I wrote a blog once about how art was hard and more specifically how design was hard. It’s hard because not everyone has the same taste. What might look good to one person may not look good to another

The job of any designer is to figure out a way to please as many people as possible. Achieving this can be very difficult; achieving this while not letting your ego get in the way is even more difficult. 

When I first started designing I would often take a client’s criticism of my work personally. I would often get frustrated with client revisions. Things got to a point where I considered maybe doing something else for a living. 

But then one day a few years ago a thought occurred to me. I realized that everything I could ever possibly design would one day be gone. After the season was over, the poster I designed would be taken down. After you entered the game, the tickets I stressed out about would be thrown in the trash. And the logo I worked so hard on would be replaced with another one someday. Sure, these things might be saved for a while as souvenirs, kept in a box in someone’s garage as a reminder of that one awesome season when their team went 12 and 0. But in the end, just like everything else, they will cease to exist. That’s their nature. That’s the nature of everything really. Everything is impermanent.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re thinking this all sounds so negative, depressing and nihilistic. You may even be thinking that this somehow means that I no longer take my job seriously because “everything is meaningless”. However, nothing could be further from the truth. To me, the idea that everything is transient, is just a simple yet powerful reminder that no matter how personal I take the criticism, no matter how irritated I get by it, it’s all just an illusion. It allows me to do my work from a different perspective, one that allows for more give and take, which in the end makes me a better designer. 

 

I get the question all the time: "What should we be doing that we aren't doing?" or "What's the newest thing that we should be doing?" The are always new answers because there are always new things being developed. But right now and for the forseeable future, the answer is: Marketing Automation

What is marketing automation, you ask? Well, there's a graphic below that does a good job of explaining it but honestly, this is one of those things you have to explain through a demo. The basics are this... Marketing automation takes your sales initiatives and makes them about 100% more effective. It's about tracking, data mining and giving you analytics that allow you to make your ticket sales and fundraising campaigns more targeted and more effective. It's audience segmentation, directed email campaigns, automated follow-ups, customer relations management, pixel tracking, re-targeting and much more. And it's something Old Hat is now offering as a service add-on to our web projects. 

We'll be launching a website for a client in November that's directed at ticket sales. Through marketing automation, we'll be able to tell them who is spending time on what portions of the website and for how much time they're in each section. We'll know if they converted on the sale or not. If they spend 5 minutes on the mini-pack page, they'll get a follow-up email automatically a few days later telling them more about it. If they spend time looking at renting the terrace suite for their corporate event, we'll be able to give the client a list of those people so they can give them a call. If a family-pack is purchased, that person will get an automated email a few days later telling them about the family entertainment opportunities on gameday. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

I've been working in collegiate athletics for nearly 15 years and I'm not sure I've ever seen a more powerful tool in increasing ticket sales and donor relations. Give me a call at (405) 310-2133 and I'll tell you more about it. And see below... This stuff is amazing.

It's time for football! As the start of a new season and school year approaches quickly, Old Hat Print is already deep into our busy season. Make sure to follow Old Hat Creative (@OldHatCreative) on Twitter as we tweet an Old Hat-designed football poster each day leading up to the start of college football season. Prior to that, here's a sneak peek of a few of our favorites from the home base in Norman.

Florida International 

Presbyterian

Yale


Football posters are just a portion of the work we do. There are many other sports to highlight. Some schools prefer a uniform look, with the same design for several sports. Other schools choose different looks for each sport. Some also opt to put several sports together on the same poster. It doesn't matter which option to us, as you can you see below - we can make any option work well. This is just a small sampling of work. There are tons more projects in the queue or that haven't been released yet to the public. And not just posters, but tickets, logos, game programs, media guides, ticket brochures, annual reports, development brochures, stadium displays, signage - the list goes on and on. Be sure to check here or any of our other social media, as we will have an abundance of work to showcase in the weeks ahead.

 

Abilene Christian


Charlotte


Duke


North Texas


South Carolina


Syracuse


UNC-Greensboro


Utah


Western Michigan

Really all of the work Old Hat does is eye candy. Our goal with every single project is to help make our clients look good, real good. Our stellar video team has been doing a great job helping our clients enhance their own broadcast and video projects by incorporating our graphics package work into their projects. Here's some examples of what we've been able to create for Duke, Marist and UMASS.

 

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!

 

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