In 2013 I began playing around with ideas for a skateboard mounting hardware company.
I had no particular affinity for hardware; I wanted to make a brand of some kind, and I didn’t want it to be just another clothing company. Skate bolts were easily accessible — kits wholesale for under $1 — and at the time there were no small, independent hardware companies in Portland or Boston (the two places I wanted to market my product the most).
As a name for my hardware company, I chose Bolts. I’m still shocked it hadn’t been used before. For trademark purposes, I established my company as Bolts Premium, LLC, and officially my product was called Bolts Premium Nuts & Screws.
The Bolts gothic ‘B’ was inspired by the Birmingham Barons cap logo. I first saw a Barons hat at Concepts in Harvard Square, where Steve Costello (co-owner of RAW) informed me that this was the Chicago White Sox minor league affiliate that Michael Jordan played for when he left the NBA in the mid-90′s.
Between 2013 and 2017 I sold close to 2000 sets of Bolts at skate shops across the U.S.A. and online. I eventually wrapped up the company when I moved from Portland to Martha’s Vineyard in 2017; I considered Bolts an Oregon thing, and I left the brand on the west coast where it was born.
On this page you’ll see ads for print and digital media; product designs, photos, and catalogs; and motion graphics + video edits. This breadth of design work was probably the best part of doing Bolts, and I learned a lot along the way.
* some images on this page change on mouse rollover *
These first images are from the first Bolts catalog in Spring 2015:
Below are selected images from the @boltspremium Instagram page. The 4-5-6 dice theme was always a fun motif to play with, especially when announcing the arrival of Bolts at a new skate shop.
One thing I gained from doing Bolts was experience using Adobe After Effects and Premier for motion graphics and video work. Here are a few of the edits:
These next few images were published as print ads. Brian Baca’s boneless photo was in the Low Card ‘Decade’ edition, and the two sequences were in Focus Magazine.
I was always a fan of Instagram’s original square format. These layouts, featuring Portland’s Brian Baca, showcased this look:
This last group of images is from the final Bolts catalog I put out, in Spring ’17.