Q & A with Kevin Werther

We love to go behind-the-scenes of pretty much anything. (Maybe not a Spam factory.) One way that we thought we could go behind-the-scenes is by doing a Q & A with designers who have had their designs picked for production here on Clink. We thought we’d start with perennial all-star and all-around nice guy Kevin Werther of Taco Bulls fame. Here’s a short conversation we had about his experience…
What was the process of coming up with the Taco Bulls design?
I had already used a chili pepper for my first concept, so I was trying to think of where else I could go with things. My next few sketches involved a burrito, a mariachi band, and Aztec temples but nothing was jumping off the page. I enjoy clever wordplay and bad puns, and that is where my mind went next. I thought of the name “Taco Bulls” as a bad pun capitalizing off the brand equity of Taco Bell. I felt that it gave my name instant recognition and the “Bulls” added the necessary sports/aggression component for the logo. From there it was just a matter of finding the best way to marry the two together. I was having too much fun to worry about how ridiculous the whole idea really was.

Did you feel like the cap and tee was a good realization of your vision?
I really do. I am the only one—to my knowledge—who actually got to design two logos and have both produced. That is very exciting for me. The taco logo was very well received by the Clink Room’s viewership, but I shared the same concern as the guys about how viable it would be to really sell a hat with a taco on it. The real fun came in finding yet another way to push the concept even further, which is where the chili pepper bull came into play. I had done two other logo options for the hat, but the chili pepper one was the strongest. It was a bit difficult at first because I had some differences of opinion in terms of colors with the application of my logos onto the hat/shirt, but it was an amazing opportunity to work with (and learn from) Plan B, so I was glad to take all the feedback they could give me.

What was it like to see your cap in the Clink store?
Very exciting! My dream job is to create sports logos, identities and brands, so when the hat went up for sale in a small way, I felt like I had made it. That still is my dream job, and I take every contest on the Clink Room as an opportunity to practice, get critiqued, and hopefully impress some people. My only regrets are that now that I have a baby, I don’t have the time that these projects deserve. I would really love to delve into some crazy designs, but with my time being restricted, I like to work fast and then get comments from people to react to.

What was it like to see your hat in photos, being worn by people from allover the World?
It’s very surreal. I think the first time I saw my hat in a photo was the gentleman from Australia wearing it. Its mind blowing that not only is someone wearing my hat, but someone across the world is wearing it! Coupled with seeing a t-shirt I did for another site actually worn by a comedian on TruTV a few weeks back, I am floored.

What would you like Clink to do with your design next?
I hadn’t really thought much about it. I’m not sure how well my design is selling compared to others to know how viable it is to keep using it, but I would be incredibly flattered if it is used again. Maybe stickers or patches of the chili bull would be cool.

Do you have any advice for people creating their own designs for Clink’s collaboration Leagues?
Don’t hesitate to enter because you aren’t as accomplished of a designer as you would like to be. I am a professional designer and I have already learned so much that improved my skills just from the critiques on my logos and from viewing other people’s work on this site. I feel like my skills are getting so much stronger and I feel confident that I can have a logo be in strong competition with anyone else’s in any contest Clink throws at me. I don’t want to just compete, I want to be the best. There are some AMAZING illustrators on this site and I know I have my work cut out for me to win, but I am sure going to try!

Thanks Kevin!

If there are any questions that you’d like asked to people who have won you can email or post them in the comments section. I’m sure Kevin will reply in there as well. Kick this weekend’s ass everyone!


14 thoughts on “Q & A with Kevin Werther

  1. Interesting. This is pretty cool, I’d like to see more of these. Its a nice way to get more acquainted with the designers and a good way to revisit the designs.

  2. Chris—The differences of opinion were really minor things, and most that I recall just had to do with color choices. For example, I wasn’t in complete agreement about the final colors for the TB t-shirt. I wasn’t a fan of the black meat and the more muted yellow colors. We went back and forth a bit with me submitting a few ideas, but in the end the project settled as you see it. It has grown on me over time, and in the grand scheme of things wasn’t a real big deal. We also differed on the direction of the curve of the chili pepper stem. I originally had it going in the opposite direction as is on the hat. Again, it wasn’t a big deal and looks great on the end-product. I feel good for expressing my opinion as an artist, but these things are subjective, and at the end of the day, its their party, their money, and it is still an absolutely amazing opportunity for me to learn and gain exposure. It is very rare to have this kind of access to people in this business. I can’t imagine being able to just contact some creative director at a major firm in NY or Chicago just to shoot ideas back and forth. They are great to work with because they are very open and communicative, which is why the little differences in opinions are so minor.

