Monday, October 5, 2015

Shiritori Tee Shirts

There's a game in Japanese called "shiritori." You start with a word, and the challenge is to use the last character in that word to create a new word as long as possible.

Shiritori literally means "end" and "take." But for the sake of the logo and comedy, I used alternate translations. Shiri can also mean "butt" and tori can also mean "bird." Different kanji, of course, but I'm not working with kanji. Homophones are good for wordplay!



Working with that idea, I smooshed a bunch of Japanese words together and drew pictures of the combined image.

(If this looks blank, click where the image should be.)


We chose Spreadshirt as our print-on-demand tee shirt manufacturer and our friends volunteered to model for us, so we ordered a bunch of shirts and had a photo shoot in a handful of locations around Tokyo.
 

We used some of those photos on the website we designed.

Home page
Design gallery with sidebar

And we made business cards and sticker sheets.



Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons the whole thing still just fizzled out.

Japanese people seemed to really like the designs (or they were just being nice), but the site wasn't Japanese friendly (all in English, couldn't accept Japanese credit cards), so our target demographic had to be Americans with an interest in Japan and Japanese.

We had plans to contact YouTubers that talk about Japan-related topics, but didn't get further than making a list of names. We also had plans to find a street team to go to anime conventions and hand out stickers to drive traffic to the site, but that didn't really go anywhere either.

It was a good idea, and we learned a lot about business and marketing, but we didn't make it a high enough priority to get it off the ground. We're going to let the domain name expire.

But fear not! Shirts are still be available through the Shiritori shop on Spreadshirt or through the Spreadshirt product designer.

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