An Art and a Pastime

Brian Lindstrom's "Bases Loaded" series, baseball history, and the importance of visual tradition
Share |

If you squint, the works in Brian Lindstrom’s “Bases Loaded” series almost look like religious iconography. If there was a real Church of Baseball, the stark shapes, intensely detailed hand-lettering, and warmth of these felt banners would make them perfect for hanging over the altar. Of course, there is a Church of Baseball—in fact, there are 30 franchise locations scattered around North America. But Lindstrom's traveling exhibition of unique pennants make for pretty great portable devotional art.

Designer and Cubs fan Lindstrom (owner of Newbaric Design) was kind enough to answer some questions from The Classical, and share digital versions of his work. The Bases Loaded series is currently on display at Big Ten conference headquarters in Chicago, but if you are located elsewhere in meatspace, you’ll have to settle for virtual felt. You can see the whole series here, and buy prints here.

The Classical: The Bases Loaded series tackles a lot of baseball history, but with a unified aesthetic. I have a suspicion you might be a Cubs fan, based on some of the selections and your being from Chicago, so that explains a few of the selections—but how did you choose the rest of the topics? Was it design-driven or theme-driven?

Brian Lindstrom: Guilty as charged, I'm definitely a Cubs fan and that bias shows through. I feel they are important events and characters in baseball's history, but definitely from my own skewed perspective.

Each event and character, even the Cubs ones, have a story to tell and something deeper than stats and records. I truly believe baseball is unique in that the players of the past are household names and cherished unlike any other sport. Each player in the series made a significant impact, not only on baseball as a game, but altered the course of society. From Jackie Robinson to Hank Greenberg breaking barriers to Lou Gehrig's speech that touched every American that watched that event live. I wanted the featured events to reflect our culture and the important role that baseball plays in our country's history.

TC: Tell me a little bit about assembling these—the web viewer might not immediately grasp that the exhibition versions are actually felt, and not prints of the cleaner digital versions. Did you hand cut each letter? How long did that take? A lot of the warmth and personality in the series is accomplished through the lettering. Were you inspired by a particular style/vintage in making these?

BL: Yes, the exhibition that's traveling around the country has a serious sense of nostalgia that you cannot always get from a digital print, as far as materials are concerned. The banners in the exhibition are screen-printed felt banners measuring 26" x 40" and each have a 1" felt border attached to the edge. All of the lettering is hand done and inspired from baseball's rich visual history and the traditional logos and uniforms. The script logos and monogram hats are quintessentially baseball and American and the Bases Loaded Series plays off that theme. Those images of old uniforms, past players and old advertising signs in the outfield conjure up memories and emotions that are different for everyone. I want that same experience to happen when someone walks through the Bases Loaded Exhibit or when they come across one of the posters on someone's wall.

As for design influences, I find Luba Lukova and James Victore's iconic design work to be extremely powerful in the way they deliver a message. The raw, simple and witty approach to their work was a big visual inspiration for the Bases Loaded Series. I wanted the Bases Loaded Series to be more educational and narrative and that's when I introduced the hand lettering within the shapes. After showing different versions to people I found they were more willing to read the hand-done text that weaved it's way through a bold image, than if it was typeset in a standard font in a perfectly kerned paragraph. That engagement with the viewer is what I was looking for, and I feel the hand generated designs takes the edge off and becomes a little more approachable to the audience.

TC: I love the Pete Rose "Charlie Hustle" image, but would it have killed you to include his shag and sideburns flowing out from under the batting helmet?

BL: Ha! I could have, and that hair of his definitely would have been iconic in itself. That piece has gotten a lot of reaction, more than I would have thought. He was one of those polarizing characters that a true baseball fan couldn't deny attention. I think that's why the reality hurts so much, that as of now, it doesn't appear he will be in the Hall of Fame. Even though his playing career warrants that induction as much as anyone who's ever stepped onto the diamond.

TC: Aesthetically speaking, which team is the prettiest? Best home unis? Best road? Best logo? Worst?

