Jan 27, 2009

Nothing But Net!

Kareem Abdul Jabbar Patch.

Over the past three years I've designed around 600 patch designs for Upper Deck. I've designed other NBA Basketball patches and MLB Baseball patches as well as NHL Hockey patches.

The most recent patch work is re-visiting the NBA Basketball theme. I had to illustrate a bunch of past and current NBA stars. I've selected a few to showcase here.

Calvin Murphy Patch.

I'f you'd like to see how I go about creating artwork like this be sure to check out my tutorial that walks you through the creation of one of these patches at www.illustrationclass.com

Allen Iverson Patch.

I've always thought if Iverson wasn't playing basketball professionally he'd probably be a gang banger? For someone so talented at such a high level I'm surprised how much of a chip he still carries on his shoulders. I realized after a friend commented below that my opinion is based solely on what I've gleaned through the media and that isn't valid enough anymore to draw such general conclusions so I'll give Allen Iverson the benefit of the doubt. He is one the most entertaining players to watch in the NBA, that is for sure.

Dennis Rodman Patch.

The lovable bad boy of basketball past sporting his trademark tech-n-color hairdo.

Carmelo Anthony Patch.

This patch is probably the one I like the most? Not sure why? Maybe it's his hair?

Greg Oden Patch.

This is one of the youngest players in the NBA but ironically he still looks like a reincarnation of Robert Parrish.

Kobe Bryant MVP Patch.

This was one of three patch designs I worked on for this specific project. Upper Deck like most in sports figured Kobe would win the leagues MVP in 2008 so they had me design some commemorative patches to add to this project. Upper Deck set up a meeting with Kobe personally and allowed him to review the designs I came up with and pick the patch he liked best.

The design shown above is my personal favorite. When Kobe met with Upper Deck he didn't like any of the three designs I created. I wasn't really given any reason for his dislike but it was still kind of cool in a strange way to know that he looked at my art and hated it. LOL

Assortment of Patches.

Over all I did around 85 patch designs for this project. It's always fun working on patches and even though I wouldn't consider myself a die hard sports fan it's cool being able to create artwork that features players I admired growing up.


Nick said...

Wow Von, is there anything you cant do?

I know you have done the Billy Mays thing but how about a Vince Offer AKA-ShamWOW guy design? Like a cut-out faux hawk or something ;)

L-Fo said...

The patches look great. I really like the Dennis Rodman one. I stumbled across a film that he made recently that I thought you would enjoy:

Eric said...

Don't take it too personal. Kobe Bryant doesn't like anything but himself. Nice work.

RDQLUS (Stevie G.) said...

Great great work Von! I love the Iverson patch. My fave player of all time besides Penny Hardaway (no not Jordan, he's third on my list). Man I am so amazed at your skill and reach. May I study at the foot of the master?

BTW, I carry a HUGE chip on my shoulder too. Tats & cornrows don't make you a gang banger. I have tats, a mowhawk and a mean temper, so I get seen that way too, unfairly most of the time. Keep doing your thing AI, but shoot the rock more! You are NOT known for your passing. LMAO!

PS: Kode, stop drinking HaterAde!

Vonster said...


I say this in all honesty, you are the coolest cat I know.

You're also a really nice guy so I take your opinion seriously and you're probably right. I'm only making my judgement via media and we all know how skewed that can be so I'm going to revise my comments for Iverson.

Thanks for the balancing factor.


Clay said...


Great work, as usual. Got any end-result photos of these patches in actual embroidery? Would love to see how your silver shading looks in thread.


P.S. Done any Artis Gilmore patches?

Gnarfdeath said...

great stuff!! I love the baseball patches too!

fde said...


your job is absolutely fantastic!!!!!!