Good design has always gone hand-in-hand with good BMX brands, for you cannot have one without the other – sure, you can have the most technologically advanced and well-built BMX products, but if it looks like a chunk of metal that isn’t backed up with sound graphic design or packaging, then it’s not going to go that far. In a similar vein to perhaps skateboarding of recent times, some could argue that some of today’s BMX industry produces pretty much the same products but with different graphics and marketing – the appealing stuff really doing the business. So to that end, quality graphics are more important than ever… from time to time we’ll be profiling different designers within BMX, and I thought we’d kick things off with Boston-native Adam Spitalny.
Adam’s worked on graphics projects for the likes of Volume Bikes and AOTC, alongside personal furniture projects and even a new BMX print publication named Rep ‘Zine… so we caught up with him on those projects, how he got started, and what his thoughts are on the current BMX media.
So, how long have you been working in the design field?
I’ve been working in the design field for a little over a year now.
Give us a run-down on how you got to this point...
In High School I knew the traditional educational route wasn’t for me. Like a lot of other people, I’ve been drawing, taking photos and making things for years, but it wasn’t till college that I really tightened my skill set. I went to Massachusetts College of Art & Design for graphic design. Unlike most art schools, they didn’t teach you how you use the programs per-se but how to articulate and solve visual problems as they arose. Since I graduated, I worked at Boston Based boutique called Concepts as their in-house designer and at a design studio called Image Conscious Studios. I’m currently freelancing, running a ‘zine called REP and running a furniture company called Bornhardt. Needless to say, I like to keep busy.
Can you tell us a bit about your 'zine project, with REP 'Zine?
REP is a ‘zine about Boston from the perspective of the Boston BMX community. It’s a relatively new project, the first volume was published at the beginning of June. It covers everything from reviews on local business to local events and everything in between. The East Coast, but Boston in particular, doesn’t get the coverage that it deserves. With that being said, the ‘zine will spotlight the crews, the nightlife, and all the dope shit that makes Boston the city that it is. With the demise of Holeshot, I really wanted to start something real, that everyone could appreciate. The ‘zines are available to purchase through our website.
When most would argue that print is dead, what's your take on print media in BMX right now? And how can it possibly learn from other areas in magazine culture?
Print in BMX has changed drastically over the years. I remember getting hyped when the newest Snap or Dig was available at shops. In the day and age of the internet, the mystery of not knowing is gone. Magazines used to be the way you’d find out about the next up and coming rider, company, parts, etc. Now everything you would ‘need to know’ is at your disposal at blogs, like The Come Up or BMX Union. With that being said, publications like The Albion very much proved that print isn’t dead in BMX. They publish raw and uncut content that sometimes rubs people the wrong way. It brings back that element of mystery in publication. Dig caught on as well and is changing up their whole operation to cater to the ever-changing BMX community. When a magazine has the same type of content and layout for years on end, can you really blame the lack of interest?
So which brands in BMX have you worked for then, and what kind of projects?
I’ve been working with Lino and the 90 East crew for a while now. I’ve worked with the on their current DVD Sounds Of The City and assorted apparel pieces. I’ve also worked with Volume on some frame graphics but they unfortunately never went into production.
What are you particularly proud of - say, what are your favourite work or design projects?
1. Building the Bornhardt Brand.
2. Getting REP off the ground
3. The 90 East “Sound Of The City” DVD
4. The Combat Zone collection that I created for Concepts
5. Branding and Website for Bill Politis
6. Branding for The Boston Shaker
7. Personal Branding and website
What else can we look forward to – what graphics or design are you working on now? And where can people get in touch with you?
I have quite a few projects in the works. Several identity and web project projects. You can expect a new volume of the ‘zine in September and a new site not long after. In the meantime you can view my work at my website.
Hungry for more BMX action?