from the wearer's mouth, instructing all readers to speak up. And the type reads up, for extra visual curiosity.

On Sep.15.2003 at 01:08 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

I am no longer a graphic designer

Once a graphic designer, always...

so...what are you doing now, Sam?

As for my design (38), well, it's not too deep. Went with the simple = more wearable in my book route.

I like the monkey in #39. Monkeys are good. However, white t-shirts are not. ;o)

Armin...will the $10 generate a bit of a profit for you to maintain the site? I'd be more inclined to buy one if it went to actually support the site.

On Sep.15.2003 at 01:12 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>Armin...will the $10 generate a bit of a profit for you to maintain the site? I'd be more inclined to buy one if it went to actually support the site.

Of course it supports the site! Now, the profits will not go only to the web site maintenance but to future off-line events. I, personally, don't see any profits at all, I'm just hoping to break even. Otherwise I will have to wear the Speak Up T-shirt every day. Think about it.

Also I must admit (publicly) that I was a bit dissapointed to not see more submissions by our dear authors.

On Sep.15.2003 at 01:19 PM
Michael’s comment is:

American Apparel shirts are top-shelf.

> A design just about design would be less good.

Yeah, eye candy would ensue.

Patrick's idea with the registration marks...Silver Bullet!

My idea was also based on Speak Up's dialogue. The talking monkey is a light-hearted reference to us designers, and how we are sometimes considered just 'design monkeys' by our clients. "Do this, change that, make it look pretty." I think Speak Up is an empowering place, and helps us learn to how keep afloat in a 'design monkey' relationship. Hence the Speak Up Green sun shining behind the monkey.

> white t-shirts

Dude, I don't have many cool white t-shirts. So I went with white. They'll be cheaper too.

On Sep.15.2003 at 01:23 PM
Michael’s comment is:

Ps. the monkey is wearing the T-shirt too. (He's a believer!)

On Sep.15.2003 at 01:26 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Just for the record. The t-shirts will not be American Apparel — way too expensive.

On Sep.15.2003 at 01:27 PM
Tan’s comment is:

i went w/ white cause I didn't remember we had a choice. oh well.

Would it be a pain to screen the winner on a few colors -- white, grey, etc? Yea, yea, I know it'd be a headache for you, but would it cost any more? I don't think it would. If you have people placing orders anyway...

I would pay a few extra bucks for ringers or long sleeve as well.

Do we really have to wait till next Monday? Why so long?

On Sep.15.2003 at 01:33 PM
Brian’s comment is:

Glad you all have a sense of humor and posted my entry (#15). I love what you do at Speak Up, but I loathe design competitions. However, I couldn't help myself on this one. The "poor execution" was a result of intentionally borrowing elements from the Speak Up website. Therefore, they are intentionally pixellated. I figure, I give you a design for free, so I'll use your elements for execution. Simple.

I vote for anything with cute cuddly animals, so I'm torn between the kitten, birdies, injured bear, or the monkey. I've always been partial to monkeys riding on the back of a large dog on tiny little monkey saddle, unfortunately, there were not any entries that incorporated this particular visual.

On Sep.15.2003 at 01:53 PM
Lea’s comment is:

Please tell me there'll be small enough tees for the women. I REFUSE to buy another "night shirt." I've got enough sleepwear, thank you. ;)

On Sep.15.2003 at 01:54 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>Please tell me there'll be small enough tees for the women. I REFUSE to buy another "night shirt." I've got enough sleepwear, thank you. ;)

This seems to be a common concern. I'll see what I can do.

>Would it be a pain to screen the winner on a few colors -- white, grey, etc?

We are not printing that many t-shirts, so it's neither cost-effective nor effort-effective.

>Do we really have to wait till next Monday? Why so long?

How about friday? Just to get more votes and have a good, real sense of preferences. So far I have gotten almost 85 votes and the person leading right now is...

Nope, I won't tell.

> I figure, I give you a design for free, so I'll use your elements for execution. Simple.

Fighting the system from within!

