January 28, 2016

AmericanMuscle Hats

I had designed several hats for the 2015 AmericanMuscle car show and they are officially on sale at AmericanMuscle.com. Below are two of the designs (the gray AM Stretched Fit Hat is one of my favorites.

Get the above AmericanMuscle Stretch Fit Hat at AmericanMuscle.com.

Get the above AmericanMuscle Shredded Hat at AmericanMuscle.com.

January 26, 2016

My Prized Possession

I suppose I haven't officially posted on this space of my prized possession:

I purchased this stock 1974 Honda CB360 on the evening of Wednesday, July 22, 2015. It was by far the most proudest moment of my life. I've wanted a motorcycle for as long as I can remember. I used to go to the York Bike Week Nights with my dad to watch the parade, and I remember probably nine years ago saying to him, "well if I get my bike next year let's ride in the parade." I got my license the summer after when I was seventeen and went off to college with a tiny savings account and every distraction from buying a bike.  Nine years... that's a long time to want a bike.  I since graduated college, moved away from my hometown and my college town to a foreign town for a brand new job that I now call home.  Three plus years into it, I feel like I finally have a grasp on what I'm doing around ehre.  I have to be honest, I was not planning on purchasing a bike this past summer.  Financially, it wasn't in my plan, and I'm quite a strategist.  However, in July I found myself at a point where I needed a spontaneous event to occur, and this bike landed in my lap with the help of my friend Pete.  He was looking for a bike to replace his Ascot he bought and flipped and stumbled upon this beauty on Craigslist.  Before I knew it we borrowed his grandpa's truck, tossed in the bike straps and headed west to Palmyra, PA.  I could go into every detail of that night, but I'll spare you and get to the good part.  Essentially, I made Pete do all the talking, negotiating, test riding, etc.  I just showed up with my envelope of cash and said "okay, you got a sale."  After a title transfer, we took what was left of my envelop of cash and went to the local Texas Roadhouse where we shoved our faces with food and I called my parents to inform them I had a bike in the back of Pete's truck.  ...Surprise!  I couldn't stop smiling, the whole 100 or so miles.  It was the greatest day ever, and I will never forget that pure happiness.

About 3 months later I smacked the stock beauty into a stopped car as I turned right in an intersection going on a ride with my friend & his Harley after work.  Great ending to the story, I know.  I landed on the hood of the car, which honestly worked out nicely for me and ended with no road rash.  It did result in a fancy ambulance ride with a dislocated left shoulder and a souvenir of twenty stitches in my right thigh.  Calling my mother from the ER was one of the saddest things I had to do, but I was calm which somehow made her not freak out entirely.  The front end was trashed, but luckily the forks took the biggest hit.  Whatever, we became blood brothers that evening.  Since then my CB beauty turned into a pile of metal as the Throttle Down Speed Co. crew tore it down to just the frame and motor.  The plan always had been to cafe it out, I just wasn't quite expecting to do it in September already.  Either way, it remains as my favorite, even if it is just a pile of metal.

Today I finally hit a highlight.  Last week I stumbled upon a rolling cb360t frame with the parts I need plus a little more to polish and resell.  It's been quite the learning experience dealing with craigslist flakes, I've had plenty of disappointment which everyone in this culture can relate to.  Today I can say that this rolling CB is in the works of becoming mine, and I couldn't be more thrilled.  I have a few key people to thank for making this purchase possible to get my original beauty running again; however, I will save those thanks for a future date when it is more of a settled deal.  Either way I am very hopeful and look forward to putting my pile of metal back together.  It'll be a proud day hearing her purr again.  It might even be as good as the day I purchased her.  I'll keep ya posted.

Throttle Down Speed Co. Has a NEW Site!

I'm proud to announce that Throttle Down Speed Co. has a pretty brand new website with an all new look and feel! A huge thanks to Brian Matthias for slaving over the new site and making it possible. We're always fine tuning it so check back often. Plus there will be a ton of new gear soon, so stay tuned! 

If you've purchased from us, please write a review! They are one of the new additions to the site and appreciate your support. Check it out: throttledownspeedco.com

January 22, 2016

Transition: From Canvas to Clothing

The "flying piston" is a familiar icon within the motorcycle and automotive industry. It is currently apart of the Throttle Down Speed Co. apparel line but the creative did not initially intend to be printed on clothing. Below is the transition of how the original acrylic painting of a flying piston was translated into the hooded sweatshirt it is today.  

Above is the original acrylic painting that consisted of only 3 colors. From there I scanned the image and vectorized it.

Once vectorized, I printed it out and sketched a bunch of options that included the Throttle Down Speed Co. logo within the design. I finally chose one and continued designing in Illustrator.

Above is the final design printed on an American Apparel hoodie.

Finally, here are the two side-by-side for comparison.
Get your hoodie here.

