Every year, the clothing retailer Uniqlo offers a chance for individuals to create a t-shirt design and submit it in the Uniqlo T-shirt Grand Prix competition. Out of all the many submissions the company receives, the best designs are carefully selected and integrated into the retailer's inventory to be sold worldwide.
Each competition also has a theme that competitors must base their designs around. Past themes have included Star Wars and Disney-themed shirts, but this year, it's Nintendo's time to shine.
"The theme of this year’s contest is Nintendo, whose games and characters have delighted countless millions around the world," read an official announcement from Uniqlo when they first declared what the theme of the 2017 competition would be. "One of the main goals of the contest is to express the joy and excitement of Nintendo’s games through clothing while also fostering creative talent.
Artists and Nintendo enthusiasts submitted their best work to the competition in hopes of landing their shirts a spot in the store. They incorporated classic Nintendo elements and characters such as Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda while also introducing newer games such as Splatoon into the mix.
There were a couple of rules to adhere to when creating the designs, one of which said that no crossovers between games would be allowed in the designs. That meant it was fine to show a Charmander and Squirtle duking it out, but Link shouldn't be interacting much with a member of the Star Fox Team.
Age and nationality were of no consequence during the competition though, and everyone had their shot at having their design selected. Aside from the design being sold by Uniqlo, there was also some prize money involved. The winner of the Grand Prix could expect to take home up to $10,000, and they'd also receive a paid trip to an awards ceremony in Japan.
But among all of these perks of winning, perhaps the most meaningful takeaway from doing well in the competition comes from knowing who was selecting the winners. The creator of Mario and other Nintendo masterpieces, Shigeru Miyamoto himself, selected the best designs and named the winners of the competition.
The first place winner of the competition fittingly featured Mario in a simplistic design that meshed well with the rest of the shirt. There were plenty of other contenders who deserve to be seen though. Check out the photo gallery we've attached to see some of the best designs that the competition had to offer.