Kings of Leon Design Contest Controversy

April 28, 2009 | Written by Darren | Category: Contests

I know this is going to be two Design By Humans posts in a row, but this is one that I just couldn’t pass up. They recently declared the winners of the Kings Of Leon contest and it appears that the DBH community isn’t too pleased with the selection.

In a business model where you live and die by your community, this has to be a touchy situation for DBH. The consensus in the forum section is that the winners weren’t necessarily the most popular designs. Apparently the band chose the winning designs and rightfully so. The only problem is, they went against the grain and chose designs based less on artistic merit and more on symbolism. This is very different from typical DBH winners and seen more commonly on Threadless.

I personally don’t have a dog in the race, but I do believe it’s an interesting conversation. Ultimately, it boils down to the agreement between Kings of Leon and Design By Humans and how they communicated the contest parameters to those who entered.

This kind of situation will probably come up more often. I’ll bet that both the community and the administrators adapt to the issue over time. It has to be a win-win for everyone though. In the meantime, check out the winners and decide for yourself:

1st Place


2nd Place


3rd Place


3 Responses

  1. Rude Retro | April 28th, 2009

    There was pretty much the same reaction to the Quicksilver selection. I think that we will probably get this type of reaction for most of the t-shirts that are selected by these outside agents.

  2. thomas romer | April 28th, 2009

    damn. #1 is ug funk. whassup with that?

  3. Coty | April 29th, 2009

    Interesting post, Darren. I have to agree – the winning design didn’t blow me away. There were a ton of amazing entries and I am actually surprised they went with that one.

    It would be great if DBH could get whoever does the choosing (i.e. Kings of Leon, Quicksilver, etc.) to do a quick video of why they chose the design they selected to win. It would be interesting to hear what their thoughts and reasoning was.