At Athletics Unlimited I was the Art Director and therefore in charge of not only the daily t-shirt artwork creation, but the overall branding of the company as a whole. Having locations in both California and Nevada, as well as singular traveling salesmen, I was challenged daily with tight deadlines and multiple projects to manage which I think is the key to becoming a better designer.
When I started back in 2012 we were using a pretty new logo created by the general manager that incorporates a lot of negative space in it's readability. I liked that aspect and it was something the company wanted to keep but I wanted to adapt it to be less irregularly shaped and have more of a presence. In the 2013 logo (the year of the 25th Anniversary) we began using the rectangular stacked version that I reorganized and added the est. 1988 to commemorate their milestone. This year, the CEO decided to give everyone decorated Christmas gifts and wanted a more retro logo that still had clean lines and shapes, while going back to the old organization and color scheme from before my time here.
After a few years using the existing company template for art requests I decide to create a new one that was more elegant, modern, and space conservative. I also added a whole new line of garment symbols that appear in the template menu every time it's opened for new proofs. The new proof also includes a disclaimer that releases us from any liability if the client disputes the final product.
When the salesmen here at AU would propose All-School deals to high schools and colleges, they used to present the board at each school with a simple cover sheet created in word, or even worse, no cover at all. This is our one chance to convince these athletic programs to use us as their sole athletic supplier and I thought we should appear not only more professional, but more dynamic. If this is what we can do with the athletic proposal, imagine what we can do with your team apparel. Shortly after this Sonoma State cover page was created in 2016, we got the bid.
THE ORDER FORMS
Before we became largely web based, the company still used paper order forms that were anything but attractive and did not show the customer what they were actually buying (left). In a few cases my upgraded ones were used to bid for future business like the one below for Octagon Sports, through an All-Adidas deal
THE TRADE SHOW
Previous to 2014 we had been a very meek presence at local trade shows and clinics where the whole goal is to display your prowess in the field. All we had were catalogs from other vendors and a few printed flyers but nothing cutting edge or attention grabbing in any way. The general manager and I began working out ideas on how to improve our look and we decided on a large printed backdrop to accompany the mannequins and apparel racks we usually have, as well as a few mounted iPads that could be used as visual aids when talking to coaches.
USE THE RIGHT AND LEFT ARROWS TO NAVIGATE THROUGH THE IPAD SLIDE SHOW
The Athletics Unlimited website was one of the biggest projects I helped with while at AU. The branding on our old site was slow and inefficient, not to mention our domain was au1988.com, making the site virtually impossible to find. We decided to go with a friendly royal blue that has been used in our logo for many years while still incorporating the trade show graphic on the homepage. Every piece of imagery on this site as well as all the font and color choices went through me and took us about 3 days of locking ourselves in the conference room to complete. Overall I am really happy with the new site and how it reflects on Athletics Unlimited. VIEW THE SITE HERE