This entry is both long overdue and a bit lengthy. First of all, please excuse the iPhone shot of the interior. Since I’m going through my phase of insomnia now and finally finished watching both seasons of The Walking Dead…I’ll see if I can get this done in one sitting. BTW, The Walking Dead series is fantastic. I was completely unaware of the show on the account of not really being a fan of TV but put it on a DVD where I can watch blocks of it well then you can catch me in a rare moment of staring at the big black rectangle on the stand.
The company Vintage Seats has rightfully earned the reputation of providing the best reproduction sports purpose seats in the industry but the customer service had always been lacking. That has since changed since my good friend Michael Eberhardt bought the company and improved both the service and offered even more accurate and satanic details…but hold on…let me back up.
I had always wanted a set of the R seats but due to previous simultaneous projects…well it wasn’t financially possible and I like to keep the car on the road with very little down time if I can help it. Not a big fan of always working on the car and showing up at events in the daily driver.
For Project Cockpit Revisited…it was time. I called Vintage Seats for corduroy swatch samples and was disappointed with what arrived in the mail. Keep in mind Michael did not own the company at this time. It was nothing like the original material by comparison to my original ’68 sport seat…too wide, synthetic and more of a warm black. I requested more samples but the communications became sporadic. Having no patience, I went on the forums and started asking questions. Members started sending me samples from various sources and one in particular was a dead on match. Seriously, why is it that a potential customer has to track down the proper material?
With the correct material in hand, I had to contact Vintage Seats to see if I could provide my own material and this is where the communications became sporadic again. At this time, Michael had purchased my ’68 sport seat which he wanted to run as a passenger seat. He was interested in purchasing a Vintage Seats seat in the matching cord material. Since my emails to Vintage Seats were getting ignored, I asked Michael to call during the day for us because I don’t have the type of job where I can be making personal phone calls during regular business day.
Michael sends me a text for him to call him after dinner that night. Hmmm…strange. The call went something like this.
“I just bought Vintage Seats.”
In my head <what does he mean he bought seats? We were suppose to buy seats together to get a discount. Why did he buy seats without me?>. Then I realized <oh shit…he means he bought the effin’ company>. I curse a lot in my head.
“Damn” and “congrats” was my reply. I may have added “you’re a crazy MFer” as well. I curse a lot aloud.
We’re very fortunate to have “one of our own” as the new owner of Vintage Seats. Michael has been a major contributor to all things R Gruppe and in general is a face you can expect to see at the early Porsche events. Plus, in getting to know him better this past year, he’s the type of guy that gets things done with a high standard and…for me…he’s not a nameless face and I am not an invoice number which you guys have read…these are the type of people I like to deal with.
Finally, with Michael as the new owner, I placed my order for the seats I always wanted and I’m actually very thankful that I waited. Michael worked with me on some details to make these as accurate as possible. I deviated from the standard order by requesting “period correct” details be implemented such as the holes of the perforated bolsters be enlarged, the proper corduroy (which Michael now offers) and cardboard/yellow foam. Michael was more than willing to fulfill my “pain in the ass” requests and ultimately delivered my dream seats.
Now that I’ve firmly planted my nose up Michael’s bum…totally deserved because quite honestly there’s no reason to look elsewhere if you’re in the market for seats.
Let’s move on to more important matters which involves…me…of course.
This post was originally intended to be about how I became the graphic designer for Vintage Seats. It was a freelance project I was happy to take on. Designing a logo is an incredibly personal task and collaboration. Often I like to get a feel for what a client wants before I’m willing to accept. Plus, I don’t have a whole lot of personal time after punching the day clock at my regular job but this one…a Porsche related project for a good friend…it was a no brainer.
Michael had a good idea of what he wanted or at least he always reacted quickly and decisiveness when I submitted rounds of comps. It’s been my experience in designing logos that often times it’s like two fighters in a ring in which I have to throw the first punch or submit ideas to clients and they throw a counter punch in the form of feedback. It’s a process where lots of punches get thrown by both parties or fighters and sometimes it can really go the distance. In general, I do think people are surprised at how long it takes to design a logo. It’s rarely a one-round fight with a knock out.
I was sort of designing blindly for the first couple rounds until I asked Michael for a “part” or “detail” that could be used for the icon. He sent me a pic of a “clip” that gets fiberglassed into the seat then bent to 90 degrees to grab the fabric.
It turned out to be the perfect bit to implement into the logo. For color, Michael was inspired by a car he admired which was close to Sea Foam Green. After a couple more rounds of comps…I finally received the email stating “that’s the new Vintage Seats logo”.
In addition to the logo, Michael asked me to design some collateral pieces like flyers, magnets, stickers, posters, labels, banners and the quarter page for Excellence magazine.
Michael would then ask me to do the graphics for his ’69 911T Vintage Seats promo vehicle recently resprayed in its original Ivory but altered BP Green hood and decklid. He’s having thoughts of respraying the BP Green panels to Vintage Seats green Anyway I did the door logos, rear flare numbers, front flare logo, hood number and euro license plate. The car itself is phenomenal but all the graphics…total throwback to the glory days…massive like.
Well the decor did not stop there. Michael wanted to include the race history and driver info so he brought me back in for the the next phase of decals.
Overall, very happy for Michael on his new business and to have helped out with his design needs. Of course, I wish him endless success but considering the quality and service…he’ll do better than fine.
As I said in the beginning of this entry…it was going to be a long story. I swear, if I wasn’t an insomniac I would have never started a blog. I would love to be able to rest my head on the pillow at a decent hour and fall asleep shortly after which reminds me…last night I dreamt that Magnus Walker had an open house…total Porsche heaven. I may not sleep much but I have good dreams.
EDIT: Posted after midnight. I’ll edit in the morning. Tired but not sleepy.