Let's talk about MeFi Merch! June 18, 2018 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Alright, I suggested last week amidst the brainstorming in the State of the Site post that we set aside a thread specifically for MetaFilter merchandising chatter. This! Is! That! Thread! So, let's talk merch ideas. I'll lay out our current thinking and some options inside.

So, I'll cover some of where I'm at on merch-related stuff:

1. We currently have a liiiiittle bit of MeFi merch over at TopatoCo: the remaining stock of some older shirt designs, and a sticker pack.

2. So, we should totally do some more merch! Really common and doable requests there include new shirts, mugs, tote bags, and stickers. That's not a complete list at all, but it's a few strong things to focus on to start with and is about where I'm gonna focus for a first line of New Stuff so we can get moving sooner and easier. I'd rather do smaller merch pushes more often than try to get everything right at once.

3. Couple major easy-to-accomplish routes for doing official merch: stock some additional stuff with TopatoCo, and sell stuff via a print-on-demand (aka POD) service, of which Threadless and RedBubble both seems to be high on the quality and service side from what we've researched.

For stuff where we have a real clear idea of about how much and what kinds/sizes to stock, TopatoCo is my preference because I like them and they've been friendly partners with MeFi over the years.

For stuff where it's kinda speculative whether and how much something will sell, a POD solution is less risk/stress. And we can look at using both strategies simultaneous for different items.

One thing there that we haven't traditionally had a good solution for: figuring out how much is the right amount. Coming up with a simple reliable way to handle "preorder" counts on stuff, especially with e.g. sizing for shirts, is something for us to chew on, and is also one of the main arguments for more of a POD solution in some cases.

4. Recurring request with t-shirts in particular: good fits for a variety of body types. That means supporting a wide variety of sizes; that means supporting more than one kind of cut so shirts will e.g. fit people with boobs in a reasonable way. Also means thinking a little bit about how designs will work against various cuts. Settling on a specific t-shirt brand/style that serves that range of fits has been one of the more difficult parts of finding merch process consensus in the past. It may be that there is no one shirt provider that does that whole range well; we may just want to try a couple different options for different designs and see how the reports from the field come back from folks wearing 'em and try to sort out the best mix/compromise over time that way.

5. Designs! So, there's a few things here:
- one or another classic simple "MetaFilter" design seems like a good idea
- there's a rad work-in-progress design from robocop is bleeding that I'm hoping we can roll out soon
- literally anything else as a design

That's two straightforward gimme ideas and then a yawning storm of possibilities. The yawning storm is both a fun and a messy part, and is one of the things that kicking open a new thread here is good for. People like brainstorming merch ideas and design ideas, and we had a fair amount of that in the State of the Site thread; collating and reiterating that stuff here's a fine idea. Brainstorm away!

A couple things to keep in mind, as far as that goes:

First, mind the distinction between an in-joke that's good in a comment and an in-joke that you'll want to wear (and explain) in public. Some stuff is gonna scan better out of context, etc. I think strong slogan ideas are things that have some punchiness or resonance or clear humor that goes beyond just "well, you had to be there".

Second, there's a design idea and there's doing design work. Turning around some new merch in the short term will be easiest for stuff that doesn't presume a bunch of actual design effort besides e.g. laying out text to work. So fantastical graphical tableaux that cut to the very heart of MeFi's being are great conceptually, but a funny/affirming string of text is something we can put on a mug much more promptly and doesn't necessarily require more than a quick work-up in an image editor, etc.

6. Design contests etc: I want to talk about some boundaries on this, because I love everyone's enthusiasm about doing merch stuff but I also don't want to get into weird advantage-taking territory on the momentum of all that. Goofy happenstance community-minded design inspiration stuff is great; setting people up for a lot of volunteer/speculative work I'm not so comfortable with.

So, I'm not gonna just outright turn down unprompted "hey, I made this and want you to use it for merch" stuff—goofy inspiration happens and there's a bunch of talented people here for whom that might genuinely represent a doodle-level brainstorm rather than a bunch of work—but I don't see us doing competitions, I don't see soliciting uncompensated designs to choose from, etc. If we want to do goofy art collabos, let's do them for the fun of it; if I want to commission design work directly, I'd rather that be a "hey, I saw this thing you did and I'd like to give you a little money to run with that if you're into it" sort of situation.

7. Merch isn't a big revenue stream. Which is okay! I think we should do it because it's fun, to have and wear and etc, and I nice way to have a little bit of MeFi in your physical life. And we could in principle do some pledge drive type overpriced merch some time. But the core thing is: let's concentrate on this as a "what would be fun to have" thing, not as a big revenue driver. Doing things like a monthly goofy POD shirt, etc, doesn't need to happen in the context of substantially affecting MeFi's bottom line; as long as it pays for itself we're fine.

8. There is no eight, that's most of what's on my mind. Open your brains!
posted by cortex to MetaFilter-Related at 12:06 PM (186 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

In re: shirts for boobs, I have had more luck with these than with anything else I've found (in plain printable ts, anyway.) They don't bind at my lumberjack shoulders, and they don't wrinkle too weirdly across the chest. (I think, actually, that the mod staff can cover a reasonably broad set of women's body types for shirts, so we can definitely do some product testing.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:19 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


I've not been happy with Redbubble sticker quality; its like inkjet printing on crappy paper from Office Depot. Best sticker provider I've spent money with is Sticker Mule. Nice and glossy, good UV protective coating, etc.

I would also like some stickers that are about half the size of the current offerings.
posted by mrbill at 12:19 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]


Crazy thought: use POD to "test the waters" or identify what sells well, then shift those hot sellers to TopatoCo to increase the payback (assuming that POD takes a big cut of the typical product price currently seen on the site, where TopatoCo offers more back, as the products are "fixed" quantities). POD also supports "long tail" items, things that very few people want (a specific type of more expensive hoodie, for example).

Moderately crazy thought: can we use MLTSHP as a design ranking platform? None of the "person wearing clothing item" pics as seen on RedBubble and Threadless, just the designs, and ranking with hearts? Or would that be abuse of the platform? If that's the case, could we use Flickr? Both cases require that MeFites create an account on either platform to vote, but offload the requirement to host images with a "voting" feature.

Less crazy thought: use TopatoCo for limited edition (and marked up) annual (?) fundraising merch.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:23 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


I don't see soliciting uncompensated designs to choose from, etc. If we want to do goofy art collabos, let's do them for the fun of it;

I respect your not wanting to be exploitative. Nonetheless, I think you're wrong to veto the design competition idea. Participation would be totally voluntary and it basically would be "goofy art collabos." However, it is your site, and you know more about the site and community management than I do, so that's that, I guess. But if you're open to people collaborating and putting stuff together, what about facilitating collaborations somehow? Not sure what i"m thinking and I have 10 seconds before leechblock kicks me out...but somehow.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:26 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]


heyo, I can't wait to hear other folks' merch ideas, but wanted to pop in to say that robocop is bleeding had an AskMe once re t-shirts for women and got some great feedback!

T-Shirt Designs on Shirts for Women
posted by lalex at 12:27 PM on June 18 [13 favorites]


But rather than a competition, what if it's more of an "everybody's design is a winner!" situation? There's still the problem of determining demand before printing up a whole bunch of stickers/bags/other product, but maybe a print-on-demand situation would work? I haven't done my research to see if that's actually feasible or not.
posted by Secretariat at 12:31 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


In terms of everyone being able to get t-shirts that work best for them, I'd bet POD is probably the way to go there, both because the quality is pretty good these days, and that way there isn't the problem of needing to figure out the distribution of t-shirt size needs within the group. I like filthy light thief's idea here, because it'd let us get the distribution, and see if it made sense to move t-shirt sales over to TopatoCo once we know what we need. I'm all for data!

When it comes to non-fabric printable media, I'm with mrbill here: far better to find a shop that specializes in the relevant printing (stickers / decals / magnets / posters / gigantic banners*), because it's really easy to screw up. There are a lot of shops out there that try to do everything, and they're usually embodiments of "jack of all trades, master of none."

* This is a joke. Although quipping about real-world MeFi banner ads appeals to my perverse side, and I've done a lot of banner printing in the last few years.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 12:33 PM on June 18


(I'm on Chrome now, take that Leechblock!). What about a design idea competition? So instead of people submitting designs they write up a few sentences on their idea. If lots of people like it, then you can commission that.

I have an idea, but don't think of this as an "entry" because I don't have the skills to do it. I'd like to see a t-shirt covered in metafilter taglines. I'm thinking neck to hem wall of text (or as big a wall of text as the POD service allows). Someone who knows more about fonts and typesetting than I do, feel free to steal and get yourself commissioned.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:33 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


My desired merch items would be, off the top of my head:
Pins, preferably with images that are in-jokes
Zip front hoodie (in subsite colors with subsite names)
Something featuring that Mefi Dinosaurus, discussed 3 or 4 merch threads ago
Tote Bags
High quality stickers with a round shape
Custom mefi name/number vintage baseball-style shirts

And in general, I prefer t-shirts that feel soft, don't have too high of a neckline, and are slightly more shaped for lady/femme/curvy types.
posted by Secretariat at 12:40 PM on June 18 [15 favorites]


I also like filthy light thief's idea about using POD as a testing ground, then potentially shifting things over to TopatoCo.

In terms of actual design ideas, I feel like the fav and flag buttons are the most recognizable elements of MeFi's design (one of the very few downsides of the mostly-text high-signal style here) and they're things that would work on a mug or sticker, and could be adapted in some other ways for site branding - you could do a white M with a green F inside blue brackets on a clear sticker and I'd slap that on every piece of tech I own, or do a mug with the [!] blown up on the side. I don't think that's too in-group-ish or difficult to explain. Personal preference, but I've moved away from shirts with words on them as I've gotten older, so I'd rather avoid slogan/joke shirts.
posted by protocoach at 12:41 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]


For logo tees, I would love to see a "classic" design with the original logo on MeFi blue. The Modern redesign is great, but the loss of the old logo style still looks weird (to the point that I've got a CSS tweak italicizing it), and I still regret not buying the blue shirts when they were in stock.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:43 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


The quality of the Topatoco stickers is awesome. The MF sticker on my truck had lasted quite a while
posted by not_the_water at 12:45 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


If there's any chance of doing at least one design in a tank top or muscle tee, that would make my sleeve hating self very very happy... And a lot more likely to purchase. Thank you!
posted by miratime at 12:47 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


Enamel pins of the word Metafilter and also site logo please.

With plastic pinback holders

Kthanxbye!
posted by Faintdreams at 12:49 PM on June 18 [22 favorites]


Blue, green and grey collared denim work shirts with the MF logo unobtrusively stitched on the pocket.

And flamethrowers.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:50 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]


Mugs /coffee cups would be grand, but are fragile and heavy so international postage rates migt prove prohibitive.

If mugs /cups do become a thing I'd like to suggest two designs
A: The word/logo Metafilter
B: The phrase 'Flag It and Move on!" In Mefi Font.
posted by Faintdreams at 12:56 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]


Seconding baseball-style shirts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:59 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]


Custom mefi name/number vintage baseball-style shirts

Wasn't this a huge PITA for Matt when he offered these a number of years ago? Unless there's a much easier way to produce this sort of bespoke item than there was back then, I'd caution against this, as much as I like the overall idea.
posted by briank at 12:59 PM on June 18


I'm a sucker for koozies. mefi blue with either "MF" or "[+]" would definitely be an instant buy for me.
posted by jermsplan at 1:00 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]


Yeah, they are awesome, but I also recall them as being difficult to do. Plus, I think you want to do that style of graphic RIGHT, which I don't think it really was the first time.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:00 PM on June 18


Something to put on the tables for meetups. Flags, dinosaurs, whatever, just a way for new people to identify the group.

Also, coffee mugs. Nice big ones.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 1:02 PM on June 18 [10 favorites]


I should have read more carefully... my second was for a MeFi design printed on baseball style with a ringer collar and those angles 2/3 sleeves. I don't need (or even want) my username or number on it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:04 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


I love the idea of [+] [!] as mini stickers (like the size of a nickel-ish only square). Would buy a sheet of them. Come to think of it, could make these with my labelmaker too.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:05 PM on June 18 [31 favorites]


I love my SomaFM branded water bottle and thermos and would equally love MetaFilter versions. Those come from Klean Kanteen, part of their co-branding program.

SomaFM is all listener supported, so the stuff on their merch page is pretty expensive. I find it a small price to pay for a service I use quite often, and would gladly pay similar prices for some MetaFilter merch.
posted by ralan at 1:13 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]


As someone who never wears T-shirts and has more mugs than space for mugs and more shopping bags than space for shopping bags. . . my enthusiasm for merch is pretty limited.

But, I suspect a Mefi challenge coin would see a lot of use at barroom meetups. Possibly enough to justify the cost of designing and producing it.
posted by eotvos at 1:15 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


Someone should design Metafilter: CCG.

That way you can continually add booster packs
posted by ian1977 at 1:19 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Oh and a plate of beans paperweight
posted by ian1977 at 1:21 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


Yes, stickers (or enamel pins, or patches) that say [+] and [!]. I neeeed them.
posted by zeptoweasel at 1:22 PM on June 18 [16 favorites]


I was one of the ones putting forth the idea that folks here could design/do leg work to get merch train rolling out of the station. I forgot about the whole unpaid-labor thing and I appreciate cortex's sensitivity to the same in hopes of not stepping on toes/shitting on folks that do that sort of thing for a living. I respectfully withdraw my strong feelings for the former and resign myself to the properness of strong consideration being given to the latter.

That said, yay merch. I'd do a coffee cup (please not small ones) in a bold color tied to the site's primary scheme. I'm not the bumpersticker type but maybe one of those and/or stickers too. T-shirts are possible as well but I'd ask that we lean towards high quality (non-slave labor if possible, though I know that's hard) materials for the same as I'm trying to steer away from stuff from countries that don't respect workers rights/well being. /pony

This may be a bit much but I wanted to pitch it out there lest a good idea go unspoken:

I went to a hackerspace for the first time and their array of equipment (free to the public even, no membership required!) was really impressive. To the point, if there's any hope of releasing designs/files for things that could be vinyl cut or 3d printed that'd be right up my alley and I promise I'd print extras for folks the next time I'm in the hackerspace (which might be a while but probably a few times a year).

posted by RolandOfEld at 1:24 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Don’t forget non-US mefites. Postage costs, measurements in centimetres and inches, etc
posted by MT at 1:26 PM on June 18 [11 favorites]


This site can do custom challenge coins (and they can make them as bottle openers, which could also be really cool).
posted by protocoach at 1:29 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]


I hope this isn't running afoul of any MetaWiki rules, but I went ahead and created a MetaMerch page (which I linked from the main page under "Stuff that is sort of organized" as one of the "Special Features") to log the desired merch types, and identify merchandise from the past, for reference. It's really brief because I'm only citing this thread, and I probably missed some things already mentioned here.

My idea was to log the types of things people want, not the designs, because that's a lot more varied and nuanced than a list of types of things.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:30 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]


Those oval-shaped "I've been to this country or this vacation spot" black-and-white stickers with "MeFi", "AskMe", "MeTa", etc.

I would love teeny silver stud earrings shaped like "+" and "!", but I recognize I might be a focus group of one and am willing to hit up Etsy to scratch that itch.

Stickers, mugs, shirts (dear god something besides a crew neck tee), fidgety desk toys, sticky notes, planner stickers, nice baseball caps, ankle socks (+ and ! would be fabulous on a pair of socks), travel mugs, phone cases (or those pop-socket things or the little pockets you can attach to your phone or phone case), pins, buttons, patches.
posted by ersatzkat at 1:47 PM on June 18 [22 favorites]


I'd love a t-shirt. Would also be into patches that could be sewn onto my daily commuter laptop bag. That'd be rad.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:48 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


I want a metafilter journal. I got one from NPR this year. It's nice.