On Sep.15.2003 at 01:59 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> I figure, I give you a design for free,

One more thing, and it's nothing personal Brian, you just sparked a thought. I have many, many t-shirt ideas that I could have printed and tried to get everybody to buy — the "design" part was not a problem, at all. I just thought it would be cooler to get something printed that the majority of people deemed cool, not just something I would force on people to buy. That will happen, eventually, but the first one should be a group effort.

On Sep.15.2003 at 02:03 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

I was a bit dissapointed to not see more submissions by our dear authors.

Bowing and humbly accepting my punishment, as I was the one that asked for the deadline extension...

On Sep.15.2003 at 02:12 PM
ps’s comment is:

I was a bit dissapointed to not see more submissions by our dear authors.

speaking up (probably) takes less effort than creating. plus there is the risk of failure.

On Sep.15.2003 at 02:23 PM
Tan’s comment is:

> We are not printing that many t-shirts, so it's neither cost-effective nor effort-effective.

Come 'on. 85 votes means at least 50-60 tshirts. That's plenty. No tshirt house would care.

Oh sure, you'll print toddler-sized shirts for the girls, but won't give us a color or ringer option.

No one in Texas would want a black shirt, and round here, long sleeves are preferred for snowboarding.



On Sep.15.2003 at 02:27 PM
Sam’s comment is:

Good to see some Emigre fonts in there--but no one took the clear path to victory: Filosofia and/or Cooper Black? Got to give the people what they want!

Re: the very on-message #14, (and in the inimitable words of padre Vit): "Clarendon...me so horny."

On Sep.15.2003 at 02:29 PM
Sam’s comment is:

>>so...what are you doing now, Sam?

Somebody please help me!

(272,000 friends and counting...)

On Sep.15.2003 at 03:16 PM
ted’s comment is:


On Sep.15.2003 at 04:49 PM
ps’s comment is:

thanks ted. your opinion really matters to me...

On Sep.15.2003 at 05:02 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

I think Ted is joking.

But I'm not sure.

On Sep.15.2003 at 05:05 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Please reload #30, Justin Farmer. Thanks.

> I think Ted is joking.

I don't think he is joking.

On Sep.15.2003 at 05:09 PM
Davin’s comment is:

Ted: To be taken seriously, never post a message in all caps. I'm sorry but that's the way it works.

I can't say that I loved the majority of the shirts but I also did not submit a design of my own. There are some very nice tees in the pack that I did vote for and that's all that counts.

Armin, I know the AA t-shirts are more pricey than buying Gildan or Haines but they are so much nicer and sweatshop free. I would pay $15+ US for an AA Speak Up shirt and I'm Canadian so that's actually about $20 to me.

On Sep.15.2003 at 05:27 PM
Lea’s comment is:

Ted, well I do have to say I wasn't... blown away by the designs, myself. But what's the point IN TYPING IN ALL CAPS? Jeebus!

I own a shirt from Threadless (the clever MSG tee) and Stolenshirts (The Titania one) and I think they're great. However, they too have their niche group and audience and type of people who go in to participate. Lots of them are young designers 16-25 years of age (i'm 21, FYI). Of course, they're going to go with a grunge treatment, with Illustrator-traced faces/objects and random graphical shapes and experimental treatments. Also, both Threadless and Stolenshirts have an open-theme policy.

This contest had restrictions, with many people who did their submission as a last-minute entry or during a lull in their 9-5 work (i.e. me).

At any rate, #32 (your entry) looks great and has a message, but doesn't necessarily portray Speak Up (a graphic designer's community). So good effort, great execution, wrong message. Maybe next contest around we'd have more (and better) entries (me, included).

On Sep.15.2003 at 05:33 PM
Lea’s comment is:

P.S. I really loved the kitty t-shirt. :) Go #26, GO!

On Sep.15.2003 at 05:34 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Ted -- a trapped bear makes even less sense than an RV, so I'd step off the podium before someone gets hurt, buddy.

Look, it's just a tshirt. I just gave a pile away last month to Goodwill. This tshirt, no matter how cool, will meet the same fate eventually.

And I. ain't. wearing. no. goddamn. kitten. on my chest...just want to go on record.

