Clinker Joe Osborne Interview


We got to talk to Joseph Osborne, designer of the slick Eels Fitted and winner of the The Clink Room’s “Shadow League” contest:

Where did your love for art and design come from?

My mom always was doing arts and crafts growing up so from an early age I enjoyed making things… that translated into a love for design when we got our first computer. I spent hours on MS Paint recreating cartoon characters and movie covers. My love for design just grew from there.

What does it mean to be a “Clinker” and how did you get involved with The Clink Room?

Being a Clinker is all about fun, it’s great to see all the behind the scenes stuff from Brandiose and the fact that they give anyone an opportunity to have their work come to life is a rare and awesome thing.

I discovered The Clink Room midway through the skate shop league… I wasn’t sure what was even going on so I went all the way back to the first post and caught myself up. It blew my mind they were even attempting a competition like this. When the Shadow League was announced I decided to throw my hat in the ring.

Please tell us about the The Eels design challenge and what does it feel like to reign champion?

The Shadow League competition was a little different from the others, the idea was to do something simple that would reproduce well with just one color. Thinking about the Wallbats “W” I knew I wanted to do an animal that corresponded with a letter… So “E is for Eel” came to me and I ran with it. It feels great to have my work come to life in such a badass way.

What does one have to take into consideration when designing logos for a hat?

Keep It Simple Stupid. The more I design the more I realize there is a lot to be said for simplicity. I look back on the Eels design and think I could have done stuff different to make it simpler so it would stitch better but that is all part of the learning process.

Thoughts on the final outcome of The Eels hat?

I think it turned out good. The color scheme was different than the original black and orange I submitted but Casey and Jason are pros so I trust their opinion.

Any exciting projects coming up?

Nothing coming up right now but I post all my projects on Dribbble.

Kick this Thanksgiving’s ass Clinkers!

Clinker Patrick Finney Interview



Just released on Monday, Clinker Patrick Finney’s Heartbreakers fitted has already caused some serious traction amongst hat enthusiasts. We had a chance to catch up with Clinker Patrick Finney about his work and the Heartbreakers:

Where did your love for art and design come from?
It’s interesting to think about because I would say my original interest in art and what drives me now are different. It originally came from a desire to work with my hands and create something I find visually stimulating. I still find value in those things, but now I’m more interested in the effects of that stimulus. We react so much to what we sense and consume. Taking a color, or a shape, or a sound and attaching it to a specific feeling to it is a thoroughly fascinating process. Designing within those elements involves a lot of puzzle-solving and discovery which ultimately makes it rewarding.

What does it mean to be a “Clinker” and how did you get involved with The Clinkroom?
To me, anyone with an interest in emblem design is a qualified Clinker. Most commonly it’s from sports applications, but the inspirational sources of The Clink Room are endless and growing. I’m not sure exactly how I stumbled onto The Clink Room. I think one late night in my freelancing days I was trying to build a collection of my favorite minor league logos and I came across it. As a baseball fanatic, I’ve always been fond of the symbols that unify teams, towns and sports, so it was love at first sight with me and The Clink Room.

What us the art/design scene like in Sebastopol, California and how does your environment influence your designs?
Sebastopol is a town with a lot of character. It’s orchard country, wine country, homemade-sculptures-on-your-front-porch country. It has a great appreciation for work done by hand and as a result, the art scene is alive and well. If my work is taking cues from this environment, I try to draw from the human and land-based elements. The imperfections of hand-written signage and hand-drawn symbols, seasonal effects, and patterns from nature are all examples of that.

Please tell us about the design challenge and what was the inspiration and creative process behind your winning design?
The Heartbreakers was a submission to The Clink Room’s Shadow League Collaboration which prompted designers to submit work in a silhouette style of illustration. Given those constraints, I knew I wanted to start with a simple, bold shape just to loosely frame the composition of the mark. I experimented with variations and combinations of ellipses, triangles and diamonds. When I landed on a heart, I instantly saw a cobra posed within that outline. It was one of those creative moments where a surge of really intriguing reactions and story lines emerged from this single image. It was exciting, but at the same time, I was thinking “….from a distance this is just going to look like a heart on someone’s head….Is that going to be……cool?” It felt like a risk, but as a designer you have to embrace those uncertainties and push through them to see where you end up.
Personally, I like to connect everything to sports. So, the drama of a team’s heart-breaking loss was what I used to explain the design, but I know there are many ways to read what’s on this hat. One day, it means one thing. Another day, it’s something different. I think a lot of captivating imagery is borne out of that principle.

