Hello and welcome to yet another episode of Herman's Head, where the four quadrants of Herman's brain go lobe-to-lobe in full battle royale over a wholly inconsequential matter. That said, today's debate: logo boards—to do or not to do, but we obviously did, so what's done is done, the point is moot, and fuck me.
What is this? A blog—sorry, blahg—post dedicated to logo boards?! Are you fucking kidding me? Especially now with so much other horrible shit going on in the world? Sadly, yes. It's how I cope with such troubling matters. Some people need photos of kittens to look at; me, I need to focus on inconsequential nonsense to keep my mental glass just above the half-full mark. If I don't, it's off the razor's edge I go and down into the depths of hopelessness and frustration at how absolutely goddamn stupid people can be . And in this 2022 day and age, no less! I mean, c'mon, this was supposed to be The Future! a fantastic, zany place filled with silver space suits, teleportation tubes, and edible human crackers. Instead, here we are teetering on the brink of reversing humanity's upward trajectory in what will surely come to be known as the Age of Unenlightenment. Well, if there's even anyone still left at some future, post-apocalyptic date and time to decry it as such, I guess.
Okay, to be fair, that's a very broad stroke condemnation of our current life and times with excessive "End is Nigh" vibes. Some wheels are still turning in a progressive direction, hooray for the little things, yay, but during such angering and depressing moments as these I can't help but stare in dread at what feels like the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Shit Show on Earth with a cadre of world class clowns staging a coup in the big ring—an idiocracy indeed.
Anyway, logo boards. For anyone who has slogged through the myriad interviews I've done in the past, you may have seen me take some very opinionated potshots at those very eyesores of the board racks. Why you mad, bro? What a logo board ever do to you? For one, nothing. That's just it. They do nothing for me whatsoever. They don't inspire me, they don't get me excited, they make me feel like I'm standing in a sporting goods store and not a skate shop—or at least what I remember a skate shop to be: a place of wondrous and arcane mystery that opened the doors to a profane subculture festering under the rotten floorboards of America.
(Jesus Christ, did I just write that in all seriousness? Yes. And no. Admittedly, half the time while writing I just like to string ridiculous words together until my inane thoughts are glammed out like an '80s hair metal band. So it goes.)
But maybe that's all changed now. Maybe kids like to walk into a shop and connect with bold logotypes that look like they just walked in off the ski slopes. Maybe I just shouldn't care about such trivialities and take my time, energy, and tirades and apply them toward the travesties and issues of our time that actually matter in the world. Not some price-point graphic that was ready-made to be a fucked up, colorful mess, because ultimately it's just a piece of wood. A utilitarian means to a kick-ass end. In other words: a skateboard.
Vaguely associated tangent: I was in Val-Surf awhile back, looking over the wall of boards as I often do, when a dad brought his son into the shop to get his very first board. What a momentous occasion! Possibly even life-changing! I'll never forget my first board, so I couldn't help but linger nearby to see what the li'l blank slate would choose from the whole new world of wood at his fingertips. After some great thought and careful consideration, he eventually picked out a random Primitive board with a solid blue foil, embossed bottom, saying he "really liked the shiny color." And with one fell swoop there went my special purpose in life. C'est la vie!
I'll still go to my grave singing the graphic praises, though, because they genuinely do matter in the sublime way that has helped make skateboarding the curious cultural oddity it is renowned to be—otherwise there wouldn't be such a delectable corpse for the vultures to pick at, right?
One of them even comes in shiny blue!
So after all this two-fisted mental muckery—what basically amounts to an old man ranting at the sea—why on god's-not-so-green-anymore-earth would I ever consider producing a StrangeLove logo board? Well, like any good human, I can eventually justify just about everything. Well, not everything—fuck a Tik-Tok and its viral spread of influenzers—but almost everything. Believe me, I fought tooth and nail against the logo board concept for years and the fear of coming out as a hypocrite was real, but then I landed on two plausible escape clauses: 1) there's actually a meaning behind the blandness (sorry, you'll have to click that link to get the rest of the "Carousel" story); and 2) we do so many seemingly "high concept" and special project boards that some people don't know whether we're a skate brand or an art lark—in other confusing words, a conundrum of a company that has often left people wondering, "Am I supposed to skate it or hang it?" So what the hell… frustration and consternation no more: here's a stripped down version of our company for anyone who wishes to identify with it in such a bold, branded manner and simply beat the shit out of it. As they should.
Hell of a sales pitch, no? Just one of the many reasons I was never a merry marketing majorette. —Sean Cliver
1. Speaking of stupid, here's a fun little read to fill your heart with boundless joy and hope for the future.