Ardupilot Swag Shop [Closed]

Topic: User Swag Shop for Ardupilot project

Proposal type: Hardware [ ] , Software [ ] , Other [ X] : User Swag Sales___________

Description: Create Autonomous Swag Shop

Planned amount $$ (USD):80

Estimated time for completion: 2 Hours

Time to get this done. A swag shop for end user purchase. Money in the bank for the Ardupilot project and positive marketing with users all over the world displaying the Ardupilot logo.

Self service swag shop from one of many vendors that do logo product marketing like Amazon and Vistaprint. Build a product line and then manufacture, package and ship for you.


Here are quick samples. If you don’t like the artwork fine suggest other but this is a no-brainer benefit for Ardupilot. I created this shop in about an hour.


Thanks for your proposal, the funding committee is looking at it.
We will reach you back when we will have the decision !

The money is inconsequential. The real proposal is to take advantage of some “Print-on-demand” swag vendor that can make Ardupliot swag, sold direct to the user and Ardupilot just gets a check every month. The $80 is what Vistaprint wants for a “retailer” reseller who gets 40% margin on everything sold. But some vendors have no fees at all.

It is a source of income that may not be large but is low setup and maintenance.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the proposal! The funding committee (the alias Funding_Team can be used here on this forum) have approved this.

What we would like to do with the funds, prior to implementation is to:

  • Evaluate a few different service provider options (like the ones you mentioned in this thread):

This could be done with a simple spreadsheet outlining costs, pros and cons of each.

  • Submit a proposal to the Ardupilot dev team for an approval vote by the whole team. This proposal would include, besides the options mentioned above, designs agreed upon by the marketing team. (we are in the process of consolidating and evaluating logos)

We’ve set a target date of first week of January for completing both tasks. Do you think this would be possible, and you could work with us to move forward?

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I would be happy to do the comparison. I am concerned that with this up for a few days there are no comments indicating any interest with nearly a 100 views. So maybe there is no demand? Maybe the designs are just not interesting. It would be good to present the marketing teams designs and see if there is any better response.

I’ll get the comparison done for you.

I think you said the main point: This is essentially an effortless effort, but only can lead to same income. I think it is an excellent idea, and its great to see it being taken up. :+1:

At any time new designs can be put into the shop, so it’s hard to make any mistakes.

BTW: the daughter of a friend of mine has put up such a thing for here drawings, and she makes enough money to help finance her studies

Yes that is the advantage. “Print-on-demand” is a valuable tool for small operations. I have published a number of books via print-on-demand and it allows it to be possible without a big investment or a garage full of unsold books.

You can have a variety of designs available because there is no stock. If you don’t have to take and fulfill orders and just collect checks, even if small, it would probably be a benefit just for getting the branding out on the street.

Well I’ll see what the requirements are for the various operations that produce swag on demand and report back.

Thanks, very nice of you.

A note for the marketing committee, those working on the Logo. I got my samples back from Vistaprint. I have been assuming that the Ardupilot logo would be on a black background, like on the home page. Mission Planner has the Green on Black theme. It seems to be the most common combination for the brand of Ardupilot.

With Vistaprint, and I am sure others will have the same requirement, you need to supply camera ready artwork. There is no clear background to the logo art. So if you want to put the Ardupilot logo on a black hoodie you need to have the logo a rectangle with a black background and the graphic art any color you want.

The problem with my samples is that the “d-max”, a photography term relating to the “blackness” of black, is different for the logo background and the fabric of the hoodie. So instead of the Ardupilot graphics looking like they alone are applied to the fabric, the black background shows up as a rectangle of a different shade of black or dark grey.

On the ceramic mug the black is darker and matches the handle of the cup but on all the fabric based sample or the mouse pad it looks bad to not have the fabric and the logo background match or in otherwords disappear into the fabric.

So just a note that you might want to take this issue into account when you decide on the colors of the logo and their background. I suspect this could be a problem with any colors chosen though. You can actually see it in the Vistaprint mockup of the mousepad above.

PS>> Other people I have shown it too recognize the problem but don’t thing it is a show stopper. In fact it may be a lesser problem with black rather than trying to match a shade of green or red etc where you have to match the color not just the intensity.



I want a coffee mug, where do I throw my money?

Thanks Mike for proposing and working on this and for the committee for considering it. I will be buying some swag when it is available.

Thanks MagicRub and Jake.

Every little bit of feedback is helpful. So Magic is interested in a Mug what item(s) are interesting Jake and what is a reasonable price for the item(s) that you would go for if this works out?

Mug for me as well. I think $10 - 12 for a mug is reasonable. I’d also buy a hat if it was black color. $15 for a hat? Have you thought about stickers/decals? Maybe a couple of different sizes. I’d slap those on everything I fly/drive!

Great feedback thanks Jake.

For those interested in swag it appears that for caps and mugs most all of the vendors don’t offer all black caps and mugs. I think they can’t print or don’t want to offer all black. So like the mug above you can get like a black brim but not all black, unless you go embroidery which is twice the price. I envisioned all black but the cup doesn’t look too bad to me but not sure about the caps. Deal breaker or not?

12 is fine for a mug. I would pay 15 too.

Just to document some of the background work. I was looking for a manufacturer that like a print on demand book seller would allow the creation of a Ardupilot store that users could buy products, they would be manufactured and shipped to the customer directly and Ardupilot would receive a check each month for the difference in the wholesale cost to manufacture and the retail price set by Ardupilot. Kinda a win win. No staff, no overhead, no capital investment.

I have looked at 10 or more manufacturers. My first was Vistaprint which offers a group like Ardupilot a 40% margin on their retail cost of products. They will produce and ship product directly to the end users but they can’t provide the web interface to collect payments from the end users.

The other manufacturers I looked at like Staples have programs to create the webstore and do exact what is needed but all required $50,000 yearly product sales.

James found Zazzle and Redbubble but Zazzle does not offer the organization a discount so the retail price must be built on Zazzles already high costs. Redbubble was too difficult to figure out their margins very touch me feel me artist oriented.

With Zazzle the retail price of something like a mug would have to be around $18 which seems too high for the average users to swallow. Same with TShirts ending up over $20.

Amazon has a program for just TShirts that might be worth it. Exactly what I was looking for but you must be invited to join. Fill out paperwork, including financial stuff and they let you know if you are invited.

There may be a vendor like Vistaprint with the ability to do the checkout too but I have not found them.

Also Ardupilot should consider a standard “tagline” for branding purposes. It should describe to the general public what Ardupliot is all about.


“The Professional Autopilot for the 21st Century”
“Most Advanced Civilian Autopilot”
“Autopilot Software for the 21st Century”
“Autopilot Software for the Drone Century”
“The Advanced and Professional Autopilot”
“The Autopilot for Pros”
“The Pro Autopilot”
“Professional Autonomous Vehicle Technology for everyone”

Update: The funding committee is placing proceeding with this proposal on hold pending a vote by the dev team related to this related proposal.

We will provide an update when new information is available.