Sportsdesignblog.com is a project created by sports artist Jim Ransdell. Jim has been involved in the sports products and design business since the mid 1980's. Jim has seen many trends in product and logo design come and go and hopes to share some of that wisdom and insight with the readers of sportsdesignblog.com.
Jim's career in the sports products industry began in the licensed products retailing business. It was during this time that the sports licensed product industry really grew out of obscurity and into the mainstream. During this time, Michael Jordan's influence on the industry began and many stores sprung up around the nation to feed the public's need for sports products.
Jim's interest in sports design grew as he graduated with a degree in graphic design and began to design licensed products, sports apparel, and art prints for major colleges. Over the years, Jim has created designs for most major professional and collegiate sports teams and has also done design for top NASCAR teams and drivers.
Jim spent several years working for Hasbro toys, designing new products and creating graphics for Hasbro's NASCAR brand, Winner's Circle. This gave Jim the opportunity to work closely with top NASCAR teams and drivers. One of the more notable projects during that time gave Jim the opportunity to design the paint schemes for the cars of Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Kenny Wallace, and Bobby Labonte. The cars were designed to promote the Fox Kids cartoon "NASCAR Racers". This marked the first time that four teams participated in the same special paint scheme promotion.
Through his association with Hasbro, Jim has been involved in many freelance projects with NASCAR teams and drivers. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick worked with Jim to create the official Kevin Harvick, Inc. logo. You can see this logo every week on the many Kevin Harvick, Inc. cars and trucks in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.
In 2005, the University of Kentucky held the first official Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Lexington, KY. The University inducted it inaugural class of hall of famers, which consisted of the 88 players who had their numbers retired in the past. This ceremony brought together a who's-who of Kentucky sports history. Jim Ransdell was selected to create the official commemorative poster for the event. Each attendee received on of these prints.
After this event, Jim also created several individual player prints for the UK Hall of Fame. One of these prints commemorated the "Unforgettables". This was the class consisting of John Pelphrey, Richie Farmer, Deron Feldhaus and Sean Woods. This print was well received and was selected by the Maker's Mark company to be featured on the label of their special Keeneland "Unforgettables" bottle.
In 2013, Jim worked with former UK Wildcat legend Jack "Goose" Givens on a poster to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the Kentucky Wildcats winning the 1978 NCAA Championship. Givens and the rest of the 1978 team took this poster with them as they toured the state of Kentucky making appearances in honor of the anniversary.
Jim continues to provide design services and product development consulting to top sports teams, athletes, licensed product companies, and companies involved in sports marketing. If your company would like to have Jim work on a sports related project, please feel free to contact us via e-mail to discuss your project.
All images and content: Copyright Jim Ransdell.