It’s the Fourth of July. 235 years after after the Founding Fathers of this great nation gathered at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, I bring to you a special, limited edition LBF shirt. The shirt was conceived, designed and created only minutes away from the historic Independence Hall. Things always come full circle. So before you grab the booze and head out into the night in search of fireworks and grilled hamburgers, take a quick second to get your hands on this shirt because, well, there will only be 20 of them made. Click Hereto purchase
Been a while since I updated the blog, I’m happy to share this with you guys. A while back I posted some photos about my TEDxTempleU event, the good folks over at TED have put up the video on youtube. I’ve embedded it here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.
My friend Mya showed this to me and if you’re a college student this is a good chance to win some free money and (apparently) free Old Spice deodorant as well. Can you say p-p-p-power!!! Ok, I apologize for that. Here’s the info. I’m not into this sort of thing, but thought I’d share with you all. Go win some money and buy me some dress pants!
“ReadyU is committed to assisting college students invent themselves by helping them to navigate the journey of life outside the classroom. As we move closer to summer, ReadyU wants to help students prepare for their important summer internship experiences by providing them with the tools they need to look their very best. Presenting: The Ultimate Style Sweepstakes!
INTERNSHIP SEASON IS HERE! Time to kick off your career while making a killer first impression. Need a nudge to take your look to the next level? Click on the “style sweeps” tab on the ReadyU Facebook page & enter ReadyU’s Ultimate Style Sweepstakes. Four randomly selected winners will win $1,000 plus a ton of P&G products to amp your style & wow the workforce.
To enter, all you have to do is ‘like’ ReadyU on Facebook (if you haven’t already) and fill out a quick entry form directly on the Facebook page – it’s as simple as that. Participants are allowed one entry per day, so make sure that you and your friends are entering daily! The contest will last from April 8th – April 21st. “
I made a draft of this post the day I submitted my “Vintage Hand Drawn DOOP” design to the Philadelphia Union for their contest. I said to myself that I would post it only if I won the contest. I am happy that I am able to share this with you. There are more sketches that I chose to leave out of this post because I wanted to condense this post into a three step phase. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you all go out and buy the finished product once the Union put it up for sale. Exciting stuff all around.
from the sketch book
The sketch process is the most fun, but also the most arduous time in the design process. There is something liberating about throwing everything on the page and seeing what sticks, but what begins to happen is that if you fall in love with more than one design moving forward in the process becomes more difficult. Fortunately, as soon as I sketched out the vintage poster (sketch in the top right corner) I knew that was it. I hurriedly flipped the page and began drawing.
The ink process is very different from drawing. Once you put that sharpie to the page the impression is permanent and every misplaced stroke adversely affects the outcome. The beauty of this piece is that I was going for a vintage, worn in look so the more “misplaced” strokes in this case, the better.
The idea behind the design is this: The Union, although a new organization, is rooted in a city that has a lot of culture, character and history. That culture and character is evident in the way the Union do things and within one year they have done a fantastic job of creating an identity for the team and the fans. I wanted to capture every element that helped create this identity while simultaneously creating a unified whole. The Sons of Ben, the Commodore-Barry Bridge behind PPL Park, the “DOOP” song, the Delaware River are all parts of that identity.
The oar and scythe in the design is representative of the Sons of Ben, the bridge and the Delaware River make a cameo and the Os in “DOOP” (a requirement for the design) are rendered in the vein of classic logos like Gucci’s interlocking G’s as well as the Chanel logo:
I employed this technique to root the design in a classic and timeless aesthetic. The phrase, “The Original DOOP Squad” really appealed to me. It sounded classic even though the Union is a new organization. Ultimately, my goal was to create something that had the potential to mean a bit more to the fans and the organization than just being a contest-winning design. I want people to be able to look back at this time at some point in the distant future and point to this design as a visual representation of what the Philadelphia Union is all about. If you think I am taking this a bit too seriously, I am, and that is because I have seen the power that design has to define a time, a people, and a culture. I took this opportunity as my chance to identify- in one motion- the culture of a city I have grown to love and a football club that is poised to really make history. And from the reactions from folks on twitter- both old and young- it seems that they feel the same way as well. Thank you all for voting and hope you grab one when they are released!
I have written this post over 50 times in my head and each time it comes out different. Where do I begin? Do I start at the part where I called practically everyone I knew in NYC trying to get silly pink wristbands that granted Chewy, Keith and me access to the “Meet the Red Bulls” event? Or do I start at the part where we waited in the freezing cold outside the Adidas Store on Broadway waiting to meet Thierry Henry? I guess it doesn’t really matter where the story starts, but the story in and of itself is worth telling.
I present to you all….
As a Gooner living in the United States I never got the chance to visit Highbury or the Emirates stadium to watch my idol, Thierry Henry, play for Arsenal. So when my buddy in NYC informed me of the “Meet the Red Bulls” event at the Adidas store yesterday, I quickly cleared my schedule for the event. Yesterday also happened to be my best friend’s birthday, and being that he loves Arsenal as well, I planned to bring him along as a surprise. I kept the secret quite well until Emily, Keith’s girl, told me that she let it slip…You’re forgiven, Em. So at that point the pressure to pull it off was now greater. Up until 10.37 am I had no wristbands to get into the store, but I held faith like a boy on Christmas morning hoping for that shiny train set. My good friend, Dara King, who lives not too far from the store came through in the clutch like Thierry Henry’s header against Man U (see what I did there?). She text me while I was slaving over my Structures exam that she had managed to snag three wristbands for free. (Others had to spend $50 on Red Bull gear to get wristbands). I wasn’t surprised because Dara is the sort of person that can persuade you to sell your car and use the money to buy her shoes.
Keith the birthday boy
Chewy and I left Philadelphia on the trusty Chinatown bus headed for the Big Apple. Thanks to technological Android-wizardry we were able to watch the Tottenham shellacking on a bus with no Wi-fi. Thierry would’ve been proud. After arriving in the city we link up with Dara to get the wristbands and get in line around the store. It’s freezing cold, but the Red Bull folks were kind enough to offer us copious amounts of ice cold Red Bulls to keep us warm. Well played.
smiles all around. Chewy doesn't belong. He's a Manc
lovely old fella. don't think he was waiting to see TiTi
After being in line outside for almost two hours the folks in the Red Bulls jackets and walkie talkies came out with some bad news. The folks who were unable to secure a wristband earlier in the day would not be able to get in. How unfortunate. These folks had endured the cold for two hours and you just now tell them they won’t be able to get in. Unbelievable. The lines finally moved and we inched closer to meeting the man who inspired me to wear the number 14 even though it sits somewhere at the bottom of my favorite figures.
The man. The legend.
Oh shit. That’s HIM. The one that scored 226 goals for Arsenal. Made Real Madrid look like school boys at the Bernabeu; the man who God sent to be a thorn in the side of Tottenham Hotspur. The man who went an entire Premier League season unbeaten. That man is ten feet in front of me. While we stood outside, each of us came up with awesome questions we were going to ask him. But naturally, when I got up to him, I could not even think of saying anything. I was just grateful that I was fortunate to be in his presence. Then the unthinkable happens. LBF’s resident photographer, Chewy, pulls a Yakubu at the worst moment. Henry gets up to take a photo with me and Chewy is fondling with the camera and says “no more memory.” The moment I had been waiting for; the moment I’d dreamed I would share with my children when I am old and gray would not be captured. No sweat though, because Birthday Boy got his picture AND told TiTi to sign his Arsenal jumper, “Always a Gunner” which he did. You have to respect someone like Henry. There were cameras next to him, a smug reporter who was constantly barraging him with the same old questions, and countless flashes going off in his face for hours and he smiled each time and took it all in stride. What a class act. God bless you TiTi.
Starstruck child and guy with mustache
The newest Red Bull in town; Dwayne DeRosario
Rafa Marquez ex Barca man
Marquez signs my Jabulani
The Signature. This ball shall never touch a pitch. No sir
I don’t like the Red Bulls (I’m a Union fan) but I spent $20 on RB Jabulani just to get it signed. Money well spent. We exited the store quickly and ventured onto the streets of Manhattan in search of good dinner. Remember this post?Yeah, it’s becoming a habit to find good spots to eat after football-related outings. It’s the LBF Life I guess. Emily recommended Max Brenners for Keith’s birthday dinner, and so we went.
my steak panini (or something)
Birthday boy being silly
Emily laughing at Keith
Me being too cool to act silly...
birthday ice cream
This picture sums up the night. Epic.
I had rewritten this post 50 times in my head, most words were forgotten. More clever quips and anecdotes as well. These images give you an idea of how epic it was. Oh, after stuffing our face with Max Brenners, Chewy and I had to sprint a mile to catch the last bus back to Philadelphia. Hilarious.
Video coming later on. I have class now so I must run. Au Revoir!
A couple of weeks ago the Society of Emerging African Leaders (SEAL) at my school asked me to be a speaker at their African Youth Leadership conference. I said absolutely. A few days before the event, I found out from Farhiya, SEAL president, that they had gotten the event approved by TED. All of a sudden this became an even bigger deal for me because I almost always have the TED site opened on a tab in my browser. I began preparing my presentation, but really wasn’t sure where to take it. I heard about some of the other speakers at the event and these were people who were doing amazing things. One guy, Mohamed Niang, co-founded Malo Traders with his brother, a good friend of mine was speaking about her non-profit organization, Real Humanitarians, and every other speaker, save for Professor Daud Watts, was in their early 20s. Topics ranged from government reform in Africa to rice preservation and the size of Africa to the genocide in Rwanda. Then I go up there and absolutely crash the party by giving a presentation titled “Football, Shirts and a powerful idea” while wearing my Navy XXI tee.
