Our latest installment of the Ambush Alumni series features Bobby Sattler. Bobby, just like many of our esteemed alumni, started as your average shop rat gripping boards and vacuuming floors. Bobby was with us for 4 years, from 2000 to 2004. From the beginning, Bobby had a knack for graphics and design. This began in a high school class where he had access to a lab full of G4 Macs, which is impressive for any public school, especially back then. After graduating high school and taking a semester off to enjoy himself, Bobby found himself enrolled in school again at North Metro Tech (now part of Chattahoochee Tech) for Visual Communications-Print Design Specification.
“After I started college, Chuck (the owner of Ambush) presented an amazing opportunity to me. One I’m forever grateful for. The offer was to work on all the graphics for the boards, tees and events and the BuyWake stuff, which had recently launched, while also working the warehouse side with Eric, receiving and entering inventory and making deliveries to the two shops (Kennesaw and Gwinnett). That was such an invaluable time and experience for me—to be able to go to college for design and work as a graphic designer for Ambush at the same time.”
As he became closer to finishing his degree here in Georgia, Bobby wanted to continue his learning about design, and finally settled on an option to continue his education down in Florida at Full Sail University.
“January 2004, I moved to Florida. The program at Full Sail was quick and intense. It was a two-year degree, squeezed into a fourteen-month period. Luckily I found a nice balance of school and social life. School all day and night—creative explorations in the bars afterwards. March 2005, I graduated from Full Sail.”
Bobby’s plan after college was to make it out to California to be at the heart of the board sports industry. By the time he had graduated a few of his friends, including none other than fellow Ambush Alumni Juston Tucker and Ryan Dearth, had already made the trek out west and settled in Long Beach, California. He had been plotting ways to get all of his belongings cross country when an extremely unique opportunity arose.
“While in Florida, through mutual friends, I met another good, longtime friend, Sam Ratto. At the time Sam worked for DVS and—among many things—was the captain of the Big Red Bus—the company’s event/marketing RV. Sam also lived in Long Beach, CA. I called Sam—knowing he was going to be back in Florida soon for an event with the Big Red RV—and pitched him my idea. I would rent a trailer and when he was done in Florida, I would hop a ride with him in the RV across America—with a tea leaf green Saturn in tow—to California. June 2005, a day after turning 21, I moved to California.”
Shortly after moving into a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 other guys, all from across the country, Bobby learned of an opening at Sole Tech (eS, Emerica, etnies, etc.), and with the help of Dearth and some of his connections was able to get his resume in front of the right people.
“October 2005, I began working at Emerica. I was at Emerica for about a year, working on different projects like campaign development and design, catalogs and photo shoots.”
While at Emerica, Bobby met Craig Metzger. Craig and Bobby hit it off, and would eventually collaborate together on a different project. Bobby left Sole Tech around the same time as Craig, and years later Craig became the Creative Director for Element.
“At the time I was working at Quiksilver, in the marketing art department, he called to see if I would be interested in coming to work with him at Element as Sr. Graphic Designer. March 2008, I began working at Element.”
At Element, he worked on the design and art direction for marketing and sales to develop and design ad campaigns, promotions, in-store artwork, sales catalogs, photo shoots and many other projects. After two years, he was named Art Director, in charge of seven categories: two men’s apparel categories, two footwear categories, the juniors line “Eden,” boy’s apparel, and skate hardgoods. Much of the type of the work stayed the same, but he was now the lead, with a team of two designers, for global art direction othat wasn’t related to product—like board and t-shirt graphics. An added perk to the job was developing campaigns and organizing photo shoots around the world including Alaska and Chile.
Bobby was also in charge of developing, designing, and executing marketing initiatives like Element’s video Future Nature. Working with marketing team, video guys, and team manager, they envisioned the overall theme of the video. From there all of the visuals had to be designed for everything, the logo, print and digital campaign, promotional posters, on-screen graphics and titles, DVD packaging with a photo book. Future Nature premiered in 2012 and proved as a jumping point for the careers of many of the Element amateurs that were involved.
While being forever grateful for the opportunities to work and collaborate with such talented and creative people over at Element, one constant feeling throughout all of his awesome experiences working within the skateboard and board sports industries was to have his own design studio.
“The more time that passed, the stronger the desire became. So, I put together a rough timeline in my head about when would be a good time to make the jump. This also gave me time to put some money aside, to support myself at the beginning. May 2012, I started my own design studio. Going out on my own was terrifying and exciting. When I started, I had one client, Santiago Cycling. A bicycle shop with a focus on road cycling. Other than that, I was trying to figure it all out.”
When asked about his favorite piece or project that he worked on, Bobby’s response was the photo book he worked on with Brian Gaberman, a very well-known and established skateboard photographer. Over a period of about six months, Bobby and Brian worked on everything from filtering out photos to physical size, paper quality, cover design, materials, and the layout and sequencing of all the photos. The book, entitled A Life in Transition, came out at the end of 2013. Check it out!
Here are a couple of examples from Bobby’s extensive and impressive portfolio. Find out more about what he’s been up to here.