“Trick or treat, smell our feet, give us some good art to see.” That was the mission we gave Threadless artists for the Halloween Design Challenge, and they did not disappoint. Submitting more than 1,500 designs, they summoned the spirit of Halloween with all of the witches, ghosts, and ghouls you could imagine.
Design Challenges like this one are a part of a foundational Threadless tradition that opens opportunities for artists to showcase their skill and win additional earnings. Challenges also allow everyone (that includes you!) in our community to have a direct influence on what’s featured in our catalog by scoring designs. The community gave out more than 27,500 scores to the Halloween Design Challenge alone!
Choosing from the top-rated submissions, we picked out 10 of our favorite designs that celebrate the traditions and nostalgia of Halloween and give us the creepy crawlies. All of them are available to buy on a wide array of merch and directly support the artists who made them. Let’s start off with the first-place winner…
WINNER: “Spirit of Halloween” by Bosatsu
Bosatsu describes themself as a shy, introverted illustrator who makes playful art to communicate with the outside world. Their submission, “Spirit of Halloween,” reminds us to enjoy the enchantments of spooky season with a young witch blowing ghost bubbles into the sky.
“Read in Peace” by dfonseca
What’s a skeleton gotta do to get some peace and quiet? Brazilian graphic designer Diego Fonseca shows us what it’s like when a novel is so good that not even death can keep you from finishing it. This mix of silliness and dark humor is a signature you’ll find in Diego’s art.
“Vintage Halloween” by Lord of Masks
Ithaca–based illustrator Camille Chew often explores themes of mythology, fantasy, and the occult. For her submission, she created a classic Halloween pattern that looks great on everything from throw pillows to blankets to shower curtains. If you ask us, decorating is one of the most fun Halloween traditions!
“Pumpkin and Cats” by ppmid
This hollowed-out gourd illustrated by Mexican artist Pepe Rodríguez contains everything a Halloween fanatic is obsessed with. Spooky cats. Lollipops. Candy corn. Scattered human remains. When we look at design, it lights up our faces like a jack-o-lantern (before it rots and grows fuzz on your front porch).
“Gotcha!” by Obinsun
When we asked artists to capture the Halloween spirit for this challenge, Obinsun took it literally. This spider-web design ensnares the creatures and ghouls that remind us of the spookiest of holidays. It’s fun and adorable—like all of Obinsun’s designs.
“Creature from the Black Coffee” by kooky love and DiditRed
“Get in Loser” by ccelestec
When it’s time, it’s time. Arizona–based artist C. Celeste Campbell makes us simultaneously laugh and contemplate our own mortality with “Get in Loser.” It might be the scariest design on this list! Although her art is typically cute, quirky, and coquettish, she’s clearly not afraid to dabble in the macabre.
“Cult of Bootay” by Mulopops
Is it getting hot in here? Indonesian artist Mulyana Yusuf is up to no good with a devilish design best described as…cheeky. Their kawaii–style art exudes a playful energy with an overdose of cuteness and lighthearted humor. It’ll make you smile—no ifs, ands, or butts about it. Well, maybe a few butts.
“Witch Spells Halloween Gift” by tjrxworkspace
This submission by tjrxworkspace entrances us with its witchy vibes and alluring surrealism. It almost looks like an album cover for a stoner rock band from the ‘70s. You’ll find all kinds of trippy, throwback aesthetics throughout this artist’s work—perfect for lovers of retro style.
“K Bye.” by Mindless Design
Sometimes the less you say, the louder the message. With a style reminiscent of vintage flash tattoos, this submission from Holland–based artist Mindless Design magnifies the humor and sarcasm in abrupt goodbyes. What a fitting ending to this list. Wait—isn’t the skull supposed to go INSIDE the grave?
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Halloween Design Challenge! Whether you’re an artist or appreciator of art, we invite you to join in on the fun. Submit to our various themed challenges, score designs to elevate your favorite artists, and shop Design Challenge collections to support independent art.