And as to the idea of shirts, I know Daring Fireball throws open a window to order shirts, then he gets what is ordered printed, and then closes the window. That would help with the idea of not having to guess how many to have on hand. You can then open the window on occasion whenever the demand seems high enough. This also helps sales through FOMO. I know I often put off ordering things that are perpetually available, but I am a sucker for limited time offerings.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:50 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


Two different t-shirts:

I stand for Metafilter
I sit for Metafilter
posted by bondcliff at 1:52 PM on June 18 [18 favorites]


I am eagerly following this thread and what comes out of it! If we're wishlist/spitballing, here are some products I would buy the shit out of:

- I would love to see some Ask/Guess swag. A pin or magnet that says Ask in one direction but Guess when flipped flipped upside down. Also would work on doormats! beer glasses! stickers! etc. My design skills are *wobbles hand* but I could mock this up if there ends up being a free-for-all submission system. (Would want to run this idea by tangerine first, natch.)

- This was before my time but apparently there used to be AskMe-style tote bags that said [more inside], which I think is agreeably subtle & clever.

- Merch with pop-art cans of beans that say MeFi instead of Goya or Hormel or whatever. Tshirts, actual plates, etc.
posted by miles per flower at 2:00 PM on June 18 [14 favorites]


"Don’t forget non-US mefites. Postage costs"

Non-US mefites with opinions on Threadless/RedBubble fulfillment, please do share. They were the two POD shops that seemed to best fit our needs/desired range of products, but it's awfully hard to tell how good their international shipping is (and I looked).

(We're open to other POD options and if you've got one you love/is awesome at international shipping, I want to take a look, but in our initial survey of stores, Threadless and RedBubble seemed like our best fits.)

"but I went ahead and created a MetaMerch page (which I linked from the main page under "Stuff that is sort of organized" "

I've also been keeping a running list (from this thread AND the last thread), and when these threads wind down I can share that with the wiki (or compare it to the wiki, to see what we each missed!).
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 2:06 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Someone upthread said "shirt with lots of MeFi quotes" - reminds me - my husband has this great shirt with a TON of "names of collective nouns for different groups of animals", and it's in this tight spiral of text that covers most of the chest of the tee - that could be a cute/fun way to lay that out.
posted by ersatzkat at 2:06 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


This site can do custom challenge coins (and they can make them as bottle openers, which could also be really cool).

We've talked about limited edition goods. What about a sort of different take on that where the limit is per-person. This would probably be a bitch to code up, but I"m thinking basically achievement coins:

First FPP
10 FPPS
20 FPPS
First Meetup
10 Meetups etc.
1 year on metafilter (3 years, 5 years, 10 years) etc.

and some that are potentially bad ideas and I expect cortex to veto:

1000 favourites (2000, 3000, etc.)
50 best answers (100, 150 etc.)

The coin would have the achievement on one side and the usernumber on the other. When you achieve the thing the option to order the commerative coin opens up. People could order them for qualified mefite contacts, too.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:35 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


"Most bannings"
posted by Chrysostom at 2:45 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


strong slogan ideas

A shirt that said "Note: Everyone needs a hug." might straddle the line between inside-joke and context-free-joke. It may get the wearer an increase in offers of hugs from strangers, which may or may not be a selling point.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:46 PM on June 18 [8 favorites]


Custom mefi name/number vintage baseball-style shirts

This is a perpetual "that'd be awesome" item and, yeah, as noted also not a simple one to do. It's on my maybe someday rainy day list because it could be a fun limited-run DIY project some time, but not something we can easily do right now for sure.

I hope this isn't running afoul of any MetaWiki rules, but I went ahead and created a MetaMerch page

Nah, that's fine! Collating stuff like that is helpful, and like EM said we can synthesize lists as stuff progresses.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:16 PM on June 18


Please oh please do the customized raglan baseball shirts (w/user name and #) as a POD limited-edition pledge drive type thing (and then advertise it on the front page so I don't miss it!). Based on the number of requests for these over the years, I know I'm not the only one who would throw $$ at MeFi for one. [on preview - I get it, but I'll keep asking : ) ]

I would add both a raglan baseball shirt and a tank top and an exercise (work out material) T to the list as well, not just plain T shirts. And absolutely a zippered hoodie. I wear the one I got from the Hillary campaign over my PJs every morning.

For the wearable stuff where you have different sizes, maybe do limited edition small batches. Will also keep us coming back for more...

If you do mugs, I would LOVE a bigger, rounder mug - the kind you can wrap your hands around to warm them, like this shape.

Car magnets are a great thing for those of us who don't want to stick permanent bumper stickers on our car but still want to show off our home on the web. They're cheap, too.
posted by widdershins at 3:27 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]


Holy cats, yes, enamel pins! Earrings! An Ask/Guess toggle magnet/doodad or enamel pin! Popsockets! Did I mention pins? 'Cause I love those little mini regular band badge/pins. Sew-on patches!

I like the idea of using POD to test and moving popular designs to a better quality like Topatoco, kind of Threadless/Shirt.woot style.

That, plus shirts or zipper hoodies, you'd get SO MUCH OF MY MONEY.
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:30 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]


T-shirts that some in long or tall sizes would be nice. Things I'd probably buy with logos/jokes: a zippered pouch, a notepad, pens and pencils, a ruler, a magnetic mirror - well let's just say anything that belongs in a high school locker.
posted by soelo at 3:32 PM on June 18


According to the rules given on the custom Field Notes notebook page they can only be given away as membership rewards or whatnot, but maybe some kind of arrangement can be made? They seem to have made allowances for at least some big outfits in the past. Maybe they'd be willing to work with cortex? I first found out about them through The Deck, after all.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:46 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Field Notes does those Tournament of Books notebooks, and I don't think there was any giveaway thing there. I would be so in for custom Field Notes notebooks.

(I would also be in for custom Palomino pencils).
posted by box at 3:52 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


I would love the [+] as a sew-on patch sort of thing, and as stickers, to put on all the things that are my favorites, obviously.
posted by Sequence at 4:21 PM on June 18


I would totally buy a BagMe bag and a MetaFiltered coffee mug.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:35 PM on June 18


If we do stickers, whatever the design may be, I'm putting in a vote for tiny stickers that can cover a laptop's built-in webcam.
posted by duffell at 4:45 PM on June 18 [14 favorites]


I wouldn't mind a t-shirt with the logo or whatever on the back, and then I don't have to worry about whether the design and my boobs intersect in complicated ways.

I would also love to request that at least some of the t-shirts be designed with lighter colors. Some of us live in hot places and it's nice to have a light-blue or white t-shirt to wear while doing the gardening.
posted by suelac at 4:46 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


I really want maternity shirts that say "[more inside]"

And then baby onesies that say "[+]" on the tummy ... and then on the butt, say "[!]"
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:47 PM on June 18 [53 favorites]


How about some MetaFilter coffee mugs with slogans like:

"Privileged"
"I'll shut the Hell up and listen"
"How about a nice cup of MetaFilter?"
"Not commenting, just drinking coffee"
posted by Rob Rockets at 4:53 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


I would love
- sew-on badge/patch
- enamel pins [+] and [!]
- laptop sticker, ideally cool MeFite artwork, but Flag It and Move On, snowflake, or [+] [!]
- Would love a sticker that said Okay. Awkward.
I have mugs, I seldom wear printed tshirts or tshirts that aren't cut well for me.
I have seen enamel pins with a little spinner pointer for an ask/guess pin.
For design work, could a buck go to the designer for every unit sold?
posted by theora55 at 5:07 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Customized TP is thing that you can buy.

