Nick Garza’s Arrows

Lets dive into Nick Garza and Brandiose’s Arrows collaboration with an interview where we learn more about Clinker Nick!

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Pharr, a small city in deep South Texas, and I now live and work in San Antonio, TX.

What is you design history? Are you a full-time designer? If design is your job and you can tell us, where do you work?

I have loved art and design my entire life. When I was about 3 years old, I would sit with my Dad and ask him to draw characters from the newspaper’s Sunday Comics for me. Although he would always joke with me that he couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler, I give him full credit for kicking off my obsession with art. Because he is left-handed, I learned to hold a pencil and draw with my left hand, even though I do everything else 100% right-handed. I soon discovered the work of Jack Kirby and the magic of Saturday morning cartoons. It didn’t take long for me to become that quirky ambidextrous kid at school who spent his free time drawing Captain America and the Ninja Turtles.

I learned how to paint at 12 years old, and I was fascinated by the work of Leonardo da Vinci. At 14, my mind nearly exploded in amazement when I discovered Photoshop Elements that came in a bundle of software that my parents bought. (Brushes? Layers? Undo?! Wow)

Even though I heard horror stories from all sorts of folks about the starving artist that I would inevitably come, I followed my gut and chose to study design in college. I graduated from Texas A&M University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Visualization.

I am proud to make a living today as a full-time designer in San Antonio, Texas. Aside from the occasional fun freelance gigs, a lot of my day-to-day design projects are a crazy mix of food packaging design, art direction & branding, and ninja obstacle course design. The crazy variation helps keep things really fun.

What inspired you to submit you design to Clink?

Sports branding has always been my absolute favorite kind of design. As a kid, I would watch NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL games just to study, analyze, and even criticize team logos and uniforms (Conclusion: The 90’s had a lot of teal). I stumbled across the Clink Room a few years ago after reading an article about the Sugar Land Skeeters branding, and I’ve been a Clinker ever since. The work that Brandiose pumps out is always unique, well-researched, clever, and high quality. So when I saw the post for “Design Your Own”, I knew that I wanted to throw some ideas together and give it a shot.

Tell us a little behind the concept that you came up with. It’s a great, simple, and iconic concept. Is that indicative of other work that you do?

My initial idea was to develop a concept that was as strong and as universal as some of my favorite classic sports logos – Chicago Cubs, old school Milwaukee Brewers, Hartford Whalers – and as clever and memorable as some classic Clink caps – Walbats, Sea Devils, Heartbreakers. My favorite logos, whether sports related or otherwise, are the ones that can transcend and stand strong on their own, even as design trends change. I knew that defining the parameters for the “team story” would be key: if I had a solid story concept, the visuals wouldn’t be hard to find.

AlbanyArrows_InspirationBoard1_NickNGarza

I love the simple elegance that very early ball caps had, like those in the 30’s and 40’s (And “ A League of Their Own” has always been a favorite movie of mine). I knew I wanted to use a bold letter that could carry the same simplicity and then push the concept further to bring in some storytelling. I did some reading and compiled ideas, and started to assemble the background story of the Albany Arrows.

AlbanyArrows_InspirationBoard2_NickNGarza

For this project, I did all of my sketching and development in Adobe Illustrator since I had a fairly firm idea of what I was aiming for. Early on I tried to have an actual arrow present in the design and run it across the “A”. As I began to tweak the negative space within the letter, I realized that the magic was in the negative space itself. I played with different scales and tried adding various grooves/indentations to the arrowhead, much like those from the images on my inspiration board. While the idea seemed neat to me at the time, the negative space started to resemble odd Christmas trees and it distorted the letter “A”. After taking a break for a few days, I came back to the design and revisited the overall concept. At that point, I created the wordmark and the “ 13 Colonies” alternate patch to lead the refining process. In the end, it was a clean, balanced arrowhead that got the job done for me.
In any project that I work on, I always try to remind myself to work under a dual-mentality: (1) make it simple but significant, and (2) success is in the details. Successful branding is, in my opinion, a product of the most streamlined ideas. Even with a logo as simple as this one, there were so many detail-related decisions to make, and each one built upon the next. I guess you could say that my process is a very careful mix of OCD and LOL.

Overall, it was a fun project, and it’s an honor for it to be a part of the Clink Room. Thanks, guys!

Nick Garza’s Arrows available in the Clink Shop tomorrow!

Arrows-Tease

What’s Next?

Well, the short answer is that we don’t f**king know! We’re trying to figure that out right now. Here’s the thing Clink has been the awesome side project/experiment/hobby for us and we’ve really had a great time doing it. But there was always this feeling that it could be more, that if we only had the time (or someone had the time) to dedicate to it, all these fun ideas could become reality. At this point, Jason and I feel like if it remains this side thing then it’s not really getting the attention it deserves and that’s not cool with us.

So, while we try to figure this stuff out lets keep the party rolling and release some hats. Tomorrow, we tease Nick Garza’s Arrows! It’ll go on sale Friday!

Arrows-Wednesday

Where have we been?

We really missed keeping Clink fresh and daily. But things got nuts. The app, finishing up MiLB identities for the 2015 season, the Winter Meetings, and Holiday’s of course all conspired to keep us at bay. Throw into that Jason had his first baby and it’s been a pretty nutty end-of-year. We’ve got more hats on the way. Tomorrow, lets talk about the future of Clink…

Arrows-Tuesday