On Sep.15.2003 at 05:45 PM
Justin F’s comment is:

Also liking the idea of #30, just wish the type was stronger

Michael, thanks but there was a bit of a mix-up. I accidentally submitted an early sketch instead of the now-updated final. Unfortunately it's much too subtle for the current format so here are two details:

1 & 2. Don't know if that's allowed. The type is of course Unibody as is the flower.

But what's the point IN TYPING IN ALL CAPS?

Right on, Lea, for your whole bit.

As anyone knows that creates under restriction and deadline, (coherent) visual communication rides the fine line of cliché and clever. For a first attempt, spare-time, critiqueless (some of us) assignment I think this is a decent showing.

And anyone looking for ambiguity with no restriction knows where to go now. Thanks, Ted.

On Sep.15.2003 at 05:54 PM
ps’s comment is:

maybe armin should send out blank shirts with iron-on transfer sheets (epson for example makes them) and we could all produce our own... than we'll see each other at the seriouSeries and get shitfaced in frustration of not being good enough to fill the simple task of designing a t-shirt. at least until that great design, that we all seem to be waiting for, stumbles through the door .


On Sep.15.2003 at 05:56 PM
ted’s comment is:

I had to turn off Deck Safari for this...First of all I am NOT JOKING. Second, I won’t even comment on the all caps thing. Get away from your computers and your IM’s and read some books! Third, do not use excuses about a busy 9-5 because I work tons of hours also (at an award winning agency), plus a steady free-lance gig, and I can still have a social life. So the whole last minute thing, I don’t buy it.

As for the deeper meaning behind my shirt. There wasn’t one. It’s a fucking bear calling for his friends to come help him. No deeper meaning than that. No animal rights. It’s design., balance, and good colors.

Listen, about the the whole threadless and stolenshirts thing having a niche customers---WE ARE IT! So is this t-shirt design contest. WE ARE DESIGNERS, DESIGNING FOR OTHER DESIGNERS. Under Consideration is for designers right? Have drop dead gorgeous designs to show for it!

On Sep.15.2003 at 06:02 PM
ps’s comment is:

I work tons of hours also (at an award winning agency), plus a steady free-lance gig,

boy, i am sooooo impressed.

On Sep.15.2003 at 06:06 PM
Davin’s comment is:

er... I do read books and when I'm reading them I rarely see a page of text set in caps for emphasis. Conversing online has a set of norms just as it does in person. Posting in all-vaps is the same as running up and yelling in someone's face to get your point across.

On Sep.15.2003 at 06:08 PM
Davin’s comment is:

crap. "all-vaps" = "all-caps"

On Sep.15.2003 at 06:09 PM
Philm’s comment is:

Ted: Can't good design be simple?

I think the concept behind #26 is brilliant -- and that I could could have come up with something more original ;) but for #33, my idea was to make a little animal, in this case a bird, and it would be shouting, typographically, which i chose to represent by the circus type.

Oh, and hi I'm Phil by the way. Long time lurker, first time poster.

On Sep.15.2003 at 06:41 PM
Lea’s comment is:

Hmm... isn't design supposed to be about communication? So, Ted, how does it feel as a designer to have miscommunicated his t-shirt's message. If all you were trying to do was portray "speak up" in an imaginative way as possible, choosing to put an image of a helpless cub with it's paw in a snare is NOT the way to to do it. You weren't trying to shout about animal rights?

Well, you failed miserably. In fact, everything about that shirt is about animal rights; and how we should speak up for the ones who can't speak for themselves (or should I interpret the blank speech bubble as something else?)

So, in the end, your t-shirt might be the worst design communication-wise. 'Cause even with say, Tan's RV which makes you go, "huh?" your t-shirt completely SHOUTS to me, "Save the poor animals! What about the animals??"

Save the cutesey pictures of dying baby animals for your next PETA campaign, thanks.

On Sep.15.2003 at 07:12 PM
Christopher Simmons’s comment is:


Fortunately, Ted, it's not about you.

