Brand Story – Casper Ghosts Part 13

About two weeks later we received these New Era stitchouts, and the benday effect came out just as we imagined. As you can see, some of the threads jump from dot to dot, although because we were trying something out of the box, the team was happy with it.

Just when we thought we’d made it through the fire, we got a call from New Era. The lineman on the embroidery machine explained that the glow-in-the-dark thread wasn’t strong enough to pull over the foam. The thread was breaking in an average of 93 places – way too high. Normally, the machine would go back and patch the broken threads, but going back 93 times was way too much…and too risky for fragile thread.

New Era managed to get these few “perfect” stitchouts to us, but recommended we don’t raise any glow-in-the-dark thread.

Re-Branding the Cincinnati Reds Part 8

Another good question from Johnny…

“Have you ever produced a logo font where, afterwards, the client asks for various other designs that require you to design a whole alphabet/numbers in that new font style?”

We offer font families that are based on the team’s wordmarks. We’ve done them for the Reds, the Angels, and I think one more team, maybe the Diamondbacks, I can’t remember. But those were all based on texts that were finalized. We always create multiple workmark options. Options that make it to the very end of the project and then get killed. Just part of the process.

More options… In wishbone A we really wanted to retool the “C” but they didn’t go for it. You’ll see more attempts at that. This is one of those options. The two scripts are attempts at merging the wishbone into a script. Lettering A is more successful. But C does have a clunky hand drawn quality to it that could have aged the identity nicely. We’re always struggling with that, how do you make it look great as a design without being too designy. Todd Radom is so great at that.

Brand Story – Casper Ghosts Part 12

Before we sent the final artwork off to New Era for stitchouts, we added the hidden glow-in-the-dark ‘G’ and marked the raised (3D) sections of the logo (seen in red).

If you’re not familiar with the “3D” process, New Era embroiders all flat embroidery first. Next, folks on the assembly line stop the machines and place a thin foam square on top. The machines are then fired back up, and the needles embroider back and forth over the foam. The foam is trapped inside this thread cocoon, thus creating the 3D effect. The excess foam is cut away by the needle. If you take a hobby knife to a Yankees cap, and carefully break the thread, you can pull the foam piece right out!

Re-Branding the Cincinnati Reds Part 7

Johnny Griswold asked this in Part 6…

“Now, will you guys illustrate that text from scratch or is there a typeface that you modify to get the final look you want? I’d love to know more about how you go about designing wordmarks or type choices/modifications. Typography is such an art in itself!”

Great question Johnny! Typography is an art unto itself. I took two semesters of it in school and I still feel like I don’t know much about it. We always prefer to create from scratch, and we’ll always start off that way in pencil. But if it’s clear that they don’t like our initial direction then we’ll explore a broader sampling of fonts that already exists. In the end we will never use a font unaltered, it has to be customized. Our philosophy is that we’re here to make our partner’s vision a reality and to make them really successful. We’d never fight with a partner over a direction that they want to go. We make recommendations and offer guidance, but we have to check our egos at the door. If they wanted to use Arial, we’d figure out a way to make it work. Our partners always take us to more interesting places than we’d go on your own anyways, look at the Casper Ghosts. We would never have dreamed that we’d have ended up where we did with that project and we’re really proud of it!

This was the next family of sketches. With the Reds, the font was made from scratch which is always fun. Like I said in Part 6, our mantra was modern retro. The striping concept again (A), old english with with a modern rounded touch(B), and a rethinking of the script from the research(D).

Brand Story – Casper Ghosts Part 11

Here are the final two choices for the benday dot logos. We marked New Era’s minimum dot size in the upper right hand corners. The ghost on the left was too clunky, so we tried our luck on pushing New Era’s 3mm rule with slightly smaller dots (right).

Andrew Crum Wins Our Cap Story Contest

Andrew Crum of Portland Oregon, by way of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is our winner!

It was a really difficult decision. We had an insane amount of entries and people told some great stories. Ryan Martin wrote about going to the Blue Jay game with his Grandfather. Michael Elves told us about getting his retro Winnipeg Goldeneyes cap when he took his new born son to his first game. Juan Carlos Strickland wrote about wearing his Texas Rangers cap on a trip with his family to visit ancient pyramids in Mexico . Robert Holley told us about getting out of the Navy’s boot camp, thinking about making music the whole time, and that the the J Dilla’s cap and music was a guiding inspiration.

But Andrew jumped out at us for a few of reasons. First of all, the retro custom colorways Trailblazers is great looking cap. Magenta under-bill! He told us of this cap’s day-to-day effect on the fine citizens of Portland and the reaction that the cap gets when he’s traveling. But the real clincher was his Flickr pool. There are beautifully shot photos of him wearing his cap all over the world. He was in Malaysia when he entered the contest!

Check out his Flickr pool here…

He also has a cool interview blog here…

Here was his entry to the contest…

“Hello The Clink Room

I have several favorite caps for reasons as simple as the color or the way it may sit comfortably on my dome piece. In this particular case, this custom colorway of a Portland Trailblazers old school logo is an opportunity to rep my hometown with style. When I wore the cap around Portland, compliments would flow and requests for how to come up on another were a regular happening.

As I travel, it’s especially enjoyable to rock it in different cities and countries and be able to have folks strike up a conversation that starts with asking about the cap. The ‘City of Roses’ doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, even from myself who’d really often rather be (and generally am) somewhere else. Any opportunity to conversate and share some love for people, places and history is all good in my book. Right now I’m reppin’ the Blazers sweating like I’m in a sauna in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Thanks for taking the time to check out folks stories.

Andrew Crum"

Caps unite the world! I always love it when I get a nod on the subway because of my Padres cap. No need to fret out there if you didn’t get picked this time around. We’ll have another giveaway in the next couple weeks. This time, no size restriction. Thanks again for all the great submissions. Stay tuned for more!

Re-Branding the Cincinnati Reds Part 6

We hit the drawing board with a blue sky mentality. Once we had the concepts drawn, we divided them into families.

In this family of concepts we wanted a future/retro look. We thought a classic font with white bars subdividing the text would achieve that. The goal was to create something reminiscent of a uniform striping or pinstripes in a simple one color text.

Cap contest update: Your submissions have been great! The response has been overwhelming. We pick the winner Sunday night, so get you’re submissions in by then. Have a great weekend!

Brand Story – Casper Ghosts Part 10

Generally when a logo is embroidered, the same line of thread is used for all areas of a given color. This presented a challenge, because every time we’d lay down a new dot, we’d have to cut the thread. Constant placing and cutting for each dot would be risky and time consuming. 100 dots is a 100 chances the end of a thread would become dislodged – and next thing you know, the whole logo has loose threads going everywhere.

Just when we thought we’d have to scrap the dots, we saw a Burger King cup that used the “benday dot” effect. We checked out the BK logo and realized you could achieve the effect by allowing the dots to bleed into each other. No thread cuts! These renderings show us playing with the benday size and spread.

Re-Branding the Cincinnati Reds Part 5

This is what we could dig up in the Cooperstown Classic archive for the Reds’1975 World Series run. Some fun stuff. I love that rendering of Riverfront Stadium.

While we liked a lot of this stuff, it reminded us of our favorite baseball era, the 80’s. It didn’t speak to the long history of the club. Oldest continual club in baseball! Would the Yankees draw on a style like this? Probably not. I do like the punching Mr. Red though. Next post we’ll begin to show our first round of concept sketches.

Keep up the submissions! People are telling great stories and showing off some great caps. Ryan Martin mentioned that we should have three winners. It crossed our mind, but then we thought 3 caps would just be an awesome prize! Don’t worry Ryan, we’ll have plenty more giveaways. There’s enough love to go around!