Proposed redesign of Ticketmaster's ugly and confusing tickets


C’maaaahn, guy, this is weak sauce. Don’t just redesign a ticket. Think big. Redesign the ticket, redesign the system by which they are delivered, form a company, develop the idea, promote it and go head to head with TicketMaster. Who says they’re your master? THEY DO. So get your head out of your butt and take them down! BECOME THE MASTER.


The design of the ticket harkens way back to the seventies at least, when they were printed on primitive line printers. They have added some clutter since then.

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Any design that doesn’t fit within the current dimensions of the printer is a non-starter. There are tens of thousands of those machines and they’re still around for a reason: they’re reliable. There’s no way they’re going to be replaced for the sake of ushers.

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In college I worked as EVENT STAFF (yellow jacket, earplugs, tiny pen light, mime) on the floor of many concerts, and never really suffered with the formatting of the tickets as compared to the pre-show formatting of the patrons.

TicketMaster is not going to redesign anything

They’re not going to redesign the service because they enjoy charging way to much to do way too little.

They already own the printers for storefront printing - they’re paid for and installed and their people are trained on how to reload, unjam and otherwise deal with them.

Finally, most concertgoers purchase online and print their own “tickets” (really just a magic number barcode) on laser or inkjet printers and so the size / folding and anti-counterfeit features are also not going to happen either. The only real design work that went into the print-your-own tickets is that they print the barcode a second time, rotated 90 degrees, so if your printer has streaking problems, the issue is not likely to interfere along a second axis.



meh. I don’t find the ticket to be hard to read, even when you post it sideways. It’s not pretty, but it actually has more useful information on it than the redesigned one, the address of the venue for example.

Aren’t printed tickets 95% obsolete today, anyway? I don’t go to many/any TicketMastered events, but almost every ticketed event I go to nowadays it’s a print-your-own event where they’re just scanning in the code that I’ve printed out. Don’t the cool kids have their tickets on their smartphones (I’m not a cool kid, I wouldn’t know)?

< (yellow jacket, earplugs, tiny pen light, mime)

Mime? Did you show them to their seats while fighting the wind?


True, e-tickets are a much bigger deal, but the design of those is actually much easier to read than these. I still get mine at a box office because I don’t want to go TM any more money than I have to. The point stands: there are still thousands of ticket printers that aren’t going to be changed to print a new ticket design…ESPECIALLY considering the declining use of hard copy paper tickets.

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I was essentially the gatekeeper to a forward section of floor seating.

It’s just really loud and you’re trying to get patrons to their seats as efficiently as possible. By the time they make it to the floor they’ve already shown their ticket a couple times and are primed to cooperate.

Hands up, palms out = STOP
Penlight on, bouncing into open hand, palm up = TICKET PLEASE
Pointing, fingers aligned (never just one finger extended) = GO THAT WAY
Full body tackle = EJECTION (see pre-show formatting)


I’m not sure it’s an issue: should be the same width. The question is whether the cut distance is adjustable, which I think it might be.

The cut distance is adjustable - look at the back of any such output of a “ticket spitter” (parking or event ticket, in-store coupon kiosk, airport luggage tag barcode printer) and you will note a black rectangle on the back side of the output. Even though the printer has a good idea of how much material to pay out, over time, due to rounding error and roller friction/ slippage, the cut-off point would wander. This black rectangle is an optical clue to the cutoff point.

Also limiting is the amount of memory in the printer (not really much of an issue in recent times) which dictates the maximum dimensional area that can be rasterized for printing.

Depends on the venue, but we’re definitely pushing it. Of course our audience skews older, but we’re getting a modest amount of tickets out that way now. Print at home has two issues:

  1. It’s easier to make copies of the tickets. This doesn’t necessarily mean you get fooled, you’re checking tickets: but it does mean you wind up with more hassles with angry patrons who don’t understand why the tickets they bought on craigslist won’t get them in.

  2. You have to be able to scan the tickets, which generally means you need scanners connected to your server. Some scanning software can go offline, storing the expected ticket numbers ahead of time, but then each scanner will only catch duplicates that come past itself, not past other scanners, and the scanners won’t properly register newly sold or reprinted tickets. Ticket scanning itself is a bit tricky: maintaining a reliable connection with massive throngs (most of whom are now carrying noisy internet devices of their own trying to jump on your network) is challenging, and the scanning is inherently slower than tearing tickets (although not as much slower as our ticket takers like to make out).

Pointless everything is going ticketless.

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The best part of the redesign is how they hide the 25% surcharge that Ticketmaster charges.
But don’t worry, it’s still in there, and it’s still obscene.


For Ticketmaster to redesign their tickets, they would first need to give a flying fuck about their customers. LOL - good luck with that.


A blog post about Ticketmaster’s graphic design choices? Seriously? That’s like a blog post about Satan’s ugly bunny slippers or how the olive green in Hitler’s new car clashes with his uniform.


Ticketmaster is effectively a monopoly for the events these tickets are for. The only change they’re inclined to make is to increase their service fees again, just because they can.

My favorite part is when you select the option to print out the ticket on your own paper using your own ink. Then its a full 8.5x11 thing full of ads and a note saying that all of the ads must be present for the ticket to be valid, and of course the guys at the door only care about the tiny barcode. Oh, and they charge you $5 for the privledge of using your own paper and ink, what generosity!

I’ve stopped going to shows at Ticketmaster (and related company) venues because I’m so disgusted with them. If there isn’t a box office I can buy the tickets from directly (without the 30% surcharge + $15 in mandatory fees) I won’t go. This unfortunatly removes almost every local venue except the one run by the park service.


I’m with you. I will go to a great deal of trouble to avoid handing Ticketmaster any of my money. I have no problem with a true fee for value added service. But I cannot accept that Ticketmaster provides a service commensurate with their charges.

Heaven forbid if you ever try to get a refund, or have a problem. Customer service is definitely NOT a priority with them. The customer is only a necessary nuisance.

It’s true, the dimensions of the ticket have to remain consistent… In any case, I’ve spent time in line at airports reimagining my plane ticket and just how much better it could be designed…