This fall will be unlike any other for Charlotte, NC. On August 31, UNC Charlotte will kick off its inaugural football season when the team takes the field for their first game ever in the brand new Jerry Richardson Stadium. This moment has been years in the making, and Old Hat is excited to have been part of the marketing and branding process for the new football program. To commemorate this historic season, Old Hat worked with Charlotte to create logos for both Jerry Richardson Stadium and the Inaugural Season. 

 

In addition to the logos, Old Hat also created the season tickets, poster, fan guides and media guide covers. 

 

 

 

We're ready to cheer on the 49ers on August 31 when they take on Campbell at Noon and have no doubt that Jerry Richardson Stadium will be packed with Charlotte fans enjoying this historical event.

 

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.

#46 Michigan's 3D poster designed by Geoff

#43 Texas Tech designed by Jared

#37 Virginia designed by Geoff

#32 Rice designed by Geoff

#28 Syracuse designed by Geoff

#24 Bethune-Cookman designed by Jared

#23 Appalachian State designed by Geoff

#16 South Carolina designed by Aaron

#3 Florida State designed by Jared 

Roses are red,

Fall is near

summer is over,

lets all shed a tear. 

 

Football season is upon us,

get your favorite team's gear. 

Pack up your car, get your grill,

don't forget to pack the beer. 

 

I'll be wearing purple,

cheering for the cats. 

did you know, as the temperature drops, 

it gets busier at Old Hat?

 

Football materials are all done,

basketball pieces are just beginning. 

Everything is looking great,

We hope all our clients seasons are winning.

 

It's 5 O'Clock, time to go. 

The Old Hatters head home.

As they pass Gnorman,

they say "see ya gnome!"

 

 

Parents, you know that feeling you get when your child grows up and leaves the safety of home to lead their own life? Imagine being me, a designer, and going through this process every day.

In the morning, we open Photoshop. That's where poster babies come from. We select "New" and create our bundle of joy. Do we want an RGB or CMYK? What dpi? Inches or pixels? I guess that input comes from you, the client, which means you're also like the other parent and ...

... Before that metaphor runs away any further, let me explain. Designers at Old Hat create a lot of files each day. The little PDFs leave the nest to go be printed and we usually never see them again. I think, of all the work I've done at Old Hat, I've seen about 2 percent of my work in real life. And by real life I mean driving by a billboard or reading a newspaper ad. Of course it isn't possible to see it all; it's geography, Holmes. If I could be everywhere at once, I would, but I can't, so after I hit "Export" it's goodbye.

This weekend, I got to see my and other Old Hat designers' creations in real life. Which is sometimes weird when you think about how it looked on a computer screen and now what it looks like "in the flesh."

The University of Utah celebrated Ute Day at the local farmers' market. They set up a booth in the middle of the park with a lot of collateral to give away. There were scarves, posters, schedules, Utah taffy, coupons and plenty more. Most importantly there were lots of happy fans. The farmers' market attracts thousands every weekend, so what better spot to hang out with locals and promote your events? 

Geoff's Utah Women's Basketball poster was a big hit along with flyers for the upcoming football promotion, "Stripe the Stadium."

Football schedules, volleyball coupons and Jared's volleyball poster, fall sports schedule cards were also popular. Visitors also couldn't get enough of the Gymnastics poster we made this year.

So, I suppose that was a send-off for some of our babies. Now they're in someone's home, hanging on a wall, or in someone's wallet reminding them of game times. I guess I get a little sentimental when I think about Utah 2013-2014 Fall Sports Schedule Card. He was a good one.

 

 

We are just mere weeks away from the start of sports season.  I know, I know, baseball has been going on all summer…..woo. The real sports season begin, I mean. 

This weekend the English Premier League kicks off with the Community Shield.  The annual worthless game that is the official start of the season.  The reigning league champions face off against the cup winners from the previous season.  This year it is Manchester United vs Wigan.  This will be the first official game for Man United with out their legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson.  Yea, he was a knight.  The actual season kicks off the following week so I am just a few days away from having something to do every Saturday morning again.  

Three weeks away is college football season.  I was really excited about this year but, the off season has been an annoyance.  Will Johnathon Manziel play?  Who knows?  Well… actually I do.  He will play and win the Heisman, again.  But not as who you think.  He will suit up as Victor Chandler.  Yep…. This guy….

No, he is not Johnny Manziel, obviously. Victor Chandler is #2, a mobile quarterback, plays for Texas A&M, and is freakishly good.  Sure fooled me EA Sports.

In all seriousness, with the season only a few weeks away, we are busy at Old Hat Creative.  Posters, videos, schedule cards, and websites all have to be done in the next few weeks.   Check out some of the work we have done so far….

 

James Madison Football Poster

North Texas Football Commercial 2013

Rice Football Poster 2013 

Wyoming Cowboys Football Commercial 2013

Virginia Football 2013 Website

As we get closer to the season starting more posters, videos, and websites will be released.  Stay tuned!!

In this day and age of celebrating anything and everything, there are few things truly worthy of all the attention we give them. But there are exceptions. Some holidays, dates and events still deserve the pomp and circumstance, and one of those is celebrating 100 years. One hundred years of doing anything is impressive, whether it's a company that has struggled through a century of ups and downs, the long life of a man that has weathered the peaks and valleys of his existence, or a university's endurance through the highs and lows that 100 years of football can bring.

