Just released on Monday, The Clink Room Heartbreaker fitted has already caused some serious traction amongst hat enthusiasts. We got to talk to the talent behind the design, “Clinker” Patrick Finney:
Where did your love for art and design come from?
It’s interesting to think about because I would say my original interest in art and what drives me now are different. It originally came from a desire to work with my hands and create something I find visually stimulating. I still find value in those things, but now I’m more interested in the effects of that stimulus. We react so much to what we sense and consume. Taking a color, or a shape, or a sound and attaching it to a specific feeling to it is a thoroughly fascinating process. Designing within those elements involves a lot of puzzle-solving and discovery which ultimately makes it rewarding.
What does it mean to be a “Clinker” and how did you get involved with The Clinkroom?
To me, anyone with an interest in emblem design is a qualified Clinker. Most commonly it’s from sports applications, but the inspirational sources of The Clink Room are endless and growing. I’m not sure exactly how I stumbled onto The Clink Room. I think one late night in my freelancing days I was trying to build a collection of my favorite minor league logos and I came across it. As a baseball fanatic, I’ve always been fond of the symbols that unify teams, towns and sports, so it was love at first sight with me and The Clink Room.
What us the art/design scene like in Sebastopol, California and how does your environment influence your designs?
Sebastopol is a town with a lot of character. It’s orchard country, wine country, homemade-sculptures-on-your-front-porch country. It has a great appreciation for work done by hand and as a result, the art scene is alive and well. If my work is taking cues from this environment, I try to draw from the human and land-based elements. The imperfections of hand-written signage and hand-drawn symbols, seasonal effects, and patterns from nature are all examples of that.
Please tell us about the design challenge and what was the inspiration and creative process behind your winning design?
The Heartbreakers was a submission to The Clink Room’s Shadow League Collaboration which prompted designers to submit work in a silhouette style of illustration. Given those constraints, I knew I wanted to start with a simple, bold shape just to loosely frame the composition of the mark. I experimented with variations and combinations of ellipses, triangles and diamonds. When I landed on a heart, I instantly saw a cobra posed within that outline. It was one of those creative moments where a surge of really intriguing reactions and story lines emerged from this single image. It was exciting, but at the same time, I was thinking “….from a distance this is just going to look like a heart on someone’s head….Is that going to be……cool?” It felt like a risk, but as a designer you have to embrace those uncertainties and push through them to see where you end up.
Personally, I like to connect everything to sports. So, the drama of a team’s heart-breaking loss was what I used to explain the design, but I know there are many ways to read what’s on this hat. One day, it means one thing. Another day, it’s something different. I think a lot of captivating imagery is borne out of that principle.
If you could have anyone wear The Heartbreakers hat, who would it be and why?
That’s a great question. It’s a serious hat. It has a melancholy name with this dangerous-looking creature on it. And I like all of that. I’m truly proud of it. That being said, I think it’s important to have a sense of humor about your work to keep yourself sane. It would be great if this hat found it’s way into the hands of someone like a Conan O’Brien or a Patton Oswalt. Someone who’s going to look at this hat and say “Isn’t it great we have a logo for Snakelove.com? The online matchmaking service for snakes?” To be honest, it will be extremely gratifying if anyone wears this hat. It was a fun project and it’s rare that a product with any use comes out of doing something fun.
Any exciting projects coming up?
I’m developing a blog for myself to serve as another personal creative outlet. I’m aiming to launch it before the end of 2013.