Another year and another successful NACMA in the books for us. We had a great time catching up with current clients and connecting with potential new clients. Overall, the trip was a blast and here are the top nine things we learned:

 

1. Stuckey's is an American Tradition - Anyone ever heard of Stuckey's? It's a chain of gas stations that I thought had gone the way of the dodo bird. There used to be multiple Stuckey's locations dotting I-35 in Oklahoma but I haven't seen one in years. As luck would have it, there's one right outside Pensacola, FL and we stopped there TWICE on this trip. Stuckey's is a great place to stop if you want really cheaply made chachkis, ugly t-shirts, alligator claw back-scratchers, etc. We decided to pick up surprises for all the staff that couldn't make the trip with us. See below.

 

2. The back seat of a Suburban is not meant for adults - Six adults in one suburban in a 45 hour (total) road trip is tough. Josie and Hannah are the smallest so we forced them into the third seat for a good portion of the trip. I gave them a hard time for complaining about it but the fact of the matter is, that seat wasn't meant for adults. Holli and I rode back there for a while on the way down there and then started the trip back with a solid 6 hours back there. It was not enjoyable. Here's a photo of me and Holli asleep in the back while everyone else is enjoying their spacious seating.

 

3. There's Only One Place Left in the World That Still Allows Smoking Indoors... And We Had Our Party There - For all of our clients that are chain-smokers, I'm sure you were delighted to see that the bar we chose for our party allowed smoking. For all of you that DON'T want lung cancer, I'm sure the cloud of smoke was a bit of a shock when you arrive. On the upside, the bar's vending machine DID offer condoms. So we had that going for us... which was nice.

 

4. Make Sure to Bring $1.25 to Pensacola Beach - Pensacola Beach is a pretty nice beach. Crowded... but the sand is white and the water is clear. But if you have any desire to walk out on the pier, you better have some cash with you. Pensacola must be very proud of their pier as they charge $1.25 to walk on it. It's like a toll road for your feet. We walked over to it but hadn't brought any methods of payment with us so we opted out of the walk on the pier. Oh well.

 

5. The Lighting is Better in the Suburban than in My Shower - So apparently sunlight through the back windows of a Suburband does a better job of showing missed spots on shaven legs than the lighting in my shower at home. Holli noticed a few spots on the drive out there that she had missed so she hollered at whoever was in the front seat to fetch her the razor she keeps in the glove compartment for this very reason. I'm thinking about installing a shower in the Suburban so she can kill two birds with one stone from here on out.

 

6. 500 Square Feet is a LOT of Awesomeness - The past few years, we've had a 20 x 20 foot booth space in the tradeshow. This year, we decided to go with a 10 x 40 foot space to mix it up a little. It was a little experiment. Well, due to a longer story than you care to hear, we expanded that to 10 x 50 feet. It was nice to have all that space but I think we'll go back down to 10 x 40 next year. 

 

7. Robert and I have Similar Tastes in Swimwear - I've known Robert a long time... since we were juniors in college, to be exact. And we've worked together for many years. So I know him pretty well. But I have to admit that I was surprised when we got ready to leave for the beach and discovered that our swimsuits were nearly identical. 

 

8. Just Like the Seminoles, My Diet Dr Pepper Record will Forever be Unconquered - FSU was the latest in my trek to have the record for the most Division 1 college campuses upon which a person has been photographed drinking a Diet Dr Pepper. This was number 26 for me.

 

9. People Would Rather See My Wife Hula Hoop than See Me Do ANYTHING - It all started as a joke. Last year we had a hula hoop at the booth because we wrapped a sign around it. Holli hula hooped with it, I video'd it, uploaded it to facebook and she became a hula hooping sensation. So I decided it would be funny to make this year's t-shirt giveaway an Old Hat University Hula Hooping Team t-shirt and to promote it, I'd have her hula hoop at landmarks all the way to Orlando AND at the booth. Well what I discovered is that videos of her hula hooping are far more popular than anything I've ever done on camera. So far, her videos have been viewed 3,201 times. The most popular was the one of her hula hooping with Nicole Imbrogno. You can view that on the Old Hat facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oldhat

 

That's all! See you next year!

