Holy cow, another design contest past and what a ride it was. We placed ads in booth the weekly, free papers here in Portland; the Portland Mercury and the Willamette Weekly, so we got double the action.We received submissions in crayon, black and white pen sketches, marker, paint, and numerous submitted electronically. I think next year we may add a “Coolest Envelop” section because there would have been several contenders this year.
A couple people were bummed that the contest was only open to Portland residents but we’ve done it that way because its easier to manage and plan for. Also, we like Portland and we like to providing a little community contest. Maybe in the years to come we will have a national contest, I’d like to.
Technology really helped us spread the word this year. With a twitter account and a Facebook fan page we were able to get our fans involved in the voting. We started the contest with 213 fans on our page and ended with 655! That’s huge! Thanks people! We really appreciate the help with voting.
We also wanted to show some of the designs we liked but why they didn’t work for some reason or another. Some of them we loved but asked ourselves, did we like them because of our own quirky sense of style, or because they’d make a good pair of socks that more than a handful would like? There were also some wildly creative designs, beautiful in detail but would’ve be just too difficult to actually wear once made. When working with socks there are some limitations we have to adhere to. Stitching a design directly into a product is not as forgiving as something like screen printing. When sock designs get too complicated the sock gets really tight becuase all the stings are woven together and tight socks = bad.
Kind of a remedy we’ve found for making more detailed socks is just making them shorter. So instead of our signature knee high, we can get some of the more difficult designs made on ankle high, or crew socks. This way the sock doesn’t have to makes its way over the varying calf sizes that are out there.
So all in all we had approximately 600-700 submissions. Its great fun to go through all the designs and really cool to see what people come up with. And then once we start getting votes in, its even more interesting to see what people are drawn to. Thanks artists and voters for your participation, we had a great 3rd Annual Design a Sock Contest! Its never too soon to start on ideas for next year. And just a little tid bit of information…..we accept design ideas all year and if we really like it and decide to put it into production, you the artist, gets 200 dollars cash money!