I've had some pretty cool opportunities while working for Old Hat. Meeting people, designing things, eating M&Ms on the company dime to name a few.

The most recent cool opportunity was getting to be Dustin for the day. We all know the universe can sustain only one Duffy, so I didn't pull off his charm or catchphrases. What I did, however, was pick up a camera and steal some of his moves for showing people how to fake play basketball for photographs.

Last Friday, I took some photos of the Utah men's basketball team. It was my first time soloing an indoor shoot with fancy lighting and posed subjects. I'd done outdoor sports photography and videography in my college days, but this was different. In these kinds of shoots, lighting is everything. Even though you're performing the same basic function, this type of photography is vastly different—to me, at least. I've still got plenty to learn, but I think the shots turned out great. Soon we'll roll out a few pieces for the team and I'll get to see the photos in their final form. 

As Dustin would say, "They're good enough for the gals I go with."

On top of that, these shoots are also good ways to snag a profile picture for Facebook so everyone can look at you and think "Wow, Luke is marginally cooler than he was in high school." I've always wanted a picture of me in black and white doing something cool. Thanks, Utah Kory.

As a designer, I appreciate photography. Sometimes it can make or break a piece for me. I've freelanced for clients with stock imagery or even just whipped up something for a friend who needed something in a pinch. In those situations, I feel like the photos in the piece could use some more life. A buddy of mine once told me design was like peanut butter and photography was jelly. Or vice versa, maybe. Point being, the two go hand-in-hand to make a really great product. If either one isn't up to par, the piece can suffer.

An example of this: The Utah Gymnastics tickets. I'm really pumped to see how these turn out. I'm happy with the design I created, but I'm really just blown away by some of Dustin's photography. Check back on the site sometime in the near future and I bet you'll see them.

Well, that's it for me from Salt Lake City. Now I've got to put those photos to use on some trading cards.

One of my favorite parts about working at Old Hat is when I get to see our completed projects in person. This past Friday I had the opportunity to make the short drive from Greensboro to Durham for Duke's annual Countdown to Craziness event. Since Duke basketball is sort of a big deal around these parts, fans cannot wait for the season to start and the first chance to see the teams scrimmage. 

After picking up our tickets and waiting in line with thousands of other people, they opened the doors and everyone eagerly made their way into Cameron Indoor Stadium. On my way in I was handed a Duke Men’s Basketball roster card that just so happened to be designed by Old Hat.


I also saw some people walking around with the Duke Men’s Basketball poster and schedule card that we also created.



After getting to our seats, there was still a good hour before the team scrimmage was set to start. During this time, Duke did a great job of entertaining the fans with various games and video features. One of those videos just happened to be a video Old Hat created about Cameron Indoor Stadium and some of the past great Duke players who have played there. Old Hat’s video crew did a complete 3D model of Cameron and then did some fancy thing called rotoscoping where they cut out players from old Duke video footage and placed them into the 3D model. You can check it out here for yourself!


After that, it was about time for the team to take the court. To further build the anticipation, Duke asked Old Hat to create a two minute countdown animation leading up to the team taking the floor. They used one version of the countdown animation on top of a video that they play on the main video board every year before the start of Countdown to Craziness. The other version of the animation was played on the scorer’s table video board. 


 In the next week Duke will also be debuting video player features and a couple of unique Duke logo animations that we also had the opportunity to work on. Check back soon to see more info on those projects! Countdown to Craziness was a great event to be at and even better because I got to see a lot of Old Hat’s work in person! 

Lately I've been traveling a lot to shoot for clients. When I get back in the office there's quite a bit to catch up on, so today I'm sending you on a link journey, in lieu of having any other great content to write about for you today. 

So, without further ado...

How about using craft paper for your next big budget magazine cover?

I love publication design and I really love it when they take on new design direction. Here's a nice insight into the Self magazine redesign via Pentagram

The film Gravity came out recently and although I have no interest in seeing it, I'm excited about the behind the scenes photos shown here


Have a wonderful Wednesday.

