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Our TTC Swag Suggestions

ttc_streetcar_larger.jpgLet’s start of by saying how much we love the TTC. Sure, it’s expensive and plagued with corporate infighting, but it gets us where we want to go (for the most part) and there’s a soothing comfort in the gentle rumble of our slick red streetcars. There’s also a certain pride that many TTC riders have; a camaraderie rooted in the shared experience of Riding The Rocket — which is why we’re distraught at the TTC’s woefully bungled merchandise plan.
We really would want some TTC merch if it looked cool, like New York’s or London’s. We can’t bring ourselves to buy any of the current overpriced stuff because we have a set of working eyeballs.
By ignoring Matt Blackett’s ultra-brilliant Spacing subway buttons and dropping a cease-and-desist on RobotJohnny’s anagram route map, the Commission marooned the best public relations projects in its recent history. Since then, the TTC has unveiled its hideous stock at their Union Station merch store — called Transit Stuff to appeal to the cool kids — and after encountering virtually universal dislike of the product, they go and renew their exclusive contract with Legacy Sportswear for another five years. Sigh.
So, while the TTC is offering dowdy pewter pins perfect for grandpa’s fishing hat collection, read-on to see how we imagined some way more palatable swag that somebody might actually buy. We tried to keep it simple and familiar for mass appeal, but we’d also like to see what some of our local artists could whip-up for the more hipster vibe.
See these designs while you can, however, because we’ve seen how the TTC treats this kind of customer enthusiasm. We have a feeling that most of them are only going to be viewable for a limited time.
Related: Transit Tees Debut At Canzine (October 30)



  • andrew

    holy smokes, i love the “please move back…thank you” tshirt. i’d fricken buy that.

  • Marc Lostracco

    Andrew: There are soooo many situations I can think of in which that shirt could apply!

  • Nadia

    I love those! You should just go ahead and make some of them. Not the ones with the station and line names on them, since they’re copyrighted, but “Please Move Back” and the little green escalator dude. And the ones with the pics of the streetcars — I want one of those.

  • Rajio

    its frustrating that toronto is a city FULL of creatives and even a passing effort can yield results so much better than the TTC’s official results that it becomes offensive that they offer us that legacy sportswear crap. I’ll bet that if we held a 48 hour competition for best ttc merch design and offered prizes of just TTC month pass for the winner, week pass for second place, and tokens for runners up, i’ll bet you we’d see hundreds of great entries. people seem to WANT to embrace the TTC more but the TTC isn’t making it easy.

  • chris

    those are awesome! ALL of them.
    i’d buy 1 or 2 for sure! i think the last one looks really slick ….

  • jerrold

    These are fantastic! I want one (or two, or three)!
    Who designed these?

  • kevin bracken


  • Athena

    How’s about a “Ride the Rocket” shirt..or is that borderline-trashy-shirt-slogan style?

  • Ian

    Is there a link to a high-res version of the streetcar on the top shirt? I’d love to get that one made for myself!

  • Marc Lostracco

    I designed them, Jerrold…but really quickly, so they’re not all winners. I just added two more at the bottom that I thought of on the way home.
    Athena: I intentionally avoided the “Ride The Rocket” theme because I wanted to try some designs that would never occur in the TTC boardroom (or at Legacy Sportswear, which apparently takes care of the fugly creative design). I really like the Ride The Rocket slogan, but I don’t know if I’d wear it (unless it was on the back of the shirt). Plus, TTC has killed any coolness associated with that campaign.
    Nadia: the white shirt designs with the line names on them are not copyrighted; just derivative designs of public signage (like at airports or on subways). The way the TTC does it in the stations is to have the coloured bar above the text for the lenth of the platfor and there isn’t any design in that aspect ratio, so it’s not a copyrighted design. Since the TTC uses the street names, that’s not copyrightable either. The little green guy on the escalator is a public domain symbol as well, as is the arrow.
    Just out of curiosity, if we were to investigate the possibility of making a limited run of some of these, would people be interested? Which designs? I realize they’re pretty masculine. There’s always room for modification. One person suggested the streetcar icon without the arrow.

  • Tlönista

    I love the streetcar icon, Mind the Gap, and the St. George shield (maybe on a different coloured shirt, though.) Please, make shirts!

  • Mark Medley

    These are fantastic. And the more I think about them and look at them the more fantastic they get.

  • Blair

    I’d totally buy these t-shirts! They’re fantastic. I have a t-shirt that I bought in NYC for the “F” Train (partly because my last name begins with F) but these are the kind of t-shirts and swag that would fly off the shelves … I would certainly buy some shirts if they were made!
    Well done!

