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TTC Apparel: Uglier Than...

Today, Toronto's infamously boneheaded TTC Commissioner, Howard Moscoe, was on hand to proudly unveil the new TTC Merch shop in Union Station.

When I heard the news originally, I was excited to hear about it. Finally, the TTC marketing itself in to tourists and the general public. What potential! Other transit commissions have done this well and with great success.

Perhaps I would finally have an opportunity to pluck my Spacing subway button from my NYC A-Train t-shirt and place it on something more appropriate.

Then I watched some news footage of the merch that surrounded Mr. Moscoe and was swept by sadness. What a total failure. What a missed opportunity. What ugly, boring, bland and painfully unfashionable gear.

The shirts, pins, etc, produced for the TTC store look more like corporate giveaways than something anyone would want to purchase. Boring logo shirts with a the motto-of-sorts, "Toronto's Underground."

Ok, so they're obviously trying to focus on the "underground" (ie. subway), so where is anything subway related? The boring old TTC logo/banner is just embroidered or stamped on anything and everything out of a marketer's catalogue.

The whole thing looks like a project that got dumped on someone's desk, they called up a clothing company, ordered some shirts. When I was on student council in high school we ordered the same sort of merchandise to make school clothing.

Now the storefront itself, is pretty, but the shop clerk will forget how to use the register by the time they sell an item. Oh, and you have to pay a fare to get to the store.

If you're going to do something, do it right. Understandably, people at the TTC are not in the business of doing this sort of stuff... what they do, is run transit. So with that knowledge, why is it they could find one of many local genius marketing companies to handle this? Any volunteers?

And lastly, (really, I mean it) where are the streetcars? Like San Fran, tourists see trolleys and they love 'em... so market the streetcar for the love of tracks... it's our local specialty!

Update: Good article at Eye Weekly with more lovely details.


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