As a graphic designer I'm always on the look out for creative inspiration and reasons to quit having a bad attitude. Most of the time the inspiration comes visually, like this package design for a box of golfballs or this graphic from Sunday Night Football.





But other times the inspiration comes in the form of music. For me, music is just as important to the design process as the visual inspiration. It's my secret weapon. It's what gets my creative juices flowing.  Below is my official "Design Jamz" (with a Z cause that's cool) Spotify Playlist. Chance are, if I designed your poster and it was awesome, I was listening to one of these songs… if it wasn't awesome, I was probably listening to NPR. Sorry about that. I'll be sure to listen to one of these songs next time. I promise. 



These are the final words in Martin Scorsese's film The Aviator, a biopic about Howard Hughes. Hughes was one of the world's great innovators in the first half of the 20th century. It's a pretty fascinating film that captures one man's absolute creativity and drive to push the limits. There's also his fall into madness, but that's for a completely different blog post written by somebody a little mad (looking at you, Kevin). Right now it's all about the creativity and pushing of said limits.

In the sports video world the way of the future is MOTION GRAPHICS...actually it's more like the way of the present. It's my belief that motion graphics and design effects separate today's Intros/Commercials from those of 10+ years ago. Okay I may be coming off as Captain Obvious, but if you look at 50-60% of videos being professionally produced in the sports landscape there are still those who are perfectly comfortable with putting highlight clips in a timeline and timing it with music. That's all fine and dandy, but when your Intro looks like something 14-year-old Joe Fan Jr. created and posted on YouTube you're probably paying too much for that video.

This is where Old Hat Creative Productions enters the picture. Our artists are not only very talented video editors, BUT they're also highly skilled and trained motion graphic designers. That's a skill that isn't fully developed in a lot of in-house studios. And spending $40K a year on somebody who fakes the knowledge could be trouble in the long term.

Here at OH the Deb and Stevie Show are more of the crazy faces and hard core sports fans of Productions, we handle a lot of the management and preproduction work. The rest of the team is in the cool, dark basement with the mole people and are probably listening to Hanson right now. These folks are able to crank out multiple high quality projects each week and they continuosly amaze me. Hugs to all of you!

Our people power (aka man power) can also be a real asset to in-house video crews. We work with some incredible videographers and editors, but the amount of projects on their plate can be pretty daunting especially when football, volleyball and soccer are still in season and hockey, basketball and gymnastics are starting to ramp up. We're here to share the load. We recently got two new basketball clients who have talented in-house video crews and those guys have sent us top notch highlights, green screen and atmosphere clips. High quality assets + high quality postproduction = a beautiful thing.

So what it all comes down to is entertaining and informing your fans in a world where their standards for video production are pretty high. You have to place some value in production because it's the WAY OF THE FUTURE.


So for years I've been sporting Old Hat apparel around the nation, representing our fine company in high style.  And I occasionally get comments about my shirts... people commenting that they think it's cool or whatever.  But no one has ever come up to me and said, "OMG! That's so cute!  Where can I get one of those?"  Well apparently my wife is prettier than I am (surprise, surprise) and makes clothes look better than I do because when she wears our stuff around, people are always commenting on how cute it is and asking where they can get one.  So for a year or more she's been saying, "Get some cute shirts printed up and make it easy to get to on your website so I can tell people where to go to get them!"  So finally, I listened.  Within the next couple of weeks, the designs above (plus one not shown) will be available at www.oldhatuniversity.com.  So tell your friends and go buy stuff.

Today’s blog is a combination of my love of Words With Friends and doodling. Also, my wife made me help her with flash cards of the 50 states for her 5th grade class, so I was already in the right frame of mind.  

Here it is the end of August and I know we’ve covered how busy we are with all the projects going on this time of year, but I thought I’d name the clients responsible for all this work. I call it.... an infographic. They’re very popular with the kids these days.

So here you see every client we’ve worked with just this calendar year. I have no idea how many it is, but it looks like a lot, and that’s just in the last 8 months. I’m optimistic we’ll have more before the year’s end.  If you’ve been working with us and don’t see your university, chances are you’re not looking hard enough. Or it’s not there. I’m not perfect.

Well look at that, I used up all my blog time doodling… see ya next time.



“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” they said.  

“It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you,” they said.

Those two statements could not ring more true in the story of how Presbyterian College, one of the smallest NCAA Division I universities, became one of the biggest new clients at Old Hat Creative.

Having heard of Old Hat from former coworkers, Simon Whitaker contacted us to help PC celebrate 100 years of football and basketball this season.  This included developing a website to honor the past and present, a commemorative logo, a historical and intro video, and various print pieces.  We did print pieces for Presbyterian’s other fall sports as well.  

We started with the 100 years logo.  Our designer, Brian, found a way to celebrate both football and basketball in one logo. 

From that point, our designer, Geoff, created an amazing football poster that featured the logo front and center and captured the historical essence of football through photos in the background. (top photo of this blog)

With the print work completed, we were able to design a website with the same design elements.  The goal of bluehose100.com is to highlight the great moments throughout the 100 years of football and basketball at PC.  

The website is broken down into ten decades.  Each decade features stories, photos, and videos to share the story.  

One feature of the site that will catch your attention right away is the historical video.  Again, with the logo prominent, this video captures memorable moments in time through the 100 years of football at PC. 

The website is structured to be continually be updated throughout the season.  As basketball season approaches, the content can become more concentrated towards basketball, while still featuring football.

I have had a wonderful time over the last few months working with Simon to complete all of these projects.  He has been AMAZING at communicating what he wanted to see and providing us the content we needed to produce these pieces.  

PC now has a consistent brand across all platforms to promote and celebrate the history of their athletic programs.   

Who knows what would have happened if Simon never had that conversation about Old Hat from his former coworkers.  

Can you feel it?  Can you feel the optimism and anticipation that fans all over the country are feeling leading up to this weekend?  No one has lost a game and everyone thinks or hopes his or her team will stay that way all season.  That wont happen to most, a few teams… maybe. Possibly, none.  But at this point in the year every one can be optimistic.  

So while fans are figuring out what time to start tailgating, what the main course will be or what beer they want to drink this weekend, at Old Hat Creative, things are a bit different.  This time of year we are crazy busy trying to finalize everything that needs to be done by kick off.  Wait, not kick off, the day before or weeks before or at least when the team enters the field…

Check out what we will be doing this last week leading up to kickoff…

17 intro videos

4 websites

30 Posters

25 Schedule cards

13 ticket designs

6 Programs


I wanted to end this with a line asking everyone to think about all that goes into these games for fans entertainment but I am not going to do that.  In fact, I am going to do the opposite.  Do not think about any of this stuff!  

Old Hat Creative is here to amplify the sports experience, you just enjoy the game!

We all like to be recognized for our hard work. It's always nice to hear that you’ve done a good job on something especially when you give it your all. However, what’s more important to me is not the praise itself but whom I hear it from.

For example, last week some of my work (along with several other Old Hatters) was featured on The Bleacher Report's Top 50 College Football Posters of 2013. The posters were ranked on a variety of criteria, from team spirit and photo quality to all-around creativity and general awesomeness. Everything seemed to be taken into consideration when being ranked. However, once you begin reading the rational for the ranking of each poster it becomes clear that those doing the ranking aren’t designers. It’s obvious they’re completely unaware of what all goes into designing a successful college football poster. 

They have no way of knowing which elements were the designer’s ideas and which were the school’s. They don’t know about the conversations designers have with their clients or what resources the designers had to work with. Nor do they know about the time and design constraints put upon them by University athletic departments. But you know who does? Yep, other designers. They know all about what goes into making a successful college football poster. They know it can be a difficult task to give the client what they want and at the same time give them what they need.

So even though my work showed up on this list (one piece making it into the top 5) it’s not the praise from Bleacher Report that matters to me. I take that with a grain of salt. What really matters to me is what my peers think. If I’m able to impress them with the work I’ve done then I feel like I’ve created a successful poster.


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