  • Gloria

    I love Escalator Guy, the streetcar, and Please Do Not Block Doorway — they’d be great if they could come in ladies’ cuts.

  • rek

    Marc – Do it! I’d get the escalator, mind the gap, please move back, maybe St George, I wish Christie had a logo like that.

  • james

    i love the streetcar and arrow.. i’d buy one for sure.

  • Robyn

    I would totally buy shirts! Love the “move back”
    “do not block doorway”, “mind the gap” and streetcar designs.

  • rek

    And DWA. Is that streetcar silohuette-ish one at the top yours too? I’d get that.
    How about one with the ninja-looking guy at the doors, as seen in streetcars? Or “Push to Open” from the rear doors on buses? (written vertically of course).

  • Marc Lostracco

    Thanks, y’all. Some of the designs could only be used by a TTC licensee, but others are fair game. Seems like we’re doing some of the TTCs market research here, although you know they’d probably plaster something like “50 YEARS!” on it in Times New Roman.
    Note that I also avoided their try-to-be-cool slogan “Toronto’s Underground.” It’s not that I dislike it, but it’s wholly unoriginal and just seems an inadvertent way of saying, “Like London’s Underground, But Not As Cool.”

  • Carrie

    Marc Lostracco, you’re always coming up with the cool stuff. What would we ever do without you?
    I’d probably buy one or two of those shirts if they came in a women’s cut.

  • elananano

    rawks! keep bringing it macro!

  • nomi


  • Shaun

    I’d buy one of ‘em…
    ** Shaun **

  • mason

    clearly you’re getting people excited with this idea. just think of how many others feel their excitement already reflected in the commments…
    if you want to do this, try
    you can set up a storefront easily and off you go!
    also, Kagan McLeod at the National Post did a really awesome cartoon of the ninja guy from the bus door diagrams. it’s pinned to my cubicle wall :-(
    if you want to see it let me know and i can get it from him, or see if he’ll do another for a t-shirt.

  • Johnnie Walker

    The “mind the gap” one is beautiful, I would buy that in a heartbeat. And “DWA” makes me smile – I’ve been told that it’s an Etobicoke thing to actually meet at the DWAs, do people from other parts of the city do it too?

  • Sameer Vasta

    Marc, I’d fully buy the Mind the Gap and the little green elevator dude. I say make them, judging from the comments there’s some serious cash to be made with these.

  • Marc Lostracco

    DWA could also stand for “Drivers With Attitude.” :-)

  • Gloria

    If you do make them, I’d be happy to pay more for a good quality shirt (especially with the option of a ladies’ cut), with possibly locally commissioned silkscreening … none of that Cafepress crap.
    I’ll have to add votes for the St. George shield, Walk Left/Stand Right, and the pic of the subway train (without text).
    I’m really excited someone’s doing this … and sad that the TTC messed it up so badly. Anyway, thanks, guys! Looking forward to how this goes.

  • Patrick

    I want a “garbage goblins” t-shirt.

  • shari k.

    haha! these are great! genius idea!

  • Jorge

    Great stuff Marc. These look great, some more than others but its definitely a step in the right direction. Someone should approach the TTC and show them that they can have cool designs on their merch and actually get these out there.
    99 Kennedy. 99 Kennedy. :)

  • seán

    sorry about the double comment
    I absolutely love it love it love it…i may just make one for myself…i hope you don’t mind!
    perhaps another saying:

  • Karen

    These are frigging awesome. I’d buy them for myself and boyfriends.
    The streetcar, Don Mills and St. George are my favourites.

  • Marc Lostracco

    I added two more designs…”Push To Open” just for rek and my new fave, the Litter Pig.
    Jorge: The TTC knows that people will buy cool designs, but they know absolutely nothing about cool design. Legacy Sportswear has an exclusive on TTC merch and you can see by their website that they aren’t remotely good at graphic design either, so don’t hold your breath.
    My all-time hated TTC design monstrosity was their “Put Litter In Its Place” ad, with the trash can and recycling box that had arms and googly eyes. There were so many things wrong with that ad that I won’t even get started, but it was the one of the worst Illustrator jobs I’ve ever seen (I won’t even go near the font selection).
    Second place for horrid TTC ads is the “They Are Here Among Us” one for new buses, which was obviously an attempt to be creative. It’s almost insulting. More alarmingly, someone is getting paid for this stuff.
    What’s sad is that so many of the TTC’s customers have a real sense of pride and really, really want them to do things well, and obviously the TTC needs this too. It’s extremely clear that merch and design isn’t something that should be done in-house, and that corporate merch contracts shouldn’t be an afterthought.
    Honestly, given the look of the current swag they have for sale, they would be better-off doing nothing.

