Friday, August 14, 2015

Design This - World Series Umpire Pin

This year my husband was invited to help umpire the Little League Intermediate World Series Tournament. Teams from regions in the U.S. compete for top U.S. honors and teams from regions around the globe compete for top international honors. Then those two teams go head to head for the World Series championship title. This is a big deal and an honor for the volunteer umpires that put in countless hours at their home leagues. When umpires are chosen for district, sectionals and state they enjoy getting to know fellow umpires from other areas. When invited to regionals, part of the commaraderie often includes a small gift for the other umpires from one's home area. For a world series invite, an umpire usually also has pins made up that represent himself/herself or his/her home area to share with fellow umpires and trade with other people during the tournament.

My husband had an idea of what he wanted his personal pin to look like and made a rough sketch of it. There are companies that make specialized metal and enamel pins that include artwork preparation. I made a very rough graphic of the pin that my husband wanted to order as a way to translate his idea into input for the company's artists. It became clear that for his idea to turn out like he envisioned it, I needed to come up with a more finished graphic. I worked with the company's representative to learn the guidelines needed to create the design to their production specs. The hand on the pin actually started out as a photo I took of my husband making the fair call that the phrase "point loudly" refers to. The outer ring changes from a metallic gunmetal gray to black depending on the light angle. The pin company added the graphics for the Little League logo and the baseball where I had left room for them in the design. These had to be pad printed for the fine details to be reproduced. I was very happy to be able to assist in transforming my husband's mental image into a design that he would be proud of.

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