A tip of the hat to Visual Comm guru Leslie Haines

Leslie Haines

Leslie Haines

Leslie Haines, associate professor of visual communication in the School of Journalism, has two hat designs for sale at 200 Target stores beginning in January 2014. Company MakerWear works directly with designers to develop a “maker marketplace.” The goal is to shorten the distance from designers to the end-user by democratizing and crowdsourcing apparel and accessories designs.

For the company’s initial test program at Target, it sourced hat designs targeted to a young male audience via direct email solicitation and across multiple online crowdsourcing platforms including 99Designs.com, LogoTournament and more. For the first round of designs, more than 1,000 people on four continents submitted. These were voted on by people via MakerWear’s social outreach on Facebook and Twitter. Then, more than 500 different designs were submitted to a Target buying team of four people for final selection. Two of the 12 final hats in the first product launch were designed by Professor Haines. Each hat will come with a tag that has a bio of its designer. Haines’ designs target beard lovers and Green Party fans. MakerWear hopes to expand into other product designs in the coming year. TLE

Beards hat


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