Conversations at the intersection of sports, design and creativity


Jon Contino

Makers of Sport Podcast #40

June 15, 2015
Jon Contino

"If I wasn't myself [through my work] then it really wasn't worth doing. I don't see why anyone would wanna do something where they just have to just kind of put on a mask everyday and pretend to be something they're not. I just wanted to be myself and see where it would lead me."

One of New York's finest, Jon Contino is on the podcast this week. Jon is a designer, illustrator, letterer and creative director based out of upstate New York. His work has adorned apparel, digital, print and environmental graphics for the likes of Nike, Jordan Brand, ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, IBM, Microsoft, Miller Lite and more.

Jon talks about his upbringing in Long Island, NY and how being a passionate baseball and New York Hardcore music fan plays into the reasoning and inspirations behind why he became a designer.

He also gives us some insight into the ups and downs of starting an agency while learning on the fly, as well as tells a few stories about how his former agency OneTwentySix Design Studios spun off into the apparel brand CXXVI Clothing Company with rejected client work.

We discuss how important it is to work with clients that trust you and allow you to be yourself through your work. Jon tells a story of how he made the transition of being a "do everything for everybody" type of person to a "do my own style" type of stop.

Lastly Jon touches on the importance of equity in one's name versus a made up brand name, as well as how frightening and expensive starting an menswear lifestyle brand is.

contino brand label by jon contino

contino brand mfg co new york label by jon contino

espn the magazine illustration by jon contino

flip skateboards graphics by jon contino

jordan brand illustration for michael jordan's 50th birthday by jon contino

we run lettering for nike running by jon contino

we run typography by jon contino for nike running

sports illustrated 2015 swimsuit edition illustrations by jon contino

sports illustrated 2015 swimsuit edition logos by jon contino

sports illustrated swimsuit edition bandana by jon contino

nike hunt or be hunted bronx illustration by jon contino

nike vcxc ny graphics by jon contino

nike bronx nyc lettering by jon jon contino

contino brand ebbets flannels collaboration by jon contino

Mentions include:

My next guest is Jeremy Darlow of Adidas where he a Director of Brand Marketing for football and baseball. Jeremy is also the author of the book, Brands Win Championships.

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