BL: Dang, here I go. Sorry in advance for the ramble, but I love this topic. As anyone that's brainwashed to a be fan of a team will tell you, there is absolutely nothing like watching your team run on to that field with their uniforms on that you've grown to love. So much history and so many memories go into a simple logo and the color of a uniform. For me that team is the Cubs and their white jerseys with royal blue pin stripes. The royal blue away pull-over jerseys they used to wear immediately bring up memories of Ryno, Andre Dawson, Shawn Dunston, Mark Grace, Greg Maddux, Damon Berryhill and Don Zimmer. Those are the golden years of baseball, as far as my personal memories and experiences are concerned.

I think that's why I believe the association with one logo and a consistent color theme is important to building a loyal fan base. It might sound silly, but the Padres, Rays, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Astros etc. don't have that long history of tradition to latch onto. That's not to say they don't have die-hard fans and/or memories, but I feel you rob the fans a bit when you change your colors every 5 years. Ask most Brewer fans and they would take the gold and royal blue 'mb' baseball mitt logo and unis in a second (although their current uniform and logo, I think, could be a keeper if they settle on it.) The Astros have some great uniform history, as do the Padres, but they refuse to stick to tradition always thinking the new fresh colors will sell jerseys and fill seats. I think the opposite is true.

My theory is the teams with the most fan pride also have the most tradition and sense of identity, as well as an iconic ballpark that is free of gimmicks. All of these elements together create the experiences baseball fans are looking for. Pirates and PNC park, Orioles and Camden Yards, Cubs and Wrigley, Dodgers and Chavez Ravine etc. etc. The train wreck down in Miami is everything baseball isn't. Bright flashy colors, fireworks after every swing, 'halftime' entertainment between each inning and sea world in the outfield are all gimmicks that assume baseball fans are braindead idiots. Baseball fans aren't stupid. Baseball isn't flashy, glitzy or high-octane entertainment. The game doesn't reward immediate gratification and it demands our attention. All of those theatrics are attracting fans that would rather be at a circus anyway, not a ballgame. Slow it down, bring back that sense of nostalgia. Remind people why the game is one of the greatest on Earth. Don't try and fool them into thinking it's a firework show when it's really a chess match. You will only let them down, especially when they turn on the TV and all their short attention span can take away from the game is that it was a low scoring, long, 12 inning game that ended in 1–0. They need to appreciate that 1–0 as much as if it were 19–18.

Now to finally answer your question, ha! I'll break it into NL and AL.

First off the NL, in my opinion the winner as far as tradition, logos and unis are concerned. I'm not including the Cubs in this since I'm biased. I have to single out the Dodgers, Giants, Reds and Pirates as being some of the most well designed and brand-aware teams, not just in baseball, but all of sports. They know their logo, they know their colors and they respect their history. They don't resort to cheap tricks when attendance is down or build theme parks for baseball stadiums. They fall back on the tradition that has made them great and the fans are ok with that. The ugly award goes to the Diamondbacks and Rockies. I see those teams and feel absolutely nothing. That goes for the Padres and Brewers as well, but they're on the right track now. The Nationals are a great example of a new team who instilled instant tradition and was aware of where they stand in baseball history. Granted, they had some history to pull from, but kudos to them for actually doing so.

Now the AL. I'll get the Yankees out of the way as being the most iconic, for obvious reasons. That being said my favorite AL unis and logo go to the Baltimore Orioles with the Detroit Tigers right with them. Since you asked specifically, I'll give the Tigers as best home unis and the Orioles orange alternate unis as the best 'away.' The worst, no contest, in all of MLB is the Rays. How does a team with that much success in a short amount of time, in arguably one of the toughest divisions during that time span, have so little brand equity and fan loyalty? Note to the owners, the new name, colors, and logo haven't helped. It only stripped what little history you had, and a successful history at that. That goes for the Miami Marlins of Florida as well.

TC: Can people buy prints? If so, where?

BL: All of the prints are available at Society 6. They offer many sizes, framed/unframed etc. I have been working out logistics to offer some of the felt banners for sale as well, but for now it's just the one series that's currently traveling.

TC: What does Newbaric Design specialize in?

