People have occasionally — okay, very occasionally — asked me about the process that goes into the making of a Uni Watch membership card. So I decided to document the production of the most recent batch (including Anthony Richard McCormick’s card, shown at right, whose design is based on the 1994 USA World Cup jersey). Here’s how it works:
Step 1. A new enrollee goes to the membership sign-up page, sends me $25 via Amazon Payments, and then sends me a separate e-mail specifying what he wants on the front and back of his card. Sometimes the design request for the back of the card is simple and/or the enrollee has provided good photos to show exactly what he wants, so I move on to Step 2. Often, though, I have to do a bit of photo research, and sometimes I have to write back to the enrollee and say, “I’m pretty sure we can do that, but can you provide a better rear-view photo?” And occasionally, depending on the design request, I have to say, “Sorry, we can’t do that — do you have a Plan B?”
Step 2. Once I feel like the new enrollee and I are on the same page regarding his design request, I enter his membership order on a master list that I maintain:
The list shows all the relevant details of each order, including links to reference photos when needed. I keep this list in my Dropbox, where my card designer, Scott M.X. Turner, can access it. Scott checks the list every so often to see if new orders have come in (or sometimes I’ll e-mail him to let him know that we’ve gotten new orders), and he uses the information on the master list to design each individual card.
Step 3. We print the cards in batches of eight, so Scott will sometimes wait until we have eight new orders in the hopper before sitting down to design them (it usually takes about three weeks for eight orders to pile up), or sometimes he’ll just do them as they come in. Either way, once he’s designed a full batch of eight cards, he sends them to me as two PDFs — one for the fronts of the cards and one for the backs — laid out as they’ll appear on the sheet that we’ll eventually get from the printer (click to enlarge):
I review both PDFs to make sure everything matches up with the enrollees’ requests, to make sure the proper fronts align with the proper backs, and also to ensure that everything “looks right,” so to speak. Sometimes I’ll spot a typo or a design flaw, in which case I’ll go back to Scott and ask him to make the appropriate fixes.
Step 4. Once I’m satisfied that the two PDFs are perfect, I e-mail them to my printer, Rolling Press, so they can be printed out on cardstock.
Step 5. After I e-mail the PDFs to Rolling Press, I take screen shots of every individual back-card design from the back-card PDF, upload them to Flickr, and add them to the membership card gallery.
Step 6. It’s usually around this time that I grab eight envelopes, write the new enrollees’ names and addresses on them, and print out eight copies of my “Welcome to the membership program” cover letter. I set this stuff aside for later (for all of the remaining photos in this entry, you can click to enlarge):
Step 7. Rolling Press is awesome — I must be their smallest, most piddly client, but they always turn my orders around within 24 hours, or sometimes even the same day. In any case, once they’ve printed the sheet of cards, they send me an e-mail to let me know. They’re located about a 10-minute walk from my house, so it’s easy for me to scoot over and pick up the printout. They usually give me two or three copies of the sheet (the reason for this will become apparent in a minute), each of which looks just like the PDFs I e-mailed to them. Here you see the two copies of the sheet for the most recent batch — one with the front side facing up and the other with the back side facing up:
Step 8. Now comes the part of the process that I refer to as “arts and crafts.” Using an X-Acto knife, a ruler, a cutting mat, and the crop marks printed on the sheet, I cut out each individual card. It’s somewhat painstaking work, because I want to make sure that the green border on the front and back of each card is fairly even:
Sometimes the knife blade slips, or the ruler slips, or I mess up in some other way that ends up botching one of the cards. If that happens, I re-cut that card from the back-up copy of the printed sheet. (Not shown in these photos: Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin, who often likes to poke her nose in the vicinity of the X-Acto blade or head-butt my hand when I’m trying to hold the ruler steady. Bad kitty!)
Step 9. Once all eight cards have been cut out, I sit down and sign each of them on the “Commissioner” line:
Step 10. I take my laminator out of the closet and plug it in. While it’s warming up, I place each signed card in a lamination pouch. Then, one at a time, I put each pouch-clad card in a little white cardboard folder (this is called a carrier) and run it through the laminator:
Step 11. I grab the addressed envelopes and cover letters that I had prepared earlier and stuff each envelope with the appropriate laminated card:
Step 12. Off to the mailbox!
These photos were taken last Saturday, and I mailed the cards later that day, so all you new enrollees should watch your mailboxes. As always, you can order your own custom-designed membership card by signing up here.
(Extra-special thanks to Heather McCabe for the arts and crafts photos.)
