UW: And then you got the Brewers, which was your first opportunity to do the uniforms and identity for a major league team.
TR: Yes. It was the spring of '93.
UW: And how did that feel? I mean, there you are, designing a big league team's uniforms. Did you feel like you were living out a fantasy?
TR: I still am. I pinch myself. The greatest thing in the world is to see my work in this context. I'll never be a ballplayer, so this is the closest I can come. It's great!
UW: So in addition to the Brewers, what else have you done?
TR: The Angels' current uniforms, the Brooklyn Cyclones that was one of my favorite jobs ever and a lot of sleeve patches: the 2003 World Series, the Hank Aaron patch, the Jackie Robinson patch, the American League 100th-anniversary patch, some stadium-closing patches. And of course, the new Washington Nationals.
UW: And how did you branch off into the other sports?
TR: There came a point where it made sense to diversify. In early 1997, I designed the logo for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Armed with that, I was able to get work from the NBA. I've done some of their Opening Day marks, and the Indiana Fever logo for the WNBA. Lots of licensing stuff. I still do some stuff for them, but not too much.
UW: What about football?
TR: The NFL approached me in 2001. I designed the logo for Super Bowl XXXVIII, and I've done some other stuff for them. I did this year's Pro Bowl logo, and I did a secondary logo for the Cleveland Browns the bulldog. I own a bulldog myself, so I had great visual reference for that one.
UW: How about hockey?
TR: I've never worked with the NHL. They're very strange they'll only work with certain people, and it's tough to crack the code.
UW: OK, so millions of fans see your work. But almost none of them know who you are. And a lot of them may not even want to know, because they want to think of their favorite logo or uniform as being a pure extension of the team they may not want to think about someone like you being involved in the creative process. What's it like to be so anonymous in such a high-profile field?
TR: Any creative person has an ego. But celebrity designers offend me it's nice to have recognition, certainly, but the anonymity goes with the territory. This isn't brain surgery, I'm not changing people's lives.
UW: I think that's an arguable point, actually you have a huge impact on something that people feel very strongly about.
TR: It's not so important in the grand scheme of the world that I need any greater recognition.
UW: Most sports fans also have a rather intense feeling of ownership regarding their teams' graphics. What's it like working on a design knowing that it'll be scrutinized by millions of fans, and knowing that some of them may not like it, and that some of them may even resent it?
TR: That's where the anonymity comes in handy! But again, that kind of reaction comes with the territory. It's a great challenge, no question about it. If you were to come to me and say, "I have a great assignment for you: Redesign the Boston Red Sox logo," it would be a daunting challenge, but I'd be up for it. I know that with almost any design, about a third will absolutely hate it, for whatever reason some people are just resistant to change, or whatever. Another third will be apathetic. And you can probably slice the other third up into the ones who'll think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread and the ones who'll say, "Well, it's pretty good, but it could've been better if you'd done this, this, and this."