--------

Sit

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Stand

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Sit

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Stand

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Sit

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But seriously, the challenge coin idea looks good. For non-t-shirt people, a logo handkerchief / bandana / scarf kind of thing would be good.
posted by Gotanda at 5:30 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


I'm a fool for sticky notes, and would buy a pad full of a bunch of random MeFi jokes, phrases, and comments. At least I'd smile while making my to-do list!
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:42 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Yasss for enamel pins. I would LOVE to design an enamel pin and I have a a denim vest that needs more pins.
posted by Crystalinne at 5:43 PM on June 18 [9 favorites]


I only know about these guys because they run a wrestling T-shirt store, but they do DTG printing, and they have setups for jersey name/number printing. Quality is pretty good, don't know how the pricing lines up to the places you're already looking.
posted by deezil at 5:47 PM on June 18


I personally hate most submission contests with a passion and agree that asking people for free work is disrespectful to professionals and devalues paid design work.

But.

You're not asking a general population for free stuff. You're asking people in a community if they'd be interested in making a donation of their time which has value. The distinction between that and asking for actual money strikes me as questionable. And submission contests are horrible because they almost always have horrible terms. You can run one where you don't take ownership of their work / ask for a right to use it in perpetuity.

If you're super queasy about it and/or I'm way out of step with the rest of the cadre of people who often get asked to give away their shit for free, why not make it a contest with an actual cash prize? Bump the price by $0.25 and assign that to the creator. If they want to donate it right back they can do so.
posted by phearlez at 5:49 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]


I say this every time it comes up but I would buy underwear with "flagged as fantastic" on the rear.
posted by kimberussell at 5:58 PM on June 18 [31 favorites]


Enamel Pins are popular with the kids these days, I hear. Like, a [+] and a metafilter logo. Badges also would be nice.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:58 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]


And the tote bag that says more inside seems like a given.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:59 PM on June 18 [24 favorites]


Yasss for enamel pins.

I love the ones Effing Birds sells, no idea where they come from. But that size is just right for my purposes.
posted by phearlez at 6:02 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Since this is more of a fun thing than a revenue thing, what if we think of it more as "preorders" instead of a design contest? Everybody can submit a design. After a voting period, above-some-threshold designs get made in bulk, below-some-threshold designs get POD.

Personally I'd like a tech startup-style shirt for cat-scan.com.
posted by Sibrax at 6:10 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]


Yasss for enamel pins.

This. I NEED a MetaFilter logo pin for my bag.
posted by Fizz at 6:18 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]


I would like to take a stab at some hand-drawn Metafilter word art, but I do understand the potential logistical nightmare of 73+ MeFi artists, ranging from beginner to seasoned professional, submitting works and having delicate feelings about those works. I would worry less about taking advantage of people - surely people can choose not to participate! And things would be clear up front about the gift/contribution nature of the design submittal.

On the other hand, a modest payment idea might be 5 free of an item with the design (5 t-shirts or mugs or pins), or maybe a fancy Mefi Artist icon for their profile, or "I donated Art to keep Metafilter running" kind of thing?

Now that I've written all that, it occurs to me most people may just want quotes in the Metafilter font for general merch, and maybe save hand drawn works for specific auctions or other fundraising?
posted by Glinn at 6:22 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


How about aprons that say “Can I eat it?” Or chip clipsShould I eat it?”

Notebooks that say "Overthinking it" on the cover?

Also I would love if MeFi merch prioritized recycled/union-made/fair trade items when possible.
posted by spamandkimchi at 6:29 PM on June 18 [20 favorites]


Could any shirts offered please come in a women's version that has either a scoop neck or a V neck? I hate the crew neck style. It feels like it's choking me.

I'd absolutely wear a "Note: Everyone needs a hug" shirt. And I'd love little [+] and [!] buttons/pins/patches.
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:43 PM on June 18 [14 favorites]


still_wears_a_hat: Something to put on the tables for meetups.

Maybe 3d printed stuff. I can't think of anything off hand, but I once saw some guys at UMass handing out little 3d printed monsters/creatures and they were great! MeFi Mascots! each with a colour theme according to the subsites.
posted by dhruva at 6:47 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]


Seems unlikely and will sound very random and out of left field, but I'll drop this idea onto the Grey anyway: Metafilter-themed salt water taffy.

I've been secretly calling the site 'Metaffy' (MetaFi) in my head for a number of years; sorry pardon.
posted by redrawturtle at 6:57 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]


I know I've said this before but since it's been a while: I'd really, really love a dark green Ask MetaFilter shirt! I have a soft spot for that subsite because it was what got me hooked here in the beginning, and there hasn't yet been a shirt in honor of it yet AFAIK. Personally I'd prefer "Ask MetaFilter" specifically over "AskMe" because I wouldn't want to wear "AskMe" and have random people take that as an invitation to approach me with "Ask you what?" (YMMV).

Other items I would consider buying: nice baseball cap, coffee mug, keychain.

Pins sound cool. I can imagine these could be like the insignia of organizations (or D&D factions), so we can tell who's a fellow MeFite based on whether someone is wearing a pin.

I think the current stickers are pretty nice quality, and ordering from Topatoco was easy. I have one on my guitar case and laptop computer, and saved some to give away for Best Post Contest prizes. I agree that round/oval stickers would be nice for variety.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 8:18 PM on June 18 [11 favorites]


I've had good experiences with Cotton Bureau and it seems like they've developed their own line of tees (with special thought towards people with breasts and others) after not being able to source ones they really love. They also seem to go up to 5X in women's and men's which is more inclusive than I've seen in other brands.

Does anyone have experience with these new tees? I wonder if it's possible to work with them to print without going through a design submission process.
posted by lalex at 8:36 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


As an Australian MeFite, I'm for the challenge coin idea because it would be A: Substantial but B: not cost very much to ship all the way over here. Even POD stuff is usually pretty heavy on the shipping.
posted by solarion at 8:40 PM on June 18


I have purchased Cotton Bureau and they're good. Haven't worked with them on the other end.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:44 PM on June 18


nthing embroidered patches!

Ellipsoid ones with yer MetaFilter, AskMetaFilter, etc,
Little square [+] or [!] or favicon ones,
Velcro-backed rectangular ones that go on your flag-patch space (flag it and move on?),
And so on.

I also have a vague idea in my head for a sticker/pin/patch/something that looks like a rectangular steel plate with little rivets at the corners that just says "BEANS" in some utility typeface.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:51 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


If we are contemplating mugs can we consider something like recyclable/reusable portable cups like KeepCup? Heck instead of the full rig can we get a cup band that says, "Metafilter", that can be used on any of our pre-existing cups in our cupboards? It is a more premium product but the margins maybe better.
posted by jadepearl at 10:52 PM on June 18


Petition for a DTMFA ennamel pin!!
posted by Crystalinne at 11:15 PM on June 18 [13 favorites]


Aussie mefite who had used red bubble and threadless.

In terms of pros and cons, red bubble is definitely better quality, I've found in terms of fabric and durability. It's also more expensive to purchase and also to ship. I've had blah experiences with threadless in recent years, odd fits and not great print durability.
posted by smoke at 11:41 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


I'm sick and can't concentrate but as I will probably forget this after I read 3 posts here it is: I'd pay for access to downloadable e-book versions on specific askme or metafilter topics for my kindle. It should be exactly in the same format so as to meet the spirit of the site (with copyright to original posters), but it would help me if I could anotate e-books on depression or autism topics. I suspect there's an automated way to do this so that set-up cost is once only, and the system can create individualized e-books once queried the right way.

Don't be selling the posts - be selling the format you distribute in. Also, I haven't figured out how to share ebooks (unlike PDFs - and I can't think of the thread where the best of intentions went downhill but the ease of sharing was an issue) so anyway, that's an idea.

Another idea is a metafilter society 6 store. Any mefite could submit to the mods properly prepared artwork, and anyone could purchase from that store. With both a large supply and a large audience, this would reach a wider market as well. It could also promote individual mefites - after someone purchases a mefite artwork, they recieve message with artwork explaing who and why and where to find more artwork by this person, whether in metafilter store or individual mefite site.
posted by b33j at 2:13 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


I renew my calls for a mug, branded MugTa, with a mod note that reads “Everyone needs a mug”.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:29 AM on June 19 [28 favorites]


A friend of mine sells through cotton bureau, I can ask her for details. My impression is that a lot of their stuff is on a cyclical/limited time release.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:42 AM on June 19


Looking through CB's rules, they evaluate whether or not the design is worth selling and only approve 15% of the submissions. This doesn't seem like a good model metafilter's needs.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:47 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


I don't have specific merch suggestions* that haven't been made by others, BUT:

I do think that, whenever the Phase II of MeFi Merch rolls out, it would be a good idea to draw eyes to it on the sideblog on the blue, or via site-banner, because if it's only brought to people's attention in this thread, many will miss it.