On Sep.15.2003 at 07:16 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Sorry to chime in so late, I was having a nice dinner with my parents. Here is what I think, I can't disagree with Ted. I disagree with all-caps, that's just a plain no-no, unless you are David Carson, Sagmeister or Vignelli and want to set the record straight. I am dissapointed with the overall "aesthetic" if you will of the submissions. I'm being totally honest here, and just critical not insulting. As it stands, I would only send one of these t-shirts to print, luckily it is the top vote-getter so far. As Ted, I expected more — more meaning, more essence, more chutzpah, just plain more better and gooder. I obviously love the effort and time people put into it, but I can understand how some would expect more from the designers in this site. I know I did.

I have really enjoyed all the animals so far — none of them say more PETA than the other, so I don't see the need to say that my bear can beat up your cat. Or my RV can run over both your animals ; )

I am actually considering doing a second round. I'll have to sleep on it. If you have any opposition (or favor it) to this please let me know.

Again, as it stands now, there are two in competition in my view — and that's too easy.

On Sep.15.2003 at 09:04 PM
ps’s comment is:


there is a big difference in the way you present "your case" over how ted presents "his case." while i can appreciate your comment and agree or disagree with it, it leaves room for a reasonable dialogue. i can't really give any respect to the level of talk that ted found appropriate.

the short while that i'm participating in this forum, i came to realize that a big part is about jumping to quick conclusions and not always a well founded exchange of thinking, which might be fine, but will get old fairly quickly. hopefully we as a group can all do better as i think this is a great place for us to exchange toughts and ideas.

back to the competition: i think with this sort of competition you'll always be unhappy, unless a happy accident happens. or, if a big name submits everyone will be starstruck and kiss up. maybe if we tackle it with some criteria listed just as we would do with other paying design projects, we might get somewhere and we would have the criteria to judge the submissions against. which will be much more valuable than simply "i like it or i don't".


On Sep.15.2003 at 09:23 PM
Sam’s comment is:

If there is another round, perhaps the designs can be presented anonymously for voting. This might lead to more frank criticism of the designs on their own merits.

On Sep.15.2003 at 09:42 PM
mark ’s comment is:

looks like this community knows each member well. i'm new and i did #18. just wanted to say hey to everyone! lots of good lookin shirts. definitely like #13.

On Sep.15.2003 at 10:07 PM
Davin’s comment is:

Armin, As a number of people have said they are not wholely "blown away" by the entries in one way or an other and you yourself are not all that happy then I would consider a 2nd round. There's no rush right?

As much as Speak Up is a product of everyone who posts and adds to discussions it is also aesthetically yours in many ways and I don't think you should go through the trouble of printing and distributing shirts you are not 100% on.

Just the opinion of someone who didn't find the time to submit a design themselves so take it with a grain.

On Sep.15.2003 at 10:53 PM
marian’s comment is:

Hey Mark, welcome: we're mutually admiring. Love those headless men!

It's funny, I left this for a while, and just came back to see if a fight had broken out yet. Heh heh. Actually, I thought it would be kinda funny if we were all sortof WWF about it and really got in each others' faces AND SCREAMED AT EACH OTHER with insults and jabs. Just think of it--a whole week! (Y'CALL THAT A T-SHIRT? I WOULDN'T WRAP A DEAD GOLDFISH IN THAT! y'know, that sorta thing.)

I have to say though that designing for other designers is the hardest. This is the 2nd time I've done it recently, and getting up the gumption (now there's an old word) to put it out there is really hard. You guys are going to see it all--I mean I'm freaking out about my curves and shit that no client would ever notice. So I'm not saying that anyone who didn't participate was CHICKENSHIT or anything (personal tragedy excepted: sorry to hear about your dad, Rick), but yeah it takes time and a whole lotta worry.

I dunno Armin, I'm surprised to hear you say you'd want to do this again anytime soon. Make us beg. Make us beg you to design your t-shirts: then put us to the test.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:03 PM
mark’s comment is:

thanks for the warm welcome, marian.

sheesh. didn't even see the "fight" coming. the ROYAL "speak up" RUMBLE.

peace to everyone. keep smiling.

On Sep.15.2003 at 11:31 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

at an award winning agency

Wow. Your agency has won awards!? You must be very proud.

It’s a fucking bear calling for his friends to come help him. No deeper meaning than that. No animal rights. It’s design.