I am pretty comfortable speaking in public, as a matter of fact, I love doing so, but this time I was a bit nervous. I had rehearsed my “speech” countless times without problem, but when I went up there it was a different story. Why? I think it was because this was the first time that I’d told the LBF story, my story, from start to where it stands now and sort of hearing myself tell it and seeing people respond to it positively was moving. I wasn’t close to tears, though. Takes a bit more to make me cry. I’d like to thank SEAL, TED, and all the other speakers who came out, I am truly motivated to carry on and wish everyone else who participated in the event success in what they are doing. We just might change everything. As usual, here are some pictures. Enjoy.
Fake posing at the podium
Seyi Adeoye, co-founder of SEAL and I.
L to R: Odera, Speaker Elizabeth Householder and SEAL President, Farhiya Tifow
Another speaker, Abiola Adeola (brilliant, eloquent speaker by the way) and I.
Kojo Price, SEAL eboard member and fellow creative mastermind
some of the lovely ladies on the SEAL eboard
Nana, cool guy and Kojo
some of my beautiful friends also came out to support.
Tayo of RH chatting with new volunteers
What seems to be everybody
Some major things were discussed with these gentlemen. I'll keep my mouth shut though. Big things.
Thanks for reading, whenever the video to the TEDxTempleU is released I’ll be sure to hook you all up with a link to it. I’m sure you guys will get a kick out of me stumbling over my words! And making a few folks laugh as well. Thanks for reading and Follow the Twitter, Like the Facebook, and Tumble with Me
Yesterday marked a historic day in the city of Chester, PA. 18,000+ fans- a good amount of them inebriated- descended on PPL Park for the first ever Philadelphia Union home opener in the new stadium. Most fans rocked the classic, sponsor-free navy and gold kits, scarves and jackets, while the squad took the pitch in the new white kits with the BIMBO brand across the chest. I’m going to skip the jokes on this one. Not because I’m taking the moral high road, but because I left PPL Park with three loaves of fresh Bimbo Whole-Grain white bread. For free. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you, or make cruel jokes about them no matter how easy it is. Anyway…
Nsisong and I. Somehow, we both ended up wearing the Navy XXI. Cue the twins jokes…
The Red Devil. That’s really just Chewy showing off his limited edition XXI shirt that is gone forever. I don’t even have one.
The first half was quite boring and uninspiring, but I was too cold to even really focus on the football being played. My mind was about a half-mile down the road where our rental car was parked. Inside were our coats, scarves and hats that we foolishly left behind to warm up the interior of the Toyota Corolla and not our freezing bodies.
At half time, we quickly rushed to the Union Gift Shop which seemed to be the only place in the stadium that was heated. Thank God. Chewy contemplated dropping some serious cash for a jacket, while Nsisong and I contemplated spending the second half watching the rest of the game inside the shop. We decided to take the manlier option and I was elected the man to walk a half-mile out of the stadium to grab our outerwear. Luckily, I returned before any serious action took place in the game (save for Hassli’s sending off in the 57th minute).
The breakthrough came in the 77′ as Sebastian Le Toux passed the ball across the face of goal to Carlos Ruiz who slotted it home. The crowd erupted into a thunderous chant of the best torhymne in the MLS. DOOP! DOOP! DOOP! DO-DO-DOOP-DOOP-DOOP! The atmosphere electrified and the only evidence of the freezing cold was the steam that escaped our mouths as we sang into the night. The game ended in a 1-0 victory and the Union recorded their first ever winning streak in the MLS. This team is going onto great things. I can feel it.
The man who refused to give me his jersey. Je n’oublierai pas cela, Sebastian…Je n’oublierai pas…
We stopped to snap a quick photograph before we headed back into the city for some much needed dinner. Chewy, our Norwegian-Polish brother had never tasted African food so we took him to one of the best spots in Philly for some african food.
We drove back into the westside of the city to Kilimanjaro, a Senegalese-restaurant that has an amazing selection of lamb, beef and chicken.
My beef kebab and kouskous dish. Delicioso. Fried Plantains. Known as “dodo” where I’m from.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Just look at Chewy’s face. I couldn’t stop laughing at his reaction after he tasted the food. He’d never tasted anything so spicy. Poor kid had no idea what hit him. Be careful what you wish for, Chewy.
The night did not end here, but I’ll end the blog post on this note. I’m pretty sure you all know what goes down on Saturday nights….ZzzZzzzzzzz
Thanks for reading, and in case you didn’t know, I’m a semi-finalist in the Union’s “DOOP design contest” Please vote for me, because if I win they’ll manufacture and sell the shirts to Union fans. How cool would that be?! Vote HERE Mine is the “Vintage Hand-Drawn DOOP”: