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Contest FAQ

Here is a quick run-down of our most frequently asked questions regarding our t-shirt design contests; hopefully these will help those of you who participate to have a great experience!  This page is a work in progress, so if you have a particular question you don't see answered, please email it to [email protected]!


How many designs can I submit?
You may submit up to 10 per person, unless otherwise stated.


Are there color limitations to a design?


Before I submit, I'd like to know all the rules and regulations prior to me submitting my design. Where can I get that?
Currently, our rules/regulations, i.e. Terms of Service (TOS Agreement) is in the "Submit Your Design" button.  Click this, and at the very bottom, there will be a link to see our TOS.  This will have all the other "fine print" info you might want to see before entering any designs.  


The Submission Kit is not downloading, I need help!
Sometimes it just take a while for it to download.  Please make sure that it has completely downloaded before opening.  You can also try clicking here for a direct link to download the submission kit!


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, such as GIMP, in order 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 in order to create a color of your own, however, please note 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 wins a prize, 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!  The final (high-resolution) file should be saved as 300DPI, at least 15"x19", and either PNG (with transparent background), AI or PSD files.  This is ONLY for your FINAL image.  Your banner and design image MUST be at 72DPI, 1000x1000 and less than 2MB.


What file format do you accept?
Please submit your design for contest rating as either GIF/PNG/JPG at 1000x1000 pixels and at 72DPI.  If you have any further questions, please see our Submission Kit on how to properly submit.
For your final design, it must be 300DPI, no smaller than 15"x19" and saved as PNG (with transparent background), AI, or PSD (layered).


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 will have to be RGB, otherwise, it will not display properly. However, saving the working file of your design in CMYK in case you win a prize 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 first image to be uploaded into the contest is meant to represent your design. This image will be seen publicly in our contest entries gallery when the rating phase of the contest begins. What you should do with the banner is make your design look appealing and eye-catching. Show it off a little! 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 people rating your work can see the details, as well as what any possible final product may look like. You will need to upload a minimum of one image. You have the option to upload up to three more images to represent your design. 

NOTE: Present your artwork as clearly and simply as possible. If you leave the image upload blank, it will affect the way your design appears during the ratings phase (either an error image will appear or your design will not appear at all)
If you have any further questions about it, please download our Submission Kit, it shows you a step-by-step guide on how to make a proper banner.


What if I am short on time and I do not have time to lay out a banner file? Can I upload the same image as my design file?
Yes, you can. We recommend that you create an eye-catching banner file, but it is not required.


I'm trying to submit my design, but the file is too big. You need a high-resolution file, don't you?
No, we don't, at least not right away. It's very important that you upload only GIF, JPG or PNG format images of your designs when you are entering the contest. They should have dimensions up to 1000 x 1000 pixels, but they do not need to be more than 72dpi. These are for web display, (when customers will rate your design in the second phase of the contest) and internal use for approval of designs only.


I cannot upload my design when I click on "Submit Your Design," a pop-up window shows up to register for an account.
Yes, you must be registered on our website in order to enter a design. It only takes a few seconds though, and you'll be registered for all upcoming contests 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.  We need your 72DPI, 1000x1000 pixel, less than 250kb design.  Please also check to see if your design file name has other characters except for letters and numbers.


I accidentally submitted my design twice and now have 1 less spot!! Augh!!
No worries, send us an email at [email protected] with the below info so we can search:
Name of Contest / 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 to delete =)


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 more than 2 business days, please check your emails again. Sometimes our emails get filtered into the junk or spam folder, letting you know that yes 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.  The design must be the sole ownership of the entrant, and/or have permission from the photographer for its use.  Designs are not arranging images found on the internet and placing them on a t-shirt or banner.  Please be the original owner / artist.
Obscenity: We will automatically reject any obscene items (please don't even try).  That includes any defamatory, indecent or lewd artwork, 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?
Yes.  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 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.  Sometimes, after clicking the link, it will take you to the first page, just refresh and it should directly take you to your design.  


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


When do I send you my high-resolution file?
We will need a high resolution working file in the event that you are a finalist! In order to ensure the best quality print of your design, we will need a working file of at least 300dpi, so do not save over that or compress it in any way. Illustrator (.AI) format is preferred, but we can also use Photoshop (.PSD) files as long as the layers are intact and not merged together into one flat image.


The rating period has begun, but I can't rate designs, I get taken to a registration page!
You must also be registered on the site in order 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? What do I do?
In order to rate there is a star rating under each design. The number of stars will turn blue to represent the rating you would like to give the design.
1 star is the lowest score, 5 stars is the highest.


Woopsies! 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 lifted 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 in your contest. 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!

If I don't win, does For Fans By Fans keep my design?

No, this is just a design contest.  If your design does not get picked, it's still your design!