Q & A with Todd Radom

Todd Radom is a designer with one of the most visible portfolios in the sports world. He’ll be in Hampton Roads on Thursday, June 2 to tell us what it takes to design for sports and why it’s like no other design niche anywhere. We recently sat down with Todd to talk about how he got started in designing for sports and what he has planned for Thursday evening.

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What: Design for Sports with Todd Radom
Where: Hatch Norfolk, 111 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510
When: Thursday, June 2, 2016, 6-8 p.m.

AIGA HR: How did you get started as a designer in the professional sports industry?

TR: My first jobs out of college were in the book publishing field, and my interest in sports led me to a lot of cover designs for sports books. At the same time, I was always interested in identity and logo design. I eventually built up a pretty solid portfolio of sports-related work, primarily my book covers. I dropped my book off at MLB, a typical thing at the time, a cold call. They eventually gave me an opportunity to come up to talk through my work, which led to a few small projects, then larger ones. This afforded me a point of entry to the NBA, and so on. That was a quarter century ago.

AIGA HR: How would you describe your typical work day?

TR: The best days are spent solving problems and creating, but a typical day would include several long conference calls in addition to the good stuff. I generally start at 8 and finish up at 6. I’m a big believer in keeping work confined to office hours whenever possible, a disciplined approach that has served me well over the years.

AIGA HR: What would you consider to be some of the highlights of your career so far?

TR: I’ve been lucky to have had a lot to choose from. if I had to pick one, I’d go with my logo for Super Bowl XXXVIII. It might not be the most representative example of my work, but it has certainly been the most visible. Successfully navigating the whole process was an accomplishment in and of itself.

AIGA HR: What do you hope people will take away from your presentation?

TR: I’ve got a few things that I hope to convey. First of all, I want to share why I believe that the challenges of sports design are unique. Sports fans are, as I always say, the most ardent of brand warriors. They love their logos and uniforms in ways that go way beyond that of the typical consumer brand. Secondly, I’m looking forward to sharing my work, including some pre-digital stuff that speaks to the fact that our profession has undergone a seismic shift over the course of my career. Lastly, I always try to leave behind a message, particularly for the younger designers on the room: Design is an incredibly humbling experience. Any success is inevitably built upon some kind of failure. It’s impossible to be arrogant in a field in which the process is totally subjective. I’m really looking forward to meeting folks and fielding some questions.

AIGA HR: How can we follow your work and get in touch with you?

TR: Please visit me at toddradom.com. I’m also an avid Twitter fan, @ToddRadom. For a little something different I’d invite you to read my work at sportingnews.com.

By aigahamptonroads
Published May 26, 2016