#BuckFiftyADay Since March, 2014

#BuckFiftyADay Since March, 2014

Saturday, March 9, 2013

We got a lot cooler this week

The Original Six Leather Head baseball gloves are now scattered from Glen Rock, N.J., to Deland, Fla., leaving me and Paul with a little bit of glove withdrawal. We realize it's a necessary step in the development of our product to put the gloves in the field and see how they perform and wear.

Jon brings big-time talent and energy to Leather Head.
Still, we miss them.

So, in the meantime, we've started to discuss design elements. Things like patch that will go on the wrist strap. Will we adorn the glove with other markings? Something between the thumb and index finger. Maybe something on the web. Will their be other brandings inside the glove. What color scheme will we use?

Now, Paul and I have ideas and Paul has already developed a pretty cool trademark for Leather Head Sports. It's simple yet iconic. It takes you back. But there's a point of separation that needs to occur between Paul's original product line and what we're doing now because while these gloves are throwbacks to gloves of an era gone by (the 70s and 80s), we also know they are gloves that are meant to be used by elite level players.

Visually, while we love the old school look, we also want the gloves to appeal to the eyes of teenagers. Let me just cut to the chase. We want them to look cool. Because they are cool.

Jon loves the game like a kid, hence his trademark.
So, late in the week, we added cool to our lineup.

Meet Jon Contino, the man who will be our designer.

Jon is a self-described Alphastructaesthetitologist (don't ask me to pronounce it), which he means...well, Jon explained it in an interview with Four Questions, this way:

"The essence of the word “alphastructaesthetitologist” can be broken down into “one who creates and studies stylized letterforms.” But in reality, it’s just a wise-ass word I made up in response to “so what do you do?” My source of inspiration has really shifted over the years. I really take a lot out of the day-to-day lives of my family and friends. I love watching them work in their own environments and talking to them about what makes them tick. Understanding other people’s creative process and connecting the dots to real life is one of the most inspiring things I can actually grasp in some way. Everyone has their own interests as well, so talking to my dad about carpentry or discussing what’s new in fashion with my wife is always pretty invigorating, creatively speaking."

Paul knows Jon from the trade show circuit. It's easy to see they are members of the mutual admiration society. Here's why. They're both artists. They're both great at what they do.

And they both love baseball.

When our email exchanges began with Jon, it was a recipe for work-productivity disaster. Once I'd seen some of Jon's work, I was a kid in a candy store. Could we do this? Could we do that? I must have apologized 50 times for making too many suggestions, but Jon was like, "keep it coming."

At one point, we got diverted into a discussion on which sports logos we doodled as kids. I bragged how I could draw the Chicago Blackhawks logo (and the shoulder tomahawks), in full-color, from memory. Paul bragged about how he'd perfected the old Milwaukee Brewers ball-in-glove "MB." I countered with how I'd mastered the Montreal Expos famous tri-color logo from days gone by.

The first scibbles. This is where our new logo starts.
As for the direction of our Leather Head logos and symbols, first, we've asked Jon to come up with a new "LH." To that, Jon offered up the following: "The LH should always be able to work as a mark. Also something that would be easy to scribble on a notebook or drawn in the sand and still be recognizable."

Within hours, he was sharing some of his sketches. We are bouncing ideas around, but Paul and I know there will come a time when we back off and let the man work his magic.

I could detail a few of the things that Jon has done in his 29 years (his clothing line, the skateboards and snowboards he's branded, etc.) but I couldn't do it justice...

You'd be better off visiting his website.

One thing we know to be true, Paul and I, is that Leather Head baseball gloves, already beautiful in terms of the quality of the leather and the classic designs, got a lot cooler this week.

The problem I have now is that I can't sleep. Because I can't wait to see what Jon comes up with.




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