Blue Q

So well-drawn, so accurate, shitty but sophisticated, as if Picasso did it during lunch, on a paper napkin, with a felt tip.

If you’ve spent much time in novelty shops, you’ve seen Blue Q’s “life-improving, joy-bringing products.” You know, those socks, aprons, oven mitts, and so on that just get you. We’d seen them. In fact, our very own Tim Gough sent Blue Q a postcard to get on their radar ten years ago. Well, an opportunity finally came around in the form of men’s socks.

Novelty socks are hard work. What may seem like flippant, snarky, one-off phrases are actually artisanal hand-crafted word-and-picture masterpieces. These socks go through a rigorous editing and refining process usually reserved for loftier trades, like Japanese woodworking or Ukrainian egg painting. But if anyone was up for the challenge, it was Tim—doodler extraordinaire and frequent wearer of socks.


Once you’ve spent a conference call meticulously analyzing crude drawings of hands, pairing them with cultural commentary on modern society whittled down into a few choice words asking with the utmost sincerity, “Is this funny,” you’ll never look at novelty socks the same way.

People wore socks, and their feet were happy. Those sporting “coolest guy on the conference call” recovered 70% more quickly after talking while muted. Grumpy old men were 30% less grumpy (but didn’t show it so as to keep up appearances). And sorry, but your team still sucks.

If their products aren’t enough to make you love them, Blue Q are a wacky, collaborative bunch who are a delight to partner with. Oh, and 1% of all sock sales goes to Doctors Without Borders.


Illustration: Tim Gough/Dirty Hands Studio LLC