* = OK, I have one, to go on a mug or T-shirt:
"MetaFilter: A funny/affirming string of text"
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:50 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


Petition for a DTMFA ennamel pin!!

Yesss.

I renew my calls for a mug, branded MugTa, with a mod note that reads “Everyone needs a mug”.

Seconding this even though I have more mugs than I know what to do with.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:59 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


You drink whisky out of them. Right? That’s what you do with excess mugs.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:11 AM on June 19


I have a need for a MeFi embroidered badge to put on my D&D bag.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:17 AM on June 19 [6 favorites]


- there's a rad work-in-progress design from robocop is bleeding that I'm hoping we can roll out soon

Design update: The basic layout is done, I just need to sketch out some of the elements to add in. This is a "There is no Cabal" themed piece that cortex and I have been chatting about for way too long now, so it's taking the shape of a magical circle with octagram and some other occult elements as fits my artistic wheelhouse. At risk of designing by committee, I'd be interested to know if people would want it to actually say "Metafilter" on it or keep it completely obtuse. Since I'm a printer, once I start carving the block there are few chances at backsies. At the very least, I can carve out Metafilter on a separate block that could be added in should it be desired.

heyo, I can't wait to hear other folks' merch ideas, but wanted to pop in to say that robocop is bleeding had an AskMe once re t-shirts for women and got some great feedback!

And because of that thread it's taken me over a year to actually have one of my designs printed on women's sized shirts. The consensus seemed to be unified that Yes, This Is A Thing! but wildly divergent when it come to how to work around the thing which caused my brain to freeze up. I finally bit the bullet when the owner of a new local goth clothing shop pretty much said, "Yes. I want that design on women's Ts because I want one for myself."

--

I use Threadless to test new shirt designs out and am reasonably happy with them. I agree that their sizing can go a bit wobbly - sometimes a Large feels a bit tight, but when I get an XL I end up swimming in it. At a $20 base price, Mefi would get like $5 per shirt, which is not too bad when you consider you don't have to store inventory or deal with shipping.

Sticker Mule is my go to for stickers and pinback buttons. They have a revolving line of sales, so it's worth signing up for their newsletter and then pouncing when something you want goes on sale. They had a cheap sale on 3" vinyl stickers last week ($19 for 50) and so I stocked up. I tend to use these as freebies/thank yous for my Etsy shop.

I've done a pin in the past and it was an okay experience. There's another occult printer in town who does a lot of pins based on his work so I don't feel the need to occupy that space too much. When I did my pin, I used these guys, but I suspect they just outsource the work to various Chinese factories. I'd be interested in a Metafilter pin as I too am a pin/patch hound.

I think the idea of some base designs plus some limited edition merch designs has merit. I remember fondly the long past days of the Venture Bros weekly shirt service - though I never did the full subscription, I would definitely check in every week to see what was new. Managing that sort of thing seems like Work, though.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:54 AM on June 19 [7 favorites]


I really like the idea of enamel pins, too, even if I don't know where I would put them.

I don't often wear printed tees/tanks unless I'm working out, so it would be nice - if there are to be new shirts - if it's possible to get them printed on different fabric/cut options.
posted by lilies.lilies at 7:04 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


Just a side note, but [+] looks very much like a reticule and may convey a message to an observer inconsistent with the wearer's intention.
posted by Jacob G at 7:13 AM on June 19 [3 favorites]


You drink whisky out of them. Right? That’s what you do with excess mugs.

Gin, but yes. Still, we have more than our cabinets can comfortably fit. I guess for us it's more "Nobody needs a mug."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:37 AM on June 19


I find them useful for pens and pencils.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:40 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


I want a metafilter journal.

Oooooh. Yes.

I renew my calls for a mug, branded MugTa, with a mod note that reads “Everyone needs a mug”.

Love this.
posted by zarq at 7:40 AM on June 19 [3 favorites]


I believe getting accurate color matches for the MetaFilter colors (particularly in t-shirts) has been a challenge in the past. Personally, I'd be OK with close enough, but some people might be disappointed with non-precise colors?

Love:
Mugs
Tote Bags
Stickers (smallish)
Stickers (oval destination type)
Car Magnets
Enamel Pins
Notebooks
posted by Rock Steady at 8:05 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


I've heard that Sticker Mule is "problematic", so I suggest looking at Sticker Giant instead.
posted by jazon at 8:17 AM on June 19 [5 favorites]


I would buy an enamel pin or two. (I only have 27 pieces of flair on my work ID lanyard so far.)

I often prefer a nylon “wicking” t-shirt to cotton when it’s warm and I’m working outside, or when hiking (“cotton kills”), so I would like to suggest that as an option.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:40 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


If we do enamel pins (which I'd love), is it possible to do the magnetic kind? I'll happily do the alterations necessary to make mine magnetic, if it's not possible, but maybe we can do those kind?
posted by crush at 8:52 AM on June 19


I have plenty of teacups, but I do like a diner-style high aspect ratio ceramic mug or a super-resilient enamel camping mug. I like the [+] [!] graphics, but adding "Everybody needs a mug" as a mod note is adorable.

I would absolutely put an embroidered patch on a bag or a sticker on my laptop (and maybe my hard hat, depending on what it looks like).

Some sort of meetup-identifier (ie, for the table) would be useful. It's unnerving to approach a group of people who *might be* MeFites, so let's make it eaier for new meetup-attendees to feel welcome. The plainest functional thing would be a slightly bigger than usual place-card holder with MeFi branded cards (reusable would be nice, but just pre-printed would be swell). It might be hard to source a place-card holder rising from a plate of beans, but I think an fanciful in-joke $thing to hold the sign would be fun, especially for shout-outs later in the meeting.

Speaking of pre-printed paper goods, I love me some glue-bound pads of small paper. I think they are called Cube Pads. This probably marks me as super old, but the kind you'd use for a phone message or a grocery list. That used to be a whole universe of branded swag, so I can't imagine it's super expensive to print a MF on each page and decorate the sides of the cube with [+] and [!].
posted by janell at 9:00 AM on June 19 [5 favorites]


This is entirely too niche to be workable, but I'd love a "Flagged as Noise" turntable slipmat.
posted by thivaia at 9:42 AM on June 19 [5 favorites]


I like Cube Pads, too!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:55 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


limited edition (and marked up) annual (?) fundraising merch.

I. AM. ALL. FOR. THIS.
posted by numaner at 10:05 AM on June 19 [4 favorites]


Fridge magnets!

A "poetry-magnet" style collection of MeFi words.

Mouse pads.

Temporary tattoos sticker things. (I don't really know what they're called.)
posted by jgirl at 10:17 AM on June 19


I'd like an "Everybody Needs a Hug" shirt, in MetaFilter colors with an MF or MeFi logo on the front. As I recall, these were once available.
posted by Rash at 10:57 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


One thing we might do well to consider is the marketing potential for merch. We’d like to increase membership and participation, so why not toot our horn? Something like:

“Founded in 1999, MetaFilter, or MeFi, quickly earned a reputation as one of the most intelligent and civil discussion sites on the Web.” — David Auerbach, Slate

Or

MetaFilter—Smart, Civil, Social

Or

MetaFilter—The social network you’ve been looking for.

