Posted by Rob Walker on December 17, 2008
Posted Under: 48-Hour T-shirt

And that concludes the 48-Hour T-shirt Project, proudly sponsored by The Murketing Organization and Buying In.

Thanks to all who patronized, who linked, who told a friend. (If you’re interested in hearing should I launch a sequel of some kind, sign up here. And check your junk/spam folder for the double-opt-in.)

Even bigger thanks to the designers: Derek Black, Greg Eckler, and Angie Smith. Y’all were fantastic. Here are all three designs in one place. Click each shirt for an explanation of the research that inspired it.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

I’m curious, how were the sales?

I have found selling t-shirts via a blog to be very difficult.

Written By rafi on December 17th, 2008 @ 10:48 am

The orders all went straight to the designers, and I actually haven’t been told final numbers from all of them. But I’m thinking that even when I do get them, I doubt I’d want to be public about that — it seems to contradict the nature of the project. (Actually I’m a little surprised to be so bluntly asked this question. When you were selling T-shirts via a blog, did you announce sales figures? It seems weird to me in any circumstance, but especially given the way we structured this.)

I’m sure it WOULD be very difficult to actually sell enough T-shirts to make a business out of it.
But bear in mind this wasn’t a business venture. It was a way of expressing some ideas and working with some talented young designers. I can say that I’m pretty sure we had enough customers to make this worth the designers time. (Though I guess you’d have to ask them about that.)

So while it was successful enough that I might do some future iteration of it next year, I’m not going to quit my job and start selling T’s. But that was never the point. (Again, this was done in a way that I made no money from it whatsoever.) For me, it was just another way of exploring ideas about consumer behavior. This time it happened to take the form of buyable objects.

That may not quite satisfy your curiosity, but it’s the best I can offer.

So did you buy one? I’m curious!

Written By Rob Walker on December 17th, 2008 @ 11:29 am

Hey, sorry to be so uncouth! I wasn’t asking for numbers. More just wanted a sense as to what your reaction been to the sales of the shirts…if the success of the business aspect would play a part in how you viewed the results of the project.

I did actually blog about my shirt sales but maybe that was a mistake. :-)

And you’ve more than satisfied my curiosity.. I confess to being really sort of confused by this endeavor (then again, I confess to skimming my reading destinations as of late) so your answer helps me understand it better.

I’ll also freely confess that I didn’t buy one. I’ll up the candor by saying I’m flat broke! But even if I had some disposable money, they didn’t speak to me that way. I guess that was my reason for the curiosity… the build-up, the tie-in to research, etc. It seemed like such an unusual experiment and this post didn’t really say much as far as concluding or explanatory thoughts that I was just wondering what kind of response you’ve gotten.

Written By rafi on December 18th, 2008 @ 5:21 pm

Heh — thanks for using the word “uncouth.” That made my morning. The bottom line is I viewed it as a fun experiment that got some attention and made a bit of money for the designers and got them some exposure, too.

As for the confusion — sorry about that, but I think a lot of what I do seems to confuse many people. Ah well!

Written By Rob Walker on December 19th, 2008 @ 8:16 am

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