F1 Update, continued
By Carlos and Omar Jalife
The Livery: By far one of the coolest upgrades. Instead of having the MR02 sectioned like its predecessor, Marussia opted for a cleaner design and sharper edges, dividing the car horizontally instead of vertically. Also, the nose is now whiter than last year and the British/Russian flags are smaller and closer to the tip (here’s the old version), while the front wing lateral panel will now have the same two-color treatment as the rear wing. Great detail: the red/white linethat goes in the lower part of the side pod. Also, it’s interesting they decided to go with two colors for the top part. The rear wing is divided in the same way as last year, except the divisor line is curved to go with the rest of the design. Lost in all of this is the team’s name, which doesn’t look that good on a red background (here’s the old version).
Vanity Panel: They decided to go against it since the stepped nose is not as apparent as for other teams.
Fire Suits: Whiter than last year. Marussia has decided to scrap the black sleeves and most of the red from the inner legs. They added some red that goes from the chest to the sides and basically that’s it. (Here’s the old version.)
Helmets: New drivers for Marussia this year, since Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton will be debuting in F1. Bianchi will probably be changing his helmet again, as he tends to use the colors of the team he is running with (here’s what he wears when he runs with Ferrari, and here when he ran with Force India), while Chilton’s only change is in the front where the little graphics beneath the visor have been replaced by a sponsor.
Carlos’s Verdict: Nice upgrade in the livery, although it looks like Penske in IndyCar. The fire suits are generic. B
Omar’s Verdict: Better than last year, but the paint scheme seems odd for F1. C+
The Livery: One team that barely changed its livery for this year is McLaren. In fact, they basically obscured a little bit of the gray/silver tone of the MP4-28 and that’s about it (here’s the old version). The rest of the details are the same as previous seasons, with the McLaren logo on top of the sidepods and in the front nose as the more important details.
Vanity Panel: Last year they were the only top team without the step nose, so they surprised us this year when they added the vanity panel for the MP4-28 (you can tell by the height of the nose at the front).
Helmets: Button basically has the same design that he has been using since his debut in Formula 1, while Sergio “Checo” Pérez surprised the world by changing his. He added more fluorescent color as a base (compare to his old version) with a sharper design and the wordmark “Checo” in front of what seems to be a chaquira design (the black and red behind the nickname). He’s also changed the style to depict the Mexican flag on top of his helmet, maintained the pre-Columbian elements but in different order (compare to the old version), added the sponsor stripe, and reinforced his brand on the back of the helmet.
Carlos’s Verdict: No biggies here and they keep the car looking great (although Checo tried to make his helmet look like Hamilton’s, which doesn’t look right). A+
Omar’s Verdict: We’ve seen this for almost 15 years now, which should give you an idea of how good it looks. A
We’ll have more F1 previews throughout the week.
By Brinke Guthrie
To lead off, we’ve got two boxed sets of 1970s NFL pennants for you. Your choice of the AFC or NFC, of course. I especially like the “decorating suggestions” on the box back. I came across my entire set of these not too long ago, still in perfect condition.
As for the rest of this week’s haul:
• Oakland A’s fans, pay attention here. Whenever I see a DeLong item, like this A’s jacket, I feel morally obligated to mention it. The listing says it’s 1970s, but I don’t think so. The trim is too clean, and it looks 1990s to me. But as I have said in the past, DeLong made quality licensed stuff, and the varsity look is classic.
• It’s showtime, baby, with this 1970s Lakers Starter jacket.
• Staying in the same city and era, let’s take a look at these Dodgers socks, from Kinney shoe stores.
• More Starter: This is the classic Cubs jacket look.
• Look at the helmets on this 1969 NFL Eastern Conference title game program. Reminds me of “This Week in the NFL.”
• With all the hoo-ha about the new Warriors/Adidas look, it’s appropriate we go way back to the late 1970s for these Warriors shorts. [Those shorts would look a lot better with Golden State’s sleeved jerseys than the pinstriped things they’ve been wearing. — PL]
• Speaking of basketball shorts: If you’re in the market for game-worn, you can wear what Sam Lacey wore.
• And we conclude with this 1970s Philadelphia Eagles shirt which actually looks like a pajama top to me. Screams one word: “Sears.”
