We create stuff for ourselves, either for fun or utility. Here are some recent projects.
Football As Football is a design exploration taking American football team logos and redesigning them in four European styles: German, English, Spanish and Italian. We (Garrick Willhite & Josh Vadnais) collaborated on the project with Alec Lindsey, Eric Drommerhausen, Bill Gunter and Nikki Meyers. We launched the project in 2013 and it's now been view by over a million visitors.
We all studied different league design aesthetics and picked up on consistent themes – Spanish styles use a lot of shields and crowns, German crests are more simple and geometric, Italian crests use stars to indicate league wins and English styles are all over the place.
We took these design themes and combined them with local state/city/team influences. We sometimes used state and city flags as visual cues for some crests. We used the American football team colors and mascots as references for making our "crest" versions.
The overwhelming positive reaction from fans of the project has been amazing. With one tweet from Grant Wahl, our website, took off. Deadspin published an article about us and within an hour we crashed three web servers. We had over 300,000 visitors within the first few hours of the website launching and that's with server outages. Today, we've had over a million website visitors from over 200 countries.
Our project was featured by WIRED Design, USA Today, Deadspin, Mashable, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, Brand New, The London Telegraph and The Atlantic to name a few. We licensed our crests for the NFL on FOX to use on their London football game broadcasts for the past three years. We get daily requests about the crests and messages of support from all around the world.
The Ugly Sweater Sweater is one of the dumbest things we've helped co-create. Scott Dahl, a former co-worker, had the idea of doing a holiday sweater that looked like sweat stains. Eric Drommerhausen, another co-collaborator and Garrick Willhite thought it would be funny to have the sweat stains in the shapes of recognizable holiday symbols.
We ended up creating a brand to go along with our filthy (not real sweat) sweaters and sold them online during the 2017 holiday season. Our idiotic product was picked up by news outlets, and even Clinton from the ABC daytime show "The Chew" was a fan, showcasing it during an ugly sweater fashion show.