  • Ange

    I am sporting an NYC “F train” shirt today!
    PLEASE make these shirts. I would definitely buy some for myself and for Canadian friends who live in the states. I’m sure they’d love them. Please make girly-style shirts, they can be the same graphics, just get a nice cut and you’re all set.

  • David Topping

    I want the pig one so badly.

  • Marc Lostracco

    Added a back design for Litter Pig…hmm, that would be the LAST one of all of these designs the TTC would think of, but could be a bestseller because it’s so obscure.
    By the way, if anyone wants to call their band “Litter Pig” or “The Transit Commission,” they don’t seem to be taken! ;-)

  • rek

    Marc – If you think you could use another designer on this, I can volunteer my time (and some money), just email me.
    If not, this is still awesome!

  • chris

    personally i like the idea of “toronto’s underground: Like London’s Underground, But Not As Cool.”
    i like the litter pig (very cool), “walk left stand right”, and the “push to open” although i can imagine an article in the star appearing about how there has been a rise in random people getting pushed incidents ….
    hell if you had a spadina streetcar one, i’d buy a few for my friends!

  • brokenengine

    These rule. Seriously, I would buy, like, all of them.
    If I could make a suggestion: “Kiss & Ride”.
    Someone should contact Moscoe(David? You seemed to grab his ear when you did the Photo series…) and suggest these as an alternative. The Legacy stuff is just SO terrible…

  • Richard

    These are all great! Though I wish there was a red shirt with white text that says

  • Joe Clark

    “Copyright” is not really an issue here (even if it were, you would win on the substantiality clause – what you’re adapting is not substantial). Trademarks, even unregistered ones, may be more relevant. Presumably the TTC will be hostile, clueless, and bureaucratic enough to make this an issue. If they do so, then what you do is make it an election issue.
    I believe we are all tired of the complete undesign of the Toronto Transit Commission.
    Also: TTC streetcars are “slick”? They weigh as much as a jetliner.

  • Jonathan Dursi

    I would buy the stylized streetcar, Danforth Line, Eastbound, Sheppard-Yonge, and maybe St. George right now if they were for sale at Cafe Press or something. Seriously, by `Transfer Required’ I had my wallet out.

  • rek

    D’oh, it doesn’t show email addresses…

  • Jonathan Dursi

    Oh, and broken engine is clearly right, `Kiss & Ride’ needs to be done, and damn the lawsuits.

  • Bob Krawczyk

    I love Please Move Back and the stylized streetcar. It’s amazing to see stuff like this – the designs are quite simple and startling. Congratulations.

  • Marc Lostracco

    I posted the Spadina streetcar and “Kiss & Ride” designs as requested (and a Metropass one).

  • chris

    spadina streetcar!
    make em, marc, make em!!!!
    tkae that,city!

  • Lori

    I like the kiss and ride one especially! …and also the streetcar one, mind the gap, and the escalator guy. I would definitely buy one or two.

  • jerrold

    If this really gets off the ground (which it damn well should!) PLEASE don’t skimp on shirt quality to keep prices ultra low. I’d much rather have a decent quality shirt that fits and lasts and spend $40 on it than have some low quality, poor fitting, fade and disintegrate shirt for $15. :)

  • Jeremy Wilson

    I would be happy to donate the use of the Popfuel screenprinting studio to make runs of some of these shirts.
    Just drop me an email and we can discuss it.

  • brokenengine

    Wow Marc, you’re prolific!

  • Gloria

    I actually don’t care for the ads themselves much, but the “litter pig” one is hilarious! Another buy right there.

  • scruss

    We need a Mowis Zone one too; it’s all over the walls of that weird switching area coming north into St George.

  • Stephen

    I liked the stylized streetcar, Don Mills and the elevator dude. If you were to make the t-shirts, I would recommend having other subway stations on them, not just Don Mills.
    What a great idea this is! I love the designs!

  • Marc Lostracco

    The ones with specific stations or lines on them were meant to be an example of others. For example, it wouldn’t be just Danforth Line or Sheppard Line, but the others as well. Like those Spacing buttons, it’s all about representing!
    I’m warmed by the response that these are getting, mainly because it always gives me warm fuzzies when so many people stand up with so much enthusiasm for their environment and the people they share experiences with (i.e. public transit). The offers to donate talent and facilities are also just amazing.

  • Gareth

    I would buy a few of these! The TTC are so silly for not actually putting any effort into their designs. Take back the TTC for the people!

