It's that time of year again, where the kevlar and bike covers are being designed and sponsors are being placed for the 2023 season.
Chris loves this part of the pre-season - he gets excited seeing all the new designs and/or colour schemes come together, before he has the final say and gives the suppliers the green light to manufacture them.
I kind of like this part too, because I love design stuff and getting to see our ideas mature through to a final design. But it's not without stress and late night working.
As you can see from this picture, it's me in my PJ's late in the evening last week working on all of this stuff (after a long day at work, dinner, homework and bath/bedtime for the children). There isn't just one set to worry about, we have Chris's own stuff as well as his club stuff to do - I say we, I mean me as Chris 'supervises' me doing the work lol.
For Chris's own stuff it's not as easy as you think, we have an idea and send it to the supplier for them to come up with an initial design, which we then go backwards and forwards numerous times to tweak until we are happy with the final version of the design.
Brainstorming ideas every year for Chris's own stuff gets harder and harder, as Chris likes to have something different to everyone else. But this year whilst brainstorming around the kitchen table ideas and colour schemes, we both had the same idea about re-using one of Chris's old designs with a few tweaks. It made this years task a little less stressful, and saved a fair few hours at the laptop.
Once the design is agreed, then it's time to place sponsors logo's which isn't easy, you have to think about the placement for each sponsor and ensuring they are where they are meant to be eg. some sponsors only go on the bike cover, some sponsors only go on the kevlar, some sponsors go on everything. I always find this the longest hardest part of the task as we go over and over it many times until we get it right and are satisfied we have everyone covered, and also that we have the correct / most up to date logos. Chris is so grateful to ever single sponsor no matter how big or small, and always wants to make sure we give them the best advertising space possible and this is our no1 priority, hence the effort we put in to get it right.
Team kevlars are simpler in the fact we have no design input, but we have the difficulty of managing all of Chris's sponsors around the club sponsors. Not going to lie, this has been the most stressful part this year as the logos will be in different places on all 3 kevlars this season, much to Chris's dismay. Chris has OCD tendencies when it comes to stuff like this, as well as his superstitions kicking in, but I always say to him that it's a balance, they can't all be the same all of the time and that it's what you do whilst wearing them that matters 'Bomber doing Bomber things and all that'
Another pre-season task on the brink of completion, the designs are done, the logos are placed and sent back, we await the final version to be sent through to be given the green light. Knowing Chris, we will end up making a few minor tweaks here and there, but they are all looking good and almost ready for manufacture which is exciting.
I can't obviously give anything else away with regards to Chris's own stuff, as Chris will kill me, he likes to keep his stuff under wraps until Press & Practice - so no sneak peaks I'm afraid. I might see if he'll let me share a sneak peak nearer the time, no promises.
I have a few favourites over the years of Chris's designs and colour schemes, but I am waiting for the day he caves in and has Purple as requested by Amara-Mae, I can't see it happening, but she is a daddy's girl after all.
The best bit is yet to come, when all the covers and kevlars are made and delivered to our home - Chris is like a big kid at Christmas, priceless ...