Thursday, April 10, 2014

Roll 'Em

Because we are setting up a fundraiser in June to pay for printing costs and the price of travelling to Toronto this August, we are looking for additional things to sell.  My daughter commissioned this T-shirt design, which we plan to have on sale within six weeks.  Let me know what you think of it, and make a suggestion or two about what catchy expression it needs:


Stuart Lloyd said...

If you were a real gamer, you would have been looking at the dice.

Strixy said...

I'de play that.

Tim said...

It's a great design; I'm tempted to say just leave it as is without any catchy expression. References to the woman's breasts are a bit dated joke-wise: there's cleverer stuff you could put.
If you need a catchy line, there is probably a "rolling" pun to be milked somewhere - "they see me rollin'" or whatnot (if it's not trademarked).
But I still say no text.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I'm for that - but I'd like some votes supporting it.

Lukas said...

I recommend that you should go with no text associated with the image.

A: The image is obviously gaming related at this point. The dice attract the eye clearly and the basic point is made.

B: If something doesn't jump out to you immediately, then you probably shouldn't add any text associated with the image.

If you for sure wanted text associated with the image (presumably something catchy) I recommend coming up with the text prior to the image and ensuring the image matches the text. This allows the artist the ability to integrate the text in all the features towards a unified objective.

That said, if you wanted this to reference the blog, the book, or the event I would recommend putting text on the opposite side of the shirt. However, since I believe that usually incurs additional cost it would be better to go with simply the picture.

Maxwell Joslyn said...

I also would like it with no text. In my experience, younger folks tend to wear shirts with text on them (not logos or brand names, but rather full sentences, "witty" slogans and so on.) I think that plain graphic shirts, while still sometimes juvenile, are a bit more appropriate for adult wear, especially when the design isn't super loud (and black/white isn't loud at all.) No complaints on the design. I would buy it as-is, and would not buy it with any text.

Giordanisti said...

I'm going to go ahead and be a stick-in-the-mud, but I would not wear this t-shirt, and would be mystified by someone else wearing it. It delivers to me three possible messages, none of which make sense: hot women role play (the shirt can only assert this, not back it up) OR hot women should role-play (weird demographic targeting choice) OR you should role-play because we have drawings of hot women. It doesn't read as a celebration of gaming to me, it reads as just grabbing attention with a stereotypically attractive woman, and there happen to be dice.

Anyway, i'm just one person, but i'm very off-put by the design. I don't think text would help, either.

Alexis Smolensk said...

"... it reads as just grabbing attention ..."

You're right, Giordanisti. That's a stupid reason to wear a T-shirt.

I'm not really clear on why anyone has to "back it up" that there are hot women in role-playing. I know several myself.

I more or less expected for someone to make a political point about the hot girl on the Tee, because personal style and taste is always the best time for a political statement. In any case, I'm obviously biased, since I was hoping to make money from the insistence that hot women should play role-playing games.

Which I know all us men would all really hate.

You may feel reassured, however, that in no way whatsoever is the image or the T-shirt intended to encourage anyone to play role-playing games. The assumption here is that you already do. We were hoping that people who played role-playing games liked hot girls. Stupid, I know, because no one anywhere likes hot girls, demonstrably true from the total absence of hot girls from all advertising, everywhere.

Hm. Let me think about this again. What possible reason could we have for putting a hot girl on a T-shirt rolling dice?

LOL. Horrid, isn't it? It's insufferable that people insist on wanting or buying the things we hate. It only proves that the world still hasn't reconciled itself to our wishes.

Meanwhile, I shall go on holding this lightbulb up to the socket, waiting for the world to get off it's ass and turn.

Ozzie Pippenger said...

I'm gonna have to back up Giordanisti here. Sorry, but I think there is a very low chance I would wear that shirt. It looks too explicitly sexualized to me, and I get the feeling people would think I was saying hot girls were attracted to my D&D skills, which is untrue and not a helpful opinion for me to broadcast in terms of my reputation.

If your opinion is that it's a good shirt design, that's fair, but if you're looking for data on how many people would buy it, count me as a no.

Clovis Cithog said...

crime may not pay, but sex always sells
this design is not the zeitgeist of roleplaying perfection
this is a fund raiser

Scarbrow said...

I fully back up Clovis Cithog's stance.

Plus, if you want to add a text, Stuart Lloyd's is the best one.

On a personal note, I find the image is explicit enough to make it borderline bad taste. A personal matter, no doubt. I wouldn't object to anybody wearing this design more than I would object a severed head split open, seen from the side, brains melting out. Just doesn't appeal to me, and I like hot girls and zombies as much as anybody.

