Sam Bawden reached out to me one day with a crazy idea and asked me for some help. As an architect and craftsman, he was disappointed by the current options available for backcountry snowboarding. He knew that there had to be a better way and he set out to create just that. He envisioned snowboards that are lightweight, high performance, and designed for climbing just as much as they are for gliding back down.
Sam reached out to me because he stumbled across a personal project of mine where and was inspired by the artwork. I had created about 25 animal drawings using flowing lines and shapes and he felt like I’d be a good fit to help create graphics on his boards.
The board I was to design graphics for is called the Crane. Sam wanted the graphics it to symbolize the feeling of flow and motion, but with a nod to the high level of craftsmanship in the design of the board. With Sam’s background in architecture I saw just how much he valued details, parallel lines, and good proportions. I looked to architecture, birds, and linework for inspiration and put together a moodboard.
I got to work drawing and exploring ideas. I kept coming back to this idea of fine lines and of creating a bird using geometry and well-balanced shapes. I also liked the idea of playing of the symmetry of the board and showing how it was designed to be ridden forward and backward. Using reflections in the designs allowed for that visual metaphor.
The next phase was to begin bringing this thing to life. After dialing in the line work I added color, depth, and contrast to really get a sense of how dynamic the crane should be. It could rest softly in the background as a subtle design element or it could take center stage. In the end, we liked the idea of allowing the board itself to be the focus and using the crane to compliment the overall design.
I just got the board back from production and I need to take some photos and get them up here on the site. I'm stoked on how's it's turned out! It was a real treat working with the team at Cardiff on this one.