Creating a Custom Emblem for Brad Starks Rod and Custom

If you didn’t see Brad Starks on Musclecar on Spike TV recently, you might know him from his 1950 Chevy Tin Woody that took home “Best Custom” at 2010 Detroit Autorama.  Brad is a 35 year old hot rodder from Paducah, KY, who is definitely making a name for himself.

Brad talked to me last summer at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville  about creating a custom car emblem to sign his projects, realizing it’s a powerful yet understated way to both add value to his  cars, and  build his name.

He had a strong logo to work with, and some definite ideas about the way he wanted his emblem to look…  a combination of the traditional Barris fender badge, a 3 dimensional- sculptural look, chrome and black colors, with a refined feel to it…  kind of like the cars he builds.

On a project like this, I like to get the 2 dimensional design right first, so using the logo from his business card, I started with some line drawings.  A few emails later, and we nailed it.    It’s all in getting the right balance of size and weight- the strong curvature of the ace shape, the boldness of the BS letters, and the curvature of the Rod & Custom script pulling it together- first in 2 dimensions and then 3 dimensionally.

With the 2 dimensional line art in place, then comes my favorite part, making the piece come to life in 3D…  carefully building the wire frame so all the elements balance, presenting renderings for approval, and creating the physical “master” to make the mold from.  I swear- as many years as I’ve done this- this part of the process still seems like magic to me.

The production went smoothly through the next steps of  mold work and casting, finish work, chrome and then the final high gloss black fill to really make everything pop visually (see it here in MotorHead Jewelry’s Facebook album).

I am excited to see the custom emblem on Brad’s cars.  As he shares photos with me down the road, I’ll be sure to share them with you as well.  In the meantime, you can catch up with his latest ventures on his Facebook page.