No, that's fucking decoration. Nice decoration, but just decoration.

back to the competition: i think with this sort of competition you'll always be unhappy,

That's the old truth that pretty much any design competition doesn't lead to great design. Spec work is spec work ;o)

On Sep.16.2003 at 07:38 AM
marian’s comment is:

pretty much any design competition doesn't lead to great design. Spec work is spec work ;o)

Well, one would hope that if you care about what you're designing for (in this case, Speak Up), you'd view it as more than just a piece of spec work. I doubt anyone here did this so they could get the "payment" of a t-shirt. I wouldn't have entered the competition if I weren't an active (albeit new) member of this little community (for instance I didn't enter the typo-T contest because I don't hang out on that site).

Actually, originally I wasn't going to enter because I bristled at the (age-old) thought that designers can be asked to work for the price of a $10 t-shirt. I was concerned about the ethics of it, but I checked with my GDC guidelines regarding the matter, and it makes exception for non-profits and like organizations. The more I thought about it, the more I decided that this was a worthy cause, as well as a bit of fun. I consider my effort more of a contribution -- to something I enjoy and appreciate -- than anything else. The contribution is to a community spirit: like, Armin puts a lot of time and effort into this site which we all enjoy, I don't see why I shouldn't give something back to that. In that sense it's more "pro bono" than "spec". Clearly, as Armin said, he doesn't need our help designing a t-shirt. This was a competition in the spirit of community fun, and as such, worthy of my best work. (Because if it's not worthy of your best work, why bother?)

On Sep.16.2003 at 08:43 AM
Adam Waugh’s comment is:


It wouldn't be fair to those who submitted, but how about that idea of having a second round of submission (or 'extended deadline', as it would be called in the world of design competition)?

On Sep.16.2003 at 09:14 AM
eric’s comment is:

ugh. First of all, i agree on American Apparel. Armin, you could probably charge up to 20$ plus shipping and i wouldn't bat an eye.

yes, i completely suck for not submitting but there could have been more time. i have the same criticism of this seriouSeries. I would have rearranged my schedule to hang with Graham and co if there had been better warning.

For the record, Marian, i voted for you before you started your campaign.

oh, and Sam... how's that Friendster treating you?

On Sep.16.2003 at 09:15 AM
Darrel’s comment is:


I agree with you. I assume most people entered the contest because they wanted to contribute something to this fine site.

I was just addressing the point that if you (anyone) is after a great design solution, rarely is a competition the way to go about it. I'm not saying that that applies to this particular event, I was just responding to Ted.

As for a 'second round' well, that defeats the point of having a contest and now you're actually entering the realm of spec work. "I didn't like anything anyone sent, so let's do another round...and another and another until I find something I like." Again, I'm not saying that's what Armin is saying...just that I've seen that attitude before in design competitions and/or open calls for submissions.

On Sep.16.2003 at 09:24 AM
marian’s comment is:

before you started your campaign

Heh heh heh ... I don't know if you were referring to my last post ... I was really being quite genuine, though I could see how it might be taken as major sucking up. Oops! ME? Try to garner votes by being all "community spirit" and everything? NAW ...

On Sep.16.2003 at 09:30 AM
Armin’s comment is:

The reason why there was a certain rush to this was to have some t-shirts ready for the AIGA conference. I still doubt more time would provide better results, people tend to wait until the last minute anyway.

>I didn't like anything anyone sent, so let's do another round...and another and another until I find something I like.

Darrel, I know you are not implying I'm saying that. But I'll just clear it up. That is not the case, there are a couple of t-shirts I like and wouldn't mind going through the whole ordeal to get printed, but I am sure there is so much more that can be done that wasn't done.

If I wanted to still have some t's by AIGA and wanted to do a second round where everyone could resumbit by next monday would all here be in agreement?

And the leading vote-getter right now would automatically enter the top three, so we would just pick two more finalists.

On Sep.16.2003 at 10:07 AM
Lea’s comment is:

In the end, it's all for fun, ya know? I think we should realise that. We go to Speak Up because we enjoy the discussion, we like to compare each others works and learn from each other. Maybe this is just another lesson. I have to be honest; I did do my submission during a lull at work (which I already said), and I did it knowing it was just... "all right." But I submitted it anyway because I feel really priveledged to simply being part of this community and like to say, "Look! I was part of this Speak Up contest!"

