Saturday, February 18, 2012

Canadian Veteran Freedom Riders Motorcycle Riding Club: “Thunder in your Shorts!”

In early December 2011, I was contacted by Col. James Gludo (Canadian Armed Forces, Ret.). James Gludo in civilian life is a technology strategist with IBM’s global business services in Calgary. Col. Gludo finished his military career spending over a year in Kabul, working as a senior mentor to the Afghan National Army, as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom. In his civilian capacity, James also is the President of the Canadian Veteran FreedomRiders Motorcycle Riding Club. It is a great organization that brings veterans and supporters together to ride motorcycles and work towards helping veterans and serving members. CVFR is becoming national and Calgary is the first unit out West. One of the endeavors the club is about to undertake is to create a ride in 2013. They are calling it "Thunder in your Shorts!" The premise is based upon helping Veterans.  It is known that clothing assistance is provided by many organizations, which supply gently used clothes and jackets. Food is also being addressed through food banks and such. James then started thinking about undergarments. The problem was that nobody donates “gently used” underwear.  To address that concern, James’s thought was to organize a motorcycle run to collect donations in a form of new unused underwear or cash donations, which would be used to purchase such underwear items, thus the name – “Thunder in your Shorts!” James continued that one of the features of these types of rallies or rides is pins and patches that motorcyclists attach to their leather vest to commemorate their participation. There is also a demand for t-shirts, hoodies and the like. James’s request was for me to design a logo that would demonstrate the name "Thunder in your Shorts!" and could be used for posters, advertising, pins, patches, hats, hoodies, t-shirts, etc. He would also like to see the logo having a spot where the year could be added as well. That way the logo remains consistent but the patches/pins become collectable based on the year. There was also the following image attached, which illustrated a general idea for the logo design.  

As soon as I saw the aforementioned image, I instantly came to realization that these great guys definitely need all the artistic help they could possibly get. This was the type of project that I value the most, the type of work that has a deep personal meaning for me, the type of a cause that I am always happy to support. I gladly agreed to help. From the very start, the project presented multiple challenges. First and foremost - there was no concept. Another major challenge on hand was that at some point I had to incorporate a piece of underwear into my design – something I never had a chance to do up until this moment…  Furthermore, the design had to somehow be linked to Canadian veterans as well as to a motorcycle club culture. Quite a task, I have to admit… After brainstorming the concept and going through multiple “trial and error sketches, I came to several conclusions: a) the job was way more difficult than I anticipated and a) the only type of underwear that would look good on a biker jacket should be one made of shiny steel… Then it was thunder… Bike wheel… Maple leaf… Shield… The concept was born.  The rest was history. By January 1st, 2012 the final draft was ready. You be the judge…


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