When Beetlejuice was released in 1988, initial reviews from some film critics took aim at how “weird” the movie was.

But movie-goers didn’t agree. Sure, it may have been “weird” for the time, but it’s not very weird at all by today’s standards. In fact, the positive audience reaction to the strangeness of Beetlejuice inspired the movie industry to make much stranger films over the coming years.

So despite being panned by some as “too weird,” Beetlejuice went on to become a classic. And it not only affirmed audience appetites for weird content, it raised the bar for bizarre movies to follow.

Are YOU raising the bar with your off-the-wall weird designs? If not, you’re missing a big opportunity and not learning from this important lesson from Beetlejuice.

Movie-goers tend to complain when the same movies or concepts are made and re-made over and over. They prefer new stories, fresh adventures, and content that pushes the creative boundaries of their imagination. Even movie promotional posters are getting “weirder” in response to audiences demanding to see things that they’ve never seen before.

What’s true of movies is also true of tshirts.

Do NOT be afraid to get weird with your tshirt ideas. On the whole, merch makers are far too logical and linear with the vast majority of their designs. Always carve out a section of your portfolio to include peculiar and odd designs that look weird, sound weird, or present weird concepts that will immediately strike niche audiences as something fresh and creatively fierce.

If you’re not yet comfortable with being “weird,” there’s no better time than now to leave your comfort zone and embrace this pertinent and surprisingly profitable approach.

Photo / Copyright © Warner Bros.