BL: Newbaric Design specializes in human-centered design and experiences. Humans are the most important ingredient when designing and developing what many call a 'brand.' There is nothing I love more, from a creative standpoint, than to develop, implement and nurture an idea into a full-blown product or experience. To watch something come to life that can really have an impact is beyond rewarding. Many things are involved in the experience and the brand including the logo, brand guidelines, printed collateral, web design, and a host of intangibles, but those things are only the building blocks and foundation, not the whole. A brand is what the consumer tells you it is, not always what you want it to be. Creatively, we can try to control that direction, but it has to be authentic and it must treat the humans with respect who come into contact with your product, much like the baseball experience rant I went on earlier. Newbaric likes to think what we create is authentic and appropriate for each individual client. What works in the Bases Loaded Series, and that aesthetic, may work across the board for every client or project.

TC: Anything else we should know about you or the Bases Loaded series?

BL: I will be continuing on with the Bases Loaded Series with plans to expand and see where else the concept can go. You can look at basesloadedseries.com for photos of past exhibitions and for information on future exhibitions.

My new pet project, and what my life has revolved around for the last year, is 50 BUILT. I'm launching 50BUILT.com in August, and it is 100 percent focused on all things American made. There are daily features including interviews with industry figures, product reviews, company spotlights, factory tours, and manufacturing news. There will also be a store featuring some well-known designers that have created 'American-made' themed designs for tees and hats, etc. In the shop will also be posters I designed that are educational and also a narrative, much like Bases Loaded, and bring the realities of American manufacturing to life. I started 50 BUILT because I felt there was a need to connect the American public with the realities and stories that are happening right now in the manufacturing sector. We all know products have been getting outsourced for decades, but are never told why. I want 50 BUILT to be a tool so the American public can learn how to support companies making the effort to produce their goods in the USA.


Share |

Comments

This post is really magnificent. I really like this post. It is one of the best posts that I’ve read in a long time. Thanks a lot for this really good post. I really appreciate it!Gclub

I'm impressed, I must say. Very rarely do I come across a blog that's both informative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. Your blog is important..vpn reviews

Your blogs further more each else volume is so entertaining further serviceable It appoints me befall retreat encore. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.parfum femme pas cher

The matter you've highlighted above is surely valueable for anyone to workout. the concept of your article is very true and It will result in a positive way.click here

I most likely appreciating each and every bit of it. It is an incredible site and decent impart. I need to much obliged. Great employment! You all do an incredible blog, and have some extraordinary substance. Keep doing awesome.click here

It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article with useful information on topics that plenty are interested on.I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.click here

It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written.φθηνα γυναικεια παπουτσια

It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written.φθηνα γυναικεια παπουτσια

This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck. liposuction cost

Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I'm happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us,I too always learn something new from your post.http://ebookreviews.ning.com/pdf/girlfriend-activation-system-review

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here.review and program preview

Your blogs further more each else volume is so entertaining further serviceable It appoints me befall retreat encore. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.https://rebelmouse.com/joshpellicertaoofbadassreview

Well, this got me thinking what other workouts are good for those of us who find ourselves on the road or have limited equipment options.moroccan rugs

I most likely appreciating each and every bit of it. It is an incredible site and decent impart. I need to much obliged. Great employment! You all do an incredible blog, and have some extraordinary substance. Keep doing awesome.SpyBubble review

Mr. Riaz Mamdani served as Director of Corporate Finance at Ponderosa Lumber from March 1999 to July 1999. He was responsible for the development of operational financing including securities issuances riaz mamdani information

Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. Keep posting. Thanks for sharing. yishun condo

I finally found great post here.I will get back here. I just added your blog to my bookmark sites. thanks.Quality posts is the crucial to invite the visitors to visit the web page, that's what this web page is providing. hot-prepper-supplies.com

It has fully emerged to crown Singapore's southern shores and undoubtedly placed her on the global map of residential landmarks. I still scored the more points than I ever have in a season for GS. I think you would be hard pressed to find somebody with the same consistency I have had over the years so I am happy with that.business

You might comment on the order system of the blog. You should chat it's splendid. Your blog audit would swell up your visitors. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.women clothing

Mr. Riaz Mamdani served as Director of Corporate Finance at Ponderosa Lumber from March 1999 to July 1999. He was responsible for the development of operational financing including securities issuances riaz mamdani information

Three are usually cheap Ralph Lauren available for sale each and every time you wish to buy. They're produced by the very best degree developers who will be distinguished for your polo dress creating. You'll find polo Ron Lauren inside exclusive array which include particular classes for men, women.homes for sale by owner

