Why sometimes do not so good design get a good score & good designs don't??

I mean, ok I know some art is relative to opinion and personal taste but.. This just seems to happen a lot on here and I can't help but wonder if I am missing a dynamic here behind why this happen so much. There are so many good designs that get underscored while.. not nearly as good ones (again I guess in my opinion) get totally ripped of the score they deserve... Is there something else behind it that I don't get? Do people promote their designs in a fashion to pump up their scores by promising good scores back and forth with each other?

Im not trying to be mean.. I just wanna understand ha. Im thankful Threadless doesnt automatically print based on the best score.. that's for sure.


Watch this

post 2 examples and ill tell you exactly why

igo2cairo profile pic Alumni

Well, it's quite a subjective thing, I think that's why. Usually there's a good reason behind something printing though and I don't see much that gets printed that I would deem "not so good", so I'd have to disagree with you on that point.

That doesn't mean I would want to wear everything that gets printed, but I'm an old dude who prefers blank t-shirts so I may not be the demographic they're aiming for.


First one is high, but not way off. Id say it should be in the 3.4 range imho. I guess people are impressed by Chinese dragons because they are complicated.. even though its a mythical creature and can be drawn in a random fashion, which is actually easier. Also, his old book background presentation makes the design look nicer, even though thats not printed on the actual shirt.

Second design is also too high.. im thinking maybe 3.2 is more appropriate. But flying and/or birds and/or floating and/or dreaming is something people are OBSESSED with. Enough to overlook the fact that a real glass hot air balloon would weigh thousands of pounds and would never get off the ground. Even if detached from another vessel, it would come screaming towards the earth and smash into a bloody mess of glass shards.

Also, I agree w/ Terry. And the converse is true.. usually when something gets a really high score and doesnt print, there is a good reason.

Any low scoring designs you are wondering about?

Thomas Orrow
Thomas Orrow profile pic Alumni

I could post a lot of examples, where I think the scoring was unfair. Obviously, it depends on your taste a bit. I generally like the 12 month tees or something a bit indie/artistic rather than say a rainbow unicorn design. Also, I generally like darker or more neutral colours, but neon stuff gets printed a lot here.

I understand why some stuff gets scored higher & that's because it's more commercially viable as a tee eg more popular. Although, I look at a lot of stuff and think that the score is slightly skewered.

People's friends vote for their stuff and of course they're going to score it highly. It's actually encouraged at Threadless.

I don't have a real problem with that as T'less obviously wants to capitalize on cornering new markets etc. and also, it generally comes down to what the Threadless staff picked in the end-because there are so many high scoring entries.

Thomas Orrow
Thomas Orrow profile pic Alumni

Mind you Terry Fan makes lovely work and it usually gets scored quite well, so that's a good thing!

Thomas Orrow
Thomas Orrow profile pic Alumni

Hmmm maybe even Terry is losing the battle on this one.

His tiger at 2.58 vs. 2.75 for the blow fish. I wouldn't say the blowfish one was bad (no offence to the artist), but if anything I'd reverse those scores.

Don't worry about me, I'm just bitter and twisted as I've never been picked for a print myself!

Thomas Orrow
Thomas Orrow profile pic Alumni

I guess a lot of Minecraft voters are scoring things highly???? Or is that from their own promotion?

igo2cairo profile pic Alumni

If it makes you feel any better, I just got something printed for the Threadless/GAP line that didn't score all that high. I had to re-do the design when I got notified because I had deleted the high-res file, that's how little chance I thought it had! Actually, they've considered quite a few designs of mine with really low scores for that line.

Conversely I've had a number of extremely high-scoring designs that never got printed although were hugely successful in other forums. Some of my best-selling art prints have never made it on to a t-shirt. As Duracell mentioned, sometimes something can be really good, but just not suitable for a t-shirt, which is such a specific medium with it's own requirements. A high score is often a good sign, but by no means any kind of guarantee.

The design that you picked out of mine as not doing too well, "Mystic Tiger", is a good example. Although it's scoring poorly, it actually works pretty well on the tee and I think it has a shot, probably better than some of my higher scoring designs. The thing that's working against it is the feminine colour scheme, which probably mostly appeals to women.

I still don't like getting low scores, but bear in mind that this one printed:

It's very unusual for a design that scored that low to print, but Threadless went ahead despite this and took a chance. Turns out it sold well so I guess sometimes people don't even know what they want!

Thanks for the compliment about my work btw, much appreciated.


dacat on Sep 12 '12 at 1:36am http://www.threadless.com/submission/447944/Dragon_Phylogeny

10th highest score of all time??

social media.

look at the total number of comments, the number of blank avatars, the number of comments made by the designer, the skinny stats on the facebook page, etc.

skewed it by about a full point

Its different enough.. but this is the kind of thing, imo, that is better suited as a wall print geeks can stare at.

YaaH profile pic Alumni

My design is normal and I've got low scored but I only knew that I really want to wear it. Good luck Gap likes it as another people who clicked like to my design more than another design. This made me so happy to know that there are many people out there (I mean people not in Threadless like my design as I like it.)

I just wanted to say that don't worry about the final scored. Just enjoy working. And I for sure I will continue to design something that I wanted to wear.



Ryder profile pic Alumni

i don't think "not so good" designs ever get printed. For a design to get printed it must be somewhat good by basic standards.

TheInfamousBaka profile pic Alumni

I wish the Gap prints would show up in the Artists' profiles.

And about people not knowing what they want... that's so true. A couple of my favorite shirts are ones that I bought during a $10 sale because I was just taking a shot in the dark and wasn't all "I WANT THAT!" Once you see it for sale on the Threadless page and then in person, kind of a different ball game there. It's weird how that works.

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