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Remembership, Part 4: Objects

[Editor’s Note: Membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner is back with this week’s installment of Remembership, his retrospective series about the Uni Watch membership card program. Enjoy. — PL]

By Scott M.X. Turner

Membership card designs sometimes enter a 3D realm. Members request all sorts of non-jersey designs. Even if a jersey is involved, there might be elements that go beyond fabric and appliqués. So this week’s Remembership draws on some of those object-driven requests. We’ll deal with some obvious objects in future posts — hats, helmets, banners, race cars, etc. This post will be for more unusual objects.

Card designs based on objects need an extra degree of tactility. Shine, shadows, grooves, fabric; they’re tougher nuts to crack than name-and-number layouts. At the same time, they’re a lot of fun to work on. Figuring out how to render a belt buckle or ring is part of that joy. Occasionally I don’t have to dive that deeply — for his seat in the old Kingdome, for example, Brian K. Stoner asked that we not include any shines or shadows. He wanted just the seat number on the seat color, flat and bold.

Clockwise from top left: FCCRA Open belt buckle (Kary Klismet), band instrument straps (Arthur Ryel-Lindsey), Uni Watch press pin (Michael J. Edelman), member’s Kingdome seat (Brian K. Stoner), sumo wrestling mawashi (Matthew)

We’ve fielded 17 requests for designs featuring numbered bibs from cycling, track-and-field, gymnastics, and cross-country skiing. Because they’re pinned or stapled on and have folds, tears, bends and shading, I count these bibs as objects.

I made a bib template from our initial effort (Mark Mayall’s Roger Bannister uni). Some of the bibs needed fresh designs, and each one has subtle details. It was nice that five members requested that their cycling designs carry Uni Watch’s name or logos. Bill Austin’s card was the first of those — so long ago that the site’s URL was still! (Geoff Baker’s is also from that era.)

Clockwise from top left: Tour de France World Champion (Bill Austin), Tour de France World Champion (Kenny Loo), Tour de France King of the Mountain (Bernie Langer), Fausto Coppie’s cycling jersey (Marcus Carlholt), Greg LeMond cycling jersey (Peter Hymas), cycling jersey (Ophir Sefiha), Roger Bannister jersey (Mark Mayall), Tour de France King of the Mountain (Geoff Baker).

For this next batch: Bill Riley’s own bib from the 2000 Boston Marathon is in a frame on his wall. Hence, no pins, staples, or backing jersey. Bert Ayers’s Tour de France polka-dot image isn’t from the race itself, but rather from one of Uni Watch’s merch offerings from a few years ago. Tommie Smith and John Carlos are heroes of mine, so I was thrilled when Lloyd Alaban requested Smith’s 1968 Mexico City jersey. For Bill Rodgers’s New York Marathon, I had to include the advertising bank’s partial wordmark on the bib. You’d think a major 1960s/’70s bank’s wordmark would be easy to find on the internet. I had to use a matchbook cover being auctioned on eBay to reference the correct font.

Clockwise from top left: Steve Prefontaine Olympic Trials (Nicholas Shea), Member’s own Boston Marathon bib (Bill Riley), Uni Watch cycling (Bert Ayers), cross-country skiing (Adam Hornstine), Alberto Salazar Boston Marathon (Mike Burgess), Bill Rodgers New York Marathon (Paul S. Dalton), Tommie Smith Olympics (Lloyd Alaban), Aly Raisman (Blain Fowler)

Occasionally we need to render the designs vertically. Here are three cards that worked better that way. The fringe on the Penn State Nittany Lions mascot scarf would later come in handy, as you’ll see in a minute.

From left: Penn State Nittany Lions mascot’s scarf (Joel Baldwin), championship ring (Justin Paluch), Usain Bolt (Michael Brantner)

Three members asked for the velcroed nameplates caddies wear at the Masters. Three different positions, shadings and sizes. I can’t explain why — they all felt right at the time. Each time I used different source material (and I obviously didn’t check back on the previous version).

Masters caddies (from left): Steven Wyder, Tony Andela, Drew Angerer.

That scarf fringe I mentioned earlier was repurposed for these Caribous of Colorado NASL designs. It’s fun to let fringe drape over the card’s borders.

Caribous of Colorado (from left): Matt Thompson, Andrew Gelman, Craig Harris.

That’s it for our roundup of objects! But before we wrap, some housekeeping from last week’s Los Angeles Lakers-themed post:

  • Paul and I both remembered working on cards from the Lakers’ pre-purple era, but I couldn’t find them. I’ve found them now, however! With apologies to the members who we skipped last time:
From left: Rob Wheeler and Andrew Rafner.
  • Also, a commenter asked if we’ve made more Houston Astros tequila sunrise cards than Lakers cards. The answer is YES. We’ve issued 19 Lakers cards and 22 tequila sunrise cards featuring various styles of names and numbers [plus there’s another tequila sunrise order in the pipeline — Paul]. Which is the most-requested team for membership cards? I’ll have that answer later in the series.
Next week: Fictional teams and personalities.
Comments (18)

    If you’re asking this question, Jose, I’m guessing you must be pretty new to the Uni Watch community. Click on the Merchandise link at the top of the page (or here (link), for your convenience) and scroll down to “Uni Watch Membership Cards.” That will explain the membership card program, its history, and its significance to our comm-uni-ty. And if you like what you see, you can buy one for yourself before Paul ends the program for good when he retires toward the end of May.

    I’ve thoroughly loved this series so far, Scott – all the more so because it’s been a great treat seeing a couple of my membership card designs featured! Thanks for the fun walk down membership card Memory Lane, and for the amazing design work on my bult buckle card. I love it to this day!

    It would be interesting to read a column about designs that have been rejected and why. Which requests were too much for Scott to attempt, or that he tried and couldn’t get right?

    I remember Geoff Baker’s #37 TdF bib.
    The way those bib numbers work, each team has nine riders, and all digits except the unit correspond with the team. So Baker is on the team ID’ed as team 30-something. (The defending champion gets #1 and his team is Team Single Digit. When Floyd Landis vacated his win but his “old team” came back to “defend?” a title, they were Team Teens.) On each team, the “leader” gets unit 1 in the roster, and the rest of team fills out alphabetically under their leader.
    I remember thinking years ago, if Geoff Baker is #37, he must have an idiosyncratic Rolodex of teammates whose last names mostly start with A!

    Smith and Carlos are heroes of mine too! Definitely the reason why I went with that card. I passed their statue every day (link) whenever I went to class — it’s placed right in front of the journalism building

    Bill Riley’s Boston Marathon bib got me thinking, how many people have requested cards containing their own personal uniforms?

    Ryan…quite a few. Mostly high-school and college jerseys. There’ve been beer-league looks. Sometimes it’s a member’s kid’s jersey. I’ll do a count and report back.

    Is it looked down upon if I want to order another membership card in a different style? Mine is the retired numbers’ banner from the Boston Celtics’ arena, but I’m not as in love with it as I used to be.

    I never fail to be impressed with the artistry and the attention to detail you’ve brought to these. I know when I asked Paul to ask you if you could pull off a very ‘90s goalie jersey for my card, he said you thought you could do it. And you nailed it! It’s great to see how creative people can be with this and how well you bring their visions to life.

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