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!

3 New Designed By Clinkers

We never made the announcement officially, but there are 3 new Designed By Clinkers hats now available in The Clink Room online store. Chris Cox’s Kraken featuring a mint green logo on royal hat. Kai Takahashi’s Slumber Jacks featuring a red, black and silver logo on a black and olive hat. And Kyler Wilson’s Early Birds in a retro Phillies color way of light blues on a maroon hat. Head over to our temporary Clink Room store hosted by Hat Club.

We’ll do a behind-the-scenes for these awesome styles in the next few weeks. More Hometown League entries Monday. Kick this weekend’s ass Clinkers!

Sean’s Sirens – Pt. 2

Sean doesn’t mess around with sketching. Straight to the point. When a great idea strikes, run with it.

I had forgotten about Sean’s two different versions of the Siren. Arm up and arm down. His refinement from the two arms up version to the final arm down version is great. The hair is more dynamic, she’s got a few more curves without being cartoony, the fish are nicely rearranged, even her bum has been given some life to it.

With Sean’s great design in place, we created the stitch instructions. One of the benefits of the Shadow League designs was the ability to go nuts with the embroidery.

Here’s a sneak of the final hat.

Tomorrow, we’ll preview the hat, tomorrow night it’ll be available in the Clink Room Online Store!

Sean’s Sirens – Pt. 1

Ready for our first Shadow League hat? I sure as heck am. And to kick the Shadow League off right, we’re going to start with one of our favorite designs in the history of The Clink Room. Why is the Sirens one of our most favorite designs? Many reasons. I’ve never seen anything like it on a hat, it’s a great design, or what about when we got our first sample back from New Era I couldn’t stop showing it to people because it totally blew my mind. New Era’s digitizers really did a number on this one. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning with Sean’s inspiration for the design.

Tomorrow, we’ll show you Sean’s sketches and a behind-the-scenes of the production, Thursday we’ll preview the hat, and Thursday night we’ll make the hat available!

Shadow League Winners!

Man, we lost sleep over this contest. Some of the toughest decisions we’ve ever had to make. So many brilliant designs are left on the cutting-room floor and it’s chewing me up. But, here they are and just look em! What a gorgeous crew!

I want to thank everyone for submitting. You guys are absolutely some of the most talented people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Seriously, 4 years in one of the best art schools in the country and I haven’t seen this concentration of talent. Thank you for your hard work. PLEASE, don’t be discouraged if your design wasn’t selected. PLEASE! Ask a veteran Clinker, sometimes it takes a few Leagues. We love you all!

Merry Christmas to you. Next week we unveil Gyula Németh’s Trick-or-Treats, it’ll go on sale next weekend and it looks spectacular. Kick this weekend’s ass everyone!

Shadow League Vote

The Shadow League vote is finally here. Anyone can vote! If you submitted a design, then you get 5 votes, if you didn’t you get 3. We want it to be known that the while the vote is important, the final decision will be made by Jason and I. But the vote is still very influential.

Here’s how it works…

Download the PDF Ballot (About 10MB).
• When you’re ready to vote, send your email to Shadow League Votes. (
• IMPORTANT: The subject of your email must read “SHADOW LEAGUE VOTE” in order for your vote to count.

• If you submitted a design, you get 5 votes. The order doesn’t matter. It should look something like this…

• If you didn’t submit a design you get 3 votes. Your email should look something like this…

• Voting ends on Thursday morning, December 22th when we open our emails.
• Winners will be announced Friday, December 23nd.

I’m so pumped! Good luck to everyone. Have a great rest of your week.

PS. Same as the last contest, shout out your favorites in the comments.

Just Kidding!

I know, I know. We were done. But here are the last of the stragglers and the ones that I never got in my Inbox. I turned away a few so don’t think I’m a softy bending the rules. Anyhow, it’ll take a few days for us to get the ballot in order. So what’s a few more?

Ryan! See one color is awesome! Love this guy.

Mike! Better. I like that shape, part droplet-part flame. I think I liked the stick of dynamite in there better though. If you get picked, we’ll work on it. Great work though, I like the black and white colorway.

Gyula! Much better. And those tentacles have made the whole thing tripy in that Cthulhu sort of way. Done!

Stewart! Awesome. 70’s or 80’s era awesome with a 2012 Clink Room name. Done!

Last Entries of the Shadow League!

We made it! Amazing work everyone. Really. I’ve had people like Nai of Strictly Fitted(Guys that know their hats.), call me just to say how excited they were by the designs this League has generated. You all should be very proud. If you didn’t see your entry posted, it probably because you submitted too late. I’m sorry if there was any confusion, but I had to draw the line. Next contest! Again great work. Lets wrap this puppy up!

Brandon! MUCH better. Much. Done!

Scott! I like it. 70’s sports logo-ish. A very hard era to mimic. Very impressed. One-and-done!

Scott again! Much better! You’ve owned the concept and it looks great. Done!

Nate! Way to put this baby to bed on a weird note. I really love this concept and a black banana is funny on it’s own. Add a couple wings and you’re soaring into the weird Hall-of-fame. One-and-done!

Wall Street Yucca Zany Grandmasters

Kolja! Alright, way to keep it topical. This is a great representation of the bull sculpture in lower Manhattan. An impressive feat. Anytime you render a sculpture in 2D it difficult to communicate it’s style and you’ve done it. I think those 2 circles in the front of the bull are supposed to be the quarters you’ve mentioned in the story but I don’t think you need them. You’ve said plenty with the dead bull. For the sake of the contest you’ve got yourself a one-and-done! Way to go!

Tom! Wow this is a cool design. It really looks like a sign or seal that you might see plastered along the side of a road leading to a hazardous or nuclear waste site. Well done! One-and-done in fact!

Kim! Love the redo! Done!

T.J.! Master of the bitmap. Another great entry, beautifully executed! Way to get a big contender in right under the wire. One-and-done.