Ohhhh Portland, how we love your sweet design skills. That is why, year after year, we give the local lads a chance at sock stardom with the Annual Design-A-Sock Contest, now in its fourth year. Not to be confused with our international design contest (which we ran earlier this year), this one is for the locals… because Portland pride runs strong in these parts.
With little over a week to craft and submit 5 unique designs, we expect to see Portlanders all over town with torn-out templates in tow, designing and sketching as they dine over breakfast, commute on the Max, and break for lunch along the waterfront. After all, the Grand Prize Winner will receive a whopper of a check ($500), not to mention bragging rights and TEN brand new, hand-chosen pairs of Sock It to Me socks. Just imagine how colorful your sock drawer will be…
The nitty gritty: Portland residents can find the Design-A-Sock template online at www.sockittome.com or rip-out options in both The Portland Mercury and Willamette Week starting on Wednesday, September 8th. Final design submissions are due by 5pm on Friday, September 17th. Entrants can submit up to five original, not previously published works. Prizes are offered for First Place ($500 + 10 pairs of socks + production of sock), Second Place ($100 + five pairs of socks) and Third Place ($50 + three pairs of socks), with room for “bonus” winners whose designs could be chosen for incorporation into Sock It to Me’s line of socks for men or women. Submissions can be sent via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or snail mail (Design Contest, 5100 SE Harney Dr. #1, Portland, OR 97206). For all contest rules and regulations, please visit www.sockittome.com.
Good luck! We can’t wait to see your submissions!
p.s. If you need some inspiration, here are a few submissions that made their way into our hearts earlier this year:
Greetings Sock it to Meians. We are pleased to announce that the next 5 people who email us sock pictures will receive a free pair of socks! The pictures must be at least 500 x 400 pixels large. We will post your pictures on our front page AND you get a special pair of socks. We choose but it won’t be lame. Promise.
Here are some pictures that people have already submitted.
Please email the pictures to us with your name and location. Add in the subject line “Free Socks for Me!” Thanks!
One of my favorite parts of this business is the actual design. As you’ll see in the example, I am not good at drawing……at all. But I still appreciate the creative aspect, the color choosing, the mash up of imagery, and just seeing a design and instantly knowing, “yep, that’s the one.” To show you some of the steps involved I’m going to use our Monkey sock as an example. I first started with a sketch. I knew I wanted some sort of monkey hear no evil, see no evil type of thing. Some cute monkey doing something that everyone recognizes, and everybody loves listening to music, right? So why not a cute little monkey face wearing headphones? I drew a couple sketches, got out my colored pencils to notate out some specific colors, and came up this:
Then I sent it to a professional designer, many of which are from right here in Portland. They redraw the imagery in Photoshop or Illustrator and make something that looks like this:
From here we make a couple changes to pattern density, add or subtract details (in this example we added knobs to the outside of the headphones so they looked more like headphones and less like ear muffs) or we mess with the color until we come up with something we are happy with. Once we have all the details finished, we assign each color with a special number that tells the manufacture which specific color to use and, voila! We have a finished product:
Pretty cool huh? Now this isn’t the only way it happens, but its one of the ways. Maybe in one of the future posts I’ll show you examples of designs that didn’t turn out so great. Since designs are stitched into the fabric there are some limitations and therefore can’t be as complicated as say a 7 color screen printed t-shirt.
Happy looking and if you’re out there could you drop me some kind of hint? Like just type a period in the comment box or a simple word that has nothing to do with the post. I’m curious to see if people are reading this, if not, there is no point for me to continue.