by , 05/02/07

INHABITAT TShirt Design Competition, Inhabitat Design Competition, T.S. Designs, Branch, Eco-friendly TShirt printing, Green design, Eco Design, Sustainable Design, Eco friendly screen printing, green fabric printing, water based screen printing

Drumroll please………We know you’re anxious to see the finalists for the Inhabitat T-shirt competition, and the results are finally in. Happily, we had a ton of interest in the contest and received almost 200 entries – so it took us some time to get through all of them. Thank you SO MUCH to all who participated in the competition – we were really impressed to see so much interest and great design ideas from our talented readers. So without further ado, here are our ten finalists. Please vote on your favorite, and we’ll announce the winners on Saturday.

HABBY: I Give a Hoot
Simple Branch
Winking Habby in a Tree
Globe Greenery
Tree / Root / Lungs / Heart

Simple Tree Silhouette
Green T-shirt with Vine Design
Butterfly Foliage

Spring Shoots

view results

We’d like to sincerely thank all of you who took the time to design and submit your ideas. You may notice that many of the finalists incorporated flora-inspired aesthetics – we found these to be most appropriate for Inhabitat’s current style and brand identity, as well as for printing feasibility. There were, however, a number of very impressive illustrations and other graphics that we would like to acknowledge for their concept and execution. From all of us at Inhabitat, thanks to everyone for your creativity and support!

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  1. saba June 26, 2007 at 9:29 am

    gud one others are gud but not out of the track, usual design

  2. Mr. Crabby May 9, 2007 at 12:00 pm


    I don’t mean to be a downer here but I feel all these designs are uninspired and predictible. These look just like the thousands of other shirts I see every day. In fact the “Tree/Roots/Lungs/Heart” design looks identical to a t-shirt I see one of my co-workers wear. I guess the message I was taught in elementary school during the 80’s of “trees and birds = happy environment” still stands. Ho hum

    Frankly I think things have changed a lot since then and I view Inhabitat as a place that shows me how much it’s changing. If we want to bring attention to the things that are happening we have to stop regurgitating the same tired imagery.

  3. diana huerta May 8, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Root of solution is my favorite.

  4. Rich Cardiff May 7, 2007 at 6:26 am

    I just can’t bring myself to vote for any of them. I wouldn’t wear any of the shirts.

  5. Megan May 6, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    I like the root of the solution. It will spark more conversation than the others, and dialogue is key.

  6. racheblue May 6, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Hi, I think the shortlisted designs are all aesthetically good. However, I voted for Tree/Root/Lungs/Heart because (like my Plant The Seeds of Change design which didn’t get in, boo hoo ;o) it is more than visually pleasing.

    It conveys a message that is easy to see and read and understand and stands more chance of attracting attention and curiousity than the cute owl or plant/trees with little or no text! I thought the design brief was to create a t-shirt that SPEAKS rather than just to look pretty or cute!

    This is no time for whispers – we need to speak with a loud voice!

  7. Steven May 6, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Do you vote for the cutest candidate because they are the cutest, or because they would perform the intended job the best? The answer depends on what kind of contest. A who is the cutest contest is different than electing an official to run an important vital office. In other words, it is all relative. But the question is TO WHAT. Can anyone else relate?

