Thursday, March 26, 2009

funny t shirt?


So I ordered a bunch of t shirts for my students from John O'Brien at Endgame Clothing, and he very kindly threw in a woman's shirt for me. Which got me thinking, because while I love the idea of a funny chess t shirt for women, the necessity of preserving my spotless reputation in the chess world prevents me from actually wearing such sexy clothing.

But John promises to make another women's t shirt soon, and I thought you guys might have some good ideas.
the best I could come up with was something about superfluous knights, like "My nights are not superfluous"??

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why is a cash-strapped middle-school chess program that asks for donations so that their students can play in tournaments, paying $25 a pop for T-shirts? Wouldn't it be wiser to spend hard-to-find money differently?

Elizabeth Vicary said...

We're not paying $25 a pop; John gave the kids an extremely generous discount.


:)

Polly said...

I've been asking John to do a women's shirt more on the lines of his king shirts with a queen instead of the king. I think this shirt sends the wrong message. John and I have engaged in a few debates on his blog about the shirt.

phishcake5 said...

Winner should get to pick the next USCL interview you do. I couldn't think of anything (which is unfortunate since just about every women specific chess t-shirt I've seen has either been lame, geeky, stupid or worse).

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

One concept I have been working on is centered around the idea of "letting the pieces fall where they may." It will focus on life and love (and of course chess)..it isn't particularly funny, but hopefully will have a feminine appeal.

Hi, Polly!

Anonymous said...

The image on that T-shirt looks more like something a (chauvinistic) guy would wear. The shirt is pink, but I agree with Polly that it's not an image women would want to wear.

Anonymous said...

I like the tennis ads featuring Venus and Serena Williams pounding the ball with the text "Play like a girl." I don't know if there is some way to work that in. I agree that this design is like the adolescent male fantasy version of a shirt for a female chess player. Also, not all girls like pink. A few years ago, I designed and made two dozen t shirts for all the NYC girls going to All Girl Nationals in Chicago: It had a design of the NYC skyline with a chess queen as one of the skyscrapers and said "New York City Chess Queens." Of course, when my daughter has worn it, people asked me if it referred to a gay chess team . . . Ellen

Anonymous said...

The shirt might not be everyone's taste, but I think we should all admire what this guy is trying to do.

After checking out the website (Elizabeth, the link isn't working), you can clearly see that this company as put some massive thought, care and quality into these shirts. Hell, I've bought many chess books that don't have as much thought put into them as these shirts!

I think it's a great way to promote chess.

-Michael

Anonymous said...

Yes, I like what Endgame Clothing is doing, trying to bring some style to chess. I just meant that the one pink t-shirt contains an image that seems strange for a woman to wear (it's like some a long-haul trucker would have on his cab).

Anonymous said...

You can admire him for building a chess t-shirt company and giving IS 318 a deal on chess t shirts while critiquing the specific design of the chess pin-up shirt. I can think of one sometimes pink haired chess player who could wear it as an ironic gesture and a few men who could wear it for similar reasons but that's about it. Ellen

Anonymous said...

This is awesome...it's from their website:

"Endgame believes that intellectual passions, like chess, are at the very core of being human. Passion of the body is nothing without passion of the mind. It is our body that engages in the act, but it is our mind that provides us with the lasting joy of it.

We strive to show the intelligence, beauty and strength of chess. We strive to restore chess to its historically rightful place as one of the greatest gifts man has ever given itself. And we strive to do it all...one shirt at a time. Come join us!"

Count me in...

ATH2044 said...

"...while I love the idea of a funny chess t shirt for women, the necessity of preserving my spotless reputation in the chess world prevents me from actually wearing such sexy clothing."
I have to agree (even though I'm laughing uncontrollably) & I don't think the slinky silhouette on the existing shirts is anywhere close to adequate either.
Also mildly amusing was the near literary gem from the Endgame Clothing web site:
"The girls' shirts have a generous length and are form fitted to flatter the (female) figure."
The importance of a good slogan & related graphics can't be overstated, but it all depends on what you're trying to promote. If you're promoting T-shirts, you'll want attractive graphics. If you're promoting chess, you'll want something chess related. If you're promoting girls playing chess, then something like this should get the point across. For funny captions, I kind of like "Stop staring at my chess!"
Maybe later I'll come up with something both inspirational & amusing yet tame enough for someone with a spotless reputation to wear.

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by our website and also for the comments here!

Be sure to promote those who promote chess...and if you don't like a particular design, please at least spread the word to a degenerate who would.

We will have some new designs coming out in June, so check back often.

We are a chess clothing company trying to make its way across the board and into your heart (and onto your chest ;-).

Hope to hear from you soon,

John

Liquid Egg Product said...

"Trust me, I'm not trying to get on Sam Sloan's gallery."

But the allusion is certainly too obscure. (referencing here)

Anonymous said...