Or

MetaFilter—We promise not to fuck up your democracy for profit.
posted by Stanczyk at 11:19 AM on June 19 [8 favorites]


MetaFilter - the Plastic.com it's okay to like
posted by Chrysostom at 11:29 AM on June 19 [6 favorites]


Pillow cases printed with ASK or GUESS.
posted by emelenjr at 11:31 AM on June 19 [6 favorites]


I would buy all the things, but the ones I'm keen on are: stickers, pins, t-shirt, tote bag.
Please make the [+] and [!] happen!
I also love the idea of an official meetup flag waving dinosaur. 🦖
posted by arcticseal at 11:41 AM on June 19 [3 favorites]


This is entirely too niche to be workable, but I'd love a "Flagged as Noise" turntable slipmat.

+1! Turnables offers this, and I can't vouch for their quality, but the price is kind of high: from 12 in Custom Slipmat (1 Pair) $21.00 to 12 in Custom Slipmat (10 Pairs) $100.00 (assuming prices are USD, as they're based in Southern California. Then there's Slikmats in the UK, for £20.00 for a pair (which currently converts to about $26.35 USD).


I also love the idea of an official meetup flag waving dinosaur. 🦖

But what kind of dino? Wikipedia converts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/🦖 to Tyrannosaurus. There's also 🦕, which Wikipedia "translates" as Sauropoda, a whole frickin' clade of saurischian ("lizard-hipped") dinosaurs. There are a LOT of dinosaurs, which is the most MetaFilter-ey? I could have sworn there was one that sounded it like it was named meta-something or filter-something, but my MeFi sleuthing failed, and this list of dinosaurs A to Z gets no "meta" hits.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:57 AM on June 19 [4 favorites]


If we are contemplating mugs can we consider something like recyclable/reusable portable cups like KeepCup? Heck instead of the full rig can we get a cup band that says, "Metafilter", that can be used on any of our pre-existing cups in our cupboards? It is a more premium product but the margins maybe better.

KeepCup does do custom logo bands, and you can choose from a pretty wide selection of colors for lids, etc. Getting a KeepCup in frontpage colors would be pretty great. However, the order minimums are pretty steep:
Minimum order quantity for printed glass KeepCups is 160 units
Minimum order quantity for branded silicone band KeepCups is 240 units
posted by zamboni at 12:05 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


160 doesn't sound like a tall order, IMO, but in two days, there were $24,000 in new contributions to MetaFilter, so I figure a good number of people are interested in buying something, as well as donating in general.

And for general info, I'll be updating the MetaMerch page ... later? This week? when I have time to trawl through this thread, and the prior one, unless anyone gets there before I do.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:29 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


I want a colour changing coffee mug that goes from blue to grey when my post gets deleted and I flame out in Meta.

That's my suggestion.
posted by GuyZero at 1:31 PM on June 19 [9 favorites]


I want a colour changing coffee mug that goes from blue to grey when my post gets deleted and I flame out in Meta.

That appears to be an option, though the blue color changing mug isn't MetaFilter Blue. Personally, I think blue to grey with "Everyone needs a mug" would be the best of both worlds.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:33 PM on June 19 [9 favorites]


Cycling jerseys.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:53 PM on June 19 [7 favorites]


Personally, I think blue to grey with "Everyone needs a mug" would be the best of both worlds.

What about blue to grey and it slowly reveals a picture of a cat that has been scanned. ;-)
posted by Fizz at 1:55 PM on June 19


Cycling jerseys.
posted by the man of twists and turns


The man of twists and turns is secretly Matt Haughey!
posted by Chrysostom at 2:17 PM on June 19 [6 favorites]


The man of twists and turns is secretly Matt Haughey!

otoh, Matt has a lot of jerseys already.

As do I.

but I'd still buy one.

Does Rapha do team orders?
posted by GuyZero at 2:18 PM on June 19


I have one of the "old" tee shirts printed on mefi blue, and really like the look. When I ordered it the fit was marginal. In the meanwhile, the shirt has been washd and I have (ahem) grown more than a bit.

So my vote would be for a mefi blue tee in a size and shape that fits an over-60, pear-shaped dude.

Admittedly, I'm partial to the non-form-fitting heavier cotton fabric.

Another thought that came to mind is either a mefi logo'd bowling shirt, or maybe an old skool work shirt with logo over the pocket.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:43 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


I'd love to have an Ask Metafilter green zip-up sweatshirt. Something warm and cosy. With either the whole subsite name or AskMeFi.
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:08 PM on June 19 [9 favorites]


Sweatpants! I want to be able to buy a pair of oversize, cozy Mefi sweatpants that I can wear around the house.

I'll also second a zip up hoodie, and I'd love to have at least one of these be Askmefi green with the Ask Metafilter logo.

I'd also love a magnetized Mefi bumper sticker (as opposed to the sticky back kind because I'm allergic to putting one of those on my car). Nothing big, just MF or Mefi in the (classic, not modern) MeFi font and colors.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:37 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


Lanyards. Available in blue, green, and grey with the appropriate subsite name repeated along the length.

ID Badge reels with a MetaFilter logo on them.

Pens. Pencils. Mechanical pencils. You can show your support for MetaFilter and have something to write with.

MetaFilter beer bottle openers.

Custom MetaFilter Lego Minifigs.
posted by Rob Rockets at 5:31 PM on June 19 [7 favorites]


I said I have plenty of mugs, but that's before the possibility of a color-changing mug.

I have Opinions about travel mugs, but stickers that fit a travel mug would be nifty. Would they last much?

Custom Lego Minifig? Hell, yeah.
posted by theora55 at 6:25 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


[+] looks very much like a reticule and may convey a message to an observer inconsistent with the wearer's intention.
First aid bag?
posted by unliteral at 6:57 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


I think they were going for reticle, which in my world is a critical component of lithography and microscopy but possibly also has a gun sight sense?
posted by janell at 7:10 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


socks! That is all.
posted by nat at 11:48 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]


T shirt design suggestion.


Metafilter: [white blank space that you can write on]
posted by Faintdreams at 12:51 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Mefi pint drinking glasses, etched or painted

nthing mugs

Magnetic car sticker

Ball cap, watch cap
posted by jointhedance at 2:49 AM on June 20


I bought a Keep Cup from my favorite roaster a few years back because I looooved the look. It leaked, and makes me sad every time I give it One More Try. I emailed them and they told me to buy a new lid, as that just kind of happens over time. Now I have a permanent Sad about the cup, and so I bought a Zojirushi and covered it with stickers.

But I would totally try a new-design Keep Cup all over again!
posted by wenestvedt at 3:19 AM on June 20


And I really do love the Bubi bottle I got at an event recently; it has the sponsor’s logo on it and looks great.

https://www.bubibottle.com
posted by wenestvedt at 3:23 AM on June 20


Keychain please. As much as I love Metafilter, I have too many mugs, I hate logo t-shirts, and I have nowhere to stick a sticker.

But keychains are my jam! I have no opinion on the design of it, but my key (yes, singular) would chain the heck out of one.
posted by like_neon at 3:39 AM on June 20 [6 favorites]


Mundane, but so practical - luggage tags. Useful, easy to make, cheap to ship. And how fun would it be to find and meet a fellow MeFite at an airport or train station.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 4:53 AM on June 20 [5 favorites]


We could have a "Friend of Matt/Cortex" t-shirt so we can choose our Team Edward/Jacob affiliations accordingly.
posted by arcticseal at 5:03 AM on June 20 [2 favorites]


[+] looks very much like a reticule and may convey a message to an observer inconsistent with the wearer's intention.
First aid bag?
--
I think they were going for reticle, which in my world is a critical component of lithography and microscopy but possibly also has a gun sight sense?


Yeah, reticle, reticule, graticule, etc.. I was thinking about gun sights. Sorry for not being more clear. It's a common component in logos and graphics in the tactical / weekend warrior / prepper space.
posted by Jacob G at 6:06 AM on June 20 [5 favorites]


I have an increasingly threadbare green hoodie with the metafilter logo rendered in Glow in the Dark and Silver.
I would love to replace it with an official one of any colour.
So there's definitely a market.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:10 AM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I was thinking about gun sights.

