Teach the Controversy
June 9, 2008 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Teach the Controversy
Teach The Controversy is an intelligently designed t-shirt store dedicated to challenge 'big science' and their blatant anti-wacko agenda. So I've really taken to the idea of running t-shirt stores where all the designs are based around a single unified theme, and so for my second attempt this particular creationist meme seemed ripe for parody (while hopefully not being to shrill or strident in my ribbing). Hope you enjoy them!
posted by Jezztek (28 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

It's a shame you don't have kid sizes. I would totally get my daughter the unicorn one :)

I may get one for myself, anyway. Plus one of the Science! designs.
posted by vertigo25 at 12:00 PM on June 9, 2008

Yay! Glad you liked 'em.

And while it is true that my default product lineup doesn't include any kids size clothes, if you click the 'create your own' tab you can make a custom shirt using a variety of kids/toddlers/juniors clothes.
posted by Jezztek at 2:21 PM on June 9, 2008

These designs are much funnier than I would have expected from the description.
posted by ErWenn at 5:49 PM on June 9, 2008

These designs are much funnier than I would have expected from the description.

I guess I better stick to designing and not try to venture into writing copy =)
posted by Jezztek at 10:33 PM on June 9, 2008

Awesome. I'm buyng one.....Make "teach the controversy" bigger!....never midn: the make your own alllowsy you to reaize. AWESOME!
posted by lalochezia at 12:11 AM on June 10, 2008

The turtle + elephants one is especially cute, and I think I'd buy it if I had the option to leave out the words. I like subtle! I tried the "make your own" interface, but the words seemed to be part of the design.
posted by dreamyshade at 2:26 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I agree with dreamyshade, it might be nice to be able to omit the slogan, as some of the designs stand up well on their own. Without the text, Devil Bones is a neat little visual puzzle with a message; with it it becomes overtly preachy/campaigning.
posted by malevolent at 3:24 AM on June 10, 2008

I like subtle!

I agree with this, and I don't even think that the current designs are un-subtle. It's just that so many joke tshirts are very obvious, similar to bumper stickers, so a very subtle joke tshirt would be nice.

For example, if someone asked what the current devil shirt meant, I would say "It's saying that teaching Intelligent Design in science class is as absurd as teaching children that dinosaur bones may have been buried by the devil in an attempt to trick us." Whereas without the slogan I could just say "It's the devil burying all of those dinosaur bones *wink*".
posted by burnmp3s at 4:04 AM on June 10, 2008

the "turtles all the way down" one is great!
posted by jammy at 5:52 AM on June 10, 2008

Great designs! I personally would put spaces between the words, but that's just nitpicking.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 7:27 AM on June 10, 2008

This reminded me that I need to buy one of the Science! shirts for my boyfriend ASAP.

And the gallery design is nice and slick.
posted by kwaller at 8:12 AM on June 10, 2008

Adding a no text version strikes me as a very good idea apparently! I'll be able to implement that in 2-3 days (depending on Spreadshirt's turnaround time on design approvals).
posted by Jezztek at 9:04 AM on June 10, 2008

These shirts are fantastic. I'll buy a turtles all the way down if you make one with no text version. Good stuff.
posted by farishta at 2:19 PM on June 10, 2008

Just chiming in to say I also really like a lot of the designs and that I too would most likely buy a couple if I could remove the text. In fact, I have been meaning to buy some from your main site, but have been waiting until after my birthday b/c I think my wife is going to buy me some clothes.
posted by bove at 4:30 PM on June 10, 2008

Oh damn. Now that I found the "make your own" book bag option, I will now be overrun with book bags. Because everyone needs a Science! messenger bag and a turtle-universe book bag, even in a business environment. (Too bad the store doesn't offer lunchboxes.)
posted by Gucky at 8:22 AM on June 11, 2008

Um, awesome!!!!

I came to the comments to nag for a women's version, then I saw your comment on creating my own. Is there a way for you to make it more clear to other visitors - maybe a button also underneath the "basic" options? I'm not used to the create my own option, so I wouldn't have looked at it - normally I would have just sadly clicked away, thinking it was s shame I couldn't get a girlie version.

Also, the no text option is perfect.

posted by KAS at 9:43 AM on June 11, 2008

maybe a button also underneath the "basic" options?

That sounds like a good idea, when I am so used to a specific setup like what I'm using tunnel vision can be a bit of a problem. So I just end up making design choices that inadvertently assumes everyone is familiar with my system as I am. So yeah, if there are any other usability issues let me know, I've probably just never thought about that particular problem =)
posted by Jezztek at 9:53 AM on June 11, 2008

Ok, not quite all of my new textless designs got run through Spreadshirt's system before they closed for today. So I was hoping to get everything up tonight, but I suppose It'll be at least one more day before I can get them online.
posted by Jezztek at 2:18 PM on June 11, 2008

I prefer the words. None of them are self-explanatory except the devil one. Without the words they look like neat little designs that dont carry the same smart-ass weight.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:51 PM on June 11, 2008

Nothing is more pleasing than a responsive designer/merchant. Good job Jezztek. I'm buying as soon as the no words option comes in (and probably sooner).
posted by cashman at 7:29 AM on June 12, 2008

Not to suggest even more work for you, but i think design-only on the front, and text in small somewhere else (in the back by the neck, for instance) would also be a neat design.

Either way I like the designs -- the SCIENCE! ones are especially cool, too. although I'd personally like a few gender-role reversals thrown in for good measure. (not really trying to play the feminist card per se; simply, I'm a girl scientist, and I think a girl scientist wranglin' an ameoba would make an awfully fun tee, that's all!)
posted by NikitaNikita at 1:53 PM on June 12, 2008

That's a great suggestion and I personally love it when things like that are pointed out.
posted by cashman at 4:37 PM on June 12, 2008

Howdy again all,

Lost my internet connection yesterday from a storm or I would have posted this earlier. But I have the textless versions of the shirts posted (except the geocentric one, which got a little goofed when running through the Spreadshirt approval process).

I also added a larger text link to the custom designer underneath the basic options, as recommended, thanks much KAS.

But finally anyone thinking about buying more then one shirt should probably hold off until Monday, because word just came down from on high that we will be having a 25% off sale starting then for any order of 2+ items. So waiting a few days would probably make a lot of sense in this case.

Thanks much!
posted by Jezztek at 10:37 AM on June 13, 2008

Oh, and NikitaNikita I think that is a totally valid suggestion, and one I'll have to remedy soon. It's one of those things to where my intent was not to exclude women per se, but the original concept for that line was to take the stereotypes about scientists and embrace/explode them.

So the scientists in my shirts are all these bald, glasses wearing, socially awkward, men with interchangeable personalities exactly because that is the perception I got from a lot of normal folks. So I had avoided using female scientists because a female scientist by her very nature defies the stereotypes I was trying to poke fun at and reclaim in some way.

That being said, I've learned you just can't fall in love with your original idea so deeply that in the end your product loses something because of it. So yeah, I assure you there will be females included in forthcoming Science! shirts.
posted by Jezztek at 10:55 AM on June 13, 2008

Noticed "Teach the Controversy" on the front page of Reddit today. It's at #21 currently, but I thought it was as high as #8 a while ago.
posted by sambosambo at 3:45 PM on June 16, 2008

It's on BoingBoing, too. Congrats!
posted by farishta at 9:40 AM on June 17, 2008

And iO9!
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:22 AM on June 18, 2008

woot =)
posted by Jezztek at 8:25 PM on June 18, 2008

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