B.T.S.: Williamsport Pt.3

As you can see from the final cap, we ended up going with the gnome/mountain man/Santa Claus-esque lumberjack. The goal of this round of sketches was to show how the character could be infused into different marks. I really like the second sketch here. I always like to use iconic references as a jump off. Can anyone guess what the inspiration for that mark is? Hint: It’s a similar silhouette as my favorite super hero’s logo. This is a good example of the way I think inspiration should work, which is to say, vague allusions that can’t be gleaned without the designer saying that was the inspiration. Also, taking inspiration from something that has nothing to do with what you’re working on is always a good way to do it. In this case, baseball/super hero and lumberjack/bat.

B.T.S.: Williamsport Pt.2

It was clear, after the first round, that the team wanted to go in the lumberjack direction. But what kind of lumberjack? Funny goofy? Was he a lumber baron who rolls up his sleeves to help build his empire? What about a lumberjack meets forest gnome? By the way one of my most favorite books of all time is “Gnomes” by Wil Huygen and featuring the magical illustrations of Rein Poortvliet. If you don’t have this book in you inspiration collection then you collection is incomplete. This book still informs how we present concepts to clients. No kidding.

Behind-the-Scenes: Williamsport

We’ve got another Official On-Field drop on the way this weekend! Another one of our favorites. The Williamsport Crosscutters, Single A Affiliate of the Phillies! Did you know Jason and I have rebranded the entire Philladephia farm team system? We love us the Phillies organization. Jason and I have to be agnostic about teams and teams we root for. The Padres have a special place in our heart but we have a bit of a rough history. (Feel free to read this article to understand a bit of that history.) But the Phillies are a great organization top to bottom. The fact that they’ve kick butt over the last few years doesn’t hurt. Yeah OK, call us Phillies fans. But I digress.


The Williamsport Crosscutters are a great organization and they come from a town with a great story to tell. A rich lumber history (Lumber barons! I love that term) is only the start. The architecture in the area is comprised of these elaborately decorated, wooden of course, estates. And the Little League World Series is held there. We got to see the hollowed grounds where the Series is played and it’s a beautiful park. After our trip we begin with sketches of course. Here’s a handful that started us down the lumberjack path.

Every once in a while when I look back at these older sketches I’m blown away by how rough they are. We’ve really tightened up our initial sketches. We used to use regular pencils and I would sharpen like 30 of them and line them up and use them till they went dull. Then I remembered mechanical pencils. It was one of those duh moments and it totally stepped up the quality of our sketching game. Staedtler 925 .03, what, what!

Big Thanks!

Jason K., Jason V., the ocean, and I want to thank all of you that grabbed a Sludgebugs cap. It was the best first day/launch that we’ve had. And it’s all thanks to you guys! We love you! The ocean loves you!

Kick this weekend’s ass Clinkers!

Clink Room’s Best: El Azteca


I thought we’d start a best-of series for The Clink Room and of course that means it’s a best-of in Jason and my opinion. To start things off, I’m going to go with a softball pitch of a category: Taco Shops. Now, this is 100% subjective and I’ve even had better carne asada burritos than this recently. But if I want a nostalgic taste of home this means El Azteca Taco Shop in La Mesa, our home turf.

Jason and I have had more Plan B. Branding conversations over El Azteca, AKA “Teca”, carne asada burritos than any other place on the planet. Teca’s burritos are our baseline for taco shops. It hits all the right notes. Hole-in-the-wall, friendly, great hot sauce, big burritos. Our buddy McQ gets double wrapped, I like mine with a sour cream add. Now, NYC has the best food options on the planet. But they can’t seem to get Mexican right. Even Judah Friedlander, comedian and star of “30 Rock” knows what’s up. He said this recently “,San Diego has the best burritos in the country. Any $2 burrito shack in San Diego will blow away any place in New York City. We gotta step it up.”(NYMag link here.) I agree no rice no beans, big, I mean huge, thin tortilla.

As Tina Fey would say “I want to go to there.” And you should too. Here’s El Azteca’s Google places page.

Sunday SludgeBugs & Give to Oceana.org


Available Sunday, designed by Jason Villanti of Sayre, Pennsylvania, the Rejects League’s first team the SludgeBugs.

We were in Pensacola a couple months back and we talked to a few local fishermen, starting a new project and researching a new name for the AA Affiliate of the Reds, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Fishermen there told us that while the spill was a horrific event the fishing has never been better. Mostly because no one fished the Gulf for a year. I’ve been reading that things are bouncing back better than expected but that the true impact of the spill has yet to be understood. In any event, cleaner oceans is a great thing for everyone. Jason and I grew up near the ocean. We brainstormed our first rebranding of a Baseball team at a bar overlooking the Pacific. I now live in an area of San Diego called Ocean Beach and I want my son to have the same great experience with the ocean that I did.


Jason Villanti’s concept design perfectly embodies everyone’s feelings surrounding the gulf spill. So as a fun way for everyone to give back, all of the profits from the sale of the SludgeBugs will go to Oceana.org. Oceana’s mission is to “Protect the World’s Oceans” and that’s something worth supporting. Go to Oceana.org to learn more!

Kick this weekend’s ass everyone!

SludgeBugs: Behind-the-Scenes Pt. 2

Obviously, Mr. Villanti is a super talented guy. His work is as embroidery ready as any thing we’ve gotten in our collaboration contests. And from his sketches, while they resemble the final design, you can tell he knows how to make the transition to Illustrator. Back in the days when t-shirts for each new cap was the game, we asked him to create a t-shirt design to help tell the story of his great anti-mascot the SludgeBugs. While the future of t-shirts and the Clink Room is uncertain it made for a great sleeve patch! Check these sketches and the final logo! I love this secondary design.
A few of you have remembered that we promised that this cap’s profits will be going to charity. Specifically to the Gulf clean-up effort. And we’re going to live up to that promise, 100% of the profits from this cap will go to the clean-up effort! See, charity and can be fulfilling and fun! Tomorrow, we’ll tell you more about where the profits will be donated and show you the cap.

Sludgebugs: Behind-the-Scenes Pt. 1

Reject League’s numero uno! Locked and ready to roll! But first let’s take a walk down memory lane with the story of Jason Villanti’s Reject League entry. The SludgeBugs, formerly the MudBugs, was born out of everyone’s anger over the BP oil spill in the Gulf. Like the many super heros and super villains before it. This mythical crawdad was mutated by the oily brown sludge spilt into the Gulf and with it’s new found size and strength exacts revenge on it’s mutator.

When Jason first submitted the idea, he presented us with a bunch of color options. But only one option, green and yellow was ever in the running. A perfect addition to the Reject League. The Worlds first anti-mascot. Check these great sketches that Jason starts out with…

Tomorrow, more sketches. A patch to end all patches. Friday, we sneak-peak the hat. Sunday, we make it available to Clinkers.