  • Marc Lostracco

    It’s not as much that the TTC isn’t putting effort into it; it’s that they aren’t equipped to do it effectively or with either insight or foresight. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with Legacy Sportswear as a company and they too are all hard-working people, but they are completely wrong for a contract like the TTC’s.
    They are also thinking with the wrong mentality and are oblivious to what the customer wants. I say cut 90% of the products from the line and focus on stuff like t-shirts, stickers, and baseball caps. Nobody wants a leather collegiate-style TTC jacket, shower radio, brass pin or a “woodyard jacket.” The line would be cheaper to implement and much more profitable if it was pruned-down to essentials and well-managed on a design level, with a more daring aesthetic.
    Unfortunately, I can’t see that happening. The TTC would never do the Litter Pig shirt, the escalator or the Kiss & Ride, and even if they did, they’d splash their logo plus “TORONTO, CANADA” onto it, consequently ruining those particular designs.

  • em gee

    Is Legacy too effin’ cheap or clueless to not buy Quadra’s TTC Subway Fonts?!
    We should all start making our own unauthorized merch to show them how its done.

  • Brent

    WALK LEFT STAND RIGHT is great – it says TTC but in a subtle way. Same for the green escalator dude, PLEASE HOLD HANDRAIL, and PLEASE MOVE BACK.
    (Many times I have been on an escalator where I wished that the WL/SR rule was a commonly understood one, not just once you enter a TTC station.)
    Funny that the Litter Pig is getting so many positive comments – I thought that ad campaign was widely hated.

  • Brent

    Also — the EASTBOUND one. (For the subway font alone!)

  • Marc Lostracco

    Brent: I think subtlety is the key to the effectiveness, which is why it would be disturbing to have all the other corporate crap on it. People who know what it is know, and those who don’t will likely ask about it.
    Those awesome Walk Left Stand Right signs are sadly disappearing from escalators in the system, presumably because they aren’t replacing them when they’re deteriorating. It’s too bad, because they should be on every escalator.
    The whole reason I did Litter Pig was because the campaign was so silly and tried so hard to be quirky, which just makes the shirt more ironic. Had they done a whole campaign with a pig head and a mysterious “You’re Not Invisible” instead of that weird photo ad, it might have been way more cutting-edge, memorable and effective — and spawned a character worthy of merchandising.

  • brokenengine

    I think the litter pig Tee is loved here because the ad campaign is widely hated.
    TOist’s [heart] irony.

  • andrew

    ok, this is ridiculous! we’re all coming up with these amazing ideas, and the ttc can’t come up with any? [not talkin' bout legacy, but the ttc's ad dept has like three designers: Competent, Clumsy, and Godawful]
    also, marc, i know we keep throwing all these ideas at you, thanks for making some of them virtually real. i’ll totally buy one if i see it at a store or show. and you know that somewhere, somehow, there is a vomit comet tshirt just waiting to happen. maybe an i survived the, or one that makes a funny joke with a photo of the yonge bus head-on. that’s the thing, there’s these funny/sweet/frustrating things about the ttc we all bond over, that make living here and taking it not only an important part but a cherished part of our lives. the ttc just can’t seem to grasp that ADVERTISERS LIVE FOR THAT FEELING, IT MAKES PEOPLE BUY STUFF!!! damn. here we are, proclaiming our brand loyalty, some of us [i.e. spacing] are developing brand add-on’s, and the commission doesn’t recognize it.
    i thought they should have used sonic youth’s silver rocket for their new bombardier trains. just the little guitar line in ad’s for the ttc, and maybe the first line of the chorus, would have probably upped their ridership by the entire SY fan base in toronto. oh well.

  • Marc Lostracco

    Ha! It’s so funny you mention the Vomit Comet, because I actually did design one that I haven’t posted. I nixed a few designs because they were a little off-message, but maybe I’ll post Vomit Comet tomorrow. That’s not to say we can’t make an actual Vomit Comet shirt.

  • Anon

    If you can’t sell 200-500 of the `Kiss & Ride’ designs on pairs of boxer shorts, you’re just not trying.

  • Marc Lostracco

    Ooh, don’t think I didn’t consider the racy versions. I was thinking boxers with “42 Cummer”, panties with “77 Spadina” on the front, and a tight baby-tee with “Chester Station”. Ba-dump-kshh!

  • rek

    I wrote Howard Moscoe around this time last year complaining about the lack of promo merch. One of the things I’d kill for is a TTC-maroon hoodie with the logo in white. A hat like that would rule too.
    Vomit Comet would be great! I’m picturing the bus all tilted and skewed like it’s hurtling/bouncing down the street.
    I’d also like to see a shirt with the streetcar cables spanning the front and back. I find the networks of cables and switches hanging in the air kind of facinating. I even used them on my portfolio and c.v. stationery a few years ago.