 

Soccer is awesome. I’ve been enjoying getting to watch some of the Women’s World Cup this week. I started playing organized soccer when I was in 6th grade and continued playing through high school. It seems fitting that I ended up interning for the San Jose Earthquakes (still called the San Jose Clash when I was with them) during my summers in college. I worked in the community relations department doing everything from coordinating player appearances to selling group and corporate ticket packages to even being the mascot at community events. It was a great opportunity and I learned a lot. One of the other interns and I did such a great job, they even added us to the team poster (or maybe we used a xerox machine and photos of us to add ourselves into it).

 

Now working at Old Hat, I’ve had the chance to work on some cool soccer poster projects as well. Here’s a few of my favorites:

It's almost time to start working on the 2015 fall sport posters and I'm looking forward to seeing what fun soccer projects I'll get to work on this summer!

 

It seems like a very simple question: What's one thing you've been wanting to try? For normal people that's a pretty simple question. You can apply it and rephrase it however you like: What's one place you've always wanted to vacation? What's one room you'd like renovated in your house? Name one entertainer you'd love to see live. Name your favorite dinosaur. For the record: Band of Brothers tour in Europe, kitchen reno, Dolly Parton, and Velociraptor. Did we just become best friends?

For designers and other people in the creative sphere oftentimes the hardest question to answer is: What's one thing you've been wanting to try? 

I get it. You want something original and cutting edge. You want to be the FIRST to do something big. You want to go VIRAL. Plus you think you want to give us the freedom to create whatever we want.

I can't fault you there. It's an innocent question, but it's also the worst question or direction we can receive when there's no other direction. It's probably my least favorite sentence to see in job notes. Don't get me wrong, I have ideas and Pinterest boards of cool things and new trends, but there are so many factors that come into play when you're creating. From a video perspective they can include: budget, deadline, school, sport, type of project (video: intro, commercial, historical, etc), length of video, time of year, number of cooks in your kitchen with differing opinions, featuring all athletes or just seniors or just top performers, featuring tradition, featuring brand new team, featuring new coach, coming off a great season, coming off a bad season, coming off a violation season, old fan base, young fan base, hitting or avoiding hot button topics on campus or the nation, celebrating an anniversary, celebrating an upcoming milestone...the list goes on and on.

So you can see the challenge of having the perfect cutting edge idea for the various combinations of factors. Not every cool new trend works with every factor of a project.

"What's something you've always been wanting to try for a 1:00 basketball intro?" Eek. And that's all of the information I'm getting. I mean if it was MY video and I was playing it for MY friends, and I'M the one paying for it well then I'd have the best ideas! 

I'd love to flip the traditional intro on its head. Maybe 30 seconds of something more artsy and dramatic (that does not include prepping for a game) that you don't see in an sports Intro and the last 15-30 seconds could have the traditional pump up sports things. Maybe they're just two different videos. Who knows? My video.

I'd love to go old school with some Aretha or James Brown era music.

 

I would love to film in a really unique location.

How crazy would it be to include Sia's dancer Maddie Ziegler in this video? Yeah. Pretty crazy, but it's MY video! (I haven't made my mind up in regards to Shia LeBeouf's dancing)

The point is, MY tastes are pretty eclectic and eccentric. I have all sorts of out-of-the-box ideas that I've been wanting to try, but they're not necessarily appropriate for YOUR specific fans, YOUR specific coach, YOUR specific team, this :45 video that's supposed to pump people up, etc. Giving designers direction doesn't inhibit creative work. Our job is all about collaboration. You give us some of the nuts and bolts of your team, your community. You tell us some of what makes your team unique and we figure out the creative awesome big way to make that obvious to the masses. 

Collaboration. Awesome.

First up, congrats to Old Hat client Duke on winning the National Championship last night. The leadoff photo is from my last time out there shooting for them. Mason Plumlee (pictured above) isn't there anymore, but his little brother still is. 