January 20, 2016

Catalog Editorial Content

Below are a few editorial content pieces I had designed for the AmericanMuscle catalog in 2015. Most are Customer Spotlight articles & you can see the development of the "Customer Spotlight" logo that is now a common element used in these layouts moving forward. I experimented with headline text, captions, pull-quotes and overall layout design. Copy was written in-house and photography is an assortment of in-house and customer shots. 

January 17, 2016

Hand Drawn Typography

Aid to Injured Riders (AIR)

Last winter I was fortunate enough to join the Aid to Injured Riders (AIR) nonprofit that raises money for flat track motorcycle racers who get injured during national events. In 1991 a deck of AMA Pro Flat Track cards were created and sold. These cards inspired AIR to recreate them using the 2014 national racers of the GNC1 class. I joined the AIR team to design the front and back of the 76-rider deck with the help of the other AIR girls collecting the information for the statistics on the back. Dave Hoenig of Flat Trak Fotos provided all of the action shots for the front of the cards, and he and the AMA provided the head shots. It was quite a joint effort, and it is a project I am very proud to be apart of. Below is the deck along with the front of all 76 cards. To purchase a deck, visit: http://mkt.com/aid-to-injured-riders

January 16, 2016

Transition: From Paper to Clothing

One of my favorite aspects of art and design is seeing how an original idea can transform itself throughout different mediums. Since my work for Throttle Down Speed Co. is highly experimental, a t-shirt design for example, typically originates from a fine-art piece. Below is one example of how this has been done in the past.

Our Mens & Womens "Cafe-X" design was one of the first garments designed from a drawing. Below is the initial ink drawing that was later scanned and transformed into vector art.

Everything about it was handmade including the hand drawn typography. Once in vector form it was cleaned up and slightly modified to be a sleeker design.

Having this design in vector form, opened up the opportunities for not only a design for a garment, but also to be cut as a vinyl sticker. There were a few additional revisions for the vinyl application, especially when considering the black to be inverted to white.

In addition to vinyl, we got this design printed on a variety of heather grey t-shirts. The black on grey turned out seamless and it is one of my favorite shirts because of it's roots in raw creativity. 

I believe it is essential to know where the ideas are coming from and how they are evolving throughout time and through varieties of applications. One idea can transform itself to endless possibilities, which is what makes my career exciting. Stay tuned for more design transitions!

January 14, 2016

Mammoth 4x4 Logo

Mammoth 4x4, one of our off-road house brands, was developed from the ground up a few years ago. Lucky for me, I got to be apart of the development of the brand's identity, beginning with the logo. 

This is essentially my first official logo design that has been used professionally, and it is one that I am quite proud of. This brand represents power and toughness, which the thick/block lettering is meant to portray. The "M" was generated while experimenting with the letterforms, with the intention of becoming a marking that could stand on its own. Today, the "M" is stamped on wheel center caps, packaging boxes and carried throughout other branding aspects. This logo now accompanies the website Mammoth Off-Road that was also designed by myself and developed in-house. 

January 13, 2016

Throttle Down Speed Co.

Throttle Down Speed Co: a lifestyle brand revolving around motorcycles, founded by two friends looking for an outlet to explore business & creativity. It's a vague sentence, but for now the minimalism will work.  Essentially the company originated from an idea, a name, a logo and an Instagram account.

The logo was inspired by the many handwritten typefaces and hand-painted signs throughout the vintage culture. From there, I started experimenting with painting motorcycle tanks and helmets just to get my feet wet. Going into it, my business partner Brian had come up with the business idea while emphasizing that this is a side gig that will allow us to explore many other things that we just won't get in our day jobs. For me it allowed for a very creatively experimental world that is not managed by anyone but myself.  The creative liberty was all my own, which was very exciting. "All things creative" was my loose "title" within the company, if you will, and so it began. We started with one t-shirt design, the Garage T-shirt, or what I refer to now as the OG.

It features a silhouette of a cafe racer, a bobber and a tracker along with a secondary version of our logo on the back of the tee. It truly represents the origins of the Throttle Down Speed Co. brand. Two-wheels was the primary theme and so it began. Throughout the first year we relied heavily on sales to everyone we knew and our growing Instagram following. Brian and I went to a ton of events that includes professional and amateur flat track races, hillclimbs, motocross races, vintage motorcycle shows, the race of gentlemen, bike nights, motorcycle shops, etc. The list was endless and is still growing today. We managed to make a lot of essential connections on the way to build our network that has benefitted the lifestyle brand quite well. 

The first time the Throttle Down Speed Co. logo began to make public appearance was on August 8, 2014, at the AMA Pro Flat Track Indy Mile race mounted on national number 51, Steve Murray's XR750.

It was an exciting moment to begin with, and even more thrilling when Steve Murray put his XR into the main event. Looking back, this moment feels like somewhat of a turning point for the company as we opened the door wide open to the flat track community and other forms of racing. Steve Murray later represented the Throttle Down Speed Co. logo within his graphics on his frisky two-stroke Yamaha in the various motocross events he rode in the 2015 season.

