Insomnia (insomnia) wrote in news,

final T-shirt design

I still have to talk to the people who are designing the T-shirts for us, but all the polling and the information that the shirt designers gave us really helped narrow down at least the initial design...

Here's what the polling seems to indicate...

People preferred the traditional design by a large margin over all other designs, which were pretty evenly matched.
- Looking at the "bell curve" for the vote on the logo size, most people thought it was somewhere between just right and a bit too small. I'm going to assume a bit too small is around 20%, so I will kind of split the difference and ask the designer to scale the logo/lettering on the front by about 10%. The slogan on the back will be "Because you like to think people care...", which won by a convincing margin. I will talk to the designer about having a small Frank put on one of the upper sleeves, though.

Currently, we can't count on selling more than about 250 shirts. At $15 a shirt (the most popular price) that only translates into about $750 profit for LiveJournal. If we luck out and sell over 500 shirts, the profit would go up $1 per shirt and LiveJournal would make $2000... better than a kick in the head! Still, it is a relatively small run of shirts for silkscreening, which, by definition, is usually a process where they make a whole bunch of shirts at the same time. The big advantage of going with silkscreening is quality; ask anyone who has gotten a silkscreened shirt from Copyleft and a non-silkscreened shirt from Cafepress and they'll tell you how much better the Copyleft shirts are. I have one... it's damn snazzy and hasn't even begun to fall apart after more than a year. You're all going to get a really good deal for $15!

When you silkscreen a whole bunch of shirts, you have to be careful with how many different types and variations of shirts you stock... if you do 250 shirts each for 4 different designs and you only sell 300 shirts total, you can...well, lose your shirt. The people who run Punctuate/Copyleft have been very generous in helping out open source groups for years, but they have also lost money at times because of being stuck with too much stock. Because of that, Copyleft sometimes charges extra if you have too many different designs or alternatives, such as different types of shirts, different colors, or different sizes outside the norm. Without charging extra, Punctuate would risk losing money on the deal. As a result, we are only doing a single shirt design for now. This will allow us more flexibility as far as types of shirts, sizes, colors, etc. It will also greatly increase our chance of raising money for LiveJournal on the deal. Since over 60% of LJ users are women, and about half of those indicated they wanted a women's cut shirt (meaning 30% of LiveJournal users), we will definitely try to have them. I can't promise they'll be all black, since I am not positive that solid black is an option, but the women's cut shirts will either be black or white w/ black sleeves.

Many LiveJournal users indicated they wanted plus sizes. It may not be easy to negotiate for plus sizes in every size, but I will do everything that I can to add as much variety in sizing into the mix without making LiveJournal pay out money on the deal. Depending on what Punctuate says, I might have to skip a few sizes to save on costs... Have something like S,M,L,XL,2XL,4XL... whatever is needed to make sure that practically everyone can get a shirt. Depending on what Punctuate says, it may be necessary to charge a little extra for plus size shirts. This, by the way, is exactly what Cafepress does. Still, I suspect that Punctuate will be very helpful, especially if we give them a good idea on the sizes and amounts of shirts people will be ordering. That is why I am adding one last poll in a separate post, so that those of you who intend on getting a shirt can reveal what size you'd like to wear. The results of the poll will be anonymous, BTW. (There are two things you can ask a woman that may put your life in danger--their age, and what size they wear!)

For those of you who would have liked to get a different design, I can sympathize. Its kind of like planning a family trip... everyone wants to go someplace different, and none of them can exactly agree on a favorite place to go, so they all settle on the least hated. I'm sure that we will add to the designs in the future, but we'll have to show Punctuate that there's money to be made by releasing more designs. In other words, if you want more designs later, support this design now. Part of the problem is that only about 500 of you are getting this message, out of over 115,000 LiveJournal accounts... that kinda sucks. We'll have to promote the shirt a bit better than that once it is ready to order. Still, after reading over 100 comments on the shirt design, I'm very glad that I didn't have to read twenty times that amount.

Thanks for your patience through all of this process, and a special thanks to those people who contributed designs for the shirts. I hope that this T-shirt will sell really well and that Punctuate will be encouraging us to release additional designs soon.


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