Baseball season is officially here, and we can almost hear the fans across America singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Here at UncommonGoods, we’ve been working on a new baseball-themed product for a few months: Record-Breaking Baseball Glasses. We’re excited to launch this new product just in time for baseball lovers to use for their enjoyment of cold beers or sodas alongside those peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Since I dabbled in T-ball and a little slow pitch baseball myself growing up, I was happy to put my baseball knowledge to good use in developing the set.
In true Product Development form, we often take projects down more than one path. I started the development process by exploring different design ideas (like baseball expressions and baseball pitches) and different aesthetics (for example, using newspaper baseball scores or trading cards as inspiration). Nothing seemed like a good fit.
We took a step back and asked ourselves, “What do baseball fans like?” and the answer was pretty clear: stats. Baseball fans love statistics, even the most obscure. With that in mind, we took the development of these glasses down a new path that would feature stats.
The Product Development team did a little research and brainstorming on how to bring glassware and baseball stats together in a great way. We found a Mental Floss article on unbeatable baseball records that ended up being a helpful source of inspiration – from there we kept refining the idea and facts until we had a set of unbreakable (or at least, not likely to be broken) pitching and hitting stats.
We had our content, but we still wondered: How do you make a text-heavy design interesting and attractive?
That’s when I was reminded of a recent project I completed for an illustration class I was taking. The class project was to illustrate a heading for a newspaper article about the word “obsessed” and how its meaning has changed in the last few years. I wrote the word “obsessed” obsessively many times over at a small size. From far away it looks like the word obsessed in red on a black background, but upon closer inspection, you can see that the image is actually made up of text. I thought this image-as-text idea could be a compelling way to make text more than just text.
Continuing on with the image-as-text idea, I started out with a few iconic baseball shapes–bat, ball, glove, field, and home plate. I ran into some problems with the bat. There wasn’t a lot of space for stats and visually it just didn’t have the same weight as the other shapes. We looked at other batter-related imagery and thought the batter’s box could be a good choice–it seemed like a different and less expected way to represent the batter, and still an iconic part of the baseball experience.
Once we had the basic designs in mind, all that was left was to lay out the text and figure out the colors, working with the manufacturer to get the design execution just right. Throughout this product development process, these Record-Breaking Baseball glasses took on a lot of forms, but after a few times at bat, we hit on a final design that any baseball fan is sure to love.
*Bonus: Looking to play a few extra innings of baseball trivia? Here are a couple of other Mental Floss articles we used while researching this design: