If you caught last week's newsletter, we showed you one of our most recent derby's created for Northwestern Football, the Coca-Cola Zero Race to Refreshment. Northwestern brought Coca-Cola on as a sponsor for this project and they wanted their derby to focus on their product, Coca-Cola.This project was unique since most of our derby's feature coaches and mascots.

For this derby, we created custom helmets that completely covered the drivers face. Each car represented a Coca-Cola product (Coca-Cola, Coke Zero and Diet Coke) by using the brands colors and logos on the uniform and license plate. 

 As the cars race around the track to "Black Betty", the song chosen by Northwestern, you'll find several sponsored items where the Coca-Cola brand and Northwestern brand have been incorporated. 

Each derby comes with three outcomes so that each car wins once and you can create a promotion based on the result. For this particular derby...

To see the full version of Northwestern's Coca-Cola Zero Race to Refreshment, click here. To see how Northwestern used this derby to create a sponsored promotion, click here.

If you're interested in creating a custom derby for your upcoming men's or women's basketball season, give us a call at 405-310-2133 or email us at info@oldhatcreative.com. 

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. 

 

As I watched the opener of the NFL season last night, I followed along on Twitter. Sports remains the top must-see live fare, and ‘watching’ it in realtime via social media along with others seems to be the way to go. Because my Twitter feed is full of sports sites and sport-industry creatives, I saw an abundance of graphics highlighting the matchup and especially Antonio Brown's hair, Rob Gronkowski's TD catches and the return of Tom Brady. Even if people aren't able to watch the live event, they want to follow along on their devices. We're certainly seeing this in college athletics, as evidenced by the increased amount of social media graphic creation that's popping up in our workflow. Graphics for the next game, pregame lineups, in-game updates, postgame wrap-ups, season tickets - we can certainly do them all whether matched to your poster/current campaign or a completely new look.

On a side note, one thing we haven’t liked that’s also been showing up in the workflow is changes to athletic department brand standards. While we don’t mind a school looking for uniformity in their projects, these style guide changes are especially frustrating during the school year once the creative look has already been established. (And yes, those changes usually do hamper creativity.) So to schools… please change your brand standards in April or May, not August or September!

 

And finally, on a completely different and more important note, it’s impossible to not write a blog on this day and not look back to fourteen years ago. I will never forget where I was, on my way to work hearing about the events from a radio show which originated in New York. While I didn’t know anyone that lost their life that day, we should pause to remember them and their families as well as the police, firemen and first responders that helped or assisted during the tragedy. It's unfortunate that cultural attitudes toward the police and military have changed for the worse over the last decade, but we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those who continue to protect, serve and guard against future incidents. 

Just a note to the internet (and T.Swift if she reads this blog)..every day I wake up is a day I question why I didn't dip into my savings to go to a Taylor Swift show on her current tour...because it seems like the show is amazing and I want to go. 

ok but now to my blog for the day.

Around here, we create things. I don't do much of the creating, but thats what we are known for, I mean, it's in our name. And guess what, creating stuff is HARD. We're in our busy season, so my 4 designers spend their days making something from NOTHING...with little to go off of. Try that sometime if you don't do it for a living, its hard. 

Last night, we went to a painting class. We've done this before for staff infection as an office, and there is always a groupon for them, so we had a little date night. And now we have art for our new house. 

So, we started off like:

with NOTHING. 

After some instruction, our paintings started to look like they were going somewhere. 

We took a break, which was like watching paint dry...(thats what we were actually doing). And then we added more to our canvas. 

After some more time and some more instruction-we had our final products! I added an animal to mine, cause, obvi. It has to match my other paintings I've done at classes like this. In the past I have put an owl in a tree, and a moose in the Nashville Skyline. 

I really recommend doing this if you ever have the chance. It's a fun night and it will take you outside your comfort zone...especially if you don't get to create things a lot. 

 

 

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

Well, you’ve come to the right place! That is our favorite thing to do! Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get the best poster you’ve ever seen for your upcoming fall sports!

• Figure out your printing budget. Maybe you can do a non standard size for the same price as a regular old 18x24?! We can design for any size, so talk to your printer about speciality printing options if you are looking for something unique, or even if you don’t know how much printing this rad-tastic poster is going to cost you!

• Who is the decision maker on the poster? Is it you, or your AD or your coach? Whoever is going to have an opinion that matters, talk to them before we start, and let us know what they want. “My AD is wanting to keep things dark and gritty this year”. We want to make your AD happy, so let us know if they have something they like before we start so we can make it look the best instead of trying to work it in down the road. 