  • Chris Dart

    Dude, where’s the Scarborough RT shirt, son?
    Midland station can’t get no love?

  • suzan

    i like the ‘kiss and ride’ but i think it actually has a unique logo that goes with it not the one you’ve shown in the design. maybe something with a picture of a token on it or the different transfer designs or something like a view of the platform at finch station with both platforms showing ‘southbound’ or at union with both showing ‘northbound’… the possibilities are endless!

  • Neil McConachie

    Great designs Marc – The Legacy crap reminds me of all the garbage handouts found at the various corporate convention snooze-fests.
    I can picture the TTC and Legacy execs at the “unveiling” — all smiles sitting around the boardroom table patting each other on the back. Hilarious really.

  • Marc Lostracco

    Couple more designs for transfer lovers and Vomit Comet’s up.
    The “Rider” one is something that I thought could be an effective ad campaign. Just showing shots of different people with just the word “Rider” somewhere on them to a cool music track (little toddler, person in wheelchair, business man, student, the Mayor, letter carrier, teacher with a bunch of kids, a local celeb…). Or maybe they’re all wearing the Rider t-shirt. Could work for a print campaign too. It would have that edgy but touching kinda thing, like those latest Toronto Star commercials (with the muzzled pit bull and various Torontonians).

  • brokenengine

    GODDAMN these are great. Ok, I don’t know if anyone has done it yet, maybe we all should: I’m sending Moscoe an email with the link to this page!

  • Jonathan

    Wow, given the number of comments, you’d think this article was about Lukas Rossi.

  • José Rui Abreu Mira

    These are really great (The Vomit Comit t-shirt is the best), specially since I’ve away from Toronto since 1998 and it is nice to see that people still care. This doesn’t apply to the TTC of course… who had the idea for their mechandise design???
    I think someone should begin making them in large quantities and sell them throughout the city :-P

  • Marc Lostracco

    Jonathan: If we got Lukas to wear one of these shirts, we’d have it all covered…although we might then have to make some new designs that appeal to the OMG LOL crowd.

  • Ouimet

    Some of these are really good. I’d buy one.
    If you ended up making some, and were worried about the TTC getting their cut, you could always reserve a percentage for them and then make a show out of going to a station and donating it via a ticket collector.

  • thickslab

    Ouimet writes:
    If you ended up making some, and were worried about the TTC getting their cut, you could always reserve a percentage for them and then make a show out of going to a station and donating it via a ticket collector.
    Yes. Reward the TTC for being incompetent boobs who have no vision, taste, or creativity. Do their work for them, then give *them* the money *you* rightfully earned. THAT’LL SHOW THEM!

  • andrew

    whoo-hoo! vomit comet! dude, you rock.
    people who wear these should travel and show toronto off [see? i'm not so anti-toronto as the other comment thread may have implied]. or we should give them to touring bands.

  • Val

    Seriously, please tell me these are getting made. Women’s cut, please, especially Walk Left, Stand Right.
    And an email campaign to Moscoe is a fantastic idea, I’m in… Flood his Inbox, that would be hard to ignore.

  • David Topping

    Everyone who wants these made: hold tight! We’re paying attention.

  • brokenengine

    Here it is:
    Make sure yer polite kids!

  • Marc Lostracco

    A few more designs posted…some “symbol people” and showin’ pride for ridin’ the High Occupancy Vehicle! Obviously, there would need to be women’s cut tees.

  • liam

    WHOO! Go Marc! Has somebody emailed this to Moscoe yet? If you’re tallying the requests, then my vote goes for:
    - the green escalator dude, walk left stand right, litter pig, mind the gap, metropass, kiss and ride, all of the ‘please’ ideas, the streetcar silhouette… hell, i’m pretty sure i like them all!
    And, I agree with the idea that these shirts relate to experiences we’ve ALL had on the TTC and therefore bring us together as ‘riders’. Unlike the huge variety of ‘Legacy’ schlock they have now which seems to only consist of wierd things we can’t use with the TTC logo on it. These shirts don’t even exist yet and look how they bring us together!
    Count me in for one or two yo.

  • rek

    The words/numbers/dividers from a bus transfer, with the notches cutting through in the right places would be cool. Maybe Day 365? No outline of the transfer though.
    Oh and if you do write Howard, I found out with his replies last year that they mung the replyto address, so I had to keep putting the correct one in or I’d get a postmaster error.

  • andrew

    i can’t believe i forgot this, but…
    Public Transit Recordings, a Toronto record label, was started by DJ/producer Moonstarr when he was living in Scarborough and working in Mississauga, and getting there via the TTC, and listening to Toronto-based d’n’b producers’ demos. Now, they mostly do hip hop and broken beat – they just put out New Orleans-based emcee Voice’s record. Their logo is totally the TTC’s logo, with PTR superimposed, in a similar font. I have one of their t’s, which is just the logo on a black shirt in white lettering. Sadly, I don’t think they sell shirts on-line, only at shows.

  • Joe Clark

    BTW, my friend used to refer to the escalator (not “elevator”) pictogram a “an escalator with a hard-on.”
    Feel free to use that one.

  • wongoz

    Hot damn. Assuming they’re about $20, I’d hit up Walk Left/Stand Right, Please Do Not Block Doorway, the stylized streetcar, and any shirts related to York Mills station. And what about bus routes? I’m all over the 95 York Mills.

  • wongoz

    Whoops, forgot about Please Move Back. I’d hit that one too.

  • shari k.

    even BlogTO is talkin’ bout you, Marc!

  • brokenengine

    The Globe & Mail dropped your name too!
    By the way, yes, I emailed Moscoe. Here’s what I wrote:
    “Dear Councillor Moscoe,
    There is an online publication called ””, a blog if you will. Daily articles and news about Toronto, by Torontonians. I believe you spoke to one of the editors this summer, Mr. David Topping, as he was chronicling his visit to every station, in photos.
    It should come as no surprise that the TTC is a frequent topic of discussion on this site.
    If I might direct your attention to a post that was put up today, about the Legacy Sportswear TTC paraphernalia that is now being sold in your Union Station shop. Seems no one really likes it, and an enterprising designer created several to show as examples of an alternative(not for sale, obviously, he just created them as an example). In my opinion, these are quite superior to the current designs. There has not been a single detractor (Which is rare, this is usually a very even handed and objective site).
    It should be mentioned that 53 comments on a single post on this site is about 10 times the norm. Clearly, this is a hot topic, dear to many Torontonians hearts. We would love if you would consider approaching this designer about using his designs. I can’t speak for him, but I’d wager that he’d part with them for a song, since he obviously designed these as an example of how he wishes the TTC would represent itself.
    By all means, please read, and if you should be so moved, comment!
    Tim Knight
    Torontoist Read/TTC Rider”

  • brokenengine
  • David Topping
  • Boy Reporter

    If the day should ever come that I see a couple wearing complementary “rider holding on to hand strap” shirts I will throw up. In a good way.

  • Marc Lostracco

    Or maybe they’re just in a school band where they play tandem triangle. *Ting, ting!*

  • Stan Gap

    I want one of “mind the gap” the gap tshirts

  • Gloria

    I confess I’m already eyeing those “couples” rider shirts for my boyfriend and me.
    (Definitely keep the ringer style for those, Marc. Way too cute.)

  • Marc Lostracco

    The TTC should also sell those backlit acetate route maps that are above the doors. Then people could buy them instead of trying to steal them all the time. I’m sure they could unload a lot of “Mind The Gap” and “Please Don’t Rush The Doors” stickers since they already have them. I can see students putting those all over their school binders and skateboards.

  • shari k.

    david topping: good stuff!

  • Adam

    I would love a t-shirt with this on it:

  • oksana

    omigod i thought i was going to beable to order them on the bottom of the screen!!!! i want them ! i want them!

  • Marc Lostracco

    I think it would be really funny and appropriate to make “The Vomit Comet” in infant sizes.

  • sjfbarnett

    the icon of the woman holding the handloop in a woman’s cut shirt would be great. is a great place to set-up hand-made creations.
    maybe designs that reflect the cool subway buttons, like using the individual station tile designs?

  • jerrold

    Spadina’s special tiling would be cool:
    like this.

  • Steve

    Sigh indeed…
    I can’t believe the TTC actually renewed the contract with Legacy?
    I can just picture it, Legacy promises to open a new shop in Union Station! The TTC brass are wowed at the prospect and give no further thought to what will be sold in the shop. Contract renewed.
    When will the TTC get it’s collective head out of its ass? They are hemoragging ridership and they do not appear to be getting any closer to increasing their (pitifully small) government subsidy.
    One of the keys to changing this is marketing. Bring on the love Torontonians have of the system. Build on what’s there and the support from other sources will follow.
    Designs like these may seem like a small thing but they are just the sort of thing that can build a brand and it’s frustrating that the TTC leadership cannot see this.

  • andrew

    you’ve omitted a design i thought would be obvious, one that i made for myself a few years back: “penalty for misuse — fine or imprisonment”. while i’ve never run afoul of the ttc overlords, a couple of streetcar drivers have noticed it and laughed.

