Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Behold, the Angry Tie!

I’ve become slightly obsessed with designing items on the Zazzle website recently. Like most people who have decided to pursue the idea of selling merchandise online, I experimented with CafePress first. The site isn’t very flexible (unless you pay them) and a lot of people give them bad reviews for the quality of their products. To tell the truth, I have no objective evidence to support the bad word of mouth but it influenced me anyway.
After some advice from a friend I tried Australian-based RedBubble (and even ordered a few shirts I designed for myself). RedBubble do very high quality screen printing but they are a little expensive (not surprising given the quality).
Then, after another recommendation, I tried Zazzle. This site is much more flexible than CafePress and offers some cheap options. As an experiment, I ordered their cheapest t-shirt option (reasoning that it would be the most likely to be a dodgy product) and I was quite impressed with the quality.
Doing the t-shirts has always been a “just in case anybody wants one” thing rather than some master plan to get fabulously wealthy. Who knows, I might become an overnight media sensation and it would be nice to be ready to cash in on that.
More recently I had the idea of cashing in on the fact that so many people say they like the t-shirts I wear in videos and ask where they can get one. It isn’t as though the slogans are particularly original. Even though I buy most of them from shops I see the same (or similar) slogans replicated time after time in online shops. So why not do the same?
So I’m going to experiment with doing a version of each t-shirt I wear in a video with a link to buy it and see if that proves popular.
It was while working on this that I became intrigued with some of the more diverse offerings in Zazzle’s range and started playing with some designs. I did what I thought was a very ugly design on a shoe just because I could. A few people on Twitter said they liked it but I didn’t save it because the shoes are fairly expensive ($60 and up). I may go back and do another shoe design for fun but I can’t imagine anyone buying them.
Then I got into ties. In my day job I am known for sporting quite a variety of fairly flamboyant ties. Many people assume this is because I like ties. They are wrong. I FUCKING HATE TIES. But I like cartoon-y ties more than I like boring design ties. Seeing as Zazzle gives you a free hand with the design, and my YouTube friend DrakeMagnum has done a series of awesome designs for me I thought, why not go to town.
Which brings me to the whole point of this blog post. I’d like you to vote for your favourite from the following designs and then I will buy the winner and actually wear it to work. You’ll have to take my word for that (unless you happen to work with me) but I will model the tie when it arrives.
The first one is from the Shepherd Fairy inspired “ANGRY” design. I like the way this one abstracted when the strip of tie material shows only a fragment of the design.
This second one has tiles of the AA mask design with a prominent central image.
The third one is tiled again but with a much larger tiled image.
Vote using the buttons. My sartorial future is in your hands.

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