The great conference TShirt is one that, if you have to explain what it means to someone who wasn’t there, takes 30 minutes, and leaves both of you feeling like it wasn’t worth the effort.
My canonical example of this is the shirt from the first YAPC I attended. It proclaims:
Laziness, Impatience, Hubris
Pick Any Three
This has embedded in it at least 5 inside jokes/references. Or 6, depending on how you count.
Most conferences I go to try to make shirts that live up to this level of cleverness.
A good bar is like good software: Open
Trillions and Trillions Served
But I don’t think folks often live up to the YAPC shirt.
I was thinking about this while doing laundry and I came across the “hAPI hAPI joy joy” shirt from the Yahoo booth at OSCon.