Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Official Hacker News T-Shirt (teespring.com)
471 points by pg on March 12, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 313 comments

I don't really get this T, i understand its going for minimalism, but would someone who frequents HN recognize it if they did not already know its affiliation?(i wouldn't) & if the answer is no, then whats the point of the T?

Edit for clarity: Not knocking the cause, it is great. Just the design really, maybe im missing something.

I kind of wish this were the top comment. It would be humorously appropriate if the top comment on the thread about the official HN t-shirt were the traditional nitpicking/point-missing type that is so commonly the top comment when people launch new technology here.

I mean no offense, and I realize that this is your site; but I really think jug6ernaut's comment added far more value than your response.

I don't think jug6ernaut missed the point whatsoever, and I wouldn't characterize him as nit-picking either: The question of who is expected to understand the t-shirt and what its point is (as compared to an unbranded t-shirt) are perfectly reasonable. Personally I see nothing wrong with t-shirts which can only be understood by an "in" group, but that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with asking if that was the intention.

Your reply, on the other hand, strikes me as exactly the sort of knee-jerk defensiveness which often makes me wish that submitters couldn't comment on their own posts: Not only did you fail to answer the question, but you implied that jug6ernaut was being unreasonable to even ask it.

It's your site and you're entitled to encourage and discourage whichever types of posts you want -- but I think if your desire is to have a site where people engage in meaningful discussion, you made a poor choice here.

I feel like I'm trapped in an HN parody.

It's precisely because I want HN to be a site where people engage in meaningful discussion that I try to discourage people from upvoting the first dismissive comment they come across. Even discourage is probably too strong a word though. I feel like someone standing in the surf, trying to hold back a breaking wave with his hand.

(I didn't answer his question because other users already had: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5363492)

the first dismissive comment

I guess that's where we disagree then: I didn't see that comment as being dismissive, but rather as raising a legitimate question.

I serve as an alumni representative on a number of committees at my alma mater, and it's very rare that a proposal comes to us and does not meet with any criticism. This isn't because we have lots of horrible proposals coming to us or because we're grouchy old academics; it's because even if we like the general idea behind something, the precise details are rarely perfect. It's very rare for us to actually vote against something, and even proposals being withdrawn are rare; but there are a great many ideas which are changed -- and hopefully improved -- as a result of the criticisms they receive.

If jug6ernaut had written "a Hacker News t-shirt? What a dumb idea... I get lots of free t-shirts and if I donate $13 directly then Watsi ends up with far more money" then I would have said that he was being dismissive and the comment was not useful. But he didn't; instead, he asked a question about the detail -- is this the best design for a HN t-shirt? Is it too minimalist? -- and implicitly suggested a potential improvement.

It's natural, having spent time working on something, to view any criticism as an attack to be defended against; but the more we can deny that impulse and give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their motives in raising questions, the more useful I think our discussions can be.

Agreed. It seems like pg's gripe with the comment is purely that it isn't 100% supportive. If that's the case, we're at odds here, because I prefer honesty over feigned support any day.

At the end of the day, this t-shirt design was selected because someone thought Hackernews people would like it, buy it, and in turn support a good cause. If Hackernews doesn't like it, then the effort has failed on all three counts, and the fact that anyone would reject this reality with a condescending wave of the hand leads me to believe that this project was never about contributing to the hacker community or helping humanity; It seems more like an exercise in ego inflation.

I feel like I'm trapped in an HN parody.

Congratulations! We have a winner.

You have just won first place in the crowd sourced competition for the front of V2.0 of the official Hacker News Tshirt.

Honorable mention:

  Wear something people want.
  Correlation != clothesation.
  Fuck. That. Shirt.
  Take off this shirt and get back to work.
  Shirt early. Shirt often.
  Made from 100% down (votes).
  I clicked "threads" and got this shirt.
  RSS (Real Soft Shirt)
  Y Combed Cotton

Don't forget the runner-up,

    Unknown or expired link.

That one didn't get enough votes for obvious reasons.

I realise I'm ignoring about two levels of irony here, but "Wear something people want." would actually be a great front for an Official HN T.

Inside enough that you need to know about YC to recognize that slogan, but general enough that just about any HN regular should get it. (To anyone else, it would simply seem like an intentionally abstract or unintentionally opaque statement, almost like Engrish.)

Plus, that sequence of 4 words is very Google-able, for anyone curious enough to want to know more...

Aww you were so close...

*Y Cottonator

I'm assuming you're continuing the HN parody and intentionally making a silly comment, but by making such a parody you cross the line from parody to reality. The mind boggles...

"Shirt Early. Shirt Often."

This made me email myself a new password.

How about:

    What Problem Does This Solve?
    Who Would Pay Money For That?

How about "man up"

I don't think it's dismissive - it's a valid question, it was the first question that popped into my head too when seeing it. "What's the point of this?" I simply didn't (and still don't) understand it. That's very different from a dismissive "What's the point of {launching some startup}" which is often not very helpful.

I think, however, that this was a genuine question, and one I'd like answered since I have the same question myself. Which is why I upvoted it. Maybe there's a meaning I don't get, maybe there's a clever trick I'm not seeing. If there is I'd love to know so I can appreciate it.

Maybe you should allow downvoting for everyone then. I'm more likely to downvote a dismissive reply then I am to upvote every positive reply to overtake it. And on the mention of dismissive comments: as a frequent visitor I feel emotionally safer just reading and not posting... so if there is a karma threshold for allowing downvotes, I doubt I will ever hit it.

This is a great suggestion. Perhaps a good compromise would be to tie downvoting ability to a "number of days visited" threshold, rather than a karma threshold. Those who visit HN often but comment rarely may be particularly well qualified to judge whether a comment is constructive.

Edit: This might work best for voting ability in general, not just downvoting ability.

The problem is that people would abuse the downvote button and use it as a representation of "I disagree with you" is read of "this comment adds no value to the conversation."

1- Is it really a problem for the thread? If nobody agree with my comment, is it a so wrong action to pseudo-hide my comment to next readers?

2- Why users with karma will have a better understanding of downvote than the passives old-regular-readers? Peoples who read HN every days love the high level of the comments here, let them have produce some feed back. Note that I just defend my interest: I'm not good at creating comment with value (so I do not comment a lot), but I feel confident to reconise good comments from bad comments.

Even with the current restrictions people still use it quite extensively as a "I disagree" button.

Interesting. The "reply" link is hidden for some comments - but not others - such as this one, yet I am able to bypass it by modifying the "reply" URL. Is this something new, or simply something I hadn't noticed before?

Just click "link" above the post and the reply box appears.

Right. Hm. I wonder why it does that.

To slow down deeply nested short responses because they tend to contribute little to the overall discussion.

This thread is an example of why the delay is implemented, and this comment is an example of low value comments.

Save space. If it had to have a "reply" button after every reply in a large comment block it would not be able to fit very many comments on the page.

They really should scrap the reply link entirely and move it next to the "flag" button e.g. | reply

Mm, can't be that. If you highlight the area under the comment, there's a row of dashes ("-----") where the "reply" button should be. It takes up the same amount of space.

And the karma limit is intended to ensure that the people who take this quite expected action have good taste.

Disallow both up and down vote buttons for the top comment. The top few comments will rise together, taking turns having vote buttons or not.

Or sign up shill accounts to repeatedly downvote people they don't like.

I would take jug6ernaut's top comment up there and print it on the back of the shirt (with his permission, of course).

This is how we felt every time we announced a new reddit feature on reddit. :)

You're a good guy, Paul. And I agree that things get too cynical and too negative.

Please continue to foster an environment that is positive and provide a good example, but if people feel like they are being manipulated, they are going to get pissed off. I used to get more pissed off than I do now, but I still get upset. I wish I didn't. I wish that everyone could live in peace and work together.

Maybe if HN we're self-policing via ability to flag comments and posts where enough flags means that it shows as username only with no post title/comment show unless "show" is clicked, no downvoting (a flagged and hidden post or comment could rank at the top), and without the user banning/ghosting stuff...

I agree with you and jug6ernaut. I love the concept of the shirt, and, at the same time, I think the design could be improved. There's nothing wrong with making polite, constructive suggestions, as you both did.

It's a t-shirt.

It's raising money for a great cause.

Buy it if you like it.

If not, spare us the semantic analysis - the only thing it does is add to the perception of a community disappearing up it's own arse.

pg isn't saying that the comment misses the point, he is saying that the comment is saying that the post is missing the point.

He wasn't saying the original comment was unreasonable at all. The original comment is the exact kind of thing you would see as top comment on this kind of post, and that isn't a bad thing.

"It would be humorously appropriate if the top comment on the thread about the official HN t-shirt were the traditional nitpicking/point-missing type that is so commonly the top comment"

I'm pretty sure he was talking about the comment...

When I first read pg's comment I interpreted it the same way as cperciva. But after reading your comment, I'm not sure any more.

Please read pg's next comment(above) and you might be sure again. I think he meant what cperciva interpreted. Here - "I want HN to be a site where people engage in meaningful discussion that I try to discourage people from upvoting the first dismissive comment they come across"

Agreed, my first instinct was right.

I read HN nitpicking posts in the voice of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.

"Why are you using American Apparel for a multi-threaded shirt and not Erlang?"

I dont think its nitpicking I would never recognize it unless I also owned the shirt, and knew what it was.

I agree. So I made an alternative shirt. This one has no logo either, but it should be more recognizable:


(It even has a crude joke, there's 'More' below the waist)

Too funny, and I agree HN can be a bit predictable at times.

Does that sort of thing bug you on some level Paul?

I always had you mentally as pretty stoically philosophically detached from that sort of thing. But I've seen a couple of your comments where you seem genuinely bothered when people are catty or mean to others you care about. Would love to hear your take on how you mentally approach that sort of thing in general.

Complicated question. Dismissive comments about new things bother me partly because there's an asymmetry that seems unfair. It's so risky to create something new, and so easy to dismiss it. At their worst, the people making such comments are like schoolyard bullies picking on someone who tries to do something different.

This particular case is very mild-- more confused than dismissive really. It just struck me as funny to see it get upvoted so much.

The upvoting often bothers me more than the comments. There are often individual stupid and/or mean comments languishing down on HN threads. They seem pretty harmless as long as no one upvotes them, like cranks shouting on streetcorners. But when large numbers of people upvote such comments, you start to have a mob. And to see a mob persecuting someone who tries to do something new is much worse than seeing an individual bully do it.

There are still a lot of things to be figured out about forums. I predict the world will evolve techniques and customs to protect against this sort of thing, and look back on our era with pity and horror because we didn't have them. But it will probably take a while. I know how hard the problem is, because this is the aspect of HN I most want to improve and spend most time thinking about, and I rarely make progress.

I think it was valid critique. (Something I am sure you give the companies you fund.) It's not always easy to provide critique without knocking the cause - But I understood that's how jug6ernaut meant it.

If I were to buy a tshirt for HN, which I might possibly do - I'd want it to show off a message rather than it looking like it could be for anything. This doesn't feel personal to the brand to me – I could buy this anywhere for a number of reasons.

And of all your description of what you want the community to be - do you want it full of snark like your response? Your response was far more 'schoolyard bullying.'

We're adults here, if we can't take critique without crying foul - the internet isn't for us.

