one red paperclip T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST

The deadline for submissions is Aug 1st.

All designs must be submitted as an attachment to (JPEG,PNG,TIFF,GIF,BMP ONLY - please DO NOT submit DOC files or weird thing like PDFs. PDFs creep me out.)

I'll upload the submissions as they arrive. You can see/comment on them here:
Contest details:

Are you a great graphic designer? Or potentially better...are you a really bad graphic designer? I'm setting up a t-shirt contest. Best five designs get made into t-shirts that will be sold on the Labor Day long weekend in Kipling Saskatchewan and after that at 503 Main Street - all proceeds to Kipling Parks and Rec or a good local cause. Winning designs/designers get loads of recognition and a $20 USD cash prize. I'll put a link to your site here on the blog and your name will become synonymous with the t-shirt design. Forever. Feel free to use/alter any pictures found on my flickr page or create a brand new design from scratch. The deadline for entries is August 1st.
**PLEASE** send your designs as attachements to

Just a sampling of some of my ideas:

-A wolf with a red paperclip in its mouth
-George Stroumboulopoulos hypnotizing someone
-Corbin Bersen admiring a snow globe
-Alice Cooper causing evil destruction with a red paperclip
-A "Kipling Saskatchewan" shirt with something really a ninja with red paperclip throwing stars.
-A happy horse with happy red paperclip horseshoes.
-A shirt with pictures of all the trade items but with a phantom, never-happened trade item like a stale muffin thrown in just for kicks so people get upset and go "hey, what's that doing there?"

I think we can all agree that every shirt should have a red paperclip on it somewhere, and I'm a bit superstitous to the positioning of the paperclip - preferring a 'going to the right' alignment like this:

one red paperclip

...but feel free to come up with whatever you want or post your ideas as comments below. Let your imagination run wild. The sky is literally the limit. Actually, the sky isn't the limit - there's no reason we can't have outer space themed red paperclip shirts. I guess it'd be more acurate that outer space is the limit. Since they'll be unveiled for the first time in Kipling Saskatchewan over the Labour day long weekend, I'll give bonus points for any Kipling themed or Saskatchewan themed designs. That doesn't mean I'm only going to choose Kipling or Saskatchewan designs, just that they'll get bonus points, is all. Probably a 50/50 Kipling Sask vs. non-Kipling Sask final assembly of designs. Well, you can't exactly cut 5 in half, unless of course we think people will be stoked on half t-shirts, but you know what I mean. Not sure about what file types are the best for this kind of thing, but I'm guessing high-res JPEGs or TIFFs will be the best bet.

I'll post all "postworthy" submissions on the site and announce the winners right after the deadline - Aug 1st.

I so can't wait to see what you might come up with. The funtential for this is off the charts. Way off the charts - Kyle

UPDATE - For unexplainable reasons, I've really gotten into ascii art lately. (you know, those text/picture thingys....and no, I didn't know what it was called until today either.) In addition to the t-shirt contest, I'll post the top 5 one red paperclip or Kipling Saskatchewan themed ascii art designs to this site as well.


Classic Series said...

Hi Kyle

I am not a graphic designer but here is my idea...
How about a spiral of the 14 trade items all connected with the red paperclip and in the center of the spiral would be a photo of you and Dom standing in front of your house holding a giant red paperclip?

I am such a firm believer that "what goes around, comes around" and "Life is all about connections" and "Life is a circle"

What you have done shows that to be true in every sense of the word. Did you ever see the movie "Pay it Forward"? Well, what you have done with your 1 red papreclip is the same thing (only different) :-)I am so happy to see that someone so young has been able to open the eyes and spark the hopes of so many! Keep up the good work!

By the name is Tory MacDonald and I have a 22 year old son named Kyle MacDonald....soooooo if you are ever in Connecticut trading, PLEASE look us up! I would love to have a photo of the 2 Kyle MacDonalds together!

Lori Kreider said...

