Design and its Complexities – With Bryan
Have you ever wondered how the designers at Spradling International became the creative, skilled individuals they are today?
We wanted to give you an opportunity to learn more about our designers and their work, so we decided to interview them to get some insight into what makes them tick.
Whether you are an aspiring designer, an experienced professional or just interested in the world of coated fabrics, this interview series is intended for you. Perhaps you can glean a new perspective from our talented designers. Or maybe you can gain a greater understanding of the creative work behind the colors and patterns you see today.
An Interview with Bryan
Bryan grew up in Wyoming, Michigan and always thought he wanted to be an architect.
Rigid instructions along with little creative license motivated him to switch his major to Graphic Design as a freshman at Grand Rapids Community College. After his sophomore year, he transferred to Michigan State University. There he graduated, with honors, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design, and a minor in painting.
The Job – Design and Color
Bryan’s job at Spradling is rather unique. When you talk to him about what he does, you can tell he sincerely enjoys it; he is doing exactly what he was built for.
“I’ve been here for twenty-six years, pretty much doing the same thing,” and he adds, “I create vinyl palettes and color, which we use to help boat builders make better-looking, more updated boats. Finished products that are ‘on trend’ with what’s going on in the world, that’s what sells.”
His title is Director of Design, a pretty vague term according to Bryan, but it encompasses anything from graphic and interior design, colorist projects, product development, and tradeshow concept and booth design. Basically, this guy has an eye for composition.
In the design world, you have to be on top of the consistent change in the industry. For Bryan, this is one of his favorite parts of the job.
“It’s seasonal, so it’s always changing,” he says. “Then there is the prep for the IBEX tradeshow, this is our tradeshow, the one where we display. Every year we come up with a theme . . . it’s always an exciting challenge to come up with products and a display that really show Spradling Marine (SIM) is a creative force.”
Last year Spradling was midcentury-modern with an atomic lounge theme. Bryan says this year is top-secret, so our lips are sealed until August.
Some of the greatest influences on Bryan’s designs come from wakeboard, surf, and even snowboard culture. These industries walk hand-in-hand and inspire boat design. He tracks trends with large corporations like Billabong, Hurley, Quicksilver or Oakley, as well as some of the more obscure companies, in order to have a comprehensive background for new ideas.
Bryan hopes people will see that SIM brings innovative, new products to the table every year – meaning products and designs that both follow current trends, and that you can’t find anywhere else.