(And this is not me attacking, or having a go.)

Like I said, the original comment is really more confused than dismissive. And I do feel kind of bad for making fun of the guy. I should have known that saying I wished it was the top comment might make it so.

You're mistaken about the design though. It's both funny to make the design so minimalistic, and yet simultaneously a pretty bold assertion of brand power. And since we don't want HN to grow fast, we don't need to send any messages to anyone who doesn't already recognize the shirt.

Well, there you have it. The original comment prompted a large discussion, eventually leading to further clarification of the meaning of the design itself. I don't see what's wrong with that; conversations wouldn't be very interesting at all if everyone unilaterally agreed with each other.

More like I wasted a lot of time spelling out something that was already obvious. This is a bug in forums, not a feature, and one that has bitten me many times. You can't be concise on forums, because if you leave any possible room for misinterpretation, someone will reply with it.

That is true, but isn't it only revealing the problem that correct interpretation is not conveyed, not causing it? If it wasn't possible to reply, the same people would still hold the misinterpretation, but then the author wouldn't see it.

Communication is hard.

PG described a process by which the most literal-minded participants -- those with abnormally low tolerance for ambiguity -- drag everyone down to their level. I would welcome measures that neutralize that process even if the negative consequence you describe comes to pass.

Why is "100% clear communication" an assumed universal good? Some jokes are only funny because some people don't get them. And yet, this--as I might term it--"populist heartburn" at realizing one is in the not-getting-it majority, and demanding an explanation, ruins the fun of those who do.

Bob Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man" might be appropriate reading here. :)

which often evolves to a rather refreshing discussion that doesn't have to necessarily end with an agreement

I was going to post this elsewhere, but I guess I'll just drop it here... That's not what HN looks like to me. Why? Because like (I assume) most users that reached whatever the magic number is for a custom-color top bar, I've changed the default orange (a random shade of purplish in my case).

I 'got' the design because of the description, but if I had seen it randomly on the street, I'm not sure I would have immediately associated it with HN.

Not sure that any of this matters, but the marketing/branding side of me finds the whole color scheme thing an interesting discussion.

who says the t-shirt you wear is/should be for the benefit of the random guy on the street?

Usually because random guys on the street see a lot more of the "logo area" of your t-shirt than you do (it's sort of outside of your regular visual field unless you're looking straight down or in a mirror). Though, admittedly, possibly-savvy coworkers see similar amounts of it. Depends which you spend more time around, I guess.

There are already a bunch of mean comments in this thread. You're right that instant-dismissal and unconstructive criticism on HN is a problem.

Some people will like the shirt and buy it. Some people will not like the shirt, and will not buy and and not make any comment on it. Some people will offer some kind of critique, which is sort of fun but kind of futile (the shirt is made and being sold. It's too late for critique unless you're going to make and sell another batch in future.)

But what to do about the people who don't like the shirt and loudly tell everyone that they don't like the shirt in ways that are not interesting or useful? Do downvotes work for that?

Do you need to give a small group of carefully vetted people a super-downvote button? (This would be based on your knowledge and trust of those people, not on any karma scores). ((I've wanted to start a hoax about the HN secret pages for high karma users. I've resisted because that kind of meta drama can be pretty harmful, and there are other places where it'd be more fun.)

I think the whole point of critique (esp. in this particular case) is to provide feedback. In both my and the OP's mind, the shirt was created with at least some mild hope that people might buy it. Offering what I consider to be a valid suggestion on how to improve sales is not futile. Now, if the shirt was posted with absolutely no expectation of sales then I would agree with your point.

I've seen sometimes that my downvote doesn't count (doesn't cause a fairly new comment to go gray, and to be even more certain, doesn't lower the poster's karma).

I've experimented quite a bit with it and have some theories about when it works and when it doesn't, but it's still not completely predictable to me.

Not quite three stripes simple, but still a pretty solid logo. In terms of apparel, the block graphics reminded me of Hilfiger. As an image, it reminds me a bit of Albers, Itten, and a similar strand in mid-century painting.

We're adults here, if we can't take critique without crying foul - the internet isn't for us.

In my experience when people ask for a critique of something completely new, they're asking (usually without knowing it) for the high-bit: Does this completely suck, or should I keep working on it? Unfortunately people too often respond with only the low-bits, forgetting to add "but these are nit-picks, the overall idea doesn't suck, and you should keep working on it". At best that's frustrating, because you only hear low-bits when you wanted the high-bit. At worst it's a disaster, if you misread low-bits as high-bits and give up on something promising.

It is possible to get good public critique but it has to be handled carefully. There is an art to it. And even if you know what you are doing, it can still go very wrong. But how you frame it matters. Having an account here and the ability to request feedback does not guarantee that one knows how to ask effectively.

> I think it was valid critique. (Something I am sure you give the companies you fund.) It's not always easy to provide critique without knocking the cause

I always think about saying it to someone as I talk to them.

I'm about to launch a design critique site that I've been working on for months.

The truth is that it's easier to critique in person than online. If you don't know someone's personality and can't read their nuances it makes it a lot harder.

But thats a very good critique advice.

Have you considered hiring someone full time just to improve Hacker News? You have built an incredibly valuable forum, and there is no other place on the internet like it. But the quality of the comments is definitely degrading over time. I worry that if serious time is not dedicated to fixing the problem Hacker News will go the way of usenet.

How do you pay someone to improve the quality of discussion? There is an open problem for lots of services, and yet everyone on those services is still complaining about declining quality.

HN is undergoing the transition that every community undergoes, from ultra-exclusive and underground to more populist. There's always gnashing of teeth from the entrenched userbase as a site becomes popular. That said, right now HN still has an interesting balance of technical and non-technical content for me, and an amazing group of commenters, I don't see it going anywhere soon.