  • Marc Lostracco

    I did think of the “Fine or Imprisonment,” but I thought it was a little too negative or off-centre for the article (same with Vomit Comet, which I ended up posting). That idea would work particularly well on a pair of underwear or keychain.
    Steve: The contract with Legacy likely came about because they originally provided the cheapest bid when the TTC put the bid out for tender. The Commission knows they want that young, cool buyer and a set of popular merchandise, but they just don’t know how to identify what that audience wants.
    Legacy is a supplier of corporate-logoed swag just like any other company that brands pens, jackets, etc. for their employees, which is fine, but they’re not designers and they’re totally wrong for the TTC, in my opinion. Quality of the actual clothing aside (which doesn’t look too bad), the graphics are really ugly and there are too many products that people don’t want.
    Ideally, I think the best course of action would be to slash the range of products available and concentrate on only a few really good items. For example, I’d ony sell t-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, stickers, key fobs, baseball caps, toques, the Spacing buttons and those acetate route maps. No teddy bears, tote bags, radios, watches…
    I assume the primary buyers of the Legacy product are TTC employees, which would have more use for the stuff currently available. I can’t think of anyone else who’d want a “Fifty Years Yonge!” watch.

  • Marc Lostracco

    sjfbarnett: I think the Spacing button designs (with the tile design of each station) were originally considered for t-shirts but the sheer amount of them made the logistics a little too difficult. Not sure.

  • Gloria

    Marc, you’ve been BoingBoinged!

  • james

    i’d buy a couple, make them on good quality nicely fitting shirts and i don’t see why anyone woulnd’t want some

  • Brian

    I’d LOVE one of the minimalist streetcar black shirts! How about a high res TIFF so I can have a nice baggy XXL shirt made?

  • cichlisuite

    I would buy each and every one of these shirts!

  • Matthew Carrick

    The TTC might consider dropping Legacy and for probably 25% of that budget have the riders take
    on the job.

  • FreeFloat

    I love your shirts! Will you be selling them? If so, sign me up!!!
    Also, does the TTC Stuff store have an URL? I wanna see just how hideous the Legacy stuff truly is, and haven’t decided if it’s worth wandering around Union Stn to find the physical store.

  • Marc Lostracco

    FreeFloat: The Legacy Sportswear store is here. Be forewarned that the images of the swag are not only extremely low res, but many of the pictures aren’t of the actual described product (some of the keychains, for example) and many of them are just poor mockups of what they are supposed to look like. There are also some missing images, so don’t expect too much.

  • Amanda

    You HAVE to have these made!

  • LesCanard

    For a first pass those are very entertaining ideas. With a bit of fine tuning the whole line could be excellent (and auitable to a wide variety of tastes, outside of those who like pewter pins).
    It would be even more amusing to make a maternity sized ‘HOV’ shirt.

  • Liam Titcomb

    Out of curiousity, would anybody here consider taking on a job to ‘hip up’ the TTC swag if it was offered? Perhaps you Marc? The store in Union station would need a major makeover too but everyone here know that. It reminds me of one of those stores you walk by every once and a while and find yourself making an audible sound of disgust. Yuck!
    Haha! I’m so proud of Torontonians! The comments just keep going and going and going… When do we start the petition for better swag? Can we do that!?

  • Beej

    You know what might be a cool look? The “Push to Open” design on a buttoned work shirt, like mechanics and gas station attendees wear.
    Hell, I live in Edmonton, never been on the TO transit, and I don’t even wear work shirts. But I could totally see myself buying one of those. Thse designs are more ubiquitous than some of you may think. Rather than try to sell this idea to the TTC, why not create a generic clothing line focussed on transit designs and sell them to different cities?
    University bookstores would probably love these too.

  • brokenengine

    I am ashamed to admit I have no idea what HOV means. Anyone?

  • Marc Lostracco

    It’s “High Occupancy Vehicle.” You can see that chevron in HOV lanes. HOV lanes are mainly in Europe and the States, but we’ve been getting some (sections of Eglinton, for example).
    They’re dedicated lanes for buses, taxis, and cars with more than two people.

  • brokenengine

    Ah! Thanks! Shame alleviated!

  • jbelkin

    Great designs! how about

  • rek

    Cafepress is garbage.

  • Emery

    great work on the designs! i can’t even begin to express my frustration with the TTC over everything from its managementment down to things like this. this city has so much great potential with a lot of creativity, if only we had the leadership and vision to have it come to fruition.
    lemme know when they go on sale ;]

  • gee

    I LOVE these T-shirts!! TTC needs to get their head out their butts and recognize this talent.

