Property Tags

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Parking Tickets, Permits and Other Hacker Space Property Tags

Written by Christopher Odegard, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. on 9 October 2011.

Modified by Chad Elish, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A on 3 December 2013

This system of property tags was developed in August 2011 by members at the Twin Cities Maker Hack Factory maker space in Minneapolis, Minnesota ( and modified in December 2013 by HackPittsburgh ( The intended goal of this system is to ensure a clean and organized environment for all, while also helping to ensure the integrity and success of individual and group projects in the shared space. Some of the members of TC Maker were inspired by discussions about other hacker spaces in the upper midwest during a maker fair at the i3 facility in Detroit, Michigan. A similar permit/ticket system had been implemented by another facility, and then expanded upon for use at the Hack Factory in Minneapolis and now HackPittsburgh.

This "read me" document is intended to accompany a collection of resource files to enable others to adapt the property tag system being developed at HackPittsburgh for their own purposes. This material should be seen as an open source project, and while there is not currently a permanent online repository for this material, nor a forum for sharing of discussion, the members of Twin Cities Maker and HackPittsburgh are eager to learn how this material is adapted and/or improved for use in other venues. The current property tag facilitator, and creator of this and the accompanying documentation, is Hack Factory Wood Department Manager Christopher Odegard ( Connect with Chris via email or using the Google+ social networking service, and share your inspirations and improvements. If enough interest is demonstrated, Chris may facilitate some sort of online forum or repository for additional resources and discussion.

Council at the HackPittsburgh

Some of the tickets created make reference to “Council”. It is important to point out that HackPittsburgh is an egalitarian community, driven primarily by consensus and the principle of "do-ocracy" (If you want something done, do it, but remember to be excellent to each other when doing so.). In addition to an elected Council—empowered to collect and allocate funds, make general policy, negotiate leases, and the like.

The implementation and enforcement of these property tags is the responsibility of all members, although HackPittsburgh Council have accepted the responsibility to provide guidance in the appropriate use and enforcement of these tags.

The Electronic Resources

Accompanying this "read me" file are a number of electronic resources to facilitate the creation of an identical or similar system in other shops. The electronic resources were created on the Macintosh OS version of Adobe Illustrator from Adobe's CS5 Creative Suite.

One set of the five available files are editable Adobe Illustrator EPS files, one for each of the tickets currently in use at the HackPittsburgh. Each document is one-quarter of a letter-sized page (4.25 inches by 5.5 inches with a 0.25-inch margin). These were created using the Franklin Gothic family of fonts, and the text remains fully editable.

A second set of files are editable Adobe Illustrator PDF files, one for each of the tickets in use at the TC Maker Hack Factory. Each document is a full letter-sized page (8.25 inches by 11.0 inches) with four copies of the ticket included, as well as a small target "x" where a hole-punch is intended.


The intended implementation, rationale, and text content for each of these various property tags is included in detail below. References specific to HackPittsburgh have been retained here. Adoption of these tickets for use elsewhere should obviously include replacement text for these references.

For implementation in the space, these tickets were printed on Wausau Astrobrights® 24-pound assorted, neon-colored paper. This was purchased in a 500-sheet variety pack at a local office supply retailer for less than $13.00 U.S. This ream includes 100 sheets for each of five bright colors (red, orange, yellow, green and blue). The material was printed single-sided, four up on one eight-and-a-half-by-eleven sheet, trimmed into quarters, and then a quater-inch hole was drilled near the top center to facilitate hanging in the space. This resulted in 400 copies of each ticket. Affixing them to material in the space is done in a variety of methods, including tape, zip-tie or twist-tie.

Intellectual Rights to this Material

The material supplied here, both art and text content, was created in September 2011 by Christopher Odegard for use by Twin Cities Maker at their Hack Factory facility. It was then modified in December 2013 by Chad Elish for use by HackPittsburgh. This material is protected by a copyleft policy that stipulates this material may be used by other organizations or individuals only when acknowledgement for the source of the material is given, and that it must be implemented free of charge, with no direct financial profit made from its use. The names "Twin Cities Maker" & “HackPittsburgh”, "TC Maker" & “HackPGH”, "Hack Factory" and the TC Maker and HackPittsburgh logo remain the intellectual property of Twin Cities Maker, 3119 East 26th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55406 and HackPittsburgh, 1926 5th Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15219.

The Property Tag System

Following is an explanation of the five tags, how each has been implemented at HackPittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as the text for each tag (edited here to read generically for use in any communal work space).

Parking Ticket

This red tag should be placed on any item that needs to be removed from the space for a variety of reasons. This tag may be issued by any member of the shared workspace if the material is obstructing a walkway or other public space, obstructing common work areas or work surfaces, or is otherwise stored in a manner that is dangerous to the material or individuals passing by. The tag includes space for a brief description of the material in question, a series of check boxes to indicate why the ticket was issued, the name of the individual issuing the ticket, and the date and time of issue. Material so ticketed may remain in the space for another two weeks, at which time the material will be disposed of responsibly if it is not claimed by another member. The issuer, and/or a Council Member, accepts the obligation to make a good-faith effort to contact the person responsible for the material (if known) to let them know their material should be retrieved or marked with a valid parking permit.

