Flying Tigers: Pt. 1

Lets launch a new Official On-Field! The Lakeland Flying Tigers, Single-A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, is one of the coolest brands we’ve developed. The concept is solid as Sears. Minor League but not cheesy, I really dig this brand. Here are some of the images that we used for inspiration. When you go to Tigertown, it’s like you’re back in time. WWII in full effect, lush Florida vegetation, steamy weather, tiny hand held radios playing big band music. But instead of dudes in khaki it’s dudes in stir-ups. The stadium sits on the old home of Lodwick Airfield, which trained more than 2,000 American and British flying aces for WWII. The runway, hangers and mess hall are all still there.

Tomorrow, sketches. Wednesday, the full family of marks. Thursday morning, show the hat. Thursday night, it’ll be available in the online store.


We get a steady stream of emails from young designers asking for tips on starting a design firm and it’s always flattering. There are tons of tips and tricks that we’ve learned over our 12 years and most of them are pretty standard fare, things you could learn from most books or magazines. We love to learn new pearls of wisdom. Even the smallest tip can have a huge impact. Here’s one that I came up with.

Patience is one of the best tools in your toolbox when your starting something like a new company. P.R. people will have you believe that everyone just happened upon their success. That achievements are stumbled upon like an unpicked-up dog turd at a park. This is rarely true.

Things take time. Doing things correctly takes time. Getting work, building an audience, creating a reputation, it all takes time. Now, I don’t think I’m a naturally patient person so that’s why I keep citrus trees in my house. Not only do they look great and give fruit, but they are a great clock for life. Let me explain. Every couple days you have to water it. You have to clean, fertilize, and groom it every few months. And maybe, if your lucky, once a year you’ll get fruit. The next year, you’ll get a few more. And so on. Each time a new lime blossom starts to bud it reminds me of all the work I’ve put into that tree to get to that lime. Whenever I’m feeling like things are taking too long to wrap-up or get started at work, I’m reminded to be patient by this little lime tree.

This is a Kaffir Lime tree that I acquired a little over a year ago and it’s already given us a few limes. It’s our third citrus tree. We also have a Meyer lemon and a Key Lime. Man, there’s nothing like cracking open a beer and squeezing a lime into it that you’ve grown. Is a fruit tree a cheesy metaphor for life? Sure. But it works!

I’m pretty sure 2012 is going to be a great year for Brandiose and Clink. We’ve been watering a caring for a lot of trees and they’re about to bud. We can’t wait to share that stuff with you.

Next week we launch another cap! Kick this weekend’s ass everyone!

Clink Approved: Charley Harper

We haven’t done a good book recomendation in a while and have I got a good one for you. Charley Harper his a master of illustration. His stylized animal illustrations, United States National Park Service posters, and numerous other projects make this book “Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life” a must have for any designer. A quick google search and you’ll find some spectacular mosaic murals, including one for the Cincinnati Federal Building.

Mr. Harper’s work is profound for a few reasons. His sense of negative space makes him the granddaddy of our beloved Shadow League designs. The way he contorts and simplifies his subjects simultaneously animates and gives them iconic shape. But what I find most impressive is his ability to simplify. But not just simplicity for the sake of simplicity. His simplicity becomes a tool for storytelling. Check out that turtle on the cover of the book. No head, no tail, no legs, a square composition, removing those things that would terrify the average designer. But Charley turns it into a story, the turtle infused with life and a personality. Amazing. Get the book and be amazed. My New Year’s resolution? Think more like Charley Harper.

Thanks to Miki for the Book. Thanks to Sam for prodding me to do the post.

1011 Posts Strong!

This is our 1011 post! Yay for us! I meant to celebrate the 1000 mark but I guess that’s what happens when your having fun. Thank you to all the Clinkers for making posting on Clink one of the best parts of my day. You make a lowly art school grad who can barely spell feel pretty good about himself. Thank you, for your support, for you comments, for grabbing a hat from the store, for submitting a design. Thank you. Here’s to 1011 more!

Lil Wayne Rocking the Storm Chasers

Every once in a while you see a logo in the wild what really geeks you out. It’s a weird feeling when you launch a brand, because it’s no longer yours. The fans own the brand and it resides in their hearts and their minds. It becomes something larger than those late nights moving pixels in Illustrator. The fan now owns it for themselves.

Our good friend Ben Hill just posted this photo of Lil Wayne rockin’ an Omaha Storm Chasers cap in neon a colorway. Great seeing him owning it for himself.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

You can’t always get what you want. Right? Well, that’s true when it comes to hats. Now I never thought that these cartoon splatters in Justin’s original design we’re all that gory. I thought it was more Wile E. Coyote than Kill Bill but that’s not how New Era saw it. And I respect that decision. New Era is a classic family brand one that, lets be frank, hangs it’s hat on MLB, another classic family brand. So when we we’re told to tone it down, I was happy to comply. In fact we’ve found that adjustments like that can improve a design. And while I’m not sure the new version is an improvement, I do think that it’s undoubtably a lateral move. And when it’s on the hat, it’s a much more subtle design. One that still tells the Roadkill story in a fun colorful way. That sounds like a +1 to me.

Tomorrow, we preview the hat and tomorrow night it goes on sale. Get it.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Clinkers! Lets kick it off right with Justin’s Roadkill! That’s right, 2 collaboration caps in 2 weeks. Check out these great sketches. Man, that ripped off tail is great. Probably too gory for New Era but more about gore, or a lack of gore tomorrow.