I prefer to think of it as a cat butt.
posted by duffell at 7:44 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Another vote for pins! They're small and cheap, and I love them.
posted by Melismata at 8:08 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


DTMFA ennamel pin! Oh my, yes.

cat butt = [*]

Reticule - mine looks nothing at all like [+]
Reticle ret·i·cle ˈredək(ə)l/ noun, North American
noun: reticle; plural noun: reticles

a series of fine lines or fibers in the eyepiece of an optical device, such as a telescope or microscope, or on the screen of an oscilloscope, used as a measuring scale or an aid in locating objects.

Pedantry and all, but I like learning new words, also, I'm okay with putting an embroidered reticle on my laptop bag.
posted by theora55 at 8:21 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I am resurrecting my previous request for:

a) a range of What Would Jessamyn Do? merch
b) baby onesies with "our new baby overlord" on the tummy
posted by billiebee at 10:16 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]


My thoughts on stickers:

I like stickers! The Mefi stickers at Topatoco right now are kind of awkward sized: Too small to be good bumper stickers, too big for laptops. So maybe two sets of stickers: One about 5" long for laptops, another about 11" long for car bumpers (or for wallpapering the heck out of somebody's MacBook).

Sticker Mule does great work and has frequent sales for small quantity batches (under 50 or so), which would be a good cheap way to test the water for particular designs or dimensions.
posted by ardgedee at 10:16 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Things I would totally buy:

- t-shirt (that fit boobs well even in the non-"women's fit" version) - specifically, a MeFi blue one with the MeFi logo. I do love that shade of blue!
- MeFi blue (or green) mugs. Large.
- MeFi water bottle.
- MeFi keychain
- MeFi totebag

I'm in Canada and have had no issues with RedBubble. Granted, I've only ordered a shirt from them once, but it was fine. I purchased another shirt printed by RedBubble at a convention and it's great quality.
posted by juliebug at 12:35 PM on June 20


I'd pay for access to downloadable e-book versions on specific askme or metafilter topics for my kindle.
Put me down for a cookbook.
posted by unliteral at 3:31 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Don't forget FanFare. There's been talk about further development of that subsite and its potential to attract more people. So merch emblazoned with FanFare! and some snappy strapline or image would be good.
posted by valetta at 6:14 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


I'm active on the blue, the gray, the uh... purple, and occasionally the green--but personally, I would not be interested in any "subsite" merch. Like, I got the sticker pack and I happily (nay, enthusiastically) used the Metafilter and "MF" stickers, but don't plan on using my AskMe or MetaTalk stickers for anything. (My thinking is, the name of the site is Metafilter! That's the enchilada right there! ...but I'm sure others don't feel that way, and that's cool too.)

I'm just one guy, and of course, if enough people do want that stuff, I hope it gets made! Anyway, "subsite" merch might be worth getting into a bit. I know a couple of folks have expressed interest in AskMetafilter, FanFare, or other merch, above. What's the general feeling out there? Are folks interested any and all MetaFilter-related merch? Only merch related to specific Metafilter sites? Are you agnostic on the matter? Or pantheistic? Deterministic? Sedevacantistic?

Incidentally, if you live in the DC area and want AskMetafilter / MetaTalk stickers, you are welcome to them! They are handsome and very well designed, much like their current owner!
posted by duffell at 6:43 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


It sounds like there's a market for a DTMFA pin, but keep in mind that that's not specifically a MeFi thing, but rather a Savage Love/Dan Savage thing, originally. It's about as specific to Ask MetaFilter as the advice to see a therapist is, heh.

duffell, I would definitely buy subsite merch.

For woman-friendly hoodie manufacturer recommendations, see this thread from back in December.

To recap things I'd love to buy from the last thread:

• Oversize mugs, and love the color-change and "Everyone needs a mug." ideas
• Limited-edition new T-shirt designs on black or dark shirts
• Just about anything that's glow-in-the-dark, sparkly, or color-change
• MeFi enamel pins for subsites (see "how to get enamel pins made" and Signature Pins recs)
• Patches (especially basic subsite logos or [+] and [!])
• Nice vinyl stickers
• Black or another dark color besides gray tl;dr shirts

Also, inasmuch as I of course always support artists getting paid, if people want to donate their time and talents to help support the site, I'm also all for that. I don't think being ethical precludes accepting people's willing donations of time and talent for the cause. When we did MeFiMag, it was totally a volunteer operation behind a physical publication you could buy, and it was a lot of fun to do. I also really like the idea of a Society6 shop or similar that people can choose to affiliate with to help bring in funds for the site while also showcasing their work. Also, maybe we could work something out via the MeFi Mall, if that does get opened year-round, to opt in to donate some portion of proceeds of sales made via referral from the site if makers so choose.

Additionally: I would love to contribute a song to a MeFi Music benefit compilation. We would just need 1. someone with the producing chops to help organize and master something like that and 2. to find the cord for my good recording headphones, as alluded to in the EDC MetaTalktail thread, heh. We could set up a Bandcamp and donate all or some portion of proceeds.

Take my money!
posted by limeonaire at 6:47 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


So, I'm late to this conversation but the question of how many shirts (or whatever) to get made to sell can be solved by taking pre-orders, literally. People place their order but don't pay immediately, orders close at a specific time, you then order that number plus, say, another 10% to sell more directly, and when the shirts are ready people get charged and orders are sent.

I don't know if that's feasible with Topato. I do know that Berke Breathed has been doing this with Opus plushies and certain special run books and such for some time, and it seems to work for him.
posted by hippybear at 7:06 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I am so down with a mefi cookbook! We could do both an ebook and print on demand version. I do ask that we do both metric and imperial measurements, where applicable.
posted by jadepearl at 10:25 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I wear hi-viz gear at work. I think you should consider a hi-viz range. Also some signature Steel-capped boots.
Tradies are "in" this year. 😁
posted by evil_esto at 3:05 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Limping in late, but a scarf like the kind futbol fans wear with the Metafilter logo might be kind of cool.
posted by koucha at 12:37 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


No, a scarf like the kind the Fourth Doctor wore... in stripes of MeFi Blue/AskMe Green/MeTa Grey/FanFare Purple...

Of course, considering recent news, a jacket with written big on the back "MetaFilter Cares, Do You?"...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:51 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


No, a scarf like the kind the Fourth Doctor wore... in stripes of MeFi Blue/AskMe Green/MeTa Grey/FanFare Purple...

I love this.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:50 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


Cabal Update: Design has made cortex hiss like his Reptilian masters. Carving to begin shortly.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:18 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


Mod Bobblehead dolls!!!
posted by sammyo at 7:25 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


Modular mod bobbleheads wearing mod fashions.
posted by duffell at 7:55 PM on June 22


Here is my Society 6 shop. Please don't buy anything because a. this is meant to be an example and b. I've lost my registration details so I won't get any money. I'd be happy to donate art to metafilter for a shop set up by the mods (if they wanted it). Some people are more likely to buy merch than isn't branded because walking around with labels is not their thing and also, you don't need to be a fan of metafilter to want such a product. ref: limeonaire
posted by b33j at 8:40 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


Considering the numerous calls for t-shirts and hoodies, I doubt there would be enough interest to meet what some cursory searching reveals to be minimum orders of 40 or thereabouts, but what about a MetaFilter club tie? I'm envisioning an emblematic tie based on the standard MetaFilter yellow-gold and white MF on blue favicon. I doubt that I’ll ever belong to a club that would have me as a member has a club tie and it would be neat to have one with something I have a claim to other than this one.

In light of how much more likely the enamel pins seem to be, here's another vote for a favicon-based one (possibly thinking too far ahead, the "how to make enamel pins" on the same site linked above suggests two pin-backs, but I would wear mine as a lapel pin through a button hole and I think more than one would make it harder to do so).
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 5:31 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I feel there's something that could be done with a Me[+]afi[!]ter logo.
posted by zamboni at 7:14 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I may have more to say after I've actually read the thread, but I definitely would be more likely to buy a shirt if they came in colors besides black. The type and cut of t-shirt matters to me as well; not all are created equal, and I've bought merch shirts in the past (not from MeFi) and then ended up never wearing them because I didn't like the actual shirt itself. So I'm a little wary of buying such things online, and knowing what the base shirt model is would matter to me.

