The Designers of Summer

"Hard Ball" Back print on white shirts.

Being a hired gun (creative pinch hitter if you will) means I do a lot of exploratory work that will never be used and tends to serve the purpose of helping an agency focus in on final solution. I'm not complaining, that's just the reality of the game.

Recently I was hired by Red Jacket Clothing to create a tribal tattoo themed baseball design. I love baseball, I think it has a lot of great metaphors that one can play off for all kinds of various concepts.

My client gave me full control of this project so of course I picked my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox to use in my design.

"Hard Ball" Back print on colored shirts.

I decided since this had a tribal tattoo look I'd play off of that theme with the term "Hard Ball." I also created a modular design that could be adapted for any of the MLB teams. This way the design would have a broader potential for the marketability and be relatively easy to customize by merely shifting ink and shirt colors either dark or light.

The hardest part of this design though was creating the baseball. The first one I did looked horrible. It didn't read as a baseball, it read more like a Klingon jig-saw puzzle instead. So I had to re-draw it a few times before I struck the right balance.

Logo front print on colored shirts.

The main design is a back print and this is the front center chest print. The team logo would be dropped into the middle of the tribal ring for each team.

It took roughly two months for the design to make it through MLB licensing circles and ultimately got benched. No reason was really given? But I've dealt with MLB licenses before and they are somewhat finicky IMO.

I'd be curious what others think regarding this designs marketability, so I created a simple poll you can vote in here.

Personally I like the design, it was fun to create so I'm just bummed it got put on waivers before it even had it's first at bat.

Maybe I should buy a steroid plugin for Adobe Illustrator? Hmmmm.