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Speaking of membership card designer Scott Turner, his Seattle-based band, RebelMart, is playing tomorrow night at the Alki Tavern. You know what to do. … Yesterday I Ticker-linked to an online class in uniform design. Now the instructor of that class — former Nike and Umbro design Stew Curran — is offering a 25% discount to Uni Watch readers. Just use the code “GOAL25” when checking out. … The Giants will celebrate their World Series championship by wearing gold-lettered and -numered jerseys on April 7, the day of their ring ceremony. In addition, New Era’s Facebook page shows a gold-trimmed Giants cap, although the photo caption mentions Opening Day, not the day of the ring ceremony. … New uniform, with tequila sunrise-esque striping on the shorts, for USF. They’ll be wearing the green version tonight. … Further evidence that the Braves were lying when they claimed they’d never finalized the plans to go ahead with the Indian head BP cap: One of the caps has surfaced on eBay, and it looks like the real deal. For all you Braves staffers reading this — you know who you are — you might wanna tell Schuerholz that he’s looking worse and worse as each new revelation comes out, and that he could salvage some dignity simply by admitting the truth of what went down (from Nick O.). … A Maryland county executive pointedly declined to refer to the ’Skins by their team name in a recent interview (from Tommy Turner). … Yesterday’s story about Towson’s baseball players taping over their chest logos reminded Zack Kurland of a similar story involving the Boston University football team in 1997. “They had blank jerseys provided by unhappy alums, taped over the school’s logo, and called themselves University X,” he says. Details here and here. … New practice jerseys, complete with NOBs, for Wisconsin football. “Helps out the media bigtime!” says Nate Neumann. … This is odd: Check out this 1971 Canadiens team portrait and then take a look at Peter Mahovlich, who’s in the back row, third from left. His “CH” logo is positioned too high! (Good spot by Dave Mills.) … An estate sale taking place tomorrow in Somerset, New Jersey, appears to have a huge haul of old sports mags available (from my longtime pal Robin Edgerton). … “I had a dream Sunday night that the Cincinnati Reds came out in Ohio State football-style batting helmets with cuckeye leaves on the sides for their Opening Day game,” says Brad Francis. “I immediately e-mailed you and you hopped on a plane to make it to Cincinnati before the game ended. I have a feeling that I am too obsessed with Uni Watch.” … A Catholic cemetery in Indiana has rejected a proposed tombstone, in part because its design featured the Colts’ logo and the NASCAR logo. … Fun submission from Alec Tolivaisa, who combined his loves of uniforms and history to create personalized jerseys for each U.S. President, with the team affiliations based on which team the person would probably root for given where he grew up. Yo, R. Scott Rogers, I’m expecting some quibbles from you on a few of these, so get crackin’! … “An important part of the pre-game aesthetic at a DC United match are the displays by the supporters groups,” says Brad Warner. “Here’s an awesome video profile of one of the smallest but maybe most creative of them.” … When Deron Williams of the Nets hit a record nine three-pointers in the first half of a recent game, he was awearing a new Nike shoe design. When asked what the new kicks were called, he said, “I don’t know. Hyper-something” (from Will Nescac). … The City of Denver has issued a new style guide for the use of its logo (from Gil Neumann). … Childhood uni photo from Douglas Ford, who writes: “Here I am in eighth grade, before shorts got baggy and socks got low. Those Nikes I have on were canvas, as the leather version were a little too steep for my mom and pop.” … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s a real find — color footage from the 1939 Army/Navy game. … Kate Bush in a hockey jersey? Sure, why not (from Patrick Woody). … Several Steelers players recently participated in a charity basketball game. You can see the uniforms in that embedded slideshow, and there’s another shot here (from Daniel Secord). … A design firm has created minimalist versions of the current NHL logos (from Joe Mueller). … Need some team-themed wallpaper for your computer desktop? Lots of it available here (from Trent Guyer). … Good news out of Paterson, New Jersey, where historic Hinchliffe Stadium — which I wrote about several years ago — has been designated as a National Historic Landmark (from Dave Rakowski). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: More 0-guarding-0 action, this time from Sunday’s Celtics/Thunder game. … There’s a new report on where sports fans like to get their news. Uni Watch isn’t listed as one of the top choices, but I’m sure that’s just an oversight. … VCU baseball is wearing memorial cap patches this season to honor coach Paul Keyes, who died of cancer last fall after being there for 18 years (from Rob Ullman). … The Family That Plays Together: Conor Gillaspie bats bare-handed, and so does his brother, Casey Gillaspie (from Ryan Deitchler). … Have I mentioned lately how much I love Hamilton Nolan? … Here’s another wedding garter, this time a Dodgers design, submitted by Jake Kessler. … For reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, Iona’s basketball coaches wore track suits last night (from Steve Wilkinson). … The Cubs are doing a Zubaz-giveaway promotion on Sept. 23. “Another reason why I’m a White Sox fan,” says Ryan Lindemann. … Check out the stripes worn by Indiana lacrosse (from Jay Sullivan). … You those “A is for apple, B is for bobcat…” primers? Here’s one on the ABCs of the NFL (from Steve Mandich).