HN is undergoing the transition that every community undergoes, from ultra-exclusive and underground to more populist. There's always gnashing of teeth from the entrenched userbase as a site becomes popular.

Well yeah, and in my IMHO the teeth gnashers are right. Every community that undergoes this transition turns into a wasteland, at least by my elitist tastes. I'd hate to see Hacker News go the same way.

A full-time programmer could try to design new features to stave off the decline. For instance, maybe up-voting power could be adjusted based on karma, so that the mob has less power to up-vote the nasty comments to the top of every thread. Maybe a better flagging system could be put in place so commenters could be warned when they are breaking the guidelines, but warning a way that does not create a long thread discussing the flagging. There are many ideas, it would take a lot of time to figure out which ones actually worked.

There are sites with full-time moderators that do the job pretty well, actually.

There have often (OFTEN) been times when I've wanted to ask someone if they truly thought their comment contributed to the discussion, and if not, why did they post it? At the very least, ask them to reflect.

I almost never do, because then I'm just cluttering the forum with more posts of my own that aren't contributing to the conversation.

And really, it's not my place to do so, regardless of whether I think it would help or not.

I do try to ask myself that question, and have edited or deleted comments as a result. I'm not perfect about it, but I'm better than I was, and the only reason I started making the attempt was because pg (the owner of the board) has indicated he'd like to see that.

But it would be interesting if there were some sort of feedback mechanism from active moderators that did the same thing, but only to the poster, not in the discussion.

I honestly think if you had respected mods who did that sort of thing you'd see a notable improvement in the quality of this forum.

I am a huge proponent for constructive criticism. It is genuinely helpful when I receive it so I attempt to give it as much as possible in 'Show HN' and similar posts.

Most of the time my comments get a couple up votes and left in the middle of the thread. Sometimes the founder responds and we have a little conversation that is hopefully helpful to both of us.

The one time I've ever posted a comment that could come off as mean spirited (I pointed out a pretty glaring design flaw), it became the most up voted post I've had on HN. I felt bad because the founder responded with his reasoning and it seemed perfectly valid.

I wonder if it would be plausible to self down vote a post (that is weighted heavier than just a single down vote)? I know I didn't want that post to be the first thing someone looked at when they clicked on the comments; that was not my intention at all.

Just something to think about.

I guess you could always have deleted your comment, if you thought it was unintentionally harmful to the discussion.

I didn't think it was necessarily harmful to the discussion, but it wasn't as constructive as other posts in the thread.

Have you found that hiding the number of votes a post receives helps with this voting problem, or makes it worse?

I think I might have unknowingly contributed to the problem by carelessly upvoting a negative post because I didn't realize it had so much support behind it already. It's a lot easier to see the danger of a mob and decide not to support it when you can count the number of people.

Side note: have you thought about more drastic approaches, like automatically upvoting or increasing the weight of comments with positive sentiment?

Let me suggest that you make the leader board 160 names long. The typical human brain can follow the complex social interactions of a group size of roughly 150-ish people. It varies some from person to person but you see social breakdown in groups larger than about 150-ish people. I think it would help recreate the sense of community that existed when I originally joined which seems to have deteriorated. It would be a core upon which to add social scaffolding.

> It just struck me as funny to see it get upvoted so much.

I only upvoted it because you said it would be funny if it was the top comment. "Righto," I thought "up vote for that then."

Thinking about it that's a pretty dumb upvote, but I doubt I'm the only person who voted for that reason.

What is the point that is being missed?

I thought the design was pretentious minimalism. It's minimal for the sake of it, not minimal because it's distilling the essence of something. The essence of HN is not the orange and grey colors. It's really hard to connect the shirt to HN when I look at it. The essence of HN to me is karma, usernames, YC, up/downvotes, programming, America, internet companies, drama, PG love / hate. Just printing something like "100 points" on the grey background would have made it much more wearable.

Also, if what you want is an appropriately critical, non-cynical community, you need to embody those qualities yourself. There's not much lower you can go than taking passive aggressive swipes at random posters. If you're the leader of a community, and you don't like the community, it's your responsibility to do something about it.

Here's one idea: an official recommendation from you of upvotes for thoughtful replies (even in the case of disagreement), and downvotes for replies that don't add to the conversation.

Although I am not to crazy about this design, I am happy that there isn't any text on it. Personally, I would never wear a shirt that has any text or anything I would have to explain to anyone, especially if it's from the internet.

My ideal shirt would be the warm grey background with an orange colored bar going around the chest area. Seeing as how much time most of us spend on HN, those two colors should be enough for your brain to trigger a relation from the shirt to HN.


I would have preferred this across the chest.

    georgeorwell 20 minutes ago | link | parent | flag

Awww shucks :) Well, I'd be happy to be the anonymous poster boy for all y'all.

I think that comment should actually be printed on the backs of the shirts.

I'd actually buy that...

I cannot decide if that makes me sad or you a genius.

Hey pg, I flagged your reply (can't downvote yet) because I really tried to like the design, but ended up questioning it - trying to understand it, without dismissal, just as jug6ernaut expressed it. Your comment on the other hand, dismissed this feeling outright while adding no value to my understanding or knowledge of design.

Honestly was not going to buy one of these, until I read this thread. Possibly the most(unintentionally) funny thing I've ever read on HN.

And now I'm the proud new owner of shirt #694 (or so).

Just this once you can make it so! Edit the score in the REPL ;-) Do it live!

Site goes down for another 6 hours.

How about a design contest going forward? Aka, maybe every 3 months or so have people post their designs, users vote and #1 gets used for that 'run' of t-shirts.

You could even tie the contests schedule to the Y class schedule so each class can sport it's own unique design... and also generating more awareness of another application cycle opening soon. The shirts would remain open to the public however (perhaps a unique color given to only Y accepted users).

I'd also add a Hoodie to the choice.

I'm sure after people see this it'll be voted into the stratosphere.

Perhaps a t-shirt that says "If you can't downvote, upvote!"

But Paul, your comment is the top comment :)

To be honest, it's not a very nice t-shirt.

I don't really get this T, i understand its going for minimalism, but would someone who frequents HN recognize it if they did not already know its affiliation?(i wouldn't) & if the answer is no, then whats the point of the T?

I agree. It's missing a first post at the top saying 'this article is pointless' ;)

I really like this design. It's a minimal design that is interesting for people who don't know the site, and a nice in-joke for people who do know the site.

A lot better than most of the standard 'nerdy' shirts, like this one: http://cdn4.desizntech.info/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/55994...

I don't know.. that shirt is so cliché it's funny!

I agree. Although the symmetry of the design is inline with the tennets of Minimalism, it unfortunately makes for a piece that lacks movement and vitality. You definitely won't be seeing me walking through the West Village with that monstrosity plastered on my chest.

I think the inside joke is kind of the point.

I agree. I like it. It's absent of words, which always adds a cheesy factor to clothes, in my opinion. and it's not an in-your-face look at me I'm a tourist t-shirt with a big HN on the front. That you would have to explain to your grandma. not cool. It's just a shirt with a simple "design", that no outsider would consider twice or bother to ask about. So you can wear it in public. I think it's very classily done.

I just wish I could see what the slate grey one looked like before ordering.

Thank you for the explanation. I was surprised to see the colored bars, rather than the [Y] icon which I'm so accustomed to seeing on the favorite icon, but that makes it slightly more appealing than it was before.

couldn't say it better!

Thanks for explaining. I did not know that only an inside joke is appropriate to the spirit of HN. OK.


You can write your own username in with a sharpie. :) I would recognize this for the colors and shape. I do wish it came on a light-color T though.

Hi lance, we just added a grey option on checkout!

Is there a way to see a preview of what the grey option would look like?

Thanks! I just cancelled my black order and re-ordered the gray. Looks like I could change the size, but not the color on an order. FYI, after buying the gray it showed me a photo of the black one. Overall, the process was pretty painless though. Looking forward to a gray shirt!

Any way for people who have already ordered to change colors?

I can set that up for you - shoot me an email at walker@teespring.com!

Yes. Look for your username in the top right corner of the T-shirt. It should be to the left of the word "logout" if you're logged in—or if you're not logged in, you'll see in the top right the option to do so. Clicking on your username brings up a profile with forms you can fill in. Second option from the bottom is called "topcolors". You'll need to look up the Hex code for the colour you want (for example http://www.colorhexa.com/ee33aa).

::starts swiping fingers on a printed page to zoom in the text:: Hey, what the heck is wrong with this thing?

I love this option; the ability to be my own downvoted comment.

I would recognize this for the colors and shape.

That works if you haven't set a new topcolor. (Actually, even for people who have set a custom topcolor, many HN pages still display the default topcolor, so the point in the parent post is correct.)

Also, being able to set the topcolor takes some non-trivial amount of karma, so you would have to have been using the site for a while in its default look anyhow.

T-shirt with a color of the background only (#F6F6EF) with an orange strip? Minimalistic-ier.

I think the reasoning behind it is that people might not want to walk around with "Hacker News" on a t-shirt.

"Hacker huh? So like, my facebook totally got hacked because someone knew my password was hunter2... can you hack them back?"

I didn't get it either. I actually thought it was some kind of joke.

Hell, from 20 yards you couldn't even see the graphic. When I saw the title, I thought, "Cool, a t-shirt with a large Y in a box on it." If you know the logo, you know. If not, it's easy to explain.

I'm still trying to figure out how I would explain this to someone.

You're saying that because it doesn't show your karma points.

For me its solidarity. That, and I just want to be a part of it, regardless of who else knows about it.

Absolutely, i do also. But if its a HN Tee, should it be recognizable to those who frequent HN?

@mayank same applies, inside joke to who? Those who where told it was a HN Tee or the HN community?(assuming its not recognizable to them).

I think you and I just might disagree on how recognizable this is, but its beside my point.

I get some utility out of the thing, and I get to contribute to something that the community would like to see become successful. I don't normally donate at the drop of a hat, but pg has thus far very carefully tended this community without asking much directly from it. Its a no-brainer.

If HN becomes a Kickstarter for non-profits, eh, I become much less interested then.

Oh, and if someone happens to ask me what the shirt is about, I probably would say "Ah, its a novelty shirt I bought from this geeky website you probably wouldn't care much about." Because I tend to think the community benefits from being careful who gets involved in it. {sigh} I typed that, and its probably flame-war inducing, but I do feel that way.

Ah, well my comment was prominently about its recognizability/design.

To your post though i pretty much agree with you 100%.

My ctrl+F is not turning up any results for Poe's Law. I cannot tell if this is one big reddit inside joke or if everybody in this thread is actually serious. It's like an infinite loop of sarcasm and irony.

would someone who frequents HN recognize it

I think so. The color scheme is unusual and distintive. OK, I've been here a long time and HN is permanently open in a browser tab so maybe I should get out more. The only flaw with the design I see is that folks like myself may have to suppress the instinct to mash the F5 button when they see someone wearing this...

Only one browser tab?

If you have to ask, you aren't ever going to know.

Back to the topic: I agree with your assessment, since I was excited when I saw the link but when I saw the t-shirt I also felt that the design was to minimal and vague. I do believe that this is easy to fix, just add the hackernews headings to the orange part and you have a cool minimal design which is not vague.

I think that's the point of the T. There is a bit of irony in buying something that only a select few will understand. I personally would buy this T specifically for this reason.

If you want to wear something recognizable by everyone try a Lacoste polo.

There's nothing to miss or some hidden meaning. It's just a freaking t-shirt and that's all there is.

I think the point of the shirt is that it means something to those who visit HN, in the same way that the Eye of Providence means something to Free Masons.

as a hn reader and user, if i didn't see this post I would have never guess it was associated with HN. Looks like two horizontal stripes.

I guess people who frequent HN have noticed this post...and your comment by now. Hence we can rest easy on the recognition factor :)

I don't understand the problem here, it signifies a subculture. Maybe the issue is that it's not a good advertising vehicle?

If I saw this on the street I would have no idea it had anything to do with HN.

The real problem is that HN needs a mascot... How about a little alien?

Yes, and not everyone uses orange top color anyway.

Put this comment on the shirt and I'll buy it.

It seemed particularly appropriate for the HN t-shirt to raise money for Watsi, since you guys in a sense discovered Watsi. They'd had some publicity before, but it was after their highly upvoted post on HN that their growth really took off. That was also how we found out about them.

And by the same token raises visibility of Teespring, a current YC startup.

The question was raised in the HN DDoS thread about what value YC derives from HN, so there are two examples right there - discovery and promotion of investment opportunities.

That's not bad per-se IMHO, after all still HN even with the "ghost news" appearing and all the rest is a decent place.

What is a big issue IMHO is that, given it's starting to be obvious how important is to have a completely neutral HN-style news site for hackers world-wide, nobody tried to do a serious no-profit to create a replacement that is able to guarantee a more democratic and not interested management.

So YC does a good job at taking HN not too business-driven, but still HN community does a very poor job at trying to start something completely not-business-related.

The problem is that if someone from HN were to start a news aggregator site competitor it wouldn't be long before they started looking for profiting posibilities (people reading HN like making companies, in case you didn't notice :-) ). At least HN doesn't run ads or has a "HN Gold" program (yet, this comment may backfire though, seeing how pg is reading the thread).

I think we'll be fine though. YC doesn't really own HN, the people here submitting and commenting stuff do; if it gets too compromised eventually most folks will migrate to somewhere else.

It's been done: https://lobste.rs/

It's also invite only, and I don't know about you, but I can't see the value in spending a lot of time trawling through there, looking to see if there's a name I recognize from HN, and then try to figure out if I know that person well enough from posting here to ask them for an invite. And that's even assuming people would use the same name on lobste.rs that they use here anyway.

lamer news?

That was a failed attempt from my side too, because you can't just trow a site there, and don't handle the community, create a super-partes organization, and so forth. My problem is lack of time unfortunately.

I'll retry with something in Italian language soon that is smaller and more manageable, and much needed.

Make sure the people want it; I'm for example native from Spain, and there's nothing that comes close to HN in Spanish, but I know an attempt to make something like that would fail miserably because the people simply don't want it (that's probably also why it doesn't exist)

In Italy it is much needed, and apparently there is demand, not because we need to discuss the same news in Italian language. Every semi-decent programmer can read-write some basic English. The point is to work in a "show HN" alike way to create the community that can be used to found new startups. Basically it's an economic/startup-dynamics need, not an actual news need.

Well honesty there is also a small news need, that's news relevant to Italy that would not have a place it, like startup days, new rounds of italian stuff, and so forth.

Makes sense, I wasn't thinking of a community with a focus on show/ask HN kind of posts. Make it happen then ;)

I was surprised to see that the price is only $13.00. You could charge more in my opinion. I normally am not seeking a bargain when my purchase is affiliated with a group that I have a strong affinity for and when the proceeds are going to a good cause. Most of my past purchases of charitable t-shirts were in the $20-$30 range.

Perhaps you will test a higher price for the next iteration and share the results in true HN style.

$13 is okay for us non-USians having to pay the $10+ shipping. So, an option for an additional donation might be better.

I think $13 is right. Shipping makes the shirt ~$15, which is pretty standard if not above the market precedent for a shirt. (It's probably 10x the average price of my shirts.) Obviously, rates become really burdensome for international customers.

$20? Definitely. I think that's a great floor. $30? Meh. It's a small window for "I don't care about this purchase that much" vs "Hmm, I'll think about it".

Too bad they don't integrate with Coinbase.com!

We're working on accepting Bitcoin through Coinbase, just wasn't quite ready for this tee!

While you're working with CoinBase, can you ask them to accept green addresses so we can get instant payments instead of waiting an hour?

"Green address" means whitelisting addresses from the big online wallet sites because you trust them not to launch double-spending attacks against you. Coinbase would also be a great green address provider.

I've been coming up with some Bitcoin tshirt ideas. As soon as you support Coinbase I'd love to put them up.

Shoot me an email (in my profile) if you need a beta tester!

Also can you please please please get American Apparel 50/50 shirts? They're the only shirts I buy now.

Tried to buy one, but I just get a message that says "Your card will not accept a charge at this time". I know my card is OK, it is the card I use to buy books from Amazon.

SWEET! Can I pay via coinbase by sending to an email address instead? It's super easy :)

For sure, shoot me an email at walker@teespring.com and we'll organize it!

I just wish it wasn't black. I get what you're trying to do with the color scheme from the site, but the black just completely overwhelms it.

If you're going to go with something without text, have the shirt be the grayish color, with the orange stripe going across the entire chest.

I was just going to comment on that.

To my eye, Slate, Asphalt, or Heather Grey would work better (in order of preference). http://www.americanapparel.net/wholesaleresources/ExpressOrd...

Also, these are 100% cotton, right?