  3. Kevin, I have noticed that your work has improved since the first contest. I think the forum has good critiquers and you’re taking advantage of that.

    Best of luck with your dream job. I think most of us are pleased as punch when we can make a few clams doing fun tasks like identities.

    My question for you: How many of your own hats have you bought?

  4. Tom—Well, I haven’t bought any of my own hats! The guys gave me 5 hats as part of the package for winning. I don’t wear the 5950 style, so I gave 2 to friends, have one at my desk at work for motivation/inspiration and two more at home for portfolio/nostalgia. I’m glad that you’ve noticed an improvement in my work. I have picked up things from all the other designers on this site. I am much more confident with rendering eyes, but have work to do on hands. Those are tough for me. Probably why most my designs don’t have hands. :)

  5. Kevin,

    I purchased a hat and a shirt.

    IF I ever get around of taking pictures of it I will post them.

    Love them.


    Pat Ross from Nevada

  6. Pat—So happy to hear you like them! Write your local congressman or your local Clinkmen to request that more of my work gets produced! :)

  7. Kevin, one last question. Did you get to see the “digitized” for embroidering images or any other embroidery tests before it was finalized and ordered? I hope I get to.

    Also, I can’t believe you don’t wear your own hat. Do you think you one of those guys who looks silly in ballcaps? Curve the bill, it helps sometimes.

  8. my question is for Kevin, Casey, & Jason: Do you think it fair to all the other designers that a logo we didn’t even vote for won?

  9. Tom—Yes, I got to see the digitized embroidery test as a courtesy. I do look silly in 5950s. They look way too big and boxy on my head. I prefer the relaxed fit hats (the Franchise series from 1947 for example).

    John—Not sure how to answer the “fair or unfair” question. As a consumer/voter I certainly understand how it may have ruffled some feathers. I can’t speak for Casey or Jason, but I’m sure there was a concern about financial viability. For me, I am glad that the taco still made it onto some merchandise and I got an opportunity to push my design even further, which helped me grow. Maybe the guys would consider a taco hat if they could guarantee it would sell out. You should pitch that to them!

  10. yeah, i thought that was pretty b.s. too (and have commented on it since then). what’s the point of a logo/hat design contest if you’re just gonna totally change it after the fact? seriously? especially since a) IMO the “taco” bull is heads-n-tails better than the “pepper” logo, and b) the “taco” bull is hands down one the best logos that came out of this site.

  11. Im inclined to agree about the logo switch-a-roo, but i dont know the backstory on it all so im not gonna get too into it.

    BUT, i have a suggestion for the Clink Room in general. I think it would be a solid idea to add an element to the sidebar/navigation that had a list/pic of all the winners to date. Possibly in order of release date as well. Not only would it be a nice guide to whats up and coming release wise, but it could be a useful tool for the current contest. For example, lets say hypothetically there have been 6 winning entries that were black based hats. If i had that kind of info right in front of me, i might avoid doing a black hat entry and i might explore something that hasnt been done yet, to possibly flesh out and fill in the gaps of the color spectrum as it relates to the Clink Room.

    Just an idea (with a long winded explanation, sorry about that).

  12. I dunno, I never was vexed about the switching of the logo thing because In my mind, I always felt that the voting process was cool but unnecessary because ultimately its Jason and Caseys dime and they should and would get final say on what they were gonna produce. I would be willing to bet that we are gonna see a couple switch-a-roos in the future… J&C make that decision lets just roll with it.

    I like Chris idea about the side pane, etc. I heard some really cool ideas about how to improve the site a while ago, too bad we dont actually know how do the programming itself . I wish could contribute to that aspect. I was looking forward to Caseys idea about us being eventually able to contribute to the site and upload our designs ourselves, thereby taking that added responsibility off them and streamlining the application process. But realistically, I can see how its tough to try to upgrade the site amidst all the other work they have in front of them.

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