In 2015 I traveled to the 74th Annual Daytona Bike Week in Daytona Beach, FL. At the opening flat track races I was unofficially "scouting" to pick up our first sponsored racer within the GNC2 class. Dan Bromley, #54A really stuck out, and shortly after he would be one of the first professional flat track motorcycle racers to be sponsored by Throttle Down Speed Co. Throughout the year he represented the brand better than we could have ever expected. With stickers on his Motorcycle Superstore helmet, stickers on his 450 and t-shirts and snapbacks in the pits, he wore our name proud that initial season. He ended the season with a win at the Flat Track Finale in Las Vegas, NV and finished in second place in the GNC2 Championship. Did I mention he did us proud?

Aside from a successful race season, Throttle Down Speed Co. also launched several other t-shirt designs, snap back hats, beanies, long sleeve shirts and hoodies throughout 2015.  The long sleeve featured above on Bromley was one of my favorites showcasing that various bikes within the flat track races. I could go on for days telling you about my connection with flat track throughout my life, but I'll keep it brief. Art and motorcycles have been with me my entire life in one form or another. Those two things are the only things that have been with me from the beginning, so they mean everything. As far as flat track goes specifically, I got into it before I ever knew which way the bikes were going around the track. My dad always took me to watch the races, his parents always took him, and the family tradition lives on. Therefore, whenever I get the chance, I try to work in motorcycles within my art and art within my motorcycles. It's a pretty good deal if I do say so.

Below are several other designs that developed the brand early on. All designs originated from either a drawing, painting or sketch of some sort.

View all of the others here: throttledownspeedco.com.  2016 is looking to be a promising year for Throttle Down Speed Co.  I can't express how exciting it has been to build this brand to what it is today and to invent what it will become in the future.  A spring launch has been in the works for a few months, so please stay tuned to see what we come up with next-we've put in a lot of hard work and passion into it.  I look forward to traveling to even more events and exploring the culture further to continue to build the brand's culture.  I hope you all hang out with me along the journey because it's a fun one.

January 09, 2016


That time you find out that one of your drawings has turned into a tattoo on a stranger:

If only he had purchased the t-shirt...

January 08, 2016

The Bama Performance brand website was the second brand site I had designed along with MMD that I posted earlier. Bama Performance was unique in it's importance to offer a support service to customers along with helpful articles powered by Zendesk. The site consists of photo composites from my one teammate, in-house photography, in-house video on the Where to Buy page (which is one of my favorites), icons I had designed for the Help Center and a ton of collaboration with different departments. This is another site that is forever evolving with the focus on user experience and support. 

Below are full paged mocks of the homepage, Who is Bama & the Help Center

January 06, 2016

Email: Mods That Weren't Under Your Tree

Last week I designed the email below for our ExtremeTerrain store. The two versions of the graphic below are a photo composite including a clipped out jeep from our in-house photo collection and three stock images for the background. With some reflection retouching, it came together pretty nicely. The typography and icon usage was inspired by the XT Gift Garage I had posted about earlier. This image was also reworked for an on-site banner for desktop and mobile.

January 05, 2016


One of my initial in depth projects where I took on more organization & management opportunities was designing brand websites for a few of our house brands at Turn5. This included meeting with several different departments to concept and understand the goals of these sites; designing the entire look and feel of the website while considering mobile, tablet, and desktop resolutions; and communicating with developers to make the Photoshop mocks come to life and function accordingly. One of the first sites I had designed and implemented was ModernMuscleDesign.com. Due to working with three different developers, some overseas, Modern Muscle Design (MMD) was one of the most challenging and probably the one I am most proud of today. It has evolved quite a bit over time with updates and a few feature redesigns. Below is what it looks like today, featuring lifestyle imagery, brand-focused copy and other design elements that add to the identity of this brand.

Below is the full landing page desktop design as a whole:

Below is the full landing page mobile design as a whole:

January 04, 2016

Cafe-X Design

I briefly mentioned Throttle Down Speed Co. in an earlier post and wish to expand upon that eventually. Unfortunately, tonight is not that night. I will, however, give you a look at one of my favorite pieces I have designed for the motorcycle lifestyle brand. It originated as a sketch on paper, turned into a one-color vector piece. Inspired by the vintage cafe racer motorcycles and the tape X on the headlight, you can purchase this original design here (also available in Mens crew.) Shirt Modeled by Colleen Bauer; photo taken by Brian Matthias.

January 03, 2016

2015 Catalog Design

Below are some examples of catalog product pages I had designed for AmericanMuscle in 2015. The categories of products include Interior (3 spreads) and Brakes within the Handling category (1 spread). The concept of including swatches, group product photography shots, side navigation and layouts were all something I had created and arranged. As you can see, Interior includes a lot of products within a few amount of pages, so arranging them efficiently is key. Overall, I believe these spreads accomplish a lot including good comparison shopping.