  8. Steven May 6, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Context matters in terms of the functionality of most any design. Sometimes, however, it is nice to throw all limitations out the window and just design away. Other times it helps to create a clear frame work of ideas, concepts and requirements a design must meet to insure that the final design does what it is intended to do. In home design, for example, many designers seem to forget to design for things like solar gain. Much of the time this is because the home was designed out of context. It was designed in an office far away rather than on site where the importance of the sun would have been blazingly obvious. For the shirt design contest we need to consider that the shirt will be viewed totally out of the normal context that a regular visitor to the inhabitat web site is used to. For example there are stories, ads and background colors and such on the web site giving context to any new content that is added. Take all that context away and we have to create a bit of context so the artwork of our design makes sense to the viewer. We must also consider that concepts like green can have many meanings without any context to support our intended meaning. In addition, if some or all of the concepts are new to viewers then these new concepts might need the support of something the viewers can relate to in order for the new concepts to begin to have meaning. This t-shirt contest was particularly challenging because the elements bamboo, the color green, an owl and the words “inhabitat” and “green” and “design” are a challenging combination to give the proper context that conveys our intended meaning to someone on the street seeing these for the first time.
    Bamboo might bring to mind Japan or the tropics for some and a plant that tends to take over your yard to others. Some might think of bamboo as a sustainable plant while other might think of panda bears.
    An owl could bring to mind “Woodsy the Owl”, the concept of wisdom or an endangered species or many other concepts.
    Green could mean landscaping, being more environmental or simply the color green..
    With so many kinds of design and designers the possibilities are almost limitless with the word “design”.
    I am not sure if the word inhabitat is a real word or what that might bring to mind for the average person on the street.
    Without any real context to bring focus and understanding to these words and symbols it is hard to say what one might think.
    Perhaps all that does not matter or perhaps all that does matter.

    All in all one has to decide what the intended purpose is for the design that is being created. That purpose creates what the elements of the design and everything else become relative to. If the purpose of the shirt is to advertise the web site then the shirt would need to clearly let the viewer know a web site is the focus. None of the current designs mention or indicate a web site. If the purpose or intent is to create a shirt that is cute or pretty with the constraint that certain words and few optional elements like an owl, bamboo and the color green be used by the designers then these designs would work for who ever thinks that they are cute or pretty which tends to be a matter of personal taste to some degree or another. If the purpose of the shirt is to sell shirts then the design constraints should be nearly limitless other than what the shirt printer requires so the design, that the viewers like enough to buy, could be chosen by those that would buy that design. If the shirt does not matter and the purpose is to advertise Branch and TS Designs then that would be what the designs needed to be relative to. If that was so the shirt designs would need to mention branch in a way that the viewer would know it is a web site rather than a small part of a tree.

    The design I submitted was not chosen as a finalist. This could have been that the design was not relative to the intended purpose of the shirt. My design and many others might not have been chosen because the design was not attainable by the shirt printers. Although with up to 6 color printing that is somewhat hard to imagine but possible. I apparently misunderstood the purpose of the shirt as I thought the shirt was to advertise the web site and the web sites message. It would be interesting to see what the viewers would have choose if they could see all the designs. Of course the viewers, in order to vote properly, would need to know the purpose of the shirt so they could vote for what design best meets that purpose. Do you vote for the cutest candidate because they are the cutest or because they would perform the intend job the best. The answer depends on what kind of contest. A beauty contest is different than a electing an official to run an important office. In other words, it is all relative. But the question is to what. Can anyone else relate?

  9. toni May 6, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    I have to agree with Steven and Kelty.

    Most of these entries shown are very similar, and to be honest not terribly interesting or provocative. They all have a very trendy appearance and communicate little about inhabitat as a web site and about green design.

    “I am the root of the solution” speaks out a bit more than the rest about green and environmental issues but design? I don’t see it.

    The “I give a hoot” owl is cute, a girl’s shirt for sure, I certainly can’t see a guy ever wearing it. Also, I’d be careful where you place the owl, it is in a bit of a delicate location for women. Perhaps if it were placed on a little pocket, it might not be in such an awkward place. Or high on the chest. I have had this problem often with shirts and logo placements. It’s not exactly fun to have a big logo right on your breast for all to stare at.

    There are several companies out there that have trees/roots as their logo/aesthetic so I don’t think that inhabitat’s shirts would stand out much if they, as well, had that same expression.

    Also, careful where you place the overflow pattern into the armpit area – it can look like a sweat stain.

    I don’t know if I would wear any of these shirts – even though I really like inhabitat and want to support the site.

  10. dani May 5, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    the winking habby looks like it has pink eye and the bottom of the tree looks like theres a big ding-ah-ling growing out of it.. i really dont think this is the best tshirt to really promote.. please revise your decisions!

  11. ritika May 5, 2007 at 8:17 am

    hi there, i like the tree/roots/lungs/heart.. well thought of! but most of the designs are very very similar..i wish we could see a wider range of thoughts in the finalists.

