Did I really just quote Fabolous? Damn. I did. But, I needed something that fit what I’m going to write about and, sadly, that was the first thing that came to mind.

As I’ve gotten older, like most people, I’ve found myself re-doing my wardrobe to be more “grown up.” Sure, I like to lounge around the house in a t-shirt and what not but work calls for button downs and sweaters and jeans during the fall and winter, shorts and polo’s in the spring summer (I work in a very causal environment.) One thing, though, I’ve held on to is my fetish for fitted hats.

I’ve been buying fitteds (especially new era 59/50’s) for a damn long time now. Hell, I remember when you could roll into a place like Lids and pick up a 59/50 for 20 bucks or so. Those were days. Now, due to a DRAMATIC raise in price I don’t buy nearly as many hats as I used to (example; I bought ONE hat last year. A black on black Boston Red Sox 59/50.) But I still like to keep tabs on such things and in doing that I have discovered a fantastic group of designers doing some of the most fantastic work one can do in the medium; Plan B Branding.

Who is Plan B Branding? According to their website;

The two of us grew up in San Diego, best friends since kindergarten. We loved looking through the newest Star Struck catalog and picking out our favorite designs. We always dreamed of designing logos for our favorite sports teams.

To earn some extra beer money in college, we started designing high school logos out of our dorm rooms. We screen-printed the logos on t-shirts out of our garages, then sold them to the high schools. That summer we wrote 150 letters to Minor League Baseball teams. Only one got back to us, the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx. They told us, “If we like it, we’ll buy it.” So we worked all summer for our first Minor League club. Plan B Branding was born.

Today we’re creating not just for Minor League clubs, but Major League Baseball too. We’ve worked on projects for the World Series, and recently modernized the logos for America’s oldest baseball club, the Cincinnati Reds.

The Clink Room is our after hours clubhouse in the back of Plan B. Branding’s studios. It’s a behind-the-scenes place to introduce new ideas, experiment in the world of sports design, and collaborate with friends of the studio. The ideas are flying, the beer is cold, and bottles are clinking!

Thanks for hanging with us in The Clink Room!

Pretty cut and dry right? Sure, but the real story is the designs.  An example of their work;

Pretty awesome isn’t it? Minor league baseball in particular can produce some FANTASTIC stuff on this front. Sure, some of them make you shake your head and go “what the hell were they thinking?!” but the stuff the Plan B guys are doing? Not so much. Everything they’ve done that I’ve seen on their website is simple and nice. Not to gaudy and the kind of hat you could wear with just about anything and not feel like a goofball (unlike the gaaaawwwwdawful ‘fashion caps’ new era puts out that you see all over the place in shops like Lids.)

And what about the hat above? Well it’s the latest addition to their online store and I am definitely a fan. Here’s a little bit of detail on it:

The new 2010 home cap we just designed for the Mobile BayBears. The cap is done in a classic solid navy with light blue and cream highlights.

The embroidery incorporates a design concept that we developed while spending a day with New Era’s digitizers in Buffalo. Our goal was make the bear appear to be emerging from the darkness. We started by embroidering the majority of his head in the same color thread as the cap color. Then we broke the large navy area into smaller fur fields, giving the head dimension. Now when the glossy navy thread catches the light, it gives this simple logo a furry 3D look. One we’d never seen before.

The new look also pays homage to the heritage of baseball in The Azalea City, especially the Mobile Bears of the 1940s. If you haven’t made the trek, Mobile defines the romantic Old South. Antebellum mansions, azalea trees, gas lamps and horse-drawn carriages. The new home cap is just part of our 2-year creative overhaul of the BayBears franchise. We’re producing a new Mobile-themed fan experience that includes ballpark mint juleps to rocking chairs. Gunna be classic!

I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. I really am.  The colors, the stitching, the story behind the artwork…like I said, I’m a sucker for that kind of thing.

Anyway, if you like what you see and want to see more/learn more I highly recommend you hit up their creatively designed website; THE CLINK ROOM

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