Hey, Threadfriends! By now you’ve probably heard that we’ve launched our biggest design challenge yet (you can’t submit until tomorrow, but feel free to start designing), where we’re asking you to design the single, most awesome thing you’ve ever imagined for a chance at $20,000! That’s a pretty sweet chunk of change, if we do say so ourselves. As if that isn’t enough excitement, to coincide with the challenge, we also launched our brand new feature, Funding! Funding is something we’ve been working really hard to build over here at Threadless for some time, and we’re super pumped to get it out into the world. What is it, you ask? Get comfy and start reading!

What is Funding?

Funding is essentially a whole new way to get designs printed! The addition of Funding on Threadless gives our artists even more opportunity to get paid, and our artists and community alike even more power over what we print.

How does it work?

It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

  • Step 1: Submit it! To start, submit your design to our $20k challenge like you would to any challenge. When it enters the scoring feed, your submission will appear with our fancy new “Fund” button. If someone spots your design and simply has to have it, they click the “Fund” button, which basically acknowledges that they love the design so much that they’re willing to buy it immediately. Once they click it, they are prompted to enter their payment information through a secure checkout just like any ecommerce purchase.

  • Step 2: Share it! In order for us to print the design, it must be fully funded by at least 50 people. The more you share the design and encourage your friends to fund it, the better the chance it will be printed and you’ll reap the rewards. After you submit your design, you’ll receive a special promo code that’s super important for sharing. Make sure you include this promo code when you share the design - if your friends use the promo code to fund your design, they’ll receive $5 off, and you’ll double your earnings! While sharing, don’t forget to encourage your pals to score your design too; that helps the design rise to the top of the submissions, giving it a better visibility to be seen and funded.

  • Step 3: We print it! As soon as 50 people fund a design, we screen print it on a 100% cotton t-shirt, stick it in the mail, and send it to all the amazing people who helped fund it into fruition. You receive earnings on every purchase, so you’ll be sitting pretty!

How is funding different from scoring?

Funding is essentially a more direct avenue of getting your designs printed. If you can corral 50 people to fund your design, it gets printed - that’s all there is to it! Funding puts the printing power in the hands of the artist; you guys have total control by means of sharing your design and spreading the word. This doesn’t mean that scoring isn’t still super important: high scores help designs rise to the top of the scoring feed, increasing their visibility to be seen and funded. Plus, you can still rely on high scores to get your designs printed; if your design doesn’t get funded, it may still be printed through great scores. So, what we’re trying to say is, encourage your pals to fund AND score your designs!

What again about this fancy promo code?

You definitely want to know about the promo code! As an artist, you’ll receive a promo code after you submit a design. Make sure you save this code! Include it wherever and whenever you share the design; if someone uses the promo code when they fund your design, they’ll get $5 off, and you’ll receive double the earnings on that purchase. Everybody wins!

What does the winning design of a $20,000 challenge look like?

It actually looks like lots of designs we already have on Threadless! If we had been on our current payment structure since the beginning, many of our most popular designs, like Funkalicious or Communist Party, would have earned the artist close to 20k or more. Today, Threadless designs have unlimited earning potential, with funding only increasing artists’ opportunities for big bucks. So, if you’re looking for inspiration, simply check out some of the top designs in the Threadless catalog!

So, wait, am I hearing this correctly - in addition to the the winning design, ALL funded designs will also be printed for this challenge?

Yep, you got it! Pending any legal or printability issues, all funded designs will be printed in addition to the winning design for our 20k challenge.

Is funding available only for submissions to this challenge?

Currently, yes: only designs submitted for the challenge will be eligible for Funding. However, we will be launching Funding sitewide after the challenge, making it available for all submissions!

Will my funded design go into the catalog?

While we can’t guarantee that EVERY funded design will go into the catalogue, we can faithfully say that MOST will. This means that hundreds more of your funded designs may get printed and sold on Threadless.com for all of our customers, enhancing your opportunity as an artist to earn a whole bunch more money over time. Cha-ching!