Friday, May 28, 2010

Signal Snowboards

Hey friends, I've got some more stellar news. We've got another new project in the works, this one is for our new best friends, Signal Snowboards. A special thanks to our long-time friend Sean Donnell for the introduction and creative help.

But wait Z, who is Signal? I'm really glad you asked. So back in 2004 snowboard legend Dave Lee decided it was time to bring snowboarding back to its roots- something pure and special. In his eyes snowboarding doesn't have to be everything for everybody. And thus began the life of this small california-based boutique-style shop.

Something we're especially proud of is Dave and Signals dedication to the sport. They've built an incredibly strong community of like-minded riders under the umbrella idea of, "Do what you love and the rest will follow."

Preach! And Signal hand-crafts their boards in sunny California and that makes them one of only a handful of companies still producing American-made products. How cool.

Plus their boards are revered in the snowboarding community. Take their omni technology, for example. It merges the classic camber style (sort of a w shape, raised edges, contact points at your feet with a bit of lift in between them) and rocker style (basically a wide u, with minimal contact in the center) to make a stellar new ride for snowboarders. Checkity, check it out.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


You might have heard about my main mang Steve Luker's main squeeze, Mexico (second to Miss Rachel). See, Steve love's Mexico, he loves taking extended vacations to it, he loves basking in the sun on its warm beaches, he loves surfing its perfect swells and he loves sipping on its world-famous Tequilla. He also appears to be incredibly inspired by its beauty and aesthetic.

About a year and a half ago Steve took one of his infamous trips to Mexico, Acapulco to get specific, and got an idea. "I think I want to make a typeface!" he exclaimed, eyes darting from hand-painted sign to hand-painted sign. But what kind of typeface would it be? Should it be a beautiful serif or a gorgeous sans-serif? Should it be a display face or would publishers use it when printed books and periodicals? Then he saw it, carved from massive slabs of concrete were the words, "Acapulco Centro Deportivo."

See, it's majestic. After a few weeks of enjoying time with the two loves of his life, Steve was back to work at Mutt, tan and motivated. Shortly thereafter Luker became acquainted with a young man by the name of Nick Olmstead, a local hand-letterer, artist and velo-enthusiast. Jazzed on the idea of creating a beautiful font the two began work. But keep in mind, creating a typeface isn't an easy task, it takes a lot of time, a lot of work and a lot of patience. The two had to decide how Acapulco joints look. What's the tail on a Q shape up to be? After revision upon revision Olmstead settled upon a set of sketches that would become the skeleton to Acapulco.

The next, and possible the most heavy-handed step was vectorizing the inked type and perfecting everything about the type, ensuring perfect connections between stem and spur, the ideal x-height and so forth. Cut to Olmstead twacking out in illustrator for several months and cue Mutt winning a few more clients, winter taking its toll on the pack, and fun side-projects falling to the back of everyone's mind.

But that's wack, nah what I'm sayin' mang? Side-projects are important, they keep you alive and fresh as a creative and Acapulco needed to be finished. And that's also the point at which we learned our boy Olmstead was planning a move to the Big Apple. With a single month to finish the type Acapulco got the attention it deserved and finally became fully-digitized. It may have been the day before his planned departure, if not the day when Nick had the unveiling. Now it's time to share it with you. Feast your eyes friends!
The future of Acapulco is still undecided, but we'll keep you posted. Either way, we're going to make this thing huge.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ms. Raphael

Oh man, it's been a while. Sorry beloved followers, admirers of Mutt, I've let you down. But I promise to make it up to you. For instance, would you all like to hear some fantastic news?

Of course you do. Mutt would like your help in welcoming Ms. Megan Raphael to the agency. Megan recently left Nemo Design to join us as an Account Director, sharing the load with Beauvais. Welcome Megan! We got a bit of a head-start on the welcome when Ms. Raphael joined Luker and McCommon in Chicago for a client meeting. Megan aced it and they celebrated with some of the local fauna...Go Cubs.
But who is Megan Raphael? I sat down with her to have a little welcome chat. It went something like this:

Z: You know, I have a sister named Megan.

M: And I have a dad named David...

Z: Too weird...And your last name is the name of a Ninja Turtle. And I like turtles, especially the ninja kind. But - and this is nothing against you because I love you - Raphael wasn't the best. Donatello is my homeboy. How do you feel about Raph?

M: ....sigh....

Z: So you've never heard that one before...Anyway, where do you hail from?

M: Boulder, Colorado.

Z: Now that you work at Mutt you realize you need a dog, right?

M: I already have one, Bernard-Jacques, or Bernie for short. He's the world's smartest dog. He understands two languages, French and English.

Z: Man, I wish I knew French. So do you think his favorite color is Red or Blue?

M: Aren't dogs colored blind?

Z: I bet he has a favorite shade...Hey Megan, what's your biggest pet peeve?

M: When people fail to use the two most important words in language: please and thank you.

Z: Classic. I bet your parents are proud, what'd you want to be when you grow up/when you grow up?

M: Before I got into this, I'd have said doctor like my parents, but now I'd love to be a mom.

Z: This is going on the blog, I'm sure you'll get some responses. So how do you introduce yourself to new people?

M: With a smile and a firm handshake.

Z: What's your favorite place in Portland?

M: My friend Jess' living room.

Z: And if you could meet any celebrity, who would it be?

M: Prince, and the revolution, of course.

Z: Of course. Now can you imagine if you met him in Jess' living room?

M: Oh. Man. Fabulous. But she has a nice couch...Maybe if we made sure he took his shoes off it'd be okay.

Z: ZING!!!! Charlie Murphy!!! Speaking of ridiculous, if you could choose only one: the ability to fly one day a month, the ability to control the weather one day a week, or the ability to see through clothing, what would you choose?

M: Hahaha. It'd be fun to see through clothing, but I'm going to have to go with flying for sure. Especially if I had the speed of a Concorde.

Z: You're probably right, but seeing through clothes would be pretty incredible. On that note, Who is your all-time hero?

M: My grandma, Maxine.

Z: Good transition. So you've met Luker and Cromer. Who'd win in a fight, in your unbiased opinion.

M: Based on a few emails I've seen, Scott Cromer.

Z: Last thought, what always makes you smile?

M: Letters from Rwanda.

Z: Perfect. Thank you Megan, it's been a pleasure. We're glad to have you.

M: Fun times, thanks!