Hi, John. A couple years ago, that kind of florid, heraldic crown design really became fashionable. Do you know how that started? It's great how you're reclaiming for the chess community.

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

Hi Anon 9:55,

The regal imagery has always been around but definitely has been more popular in the past few years. Many apparel companies have probably taken it too far and there seems to be a backlash starting against it. I personally think that more new designs will be going towards a simpler look.

Thanks for the kind words.

John.

Sara said...

One place that used to be my favorite place for searching for chess merchandise was cafepress.com. In fact, http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/item/wicked-game-womens-pink-tshirt/39775256, I had that image put onto a magnetic button which I still have. I'd be far more likely to wear that image as a t-shirt then the one with that other woman on it.

Mark Howitt said...

I think actually that t-shirt design is helping carry on the 'I'm precious because I'm female' attitude some women chess players have.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

What's your opinion based on, Mark? Have you ever known/seen anyone who's actually worn this shirt?

Polly said...

Ellen I remember the Queens of NY tee shirt. That was a great design. The girls should wear them in Nashville, even though they're on different teams. We have a lot of awesome female players in NY.

BTW NY State Women's Championship will be May 30-31 at the Marshall.

Mark Howitt said...

It's based on just looking at the shirt, Liz. Pink, with a salacious 'queen' on the front... possibly holding a phallic symbol. So that could imply... the person wearing the shirt is a 'powerful sexy chess queen'...

I think a guy- and especially a guy who might be the target market for buying a chess t-shirt- wearing a chess king top... that would probably look even worse.

Not trying to hate on chess enterprise- just visited the Huddersfield chess tournament with a GM playing, and seen just how hard chess people have to work for little money-, but you asked for my opinion.

Not implying you are 'precious' though!

ATH2044 said...

I think the 'I'm precious because I'm female' attitude is widely/(somewhat evenly) distributed among the general population whether they're chess players or not. Of the female chess players I've met, I've found that attitude notably rare. T-shirts fostering the attitude are more likely a symptom than a cause. For the record, our humble reporter Ms. Vicary is most certainly precious, but not necessarily 'precious' in the perjorative sense.
As far as T-shirt designs go, custom designs for specific events or teams, etc. seem to make sense. I I could definitely see some kind of group silhouette for a team or event shirt, even something like an IS 318 design with a king standing at the location & a "You are here." tag might work. It's also true that entertainers & sports icons make use of this merchandising angle when they tour. That means we're way overdue for the "I got mated by Jenn Shahade in this T-shirt!" T-shirt.

Anonymous said...

I find it mind boggling that there have been this many comments about a t-shirt. (and believe me, I am well aware of the irony that is created by leaving my own comment!)

T-shirts are just t-shirts. They don't really say anything about who we are or what we do. There is a reason they call it SWAG!

I am not trying to bag on the t-shirt company at all. I admire anybody with an idea and the moxy to turn that idea into a reality.

Maybe authors and publishers would consistently put more thought into their books if they didn't live in a society where a book and a T-SHIRT have roughly the same monetary value. A good (good being the key word here!) book will last longer and give more than a t-shirt.

I would like to reiterate that I am not trying to insult John or his clothing. I just wonder sometimes about the things we choose to place value on.

Tom G

Elizabeth Vicary said...

I can be arrested if I leave the house with a shirt, but it's ok if I don't have a book. That's how I know shirts are more important.

Anonymous said...

"I can be arrested if I leave the house with a shirt..."
Presumably on suspicion of shirt burglary. Unless of course you meant "...without a shirt..." in which case you should probably only consider doing so when wearing a trench coat or very clever body paint.

To Tom G.
As silly as the 'tempest in a T-shirt' thread seems, it points to the larger idea of just how difficult it is to advertise chess effectively.
At least John aka Endgame Clothing is making an attempt.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

sorry, without a shirt, thanks.

Mark Howitt said...

Lol I'm glad you made that clarification Liz... chess needs more subtle publicity ;)

phishcake5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phishcake5 said...

While on the subject of advertising chess affectively sort of. I confess that my dresser drowers don't contain a single chess t-shirt (mostly for the reasons mentioned above). Once when extremely bored I designed this Chess 960 t-shirt on a website that lets you create your own tees. It was vaguely cool and said something like "Chess 960" "chess modern art." I saved my work and then forgot the name of the website that I'd done it on. But hey like the lady says t-shirts are important. Here's a t-shirt I wouldn't be embarrassed to wear:
http://www.cafepress.com/uschessleague.167567338

funny t-shirts said...

Try to add some tagline or any funny pickup lines on the shirt. That design is pretty okay with me, addition of text will make it perfect

Funny Tee Shirts said...

The image on that T-shirt looks more like something a (chauvinistic) guy would wear. The shirt is pink, but I agree with Polly that it's not an image women would want to wear.

funny t-shirts said...

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