We just added a Slate Grey option to checkout, you can now purchase! Thanks for the feedback.

Wow! Much appreciated! Thanks and purchased! :-)

any chance we can see a preview of it in the slate option?

I also added that to the campaign! Just click the thumbnails on www.teespring.com/hntees.

I was struggling to find a name for the primary background color here. It's probably not gray. Creme?

I came to the same conclusion (looks like Creme). But it's probably best to have someone look at the colour in person?

Yep! These will be printed on 100% cotton tees.

Thanks for the feedback, we've just added a Slate Grey option on checkout!

Love the gray actually. I'm much more likely to buy it now. Thanks for listening!

I agree. Anyone with animals knows that black just doesn't work, so I have to pass on a lot of cool shirts at conferences, etc

Meh, I have a yellow lab that sheds quite a lot, and gets really excited when I see her, resulting in her jumping up and down and rubbing up against me.

Just keep a lint roller around.

Can you explain this further? I don't understand.

Light pet hair. It stands out much more than dark on light, for whatever reason.

Very fair feedback, we just added a Slate Grey option to check out - let me know if that works.

To make it look like the actual site you need the orange line to be straight and at the top.

Will there be a higher-grade customizable offering for us high-karma old timers who haven't seen a top bar in that color for years? I'd hate to associate myself with all these Orange Bars.

Buying, nonetheless. Not to wear in public, of course.

What color do you see? I never realized that the bar changes color.

With sufficient karma (trying to remember: was it 300? 400?), you can set the color you prefer.

Interesting. I never even noticed the option to change it.

Mine is #bada55.

If people want more like that, you can find them at http://hexu.al/

That is awesome. I am so glad I made it this far down the comments to see this link.

I know it sounds sarcastic with so much enthusiasm but it isn't. This is the kind of stuff that I like to find. Better when it comes from HN.

Why does HTML think "chucknorris" is a color?


Interesting, I did not know that.

Anybody know why the bar is defaulted to that shade of orange (#FF6600) in the first place?

I like the question. Until and unless the person who chose it wishes to answer, here's my attempt at a more-than-complete answer.

I guess orange may be chosen as a rather eye-catching color. A reddish orange may be chosen to be a bit more tasteful or distinctive.

The choice of RGB component values may originate in an older practice in web design called web-safe colors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_colors#Web-safe_colors). It uses the observation that 33 hexadecimal (let's write 0x33) evenly divides the range of an HTML red-green-blue color component: 0x00, 0x33, 0x66, 0x99, 0xCC, 0xFF. Choosing each of the three color components from among these six values yielded 6^3 = 216 colors, a palette that would fit into a low-end graphics adapter's table of 256 colors with room left over for system-defined colors.

Those who have studied Mersenne primes may recall that it is sufficient to observe that 8 is a composite number in order to prove that 0xFF = 0x100 - 1 = 2^8 - 1 is a composite number. And we compute that 2^8 - 1 = 255 which ends in 5, so it's obviously divisible by 5, the quotient being 51 = 0x33.

It's Paul's favorite color. It's also the color of the walls at YC.

Because YC.

Why not?

html > body > center > table > tbody > tr:first-child > td { background-color: #000; } html > body > center > table > tbody > tr:first-child > td * { color: #ff6600; }


Hahaha, and here I thought you were being facetious above when you said it lacks movement and vitality....

But now I'm curious how you would design a HN homage shirt.

You get the original color bar whenever you submit or comment, not to mention that it's in the favicon. It's burned on my retinas despite my attempt to replace it with a more rest ful duck-egg blue.

Geez kyro, logout every now and then. :)

Proud to buy and wear this. Thank you!

But I think I'll customize the back of mine:

"My cofounder went to Startup School and all I got was this lousy MVP."

Mine will be "Stay away and work"

Nice "insider" design!

Since international shipping is $10.50, putting the cost per shirt at $23.50, but shipping for additional shirts is only $1, if there was enough interest I'd be happy to front a UK HNLondon Meetup group-buy, with all costs shared equally, and shirts to be distributed at the next event following their delivery.

Hi from Teespring! If you guys wanted to collect a few UK orders together we'd be happy to ship them for free on us!

We used to use a cheaper international shipping service, but things would get lost too often and we hated seeing people wait weeks for their tees. We recently upgraded to USPS Priority International.

There must be a myriad number of dye-sub printers in the UK that use AA shirts - wouldn't it be cheaper to simply commission them to print and deliver your shirts in UK and Europe with your [customers] branding?

Shipping simple tshirts piecemeal seems so terribly wasteful to me.

We looked into this and surprisingly it's cheaper to produce the t-shirts here in the US. Their isn't the same level of competition on blank garment suppliers and screen printers, so the costs are significantly higher. Coupled with the fact you don't capture the bulk discounts it actually ends up a little more expensive!

We'll continue to look into it though, perhaps when we reach a certain scale we'll be able to command better prices.

Thanks Teespring, that's very generous. I'll donate the equivalent amount to watsi.org; then everyone wins :-)

Not a bad idea, but be careful. You'll be liable to pay import VAT of 20% on an order over £15 in value and custom duties as well if the order is over £135 in value.

So take this into account if taking orders or money from people, you might end up with a 20% VAT bill when they get delivered that purchasers may decide they don't want to pay.

Good point, thanks Peter. Lets try this: £12 per shirt including VAT, duty, and any VAT administration charge the shipping co. adds. Any excess will be openly donated to watsi.org, and any shortfall I'll cover.

Email: iwantone@hntee.33m.co with color and size if you're in.

British people: Do this.

Many upvotes for this! Maybe you should [get someone to] send out a feeler on the Meetup group? I'd totally jump right in.

Can I get one with "Unknown or expired link" on the back?