Gangaur Realtech is a professionally managed organisation specializing in real estate services where integrated services are provided by professionals to its clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. I am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject.Harga Motor Yamaha

It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written.http://www.zoomtradereview.com/index.php?lang=eng&id=1

I was just browsing through the internet looking for some information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Bookmarked this page, will come back for more.http://www.reviewbancdeswiss.com/index.php?lang=eng&id=1

Jim Neilas, a prominent real estate developer who makes his home in Toronto, Ontario, is credited with changing the architectural landscape of his hometown. By staying active and involved in the current happenings of the real estate development industry in Toronto. Read about Jim Neilas

Jim Neilas has employed his strong attention to detail as well as a hint of the unexpected to create a world class community of condominiums in the heart of Toronto. Cube’s perimeter is lined with a breathtaking view and has immediate access to highways and roadways Jim Neilas information

Its as if you had a great grasp on the subject matter, but you forgot to include your readers. Perhaps you should think about this from more than one angle.Louis Craig

Going to graduate school was a positive decision for me. I enjoyed the coursework, the presentations, the fellow students, and the professors. And since my company reimbursed 100% of the tuition, the only cost that I had to pay on my own was for books and supplies. Otherwise, I received a free master’s degree. All that I had to invest was my time. Mae Crawford

Good to become visiting your weblog again, it has been months for me. Nicely this article that i've been waited for so long. I will need this post to total my assignment in the college, and it has exact same topic together with your write-up. Thanks, good share.Ricky Stokes

Three are usually cheap Ralph Lauren available for sale each and every time you wish to buy. They're produced by the very best degree developers who will be distinguished for your polo dress creating. You'll find polo Ron Lauren inside exclusive array which include particular classes for men, women.Tina Morgan

A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a one.I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.Kerry Farmer

Really impressed! Everything is very open and very clear clarification of issues. It contains truly facts. Your website is very valuable. Thanks for sharing. It's late finding this act. At least, it's a thing to be familiar with that there are such events exist. I agree with your Blog and I will be back to inspect it more in the future so please keep up your act.Rudy Peterson

I am a new user of this site so here i saw multiple articles and posts posted by this site,I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles. Glad to chat your blog, I seem to be forward to more reliable articles and I think we all wish to thank so many good articles, blog to share with us. Regal Lear Assets Capital Reviews

Glad to chat your blog, I seem to be forward to more reliable articles and I think we all wish to thank so many good articles, blog to share with us. I will really appreciate the writer's choice for choosing this excellent article appropriate to my matter.Here is deep description about the article matter which helped me more.funny images

Took me time to understand all of the comments, but I seriously enjoyed the write-up. It proved being really helpful to me and Im positive to all of the commenters right here! Its constantly nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I am certain you had enjoyable writing this write-up.exterior painters spokane

It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!Non productive cough

I’m happy I located this blog! From time to time, students want to cognitive the keys of productive literary essays composing. Your first-class knowledge about this good post can become a proper basis for such people. nice one sinhala sindu

Thank you for your post, I look for such article along time, today i find it finally. this post give me lots of advise it is very useful for me. North Park Residence

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here.über das Programm

If your looking for Online Illinois license plate sticker renewals then you have need to come to the right place.We offer the fastest Illinois license plate sticker renewals in the state. We are tied directly into the sate’s renewal database which allows us to process your request almost instantly. darba piedāvājumi

It is really no surprise that this building was found to have bed bugs infesting it. I mean, it is in New York city, which is pretty disgusting itself. And some of the people who work there, even if they do make decent wages, probably don't make enough to afford what is considered a "nice" place to live in New York City. Especially in midtown, of all places.http://www.cvmarket.lv/darba-piedavajumi

I recently came across your article and have been reading along. I want to express my admiration of your writing skill and ability to make readers read from the beginning to the end. I would like to read newer posts and to share my thoughts with you.โอ้โห ลดน้ำหนัก

Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It's so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also.วิเคราะห์บอล

I don’t have the time at the moment to fully read your site but I have bookmarked it and also add your RSS feeds. I will be back in a day or two. thanks for a great site.منتديات فوركس