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EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is a full transcript of the interview Uni Watch's Paul Lukas did with uniform designer Todd Radom.
Uni Watch: How old are you?
Todd Radom: I just turned 41.
UW: Where did you grow up?
TR: In Yonkers [N.Y.].
UW: And were you a big sports fan as a kid?
TR: A big baseball fan more than anything. As a kid I was always fascinated by the visual history of the game. My father was a graphic designer and photographer; my grandfather was a painter; his father was a painter. It's an artistic family.
UW: Were you the kind of kid who was doodling team logos on your notebook in math class?
TR: Totally! And later on, I studied design at the School of Visual Arts, and my senior thesis was a triptych painting on the visual history of baseball. Another time we had to design a letterhead, envelope and business card package, which is a very typical design school project, and I did the Philadelphia Phillies.
UW: Did you play Little League, or other youth sports?
TR: Played Little League for one year, and didn't do especially well.
UW: But did you love the uniform? I mean, I can trace my own fascination with uniforms to that first Little League uni, especially the stirrups. It all seemed, like, very "official."
TR: That's an interesting question. But actually, I don't recall being particularly interested in my Little League uniform.
UW: What kind of fan were you, growing up?
TR: I've always been a Red Sox fan. It goes back to when we used to vacation out in Montauk during the summers. This was around '73 or '74, and there was no cable TV yet, and the only televised baseball you could get out at the tip of Long Island was the Red Sox broadcasts. So I watched a lot of Red Sox games.
UW: Was it your plan to get into sports design?
TR: No, I couldn't even dream of it. I had no idea how the system worked, and had no idea of who could possibly do this for a living. My first jobs after SVA were in the publishing industry, designing book jackets. I must have done over 1,000 covers. At that time, because of my love of sports in general, and baseball in particular, I got to do more baseball-related book jackets than anyone else. So I built up a portfolio of baseball books. One of the biggest thrills of life was going to a Red Sox game around 1989 and seeing an ad in the program that featured one of my covers. I thought, "Oh my god, I've made the big time."
UW: How did you move from publishing to the actual sports world?
TR: There came a point, around 1990 or so, when I had built up enough of a portfolio of baseball book covers, and I dropped it off at Major League Baseball. I thought, why not? Sure enough, I got a call back from the creative director of Major League Baseball Properties, and he said, "We like your stuff and we want to meet with you." So I went in there and said, "Look, if anyone knows your demographic, it's me," because I was the typical baseball fan. The first job I got was a minor league logo for the Knoxville Smokies I think they were single-A, a Blue Jays affiliate. They tested me out on a few other things, like the logo for a Dodgers tour of Asia, that kind of thing.