So, sex sells and the design is juvenile. That is obvious enough. I think some witty humor should take the edge off the sexy and make it more acceptable as an adult theme, without removing any first sight impact. If the artist is available to slightly change the image, I would suggest emphasizing the die. There's not much to do with the X design or the placement of the hands without altering the full picture, but you can easily alter the die to be more prominent, thus attracting the eyes, after the "oh, sexy gal" moment, to the humor that would excuse/justify the crudeness.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Like most opinions expressed by people who don't like something, ie. this T-shirt, the logic formulation begins as follows:

1) Don't like it.
2) Set out to discover reasons I don't like it.
3) Find immediately that all my reasons are fundamentally visceral.
4) Transform viscerally held feelings into apparently well-expressed criticism.

Advice. Don't buy the T-shirt. It is really very simple. As for reasons why you wouldn't, to my eyes they look like excuses and apologies for not aiding in my efforts to fundraise.

It's okay. At no time did I expect anyone online to buy the T-shirt. A T-shirt like this is not for everyone. No product, anywhere, is for everyone. There's no need to explain.

On the other hand, people will buy the T-shirt, quite possibly for reasons that really BUG you. Possibly because her boobs are big (though they're not actually larger than many of the women I actually know); possibly because they will think the chick is hot; possibly because she's rolling 2d8 and having an image where it's not a d20 is important to some collectors. What the reader needs to understand is that this is business.

I could produce a T-shirt that would satisfy Scarbrow, Ozzie or Giordanisti. Somehow I think, however, that it would have to be three different T-shirts. And that is a really lousy way to approach a business plan. Whereas something that is tried and true, like soft porn, seems like a much more practical effort. Like, it would be worth the money to make the T-shirts before selling them.

It is generally agreed, for the record, that there won't be any words on the picture ... I think Tim made a very valid point there. Something might yet go on the back; that hasn't been decided.

Thank you for the comments. Please don't feel apologetic because you won't buy the Tee. I will find something you WOULD like to buy, and you can give me money for that. Would that be okay?

Matt said...

If this is supposed to be a tie-in to the book, then I don't think the image works. It brings to mind the fake cover image for the book that you suggested some time ago.

If you're just trying to sell shirts, then the picture is fine. I wouldn't buy it. It's not the sort of shirt I would wear. Sounds like you have an audience in mind that would though.

I don't think that any text is necessary either. Maybe some advertising for your book or your blog on the back.

Giordanisti said...

I feel like i escalated this discussion in an unnecessary way, and i apologize for that. When you asked what people thought about the design, i figured i would throw out my opinion (which is, certainly, just opinion), and i overstepped a bit in explicating my thought process. I wasn't going to comment at all, but thought you deserved the feedback you'd asked for, even if negative. I should have kept my response pithier and less defensive, but sincerely, i only wanted to help with the process. I am not a salesman, i know little of marketing, i'm just one potential consumer, and in that capacity, my initial response to the design was all i wanted to convey.

Best of luck with your fundraising, and i will be buying the shit out of your book when it's released.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Nah, it's all good Giordanisti. It's not my kind of shirt either. If I were 19, though, my girlfriend at the time would have worn it.

The T-shirt is designed for a fundraising event in Calgary, June 12, which is a fantasy/cosplay/band/possible stage show concept largely for that sort of audience aged 19 to 35. With a lot of girl cosplayers, Queer-positive participants expected. We'll be selling any extra product we have in Toronto, along with anything else we can think of to sell in the next four months.

If you're going to eat from hand to mouth, its best to be ambidextrous.

Johnny said...

Tell the artist to take another whack at it.
It's a good concept, it's just not quite there quality-wise and I think your artist can do better. I'm coming from experiance here, I just had to re-do a t-shirt design 3 times this week to bring it up to the level of quality my client deserved.
Your artist will (someday) thank you for it.

Scarbrow said...

Not trying to escalate things, Alexis, and well understood that you just want to raise funds. I just wanted to chime with the thought that a few people (I don't claim to know how many) might/will associate your personal brand (Alexis Smolensk/How to run) with the T-shirt. Which, as was said when we discussed the subject of the image for the front cover of the book, is a serious discussion of the art of running.

And yet somehow I realize you probably thought of that before I did. And you made your decision accordingly. You know your local market better than I, so... my apologies for assuming too fast. And best wishes for your fundraising.