• Do you like something you have seen another school do? If so, what do you like about it? We don’t want to copy another school’s design, but if you tell us what you like about something, then we’ll take that and make it unique for you and your school. 

• Do you have a tagline? If so, what does it even mean?! Send us the tagline and a little description of what it means and we’ll work that into the poster design. If your tagline is “FAST AND FURIOUS” then lets make that look like its moving across the poster. If your tagline is “Rockin Red” then lets use every color of red we can find! 

**I do not encourage either of these taglines…unless you have a guy that looks like Vin Diesel who likes cars. and if you do, please take a photo of him jumping out of a car for the poster. If you don’t have anyone to do that, we’ll send Dustin. He’ll make it happen.

• Who are you going to put on the poster?! Do you have a super stud football player thats going to be all over the Sportscenter Top 10? Then lets feature him! Do you want to feature your 14 seniors? Then send us those pictures! Think about if you want to feature any individual bigger then another, or if they need to go in a certain order. If none of that matters, we’ll place them on the poster the way they fit best. 

• What is going on with your brand?! Did your university just decide they are going to only use certain fonts? Do you have a custom font we need to use? Send us your graphic standards guide and any fonts we need to use and we’ll make sure we are keeping your University Brand consistent. 

• What about that schedule!? Do you like it formatted a certain way? Do you want it to feature logos or do you want it really small at the bottom of the poster? We’ll change it up if you want something different, or we’ll throw it on there formatted all pretty for your fans to make sure they don’t miss a home game! 

So if you haven’t even thought about your fall sports materials yet, don’t worry! There is still time! Call one of our CR’s today and lets get it started!

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!

 

So today is my two year anniversary at Old Hat Creative. Much like my very first blog, this one will touch on a few things. A lot has changed for me in the last few years, though it seems to be settling down with much of the change coming in the first few months of that stretch two years ago.

The NBA Finals wrapped up last night with Golden State winning their first title in 40 years, finishing off one of the great seasons in NBA history. The Warriors are classy group with a likable cast including Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala and Steve Kerr. Kerr was one of my favorite Bulls back in the day (other than Michael and Scottie) and Kerr has enjoyed success at many of his career stops including playing, coaching or broadcasting. The Warriors also held off a spectacular series performance by one of the great players in history in LeBron James. I've been a LeBron fan for a long time but continue to be amazed / disappointed by all of the hate that's slung his way in spite of his on-court performance. Granted LeBron brings some of it on himself with actions like "The Decision" and "Not one, not two, not three, etc", but he is already one of the top 10 of all-time with several good years left. LeBron and MJ are often compared, many times unfairly because they are different types of players. Can't we be fans of both? I know I am. Jordan won four of his six titles in his 30s and LeBron, who just turned 30, already has two championships under his belt. Even though LeBron is just 2-4 in the Finals, that still holds up when compared to other legends such as Jerry West (1-8 Finals record), Wilt Chamberlain (2-5) or Karl Malone (0-3). Imagine what it would be like if Jordan, West or Chamberlain played in the social media era?

The New York Times reported yesterday that the St. Louis Cardinals were being investigated by the FBI for hacking the Houston Astros player evaluation computer database. We will see how this turns out, but the Internet has already had fun with this one and will call into question the accomplishments of the Cardinals over the last decade. I'm not condoning the hacking/cheating, but this has to be a lesson to create stronger passwords and don't re-use old ones. Especially if you're moving from one organization to a rival one!

Old Hat goes to 11 …. NACMAs. Another successful convention is wrapping up. A time to meet old friends and make some new ones. If you liked what you saw at NACMA or maybe weren't able to attend, check out the ways we use our experience and expertise to make you look good. Like Old Hat Sports Branding. Or court projection videos. Or Fanswers and Fangage. Maybe a print piece, large or small, is what you need. We will make you look good.

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!

 

I realized this morning that NACMA is less than three weeks away...and started to get a tiny bit stressed.

We still have lots to do! NACMA is a team effort around here, and nearly everyone in the office is contributing in some way. There's been hotel reservations, party invitations...trailer rentals and graphics environmental. A photo shoot and ordering loot. Booth construction and office obstruction. And I don't have enough brain power to think of more rhyming phrases. Instead, I'll turn my attention to checking more off our list. 

Old Hat Clients - make sure to watch your mail and email for more information soon!

 

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