  12. Brad May 4, 2007 at 11:18 am

    The poll site doesn’t seem to be working.

  13. mearon May 4, 2007 at 1:18 am

    do another contest

  14. anna May 3, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Tree / Root / Lungs / Heart gets my vote!

    i’m posting this in the comments because for some reason the little widget won’t let me vote :(

  15. Aude May 3, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    I concur with Steven and Todd. They raise some valid questions. However, you’ve only got so many seconds as a “walking billboard” to communicate your message. The upside down tree did it for me!

  16. Mark May 3, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Lighten up folks.

    It’s a t-shirt design contest not a contest on how to change the world in a few words using a t-shirt.

    It’s about sending the right message and getting the word out about a great website.

  17. Nicco May 3, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I agree with Kelty. It seems like with over 200 designs submitted the finalists would be more diverse and less repetitive. I would really like to see some of the other entries. I am sure someone out there was able to send a more profound message.

  18. Kelty May 3, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    I love all of these designs but they all look like they were designed by the same person or two people. It would have been nice to see a little diversity in style other than the owl and silhouettes.

  19. Devin May 3, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    I did a little research on the copyright issue and here’s what I found.

    According to this document published by the USDA Forest Service who owns the copyright to “Woodsy” it’s only infringment if you use the name of “Woodsy”, the image of Woodsy, or his exact slogan “Give a Hoot – Don’t Pollute.”

    Read it for yourself here: http://www.symbols.gov/woodsy/licensing/woodsy-smokey-act.shtml

    Go Habby! This is the cutest shirt I’ve ever seen!

  20. Paul Soukthavone May 3, 2007 at 12:33 pm


  21. ENB May 3, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    I LOVE the owl!! It’s fun and simple yet get’s the point across, without being in your face. It will make people curious as to what “Inhabitat” is and they will want to go home and check it out. Habby has my vote!

  22. metis May 3, 2007 at 11:35 am

    from a visual standpoint the two “simple” designs, the tree/root and the spring are by far the most interesting and atypical. those 4 also boast one color which is lower cost to produce as well as lower impact. the “give a hoot” design, smacks of woodsy the owl and ties the design too heavily to the american market for such a world wide focused outlet. while i hardly see the forest service getting upset, it just seems a little trite.

  23. Jafar May 3, 2007 at 10:31 am

    WATCH OUT for the number of colours or shades in the shirt – silkscreening process only allows a certain number of colours – preferably fewer, like one or two, maximum: four. So while the owl may be green, it is several shades of green, each requiring a separate screen…

  24. dustymeyers May 3, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Tree/Root/Lungs/Heart says it all. It is thoughtful and provocative and beautiful. An excellent message and an excellent design. And I don’t want to kill anyone’s owl buzz but it’s too ‘girly’ and didn’t we already have an owl in the 70’s that ‘gave a hoot’. I think Woodsy Owl might want y’all to check on some copyright infringement conflicts.

  25. wanderindiana May 3, 2007 at 3:16 am

    What Nicco said. But I wouldn’t vote for or wear any of these designs. Sorry.

  26. melissa May 3, 2007 at 12:34 am

    I give a hoot! That’s the best shirt I’ve ever seen!

  27. faaz May 3, 2007 at 12:03 am

    hiks..hiks…hiks,,, :((
    i’m not one of the finalist……
    it’s ok.never mind. i’ll try later. congratulation !

  28. Todd May 2, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    Thanks for holding the contest and I am excited so many designers responded.

    All of the art work is attractive and I think you got what you asked for: “designs that are creative, cute and incorporate the Inhabitat brand some way…”

    I’m afraid Woodsy the Owl already coined the phrase “Give a hoot. Don’t pollute.” so you might want to be careful there. But more importantly I’m sorry to see that there is essentially no suggestion of the Inhabitat mission “…devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.” It’s a good mission and pretty specific. I think you’ll have a lovely shirt but not a compelling call to action; which is perhaps a missed opportunity.