I personally believe the best ideas are simple. Why not just have a plain white t-shirt with your picture of the red paperclip, pointing to the right? It could fill the shirt right to left, and be about 6-8 inches high so that it fills the shirt. Then, on the back (in red writing of course) have your website address. Simple, but definitely an attention getter.

Danielle said...

you could do a shirt that says kyle - not ricky on it and put the red paper clip and your site name on it or somthing like that...or you could go with a red paperclip on a shirt with phrases like...

expand your mind
behold the power of the paperclip
(or something else like that on it)

...because this is one of the most original and creative ideas i've heard of in a long time. if you look at toys, television shows, movies, and different things these days, they all consist of remaking stuff that has already been done. anyways, just a few thoughts :)

Rob said...

I have an extra Linksys B router, if your talking about just collecting a bunch of normal ones.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kyle,

How about some hats too? For that matter a whole clothing line. Rap stars do it, why not you?

tprzepiorka said...

You can submitt more than one entry right?

KevBo said...

guy, classis series thinks like me, I made a designt last night that looked just like that, only a little different.

I just have to make the final touches.

Hamish said...

How about a big fat red paperclip?

Less is more Kyle, less is more!

Anonymous said...

Here's my idea for a t-shirt design...

Picture of Barbaro at the Preakness. The words "What really happened to Barbaro..." and red paperclip horseshoes highly visible.


Cristina said...

Hi Kyle!
will we be able to buy the t-shirts in the net?? I hope so!!! I'd love to have fun with you in the party but I can't flight from Spain to Canada...

Stello said...

I emailed a small picture of my entry.

David said...

I just recently found this site and finished reading through all the trades and just would like to say how impressed I am.
Congratulations on finishing and I hope this inspires a lot of people too!
Anyway, here is my somewhat cheesy comment for what it's worth.

Tony Vaughn said...

Hi there!

I AM a graphic designer, and I am working on a few designs right now.

I will post again with links to designs.

Charles said...

I just wanted to come and say, "you Da Man" LOL

You got some skills. Wonder If I could do what you did and get the Monte Carlo that I want.

Anonymous said...

i think a "slogan" that would be appropriate could be one of the following:
"think bigger"
"what could you get?"
"how big can you go?"
"funtential: anything is possible"
"wanna trade?"
"all things have potential"

lizbn said...

Just the clip man.

Design-wise simpler is better.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

im just wondering how to enter a picture into the contestt?


single woman said...

Well that is what I'm calling a COOL blog, even the name sounds very creative...

tprzepiorka said...

I bielive to enter send your submission to goodluck!

Rachel said...


First of all: Congrats! Great job!

Second: A single paperclip bent in a house-shaped form?



Anonymous said...

Hey Kyle,
I saw your story on Australian 60 Minutes, love your work!
Howabout this for a T-Shirt slogan, "'s one small red paper clip for man, but a giant red paper clip for mankind!"

glogo said...


by way of congratulating (or something like that)...

Anonymous said...

I like " start small think big and have fun" with the red paperclip

cathy said...

you probably want one that would intrigue even people who don't even know your story. :D keep that in mind!

eAgent said...

Hey Kyle,

Congrats Dude! You are an inspiration to all forward-thinking slackers the world over (and just kidding about the slacking part... I know you've kicked-butt on the PR circuit and really made this happen...)

As for a design: I was thinking that putting cool icons representing each of your products running up the arms to the center, where on the chest you'd have a simple but cool Warhol-like house drawing.

It's about all of the cool things that lead up to the house.

Keep it happening, Man! I just met a number of folks from your neck of the woods, and they are absolutely the best! Sign me up.

Also: You might contact David McInnis of and get an interview. The company gets 50,000,000 visits a month, and I think they might do a nice writeup on you... I know your story has circulated a bit through the office and you might have fun with their new podcast/vidcast channels.

Best of success in your future.

Mark Alan Effinger