The Merch Making Paradox

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It’s time to talk merch! But first, coming from Armenia, Matt talks about hearing Kim Kardashian reveal her dream of becoming a reality TV star at… 11 years old.

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We congratulate all the listeners of The Create Unknown on our 1st birthday! And speaking of birthdays, the Baby Gang’s Scoop McGoop has been born and sent to California — and his origin story will be the first one to be posted publicly on Patreon.

Then it’s merch time, as Kevin goes into serious detail about the process of creating his Vsauce2 fashion line: Woven Math.

Kevin explains how he wanted to elevate his designs to nail an amazing aesthetic that communicated the themes of his math-based videos. Right now, math shirts are about jokes and puns, and that’s a problem.

Matt presses Kevin for details about hooking up with Represent in the first place and then the planning process… because it’s more than just t-shirts. Kevin talks about his artistic inspirations and how he incorporated decades of art appreciation — including 1970’s sci-fi and fantasy — into his modern shirt design of Achilles vs. The Tortoise.

Is it possible to make something like math cool? And cool enough that someone wants to wear it? It’s tough, Kevin says, but totally possible, and there are broad lessons for how creators can come up with a vision so their merch is standalone awesome.

Then it’s pizza time, as Kevin talks about a simpler, more chic approach to depicting The Pizza Theorem. His goal is to make a shirt that’s the first thing you want to pull out to wear every morning… and that required a sacrifice on Kevin’s end, as he absorbed the increased cost of the nicest shirt possible rather than pass the cost down to the community.

Garment quality and ink quality are just two of the dozens of details that go into making merch.

Oh, and you’re probably never getting a Vsauce2 Premium Snapchat.

Check out the Aftershow on Patreon in which Matt and Kevin answer viewers’ questions, from Kevin’s weirdest early memory about waffles (?!?), how Maura is a sorceress with facial massage, implanting false memories, congratulations to Spencer, and the secret strategic details of networking. And beef tartar, which Matt hopes we never, ever discuss again.

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