At any rate, if Armin doesn't feel comfortable in printing ANY of the designs but one, that was the entire point of it, yes? It may have been sad that there was a slew of only "mediocre" (using this term VERY loosely, cause I know we could all do better) work but a shining one is good.

I don't see anything wrong with another round of designs (largely cause I thought of an interesting concept all of a sudden the other day, hahaha). I wouldn't call it "spec" work. Lots of non-professionals hardly blink an eye when they do this type of stuff. People who participate in threadless.com don't get paid. We get paid for all our other professional work. This t-shirt is for FUN. And for community.

Let's not forget that. ;)

On Sep.16.2003 at 10:13 AM
eric’s comment is:

i didn't submit AND i think it would be a bad idea to open the competition up again.

would love to participate next time.

On Sep.16.2003 at 10:16 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> printing ANY of the designs but one, that was the entire point of it, yes?

Ha! Thank you for your post Lea, you are right, it is for fun. And it probably is just the first of many t-shirts (and contests) to come.

Ok, one more question. I hear everybody screaming for American Apparel. Would ya'll be willing to pre-pay $17-20 + Shipping? To help get the printing going? It's almost double the price and it would help guarantee that I don't go broke... although my cats would love all those spare T's as their bed.

On Sep.16.2003 at 10:22 AM
Lea’s comment is:

I paid $17U.S. + shipping for my Threadless.com shirt. And more for my Stolenshirts.com shirt, too. They also use American Apparel. I will be willing to pay the same for this one. :)

On Sep.16.2003 at 10:43 AM
Sam’s comment is:

$20 is too much. It's a t-shirt.

On Sep.16.2003 at 10:48 AM
Justin F’s comment is:

ya'll be willing to pre-pay $17-20 + Shipping´┐Ż

I would gladly pay more for a little sanity, but I do think $20 or so is pushing it, especially for something we're not drooling over. But choosing a manufacturer like American Apparel puts a healthy spin on the message of the contest (and I'd say even of the site and its frequenters).

Maybe the contest could evolve into something that better reflects the sometimes more personal nature of the site, like a t-shirt that comes with stickers, or a little process book or something similar. A little something extra that's equal to the shirt. Anyone who's ordered stuff from The Quiet Life or similar will understand.

I too think it's no good to 'redo' the contest at this point. It was fun, and while some of us were maybe a bit too passive, I'd say it's best as a lesson that prepares us better for the next one?

I'm also going to second Sam on the anonymity. I was actually a little surprised to see names accompanying the shirts. Especially on a site like this where some of you share that opinion-skewing familiarity that quiet observers do not.

On Sep.16.2003 at 11:06 AM
Tan’s comment is:

$20 is a little steep -- but i'd buy it if the shirt was supercool. Reality -- not sure there's one here I deem that, including my beloved RV.

I'm w/ Sam. It's just a tshirt.

On Sep.16.2003 at 11:17 AM
Armin’s comment is:


How about $15? I'm getting a requote of the printing to see what happens.

On Sep.16.2003 at 11:21 AM
Tan’s comment is:

Probably. But $10 is better, unless it was long sleeve or ringers -- which I would pay more for.

Ah to hell w/ everyone. Just pick a winner, print the damn shirts for $10 and be done with it till next time.

On Sep.16.2003 at 11:35 AM
ps’s comment is:

Ah to hell w/ everyone. Just pick a winner, print the damn shirts for $10 and be done with it till next time.

fully agreed.

On Sep.16.2003 at 11:59 AM
Armin’s comment is:

right on!

I will announce the top three vote-getters later today and the winner tomorrow — just to add some suspense.

On Sep.16.2003 at 12:04 PM
Adam Waugh’s comment is:

Aww rats I wanted to enter!

Next time though-- This is the kinda stuff you miss out on when you don't check Speak Up everyday! It's Speak Up karma kickin' me in the pants!

On Sep.16.2003 at 12:30 PM
Martin’s comment is:

To bad these shirts did not get submitted...

Paper Plain T-shirts

On Feb.22.2004 at 10:42 PM