Also, I'm sure this has already been said but we could stand to be considerably more aggressive about making merch more visible on the site.

Also also, it's a little weird to me that you (cortex) don't want to do design contests but do seem open to "goofy art/design collabos for the fun of it." I feel like, done right, a design contest could be a ton of fun for the community and the designers. I have the design sense of a lettuce, but if I were better at such things I'd be chuffed to bits if a design that I did were to get made into a real thing. People who do that stuff as their day jobs might not want to participate, but there are people who do that kind of thing just for the fun of it.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 1:25 PM on June 23


The "official" MeFi dinosaur is Eoabelisaurus mefi, which might be afraid of waving flags due to being teased about its arms.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:53 PM on June 23 [3 favorites]


I mean, previous administration and all, but:
Oh wow. Coming soon, an Eoabelisaurus MeFi t-shirt!
posted by mathowie at 6:18 PM on May 25, 2012 [92 favorites −] [!]
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:54 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I like the idea of a baseball style shirt. doesn't need the name/number on the back as I could easily take it down to the local streetwear shop and have it added. Also pins and patches are awesome.
posted by vespabelle at 3:28 PM on June 23


Here's a suggestion I made in a 2015 MetaFilter merchandising thread:

Metafilter toilet paper. It could be called The White. Wakka wakka wakka!
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:47 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


I suggest two toilet paper options, one with "this side up" arrows pointing the right way and the other with arrows pointing the wrong way.
posted by eotvos at 7:55 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Some people can't do anything without injecting controversy...
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:23 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Considering the numerous calls for t-shirts and hoodies, I doubt there would be enough interest to meet what some cursory searching reveals to be minimum orders of 40 or thereabouts, but what about a MetaFilter club tie?

Please Refrain From Boisterous Conversation in the Reading Room And Put It On My Tab.

(or whatever the club tie equivalent of Shut Up And Take My Money is)
posted by Rock Steady at 7:44 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Only vaguely related, my four-year-old child was playing with a 2 metre by 1-metre curtain offcut tied to a bargepole yesterday (for... reasons).

When it fell off they came to me to get it fixed declaring "I want to flag it!"
I fixed it and declared that they could now "flag it and move on" resulting in a four year old standing on the deck of our ship, waving a bright yellow flag like a french revolutionary out of Les Miserables and yelling "FLAG IT AND MOVE ON" at the top of their lungs.

So... I dunno. Flags? Giant revolutionary flags?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:36 AM on June 25 [7 favorites]


Would you consider selling digital files with the MeFi logo set so that people could buy the file and custom-make their own stuff, in case their specific wants aren't included in whatever merch we end up with? It's a pretty common purchase type on Etsy, and I see lots of "upload your own image" print-your-own stuff online.

I realize that you'd then lose a lot of ability to police the use of the logos, but how many evildoers are out there who want Metafilter merchandise? (Don't prove me wrong, internet.) And while there might not be a ton of demand they'd also be essentially costless to create.

That way, even if we can only have 3 sizes in 3 shirt types in 3 colors in the official store, but you want a puce baseball-collar/crop-top sequined ringer tee, you can still make your own (and MetaFilter still gets some benefit).
posted by alleycat01 at 12:01 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Custom MetaFilter Lego Minifigs.

finally my Greg Nog and corb buddy adventure stop-motion film will have proper actors
posted by numaner at 11:12 PM on June 25 [4 favorites]


Here's a merch idea which would require a lot of work from one or two dedicated volunteers--but one that could help preserve Metafilter's legacy for the years to come.

Consider a Bartlett's Familiar Quotations of Metafilter. A slim printed collection of great, wise, and/or funny sayings from mefites! No, this would not be a big earner (I bet we could make tens of dollars), but it would be a piece of internet history!

Anyway, you'd not only need to have some kind of central repository for nomination of great comments/quotes to preserve, but you'd need to have an easy (ideally centralized and semi-automated) way for people to consent to their words being used in the book.

So no, probably not a great idea.
posted by duffell at 3:39 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


This was a thread on how to turn threads into books.

Print-on-demand book versions of some of the classic threads (ask vs. guess etc.) would be pretty cool.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:42 PM on June 28


All these are amazing. Wanted to chime in with a meta-comment (heh):

A lot of these, while not exactly in-jokes, seem to be meant as Tribe Identifiers (Hi, I'm A Metafilter Person). Which is great and I plan to pick up a bunch.

I'm wondering if we could possibly create some merch that could attract people to checking out MeFi in general?

Off the top, a shirt or branding that has "MEtafilter: a heavily curated and diverse long-standing community focused on links of interetst" (obviously not that exactly, but something like that) with a link? Like... how much information would need to be communicated in order to pique people's interest, in a way that probably wouldn't happen with a [+] mug or whatever.

Also perhaps we could have a look at MeFi-originated quotes/topics/etc that have made their way into popular culture (or at least resonated outside the bubble) and use those things to attract interest? Thinking specifically of the "if you're not paying for it, you're the product" quote, for instance.

Just...hoping that there are ways to have Merch also act as MetaFilter Marketing without the assumption that a stranger or whatever will come up and say "hey whats this funny logo on your shorts and could you explain the website it comes from to me?"
posted by softlord at 8:01 AM on June 29 [2 favorites]


> Like... how much information would need to be communicated in order to pique people's interest, in a way that probably wouldn't happen with a [+] mug or whatever.

MetaFilter: The Plastic.com it's ok to like
posted by Secretariat at 9:31 AM on June 29


(Just kidding, I know that's both a "tribe identifier" and the exact opposite of communicating useful info!)
posted by Secretariat at 9:33 AM on June 29


As an aside, I’m now more conciously mentioniong MeFi in conversations to do my bit to raise the profile of the site.

Holding out for a dinoaur...
posted by arcticseal at 9:35 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


Work out clothes (maybe a muscle tee?) that say "hoppitamoppita" on them!

Also a good thing to print on shirts for small dogs and patient cats.
posted by Secretariat at 4:51 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


Underwear that says "does anybody read the comments down here?"
posted by Secretariat at 4:53 PM on June 29 [7 favorites]


Just realized how many typos were in that last comment.

*hangs head in sham*
posted by arcticseal at 11:15 PM on June 29 [5 favorites]


I use the narwhal and unicorn buttons and would love to see them on a mug or elsewhere (potentially alongside “everyone needs a hug”)
posted by robotdevil at 1:41 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I found an appropriate shirt at the thrift and pretty much had to buy it even though its huge.
posted by Rumple at 6:58 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Oh. I just remembered. I desperately need a tee with this text, white print on black, please, if the commenter will give an a-ok. I'll buy at least six.


It's called text you hapless gibbering app-fondling touchscreen cretin

posted by vers at 7:36 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


I miss elizardbits so much!
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:40 AM on July 1


I miss her a lot, too. There are a lot of folks that I miss and wish to see comments from...
posted by jadepearl at 3:22 PM on July 1


Celsius1414 and jadepearl, I have good news for you.
posted by fermion at 6:15 PM on July 1 [12 favorites]


I'm a design student that credits MeFi with helping me go into my new direction for a career and keeping me alive post-grad. Can I help out with making the merch?
posted by yueliang at 1:59 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Celsius1414 and jadepearl, I have good news for you.

I AM SO CONFUSED RIGHT NOW
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:22 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Maybe something in the style of Gerry Brooks' tuck-in surprise t-shirts for teachers? I had a funny one for MetaFilter ... but I forgot it.

And for all you teachers, happy July 11th!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:56 PM on July 11


I AM SO CONFUSED RIGHT NOW

you've been enjoying elizardbits all these years without even knowing!
posted by numaner at 12:31 PM on July 13


I forgot about it until just now, but maybe it's time to seriously explore creating the MeatLifter?
posted by ob1quixote at 10:12 AM on July 18


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