effiew wrote:Why? I'm not trying to be obnoxious, it's an earnest question.
From a capitalistic view-point it makes sense to create/print an image that will have broad appeal because more people will vote for/buy it.
From an artistic standpoint, it can be rewarding to add your own style and voice to familiar, iconic imagery. It's the same reason really good songs have so many covers.
I'm not saying that originality shouldn't be encouraged, but if something has been done before I can't see why it would be bad to do it again as long as the new one is different enough to stand alone.
OK, but in order for printing a shirt design to be profitable, Woot has to print them in bulk. Say there are three phoenix designs that get voted to the top at one time. Unfortunately, when it comes to buying, not everyone who voted is going to buy the shirt. In fact, all 700 of the people who voted for these three phoenix designs all decide to buy different shirts, so about 200 of each design gets sold, when Woot printed, at minimum, 500 shirts. So now they have 300 left over of each shirt, and no buyers on the horizon.
If, instead, they print one phoenix design, everyone who's interested in the phoenix design buys that one shirt-- and all 500 or so prints sell out.
Remember that high votes don't always translate into high sales. Keep on eye on the reckoning page, and sometimes you'll see designs that were voted first one week vanish the next from poor sales, while designs that came in third stick around for weeks and weeks. Furthermore, Woot is trying to appeal to people who don't vote in derbies as well-- people who presumably look at the phoenix shirt and say, "It's nice and all, but I bought a phoenix shirt the last time they printed one, and I'm not trying to earn the office nickname of Phoenix-Boy, so I think I won't buy this one,".