And that's exactly what the University of North Texas is celebrating this fall- 100 years of football. One hundred years of coaches like Hayden Fry and Odus Mitchell, and players like "Mean" Joe Greene, Abner Haynes and Patrick Cobbs. So what do you do to bring all those memories to life for the people that want it most? Obviously there aren't enough pictures or words to describe the program over an entire century, but UNT tasked Old Hat with putting an All Century Team poster together to reflect the top 25 players and coaches from the past century. Whittling down an entire century of football players to just 25 is no easy task, but with the help of UNT's knowledgeable staff and participation by voters everywhere, they were able to put together a solid All Century Team.

And that's where Old Hat stepped in. About as easy as picking out the top 25 players is trying to get them all to fit on a poster and make it look good. But our designer Jared did a great job. Not only did he get the athletes and coach in the poster and make them look great together, but he also had room to include tradional elements like the Green Machine (model A) and Boomer the Victory Cannon, plus the new Apogee Stadium. He tied everything together with just a hint of green*, and the bow on top was the 100 Years logo, also created by Jared.

The poster was printed as a limited edition giveaway for fans that got in early on ordering season tickets. The first poster off the press was recently sold at a Sotheby's auction for nearly $2.7 million**.

 

* slightly more than a hint of green

** this statement has not been fact-checked

 

After any big game, fans and players often want commemorative t-shirts. To meet the demand and to cash in on the 'We're #1" euphoria there are often two sets of shirts designed declaring each team the Champs…you know, just in case.

I've been a designer a while now and over the years I have designed a lot of these championship t-shirts. I've alway been curious as to what happens to the losing teams shirts, jackets and hats. I mean that’s a lot of misprinted items that can’t hit store shelves.

Well, recently I found out  about a group called World Vision. These guys save the items from certain doom by sending them overseas to people living in disaster areas and impoverished, third world nations which is great. Of course, there are people right here in America who could desperately use a fresh, clean t-shirt or jacket. I'd actually prefer that these items be donated to local charities. However, overseas distribution is part of an agreement between the pro leagues and World Vision. The I guess the leagues want to avoid any donated items popping up on eBay or appearing on TV.

 From a branding/marketing stand point I guess I can understand that decision. But it does make me wonder if the leagues are really interested in helping people in third world countries or if they're more concerned with not offending losing players and heartbroken fans…

One of the most critical elements for any print project are the photos. Whether they are action shots, posed shots, facility pictures, or something else, the pictures are always the focus of the design. Our clients do a great job of giving our designers photos to build awesome designs around. 

I had the opportunity to go over to Duke yesterday for their photo shoot for the football poster that we’re getting ready to design. When doing staged shots, it takes a lot of time, planning and prep work to get the set up just how it needs to be. The Duke Photography crew did a great job of setting up the area with the lighting they wanted and positioning the players and coach in just the right way. 

  

 

They took a lot of pictures and will then narrow those down to their top choices for our designer to look at. From there, we will select the one we feel will work best for the poster design and create an amazing poster from there! I’m already excited to see how this poster will turn out and am glad I was able to be there for the photo shoot process. I think I did a pretty good job of blending in!

I'm bad at directions.  This past week, I've been vacationing at a condo in Siesta Keys where the friends I'm with became familiar with the area after the first day.  They jump in the car and easily find the grocery store, restaurants and the airport when I would have to get out my phone to figure it out.  I know the reason I'm not good at this is because I don't always pay attention to the details.  When they drive they make note of things they passed, remember the street names, etc. while I just enjoy all of the fun things that are happening around me.

There are always fun things going on in our daily lives, so imagine trying to sell someone like me a ticket to a sporting event.  How do you get my attention long enough to give me the details I need to make a purchase?  Giving me a long, detailed brochure is great, but then I need you to break it down for me too.  I want to be able to reference that brochure when I have questions, but if you want to actually sell me something, I need it presented in small, digestible chunks.  

And sadly, I'm not the only person like this.  Give me a visual or tell me a story and I can spit back that information perfectly, so that's why I love infographics.  If you're trying to tell a story that people will remember, they are amazing.  Even if the story isn't flashy, you can make it look fun.  For example, last year when I was working from the Miami campus, I found out that one of the most confusing processes for the fans was printing their tickets at home, so together we made this infographic:

When you're running a new contest with the goal of collecting fan data to make a sale, an infographic can show people why it's worth giving their contact info and they can easily share this contest with friends and family across the social media platforms.  The reach is much bigger when you create something your fans want to tell their circles about.

We saw the power of the people in Pulaski, Tennessee in 2011 when we created a social media campaign for James Justice to win the fan vote into the NCAA Slam Dunk Contest.  He's 5'9 attending a school of less than 800 students in a town of less than 8,000 people and yet, his story spread across the state to beat out guys at schools ten times the size of his. 

When he won the fan vote, Athletic Director, Jeff Bain, then came to us and said, "well, now we need to raise the money to actually send him to New Orleans!"  Using the t-shirt we designed, we continued the campaign to turn these voters into donors, which we did.  The best part of the story is that with this opportunity he went there and won the dunk contest!  It still gives me chills to think about it.  I've never met James Justice, but getting to know him through this campaign is by far one of the best experiences I've had working in college athletics.  How can you not love this guy?

 

So if you're wondering if infographics can help tell your story to generate national brand recognition, as well as generate revenue for your programs, the answer is yes.

Without them, I have to rely on other people to get me where I'm going.

 

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