Here's some quick speedlinks leading into your Tuesday. Here we go...

• Federico Babina makes super cool illustrations of animals in the shape of architects' famous buildings. 

 

• Do you like court projection videos? Of course you do. But other industries are using the same technology to make cool stuff. Check out the video above from American Idol. 

 

• How about tintypes? Do you like tintypes? Don't lie, you probably didn't know what those were. Basically if you wanted to take photos like we were still in the 1800's, well that's what you'd do. Not sure I have the patience for it, but holy smokes is it cool. So props to her for making it happen. 

That's it for today! Come back next time for more.

Great staff photo, huh? Only, that's not us. And that will never be us. We don't wear power suits or ties. We wear jeans, t-shirts, ballcaps, athletic shorts... pretty much whatever we want. 

I was looking at our "About Us" page the other day and I couldn't believe how corporate looking I had allowed it to become. All our staff photos looked like we belonged in a photo like the one above. But that's not us. So I decided to spend my morning getting US back into our about us page. There are no major changes here but it's a much better representation of who we are than it was before. This page doesn't include our entire staff, by the way. Just the people you're likely to come into contact with when you deal with us. Though after spending some time working on this page, I think we probably need to get our entire staff on here.

Anyway, take a look at the revised About Us page.

So yesterday was my day to blog, and I completely forgot because I got wrapped up in a new Old Hat Project that is really, really cool!  I am not going to say too much about it, but will give you a clue.  It involves neat logos like these:

So why to picture of my dog in the snow?! Because nothing is as cool as my dog in the snow!

 

It's not every day that a coach reaches the 1,000 career victories milestone. That's why it was exciting to get to work with Duke on some projects to commemorate Coach K's 1000th career win. 

Commemorative Ticket: This was given away to fans at the first home game after Coach K's 1000th win. A larger version was also framed and signed by the Duke Athletic department and presented to Coach K as a gift.

Photo Gift: This sentimental piece highlighted Coach K's early years and was framed and presented to Coach K as a gift.

 

Newspaper Ads: These ran in multiple newspapers in North Carolina as well as in a digital magazine.

Billboard: A billboard to congratulate Coach K

Web Ads

We've been fortunate to work on some other Coach K projects in the past. 

Coach K's 900th Win Newspaper Ad

America's Best Coach Video

Coach K Team USA Video

We're looking forward to helping celebrate Coach K's milestones in the years to come!

 


 

Few people have had as much of an impact on the design world of the 20th century as Lella & Massimo Vignelli and Charles & Ray Eames.

 

From the Vignelli's instantly recognizable NYC subway signage

 

to the ubiquitous Eames's office chair

these individuals were responsible for the look of the last half of the 20th century. If you're interested in learning more about these folks, Netflix has two really great documentaries on each.  

 

Design Is One

 

Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter

 

Happy Columbus Day! Do you realize how significant this holiday is? I don't think most of us do... but that's for another day since that's not what I wanted to blog about. I did, however, decide to toss in a couple nautical terms within my blog, in honor of Columbus.

Staying on the topic of history, I wanted to dive into some sports history for all the youngsters that missed out on possibly one of the greatest eras in sports design - the 1980s.

I was reminded of some really atrocious sports posters just the other day as Deb passed along some similar athletics posters from one of our clients (who will remain nameless for the sake of anemones). The posters were obviously inspired by the totally rad designs of the Costacos brothers, which is an interesting story in itself. They are responsible for possibly the worst-themed posters imaginable, which might also be one of the coolest compilations of sports artwork. It's so bad it's good, and that's what the 80s were all about.

I wanted to share a few of these, pacifically some that had no regard for political correctness. You couldn't get away with a few of these nowadays, in our hyper-sensitive society. And I am truly sorry if yawl are overly sensitive to comments about hyper-sensitivity.

I know history eventually repeats itself, and I can't wait until we start thinking designs like this are cool again. I'm also looking forward to repeating that really good day I had in the spring of 1992, but that's not for this blog. Now on with the 80s...

 

And here are a few that might not necessarily pass the "PC" test today...

 

 

 

 

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