If you could have anyone wear The Heartbreakers hat, who would it be and why?
That’s a great question. It’s a serious hat. It has a melancholy name with this dangerous-looking creature on it. And I like all of that. I’m truly proud of it. That being said, I think it’s important to have a sense of humor about your work to keep yourself sane. It would be great if this hat found it’s way into the hands of someone like a Conan O’Brien or a Patton Oswalt. Someone who’s going to look at this hat and say “Isn’t it great we have a logo for The online matchmaking service for snakes?” To be honest, it will be extremely gratifying if anyone wears this hat. It was a fun project and it’s rare that a product with any use comes out of doing something fun.

Any exciting projects coming up?
I’m developing a blog for myself to serve as another personal creative outlet. I’m aiming to launch it before the end of 2013.

Great interview Patrick! Kick this weekend’s ass Clinkers!

Clinker Kevin Werther Interview


After winning The Clink Room’s Taco Shop League, New Yorker and loyal Clinker, Kevin Werther, has been keeping busy. In conjunction with the recent “Reboot” release of the winning design, we decided to catch up with Kevin and discuss the inspiration behind the original design, what it takes to be a “Clinker,” and why he enjoys Clink Room contests so much.

You currently work as a designer at Crosman Corporation. What is it like creatively, designing for the The Clink Room vs. designing for clients?

There is a really fun, open, “anything goes” vibe to the Clink Room contests. Casey and Jason really encourage everyone to push the boundaries and to have fun with the designs. In the “real world” I find there are so many restrictions that can really temper creativity. You really have to look actively to bend the rules. There is so much pressure in the Clink Room contests to be clever, original, and of course, talented. Every contest is a struggle to bring out my best against so many other talented designers and illustrators. Winning these contests is a blast, and losing them is always very disappointing for me.

What does it mean to be a “Clinker” and how did you get involved with The Clink Room?

To me, being a “Clinker” means being willing to put yourself out there with silly ideas and your art, and then being willing to take the constructive criticism provided to keep growing as an artist. I stumbled upon The Clink Room right in the very beginning of its existence, though I can’t remember the date. I am very interested in sports logos and uniforms, and I was excited when I heard about their blog and that was going to give us behind-the-scenes access to their work. Creating sports logos professionally is my dream job, so I was eager to soak up anything and everything Casey and Jason were willing to share. From there, the contests started, and I was hooked. I can’t think of too many other sites where you can have a direct relationship with such talented designers. I have been very fortunate to be able to trade emails and phone calls with Casey, and my illustration skills have grown tremendously from my relationship with their site and contests.

Please tell us about the Taco Shop League design challenge and what was your inspiration and creative process behind your design?

The Taco Shop League challenge was born out of Brandiose’s San Diego hometown culture. We were challenged to create a visual identity for a taco shop that is part of some sort of league—maybe a softball league or something, I guess. My goal was to come up with something clever that would make me stand out—which in my mind translates into bad puns. My first submission was a northern-based team called the “Chilly Peppers” (get it?) and featured a pepper swinging a bat. My next submission was the Taco Bulls, which as you might have noticed, is another bad pun. The original design was of a taco/bull creature. That design got a lot of praise from other participants, but Casey challenged me to push it further. He was concerned about how well a hat with a taco on it might sell (and I was a bit skeptical, too). I’m glad he pushed me further because I am really happy with the chili pepper bull that we ended up with. I had submitted three or four totally different concepts, and we settled on the pepper. Early on in the contest, I did really horrible little thumbnail sketches of anything I could think of that seemed appropriate—a mariachi band, a burrito swinging a bat, those really cool Aztec pyramids, etc.

Any exciting projects coming up?

Currently, I am continuing my day job as a graphic designer for Crosman Corporation which keeps me very busy. I have a few freelance projects on the side going on as well, but mostly, I’m looking forward to the next Clink Room contest. Those contests are a really great way to stimulate my creativity, and to learn from Brandiose and all the other participants.

Kevin’s portfolio can be seen at

Interview originally posted at