  29. Miriam May 2, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    The I give a hoot owl! Take it from a birder….what we do to the environment effects the birds first, then us. I just love that little owl!

  30. Steven May 2, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    One of the things I was hoping to see in the winning design was that the shirt conveyed all the essential messages the average viewer walking down the street would need to know for the shirt to make sense. Imagine you are walking down the street and you see a t-shirt. Does it tell you what you need to know to act upon what you saw?

    What would be considered essential:
    To know what inhabitat is?
    Example: To know it is a web site rather than a pet store would help a lot.
    To know what it is about?
    Example: A place to go for eco – green – design – news – trends and stories.
    For many people, to simply see a tree or an owl and the word inhabitat would not be enough information to know if inhabitat is landscapeing company or mayby a seed company or a pet store? Are they local or global? Are they on line or brick and mortar? Since they will see the shirt on the street or in a park or at party rather than on the inhabitant web site will they know enough to be able to act or to know if they even want to?

  31. Nicco May 2, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    Well that makes perfect sense. There is only one I could see myself wearing but not enough to vote for it.

  32. katharina May 2, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Justin,

    I agree with you in that point that design always should have a content, not just only a nice appearence. But maybe sometimes the idea for the creator is obvious for himself, but others do not get it. This is a good place to proof it. we`ve all tried our best for that moment…

  33. Jill May 2, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Hey Nicco-

    Okay, you got us here. Most of the judges were ladies, so there might be a bit of a feminine bias here. That said, the majority of the design entrants were men, and I think many of these designs would work just as well for men as for women, particularily some of the more simple tree silhouettes. Try to ignore the fact that they are placed on a ladies T in this graphic and envision them on a generic white men’s T!

  34. art donovan May 2, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    All the designs are great! Many good lucks to all.

  35. gillian May 2, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    “I give a hoot” cute saying!

  36. gillian May 2, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Great T-shirt I would totally wear it a great gift to give to friends and fam!

  37. gillian May 2, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Great T-shirt I totally would wear it! A cute gift to give people too!

  38. Mark May 2, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    I love “I give a hoot” because you can say “I care about the environment” without preaching it. It’s fun but gets the message across. Way to go. I love all these designs.

  39. Nicco May 2, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    Are you going to have any shirts for men because all of these are pretty feminine?

  40. Allison May 2, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    These are all fantastic! I had a hard time choosing my favorite.

  41. justin May 2, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    just what the world needs, another mascot.

    “I am the root of the solution” is the only one that comes close to making a strong statement. I would rather have a shirt with an intelligent design with a message vs a cutesy mascot and generic slogan.

    are any of these 2 sided?

  42. Geo May 2, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Great design…but you forgot the “ers “

  43. Valerie May 2, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Congrats to all finalists, they are all wonderful designs. Cheers!

  44. JUN May 2, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    globe greenery is so cool!!

  45. Jill May 2, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Hi Bondwalker- If “I give a hoot” wins, we can certainly do a version where Habby is bigger on the shirt.

    Royalestel – we will show off some of the honorable mention non-finalists as soon as voting closes on this competition. There were many really great illustrations that we thought deserved a mention, but just didn’t quite fit our brand as closely as the above designs do. We will show all of these off soon.

    Best wishes-

  46. rek May 2, 2007 at 10:26 am

    The tree/lungs design really stands out, so I voted that way.

    Owls, giving hoots, a bit retro isn’it?

  47. royalestel May 2, 2007 at 8:51 am

    Hey why not show us the non-finalist designs that you still liked when all is said and done?

  48. Lynn May 2, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Lovely designs! It’s hard to pick just one :) Good luck to all the finalists!

  49. Erin May 2, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Good luck to all! My vote is for the design that not only speaks to me but I feel will speak to everyone when worn.

  50. Bondwalker May 2, 2007 at 7:57 am

    I love the I GIVE A HOOT t- shirt, but the owl should have been bigger! Make it your mascot, your voice. Make I GIVE A HOOT your motto! The way it is now doesn’t have the same impact..Plus it looks too girly…sniff… I would have loved a bigger owl,

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