Friday, July 26, 2013

Tennessee Smokies Gold Glove Series Bobblehead Box Design #2 - Yadier Molina

It's hard to believe that the 2013 season only has a little over a month left, but according to the calendar it certainly looks that way.

With that being said, the Tennessee Smokies continued their Gold Glove Bobblehead Series this past Saturday night with the Yadier Molina bobblehead giveaway. This box was a fun one to work on because of Molina's current fame (and great season he is having this year), his wealth of success, and the fact that I had some great photos of his days at Smokies Park to work with. I think using the image of him in his Smokies gear on the front of the box made it a really awesome cover. It then allowed me to put a little image of the bobblehead on the back of the box just above the stats (and man was that a list to whittle down!).

The Smokies will wrap up this series of bobbleheads on August 17th with the Darwin Barney bobblehead. It has been really awesome to have played such a big part in putting together this collector's series, and I can't wait to show off the complete collection come next month. Be on the lookout!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tennessee Smokies Desktop Wallpapers

As a designer, I believe that desktop backgrounds are one of the most fun projects to work on. They really are canvases of unlimited potential and allow you explore your design capabilities.

I recently created several backgrounds for the Smokies that are now available for download on the team website. The supercharged "TS" logo is one I actually created for my personal PC back when I started with the team in February and I am glad to be able to now share it with the fans. I included a couple fan-favorite players as well as other uses of the Smokies logo. All in all, I tried to create a good variety for people to choose from while exploring styles that were more graphic heavy versus ones that were more texture heavy. I loved expirementing with just what happens when you start mixing things together in Photoshop and seeing what comes out. I have posted a few below, but make sure to check out the full selection at the link to the Smokies website above!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Smokies All-Star Graphics for Chicago Cubs Leadoff Show on WGN America

On July 6th, the Smokies had a special that aired during the Chicago Cubs Leadoff Show on WGN America. They highlighted those members of the team that had been selected to the Southern League All-Star Team. You can watch the full video here.

Working with the Smokies Radio Network team, I created several graphics that appeared throughout the video. It was quite a thrill to see my work broadcast on national television. You can see the graphics below and please be sure to check out the video at the link above!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

4th of July with the Tennessee Smokies

The 4th of July weekend was a busy one at Smokies Park, highlighted by back-to-back-to-back fireworks shows on the 4th, 5th and 6th. The team had an ad for each night in the Knoxville News Sentinel, and it was my task to create the trio for the weekend.

I wanted them all to have a similar look, thus the same bottom info line and background. I included Slugger on the fireworks ad for the 6th to breakup the player imagery that the viewer may have gotten used to by the third day.

My favorite of the three is the first ad that kicked them all off. I knew we wanted to come out with a bang (no pun intended), and I thought the angled text to match the angle of the baseball player worked well to achieve that effect.

As for during the games, I once again pulled out all the stops on our video board head shots for the team. I kept the same concept as the newspaper ads but translated them into a video board format. I really wanted to do something different when it came to the head shots, so I went with the over-sized number to act as anchor point for the eye to got between the stats and player picture. I  then chose for the name to wrap around the number halfway in a clockwise motion to help lead the viewer's eye to the player picture once they read the name.

These are probably my favorite head shots I've done this year, and I have few shown below for you to see (stats are not those of the players shown and are simply for aesthetic purposes):

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Smokies Combo Dangler Signs at Smokies Park

A few more signs of mine have been hanging up at Smokies Park over the past couple homestands. The team recently introduced three combos to the concessions menu, and there needed to be a way to advertise them to our fans.

When I began designing these dangler signs, I recalled the look of circus attraction signs and trying to make these combos become the "attractions" of the concessions stands. Because of that thought process, I turned to the most basic of all color triads: red, yellow, and blue. Since red and blue are already a part of the team's color scheme, I knew I wanted to include them and then use the golden yellow area to let the info about the combos stand out. This basic color scheme is also a pretty good staple of many the fast food chain and really does a nice job of drawing attention to itself. I kept the background behind the food white because I really wanted the viewer's taste buds to beat their eyes to the piece and draw them to their potential orders.

Overall I really enjoyed working on these pieces and they became a nice set. The next time your at one of the Smokies main concessions stands, be sure to look up to see these delicious options!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sports Design: Why I Love What I Do

To many people, this photo would be just another sports photo. Just some fans, just some players, and just some posters.

However, this picture is a lot more for me. It's why I love designing for sports.

The poster in this picture is the schedule poster I designed for UT-Chattanooga's 2012 football season, and it's becoming a memory for each person that is getting one signed by all the Mocs players. It's a time capsule of that season, that event, and that day.

I stumbled across this photo while putting together the covers for UTC's 2013 Football Media Guides (a work in progress that will be up on this blog down the road). I paused for a moment, and after taking in the whole photo, I cracked a small smile. I imagined the whole scene taking place, from the kid getting his poster signed to the player in the middle of the photo (#9) talking to another fan. So many interactions just like these occurred at this event where my poster was one of the focal points. That was a powerful feeling for me. Even from far away, I was an integral part of this day, of bringing this fan base out to connect with their team.

The greatest joy I get from each design I create for any team I work for is the fact that each one, whether it be a poster, ticket, billboard, or anything else, could become a memory for their fans. It could even be some young fan's first memory about a team. That thought drives me to make sure each design I make is my absolute best. As Joe DiMaggio said: "There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time. I owe him my best."

I owe each project I receive my best. Each one comes with its own set of challenges and problems to solve, but they all have the chance of creating a moment like the one pictured above. That chance is enough to keep me pushing to become a better designer with each piece. Here's to every project that comes my way and every memory I can help create.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Smokies Ad on Ballpark Digest

Ballpark Digest is one of the leading guides to everything baseball. From leagues to teams to parks and more, it's a one-stop shop for all your baseball news, and I was very excited to see an ad I created for the Tennessee Smokies now up on their website. As the team looks to fill a couple staff positions, it is awesome to see my work getting such large exposure on a nationally-renowned baseball site.