  • Kevin

    Here’s a perhaps-TOO-obscure design to try: sheet music representing the notes D-Flat, B-Flat, G-Flat.
    Yes, that’s the ‘doors closing’ tones.

  • A.R.

    Please, please make these. I’ll buy any of ‘em. Except for the HOV one, but it’s not a front runner it seems. As long as they’re under $30 and made of high quality materials.

  • alison

    In case anyone’s counting -
    I would definitely buy the black streetcar&arrow one. I would probably buy the escalator one. I’d consider buying the walk left and move back ones.

  • Nick

    Marc, definitely do this. A friend and I tried approaching the TTC in 2002 with this sort of idea (inspired by marketing efforts of the Berlin transit system, the BVG, who sold more than 40000 pairs of underwear with saucy double entendre station names, a la your entry 67 above). Our efforts were documented by Dale Duncan in the Transit issue of Spacing (#6), see Our hope was to use the money raised by such merchandise sales to fund a web-based route planner for the TTC and/or improve their crappy website with a hundred blinking animations and zero content. Our proposal ended up in “procurement” and then it was clear why: the exclusive contract with Legacy (Dale interviewed Legacy’s president for the article too, and some of his comments are astonishing). Which was unbelievably renewed in August for another 5 years. Sigh. It is awesome to see the support that your shirt designs have garnered and I would definitely buy!

  • Natalie

    I’m a little late on the bandwagon, but I wanted to say that I think these are brilliant. I’d definitely buy at least one girl-sized one, probably more since I can’t decide which design I like best.

  • Carly

    “Also — the EASTBOUND one. (For the subway font alone!)”
    I wholeheartedly agree. Does anyone know the name of that font? I’m in love with it.

  • Gloria

    Hey Carly:
    Subway font

  • matt

    these are brilliant. howard moscoe, take note! you need not don a silly hat anymore.

  • Carly

    Gloria: thanks so much for the response, I’m psyched to know what the font is. The only problem is that the link isn’t linked to anything:)

  • Gloria

    Dangit! Sorry, Carly. Here’s the URL:
    I am inept.

  • Carly

    Yay! Thanks Gloria!

  • Jer

    Put me down for ‘You’re not invisible shirt’.

  • Josh

    i would without a doubt buy the one “showcased” at the very top of the page, the one with the streetcar shown at an angle. if possible could i get a large image of it?

  • josh

    … stupid internet froze while sending and wasn’t done typing….. wanted to use that image as a new desktop background. that’s how much i like it :)

  • Shelley Johnston

    Wow! Those are awesome I would totally buy a couple of those and even gift some to friends. You should make them! They’re fantastic!

  • David

    I really like these shirts! Great work!
    Where can I buy/order them?

  • Ruh

    have you tried that might work for you!

  • http://2222 yeon

    I just love them so much!!! These are really great ideas and i strongly want to get one of them!!!

  • A.R.

    I still want one!

  • D.

    I would buy the black one with the streetcar in a a heartbeat!!!!! Can’t somebody make these?

  • AR

    I still want one!!

  • guest

    Well I sure don’t recall seeing THESE designs on the Legacy website when this swag article was first posted. You’d think someone over at Legacy caught wind and decided to do some “rework” .. *rolls eyes*
    ps. did i mention that their website looks utterly horrible.. you’d almost think they designed the TTC one too!

  • Marc Lostracco

    Yeah, no kidding. They totally ripped me off. I saw them in the Union Station store and my jaw dropped.
    It’s not that the idea of using signage is particularly unique, but considering what existed before and the reaction to our article, there’s no denying those new designs are a result of it.
    But check out their rip-offs of the Spacing buttons. Also an epic fail, and tragically inferior to the originals. Sigh.
    I’m sure Legacy is fine as a corporate swag company, but they are not graphic designers and the TTC doesn’t care enough to properly vet what they sell—which they barely make a cent off of, by the way. What a mess that deal was.

  • satoshi

    These are great designs. I’ve been disappointed with the design of TTC goods available at Union station. If somebody else is going to print I will buy a several for myself, my wife and my kids. I am also wondering if there are any TTC miniture stree cars and subways for kids. My son, 2 year old, loves TTC so much. I’m sure that it’s not only me who was looking for such stuff for own kids.

  • deepsaila

    I just found this blog article today. Wow, these T-shirts are SOO fantastic! It is shocking that the TTC ripped them off and added the huge logo to them. If they had left the logo off, they’d be much better off.
    I do hope that at some point you can find a way to print the awesome ones here. It looks like you’ll have a big market, by the looks of all the comments here.
    I still want one!!!

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  • Sean

    I’d go for Mind The Gap, Please Do Not Block Doorway, Danforth Line or TTC Subway logo sign.