B.T.S. Hat Club Exclusives Spring 2013

Hey, lets take a behind the scenes look at the origins of the Hat Club Exclusives Spring 2013 collection designed by us yokels at Brandiose. We thought it would be cool to show you the seed of each design. Some started as sketches and evolved heavily over many back-and-forth sessions, while others started in Illustrator and evolved for there, and some even came out fully formed ready for production. We believe the more simple the design is, the more you need to start the design in Illustrator. The crispness and color are you friends in simplicity.


BTS: Kyler Wilson’s Early Birds

Lets take a look behind Kyler Wilson’s curtain with his Early Birds design for the Rejects League contest. You know what I love about the Early Birds name? It’s almost a name that we could use for a real team, but not. Even just writing that, I felt like saying to myself, “Well why not?” It’s a great name. Couple a great concept with a great designer like Kyler and well, boom goes the dynamite.

Kyler has such a distinct sense of style. When I first saw his work I could see the how simply he was using Illustrator, and to great effect. Usually, designers that use Illustrator simply seem to start in Illustrator as well. But you can see from his sketch that Kyler’s clean aesthetic starts at the sketching phase.


I love all these variations and worm options. Things you only hear as a designer: “Hey, show me some different worm options.”






Kyler Wilson’s portfolio can be found here. You can still grab a few of the remaining Early Birds hats here at in the Clink Room store.


BTS: Kai’s Slumberjacks

Let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at Kai Takahashi’s Slumberjacks! The hat isn’t available in the Clink store anymore. It deserves a belated walk down memory lane.

The story of the Slumberjacks is the story of Kai’s evolution as a designer. Kai’s determination has really impressed Jason and myself. I believe Kai first submitted a design for Clink during the Clink Kong logo contest and the thing that struck us about Kai was his willingness to start over, scrap his first idea, make big adjustments, and drastically improve his concepts from his first submission to his last.


Just take a look at this evolution. He starts with an illustration of an idea. Full characters,acting out complicated actions. Then you see him start to move away from illustrations and into thinking in symbols.


Then you see the simplification of that symbol to it’s final form. Gone are the feathers, gone are the “ZZZ”s. The final design is packed with great ideas and heritage. The “S” is a “Z” turned backwards, genius! Embroidered plaid! Awesome! The seamless integration of the axe and the lettering. Perfect!


Tenacity and openness to taking criticism are the exact things we look for when hiring studio team members. That is the mark of someone willing to make themselves into a great designer. Take a look at this recent project from his website. Just amazing advancements!


All of these qualities are why Kai was awarded one of our 2 summer intern positions this year. We’re excited to have him join the Brandiose team. He’s a guy on his way to great things and we’re excited to help him down that path. Check out Kai’s portfolio here.

Kick this weekend’s ass Clinkers!

BTS: Chris Cox’s Kraken

Hey, so this is super late but who cares. Lets do it, behind the scenes for the last few Designed By Clinker releases. The reason that we didn’t get to these sooner had a lot to do with time(Running the Hometown League was time consuming.) and the temporary Clink store transition (That we’re still in the middle of.). But this stuff deserves some daylight and Clink love. So lets give them both.

Lets start with the immense talent that is Chris Cox. The man knows what he’s doing in the logo design department and for some reason he has the market cornered on aquatic themed designs. Chris is the creator of everyone’s favorite Sea Devils.

Octos original sketch

Chris original concept started out as an “O” for Octos. Chris, at what point to we switch the name to Kraken? He even submitted that contest first if I recall correctly. Then,of course, he had is stroke of inspiration with the “8” instead. Sketching in red though? Chris shed a little light on your thinking? Just what you had on hand? Is there a non-photo blue trick that I’m missing here?

Kraken roughs 1

You can see how great these two versions are. Just too much detail. You can also see that his original “8” was skinnier than the final. A good tip for hat designs is to go wider than you think. The front of the hat is a wide canvas and tall logos have to be made small to fit on the front of the crown. Making them smaller means you lose detail.

Kraken roughs 2

Chris Cox’s portfolio can be found here. You can still grab a few of the remaining Kraken hats here at in the Clink Room store.