We considered that, but it seemed too heavy handed.

To everyone who doesn't like the shirt design, but agrees with the idea:

Just donate 13 dollars to Watsi.

If I saw someone wearing this t-shirt, I wouldn't know that it was HN-related. But wearing the t-shirt below, I have occasionally bumped into other people "in the know":


Plus the design is way cooler.

I dont really get why people want the shirt to be recognisable. To me it seems that only super brands will get a huge recognition, other brands will be left in an equally puzzling world.

Instead I prefer tees that trigger intrigue and sometimes awesome conversation. I have the 20th anniversary SDF tee, in four years of wearing it I have added a score of users to the service. Even once someone saw the DEC terminal and struck(?) up a really cool conversation about the hardware he worked on.

As an aside, my favourite conversation starter is the Double Fine Costume Quest Blueprint tee.

> I dont really get why people want the shirt to be recognisable.

That's kind of the core concept of putting something with any sort of meaning on a t-shirt.

What he meant to say was "widely recognizable".

Oh man I remember that! I should get one of those shirts :)

The Teespring homepage seems to be designed just for people wishing to sell their apparel, not for people looking to browse around for shirts. Is this in the works?

Most definitely in the works! We're planning on releasing a product iteration that has more discovery tools soon.

Sweet. Just followed on Twitter so I can check it out.

Ah interesting, all proceeds going to the nonprofit 'Watsi' (YC's first nonprofit [1]) with the thread started by pg. I guess there must have been latent demand for such a shirt for a long time, and now that there's an appropriate recipient of the profits, the tshirts have become a reality :)

[1] http://ycombinator.com/watsi.html

I guess the only reason I would know this has anything to do with HN is because this post. Other than that I think it's a little too obscure.

The price is right though, so I might go ahead and get one (plus I love HN), but I hope to see more designs in the future!

Per request, we just added a Grey option in both men's and women's cuts!

The specific color is Slate - you can check it out on American Apparel's website at http://store.americanapparel.net/product/?productId=2001.

Skip the colour selector and go direct to Slate: http://i.americanapparel.net/storefront/photos/zoom/serve.as...

Is it too much to ask for a long sleeve option?

Lots of negativity here, but I love the design. I wouldn't buy a shirt if it said hackernews on it. I would get to many questions for too many people, and I don't really want to explain what I'm wearing.

This is perfect. People who know, know. People who don't, won't care.

I don't seen an overwhelming amount of negativity here at all. Only couple of posts near the top respectfully commenting on the design. The reaction here seems to be positive across the board.

I love the shirt. I was nervous at the concept of a shirt dedicated to Hacker News, but it's very simple, yet will promote solidarity amongst weathers.

And I hear black is the new black.

Ok, let's break it down a bit.

What is it?

A t-shirt.


To help charity through Watsi.

Why that design?

Because this is a shirt about hacker news and not ycombinator itself. Even though they are hosted in the same place, they are two different things and brands.

Also, notice that the only common design clue in hacker news is the orange top bar with the gray background. Hacker news lacks a logo. The nex best thing to use would be the only other thing that visually differences it: the ugly design.

Why not the ycombinator logo?

Because the shirt is about hacker news. Not ycombinator itself.

This is ugly. I was shocked to Ctrl-f "ugly" and come up with nothing, but that's exactly what this shirt is.

That's funny because Ctrl-f "ugly" is the first thing I did after seeing the shirt, which is how I came across your post.

That's funny because Ctrl-f "Ctrl-f" is the first thing I did after seeing the shirt, which is how I came across your post.

agree. i guess the main concern was to be minimalist than being wearable

Why is the Hacker News not even written on the shirt? In my view, the favicon would have been a better design idea than this one. I don't get it.

I knew these reminded me of something!: http://www.google.com/search?q=london+train+ticket&tbm=i...

How is it "official"?

Edit: I missed who posted it - thanks for head's up.

We organized this.

I have ordered my t-shirt as well.

pg himself posted the link. I'd say that counts.

look who posted the announcement...

Look at who posted the link, who replied to you and what said those who replied to you.

Look at who posted the link and replied to you.

There are minimalist shirts, and then there are official Hacker News shirts. Count me in.

Hey, good job on the t-shirt! I like the color, and the design, and I think that proceeds going to watsi is AWESOME!

I ordered one and can't wait to get it!

I am disappointed by the price. Why $13 and not $13.37?

I love that people can't even refrain from negative comments on a t-shirt. You're not adding to the discussion here but still you need to snipe.

I don't mind the minimalism, it just looks weird sitting in the middle of a tee like that. Something a little more practical would have been cool, like a white tee with a beige pocket and orange trim on top of the pocket. Heck, even if it was just a printed faux practical pocket, it would actually be quite apt really.

Does the price include shipping?

Looks like they tack on shipping when you check out. It was very reasonable for me though < $4.00

Shipping for me was $3.85.

We used Teespring recently for a campaign for Roll20 t-shirts, sold around 200, and we've already gotten tweets coming in from people who have gotten their shirt and love it! So if, like us, you'd rather keep focusing on your product/customers rather than filling t-shirt orders, give Teespring a shot.

The t-shirt is really boring.

all that's missing is for a DMCA takedown notice to replace this page in a few hours, and a new thread of about three-hundred responses saying that copyright is destroying our freedom, followed by someone downloading the design and making it available via torrents to set it free!

Teespring looks interesting. Has anyone here used it before? Does it print well?

I've been using printfection for a personal shop that does all the fulfillment (http://shop.mrcoles.com/), but the campaign approach looks pretty cool

Why is the selection of payment methods so limited? :( They should learn from Humble.


I will buy the black t-shirt, but can I humbly request a white t-shirt option too?

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact