Community FAQ

Below are our most frequently asked questions regarding our t-shirt design contests and the Fan Forge.

Hopefully these will help those of you looking to participate have a great experience!  This page is a work in progress so if you have a question you don't see answered please email us at [email protected]!

How many designs can I submit?
For Contests you are only allowed to submit 10 submissions per user. For Fan Forge you can submit an unlimited amount of designs. 

Before I submit, I'd like to know all the rules and regulations prior to me submitting my design. Where can I get that?
You can locate the Terms and Service (TOS Agreement) for each Fan Forge or Contest by going to the Submission page for the specific contest/Forge and clicking on the Terms of Service link near the submission button. We strongly encourage you to look through the Terms and Service before you submit.

The Submission kit is not downloading, I need help!
Sometimes it just takes a while for it to download.  Please make sure that it has completely downloaded before opening.  To directly download different submission kits, click the links below:

T-shirt Design Submission Kit CLICK HERE

Messenger Bag/Mousepad/Art Print Sizing: CLICK HERE

Messenger Bag Flap Submission Kit CLICK HERE

Mousepad Submission Kit CLICK HERE

Art Print Submission Kit CLICK HERE

I have the Submission Kit, but I cannot open it!
The submission kit is a .PSD (Photoshop) format file, so it requires a version of Adobe Photoshop or a compatible photo editing program (i.e. GIMP, Sketchbook, Sai, etc.)  to open it.

Do I need to use the submission kit? What if I have another t-shirt blank I want to use?
The submission kit is recommended to use to mock up your design onto a shirt, but it is not required. You can simply submit your design on a colored background if you wish, or if you cannot open the .PSD document in the kit. You can also use a different t-shirt blank of your own.

I want to change the colors of the blanks in your submission kit. How do I do that?
Go to Window > Layers in Photoshop and you when the Layers tablet opens, you should be able to see the multiple colors of t-shirt blanks we offer. You are free to alter the color values to create a color of your own, however bear in mind that the colors we provide in the kit are the colors we stock in our shop. If you create your own color blank and your shirt is selected, we cannot guarantee that color will be available to print your design on.

Does my design need to be made on the computer?
You can make your design any way you like!  However, it is important that the final (high-resolution) file is saved as 300DPI, at least 15"x19" (38cm x 48cm), and either JPG, GIF, PNG (with transparent backgrounds), AI or PSD files.  This is ONLY for your FINAL image.  Your banner and submission image MUST be at 72DPI, 1000x1000 and less than 250kb.

What file format do you accept?
Please submit a copy of your design for contest rating as either GIF/PNG/JPG at 1000x1000 pixels and at 72DPI.  

If your design is selected as a finalist, the final file must be 300DPI, no smaller than 15"x19" (38cm x 48cm) and saved as PNG (with transparent background), AI, or PSD (layered). If you have any further questions, please see our SUBMISSION KIT on how to properly submit.

Should I limit the number of colors in my design?
Our tees are printed digitally so you are not limited on the range of colors you include in the design.

Does it matter what color space I use in my design, RGB or CMYK?
Any JPG you upload to our website during the submission phase must be RGB, otherwise it will not display properly. However, saving the working file of your design in CMYK in case your design is selected is a huge help. We realize the colors may look duller in CMYK than in RGB on your computer screen, but this is normal. The CMYK version will print much better!

I don't understand why there are four images to be uploaded when I submit my design. What is the difference?
The primary image uploaded into the contest or Forge is meant to represent your design. This image will be seen publicly in our Contest or Fan Forge entries gallery when the ratings phase begins. What you should do with the primary image is make your design look appealing and eye-catching. Show it off a little! For example, one popular way to do this is to feature your design prominently within the space and then overlay a mock-up on a t-shirt off to the side or in the corner. This way raters can see the detail of your work, as well as how the final product might look. You will need to upload a minimum of one image. You will have the option to upload up to three more images to represent your design. 

If you have any further questions about your submission images, please download our submission kit. The kit shows you a step-by-step guide on how to make a successful submission.

I'm trying to submit my design but the file is too big. You need a high-resolution file, right?
Submission images should have dimensions of 1000 x 1000 pixels, be under 250kb and do not need to be more than 72dpi. They can be in any of the following formats GIF, PNG or JPG. These are for web display (when customers will rate your design) and internal use. 

If your design is selected as a finalist we will need to collect the high-resolution working file of your design at that time.  Your working file needs to be at least 300dpi and no smaller than 15”x19” (38cm x 48cm) in size.

I cannot upload my design when I click on "Submit Your Design," a pop up window shows up to register for an account.
You must be registered on our website to enter a design. It only takes a few seconds to sign up though, and you'll be registered for all upcoming contests and forges too!

I got a 505 / 404 error when I uploaded - now what?
Please make sure that you are not sending to us your final design file.  Please see our PDF file of our Submission Guidelines (in the submission kit) where it shows how to submit.  For submissions, we need a 72DPI, 1000x1000 pixels and less than 250kb copy of you design.  Please also check to see if your design file name has no other characters except for letters and numbers.

I accidentally submitted my design twice and now have 1 less spot!! Augh!!
Not to worry! Send us an email at [email protected]  with the below info so we can search:
Name of Contest or Forge / Name of Design / Email or Name it was sent under.  This way, we can easily search which contest you're talking about and find that duplicate.

It's been more than 2 days now, and I don't see my design up on the site?  What's wrong?  I don't see an email rejecting it.
We review every submission that comes through before they are made live for viewing and rating.  If it's been past 2 business days, please check your emails again as sometimes our emails get filtered into the junk or spam folder. You should receive an update letting you know that it's been approved, rejected, or needs a revision.  If it has been rejected, please see in FAQ "My Design was rejected, why?"

My Design was rejected.  Why?
Chances are that the design did not meet one of the guidelines listed below:
Copyright Infringement: Designs cannot mix properties, copyright, or trademarks outside the property of the given contest. You must have sole ownership of the design as the entrant. You may not use assets or other artists’ work as your entry.   
Obscenity: We will automatically reject any obscene items. That includes any defamatory, indecent, or lewd artwork. We will also automatically reject any threats to a person, business, place, or group.
Off Brand: Designs that show characters, things and places in a direction that is not in line with the property or follow the style of the particular brand can be rejected.

Is it OK for me to promote my designs to people, DeviantArt, Steam, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.?
Absolutely!  We encourage every artist submitting to the contest to promote themselves and their designs to friends, family, and followers.  Through our experience, we have found that more ratings help determine what the fans really want.  So please promote yourselves!!

Where is my direct link so that I can promote?
Once your design has been approved, there will be a separate email sent to you letting you know your design has been made live for the contest rating with your direct link.  

How do I know if my design is chosen?
The ForFansByFans team will contact you via email if your design is chosen as a finalist to send for judge's evaluation.

When do I send you my high-resolution file?
We will need a high-resolution working file of your design if you are selected as a finalist! To ensure the best print quality for your design as it goes into production we will need a working file of at least 300dpi and roughly 15”x19” (38cm x 48cm) in size. Illustrator (.AI) format is preferred, but we can also use Photoshop (.PSD) files if the layers are intact and not merged together into one flat image.

The ratings period has begun but I can't rate designs, I get taken to a registration page!
You must also be registered on the site to rate designs. Again, it only takes a few seconds, and once you are registered you won't have to do it again.

I don't know how to rate? 
To rate designs there is a star rating under each design. The number of stars will turn blue to represent the rating you would like to give per design.
1 star is the lowest score, 5 stars is the highest.

Woops! I accidentally rated this wrong, can I change my vote?
Unfortunately no, once a vote has been made we can't change it on our end.  

I see people cheating.  What should I do?
Please email [email protected]  detailing what you are suspecting.  The more details you can give the better we can evaluate the situation.

Someone appears to have taken my (friends, family’s, sisters BFF's cousin's neighbor, etc.) artwork from where it is posted on the web and submitted it as their own design. What do I do?
We take issues of artist ownership VERY seriously, and we will happily work with you if you can demonstrate to us that an entry submitted in someone else's name is your own. It is always best if you contact us directly in these matters at [email protected]  and we will take the appropriate steps to resolve the matter. Please email us the link to the stolen design and the link of the original owner, it helps us out!

Do I get paid per shirt sold if I win?
If your design is selected and approved you will be paid commission for each sale of your item. Commission amounts can vary, so please contact us at [email protected] with any questions!

If my design isn’t selected, does ForFansByFans keep my design?
No, if your design is not selected it's still your design!