Parking Ticket

( ) on the floor and/or obstructing a walkway

( ) on a work surface after owner appears to have left

( ) leaning and/or piled up by storage, wall, or work area

( ) no parking permit or sign indicating ownership

Description of Property __________

If, after 14 days from the time and date below, the property described has not been stored or removed from the space, the property will be considered abandoned and disposed of accordingly.

I, the finder who is undersigned, warrant that I have made a goodwill effort to contact the owner, if known, about their unsafely or improperly stored property.

Finder's Name __________

Time & Date __________

Signature __________

This property is illegally parked!

Parking Permit

This green tag should be placed on any item, project or collection of supplies that constitutes or is intended for a personal or group project. This is a means of identifying the material tagged as yours and what you intend to do with it. The tag includes a brief description of the material covered, an optional space to include the intent for its use, the name and contact information of the individual responsible for the material, as well as the date the permit was issued. There also is set of check boxes at the bottom to indicate whether the material is fragile or in a critical phase of assembly, to suggest it should be moved only by the individual responsible. This tag can be issued by any member, but the individual responsible for the material as well as Council should be notified immediately of the date of issue so they can honor the 30-day term of the permit. Permits may be renewed after 30 days, but this can be overruled in consultation with Council if the material takes up space needed for other projects.

Parking Permit

Description of Property __________

Intended Purpose (it's okay to say "to be determined") __________

I, the undersigned, am responsible for this property, and warrant that I will make a goodwill effort to store it safely for the duration of its time in the space. I hereby acknowledge that if, after 30 days from the time and date below, I have not renewed this parking permit, the property may be considered abandoned and will be disposed of or claimed by another member.

Owner's Name __________

Contact (include phone or email here) __________

Time & Date __________

Signature __________

( ) Please do not touch! This is fragile or there is a critical phase in process.

( ) If necessary, feel free to carefully move this to a more secure, nearby location

Member-Claimed Property

Shop Management Consent __________

Borked or Broken

This orange tag should be placed on any material that does not fully function as intended by design. This tag should be issued by any member when a problem is identified. The tag includes space for a brief description of the material, and also for what appears to be wrong with it. Following that is space for the name of the finder of the problem, and the time and date is was discovered. The final items do not need to be filled out by the finder of the problem, unless they have a good idea as to what needs to be done to repair the property. There also are two check boxes; please fill these out with care. The first indicates that certain functions of the material are not working, but that others may be used with care. The second check box indicates that any use of this material could result in personal injury, or irreparable damage to the material in question. These tickets will be evaluated, with additional information added to them by Council, or any member with the knowledge and time to perform or arrange for the necessary repairs. If material is deemed irreparable, it should be tagged with a Parking Ticket.

Borked or Broken

Description of Property __________

This property does not seem to function the way it is intended, and needs repair.

What appears to be wrong __________

Finder's Name __________

Contact (include phone or email here) __________

Time & Date __________

Plan of Action for Repair (leave this area blank if the finder does not know how to repair this property) __________

( ) Certain functions are not working. Read this and use with care!


Project Invitation

This yellow tag may be placed on material of any kind, or placed in a place of prominence in the space. The intent for this tag is to communicate your desire to get information, material or assistance with an ongoing project from other members. The tag includes a brief description of the intended or ongoing project, a place to include what is being sought, the project initiator's name and contact information, and a series of check boxes to indicate whether interested parties should contact the project initiator before taking any action on the project. This tag is intended to be an adjunct to electronic forms of communication and events in the space to further facilitate communication and coordination between members.

Project Invitation

Description of Project __________

I am looking for assistance and/or advice to complete a project, and welcome input and/or an accomplice.

What is being sought __________

Project Initiator's Name __________

Contact (include phone or email here) __________

Time & Date __________

Signature __________

( ) Please contact me with your input, using the contact information above

( ) This is an open project, please go ahead and start working on it

( ) Your assistance is welcome, please contact me before starting work on this

Up For Grabs

This blue tag may be placed on any material that is being donated by a member. This should be used only on material that is genuinely useful and in fairly good shape. This tag is not intended as an invitation to bring in old junk from a member's garage, but rather a way to leave something cool or useful for anyone to adopt, improve, take apart, or otherwise utilize. There are “check all that apply” boxes to indicate if the donator has a preference as to whether the donated material is to be used for a group project, an individual project, or to improve the common space. This is intended as a suggestion only, as any material donated in this manner will be truly up for grabs. Depending on the material, including size, weight, and general utility, Council may choose to responsibly discard a donated item after a reasonable period of time. If you wish to claim an “up for grabs” items, remove the blue tag, and replace it with a valid, green Parking Permit, take the material away from the space, or place it in a container identified as your personal storage.

Up for Grabs

Description of Property __________

This property has been contributed as a common resource, and it may be claimed by another member. I confirm that this is not unwanted junk from my garage, but is something that might be useful in some way.

Name of Contributor __________

Time & Date __________

I would prefer this donated property be used for (check all that apply)

( ) Personal projects

( ) Group of communal projects

( ) Any project to improve the space for the benefit of all members

( ) Anything you darned-well-please, including taking it home

If you wish to claim this property, please replace this tag with a valid parking ticket that includes your name and contact information.

--Chad (talk) 04:03, 3 December 2013 (EST)