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.