Culprit Surf

Complete visual system for a new company launch

Tom and Pete of Culprit Surf are the kind of guys you want to work for: intelligent, motivated, innovative and cool. When they decided to join forces to conquer the water sports market, Culprit Surf was the result. All Culprit needed was a complete identity system to grow with and a checklist of deliverables for the trade show launch of their company.


My role on the project included art direction, design, and all production.


  • Logo/identity system
  • ASR trade show advertisement
  • Product one sheets
  • Complete trade show booth

Design research and initial logo exploration

Our process for this project included:

  • Define project goals and objectives
  • Design research, including surf shop visits, interviews with target audience, review of surfing and related lifestyle media
  • Concrete creative brief, outlining creative directions to explore

We started the initial logo exploration very broad, pursing a variety of potential marks and typefaces. We quickly narrowed the direction to those that communicated the technological advantages of Culprit’s products.

Culprit Surf Logo ideation initial exploration

Final logo design

Culprit is about bringing performance advantages to the market through specific technological innovation.

The logo typeface connotes speed, while the memorable mark, constructed from revolving fins, suggests gears or other machinery. It looks great imprinted on boards, fins and other gear. The form suggests a breadth of marketing opportunities (dogtag-style bracelet charms, for example).

In this version the tagline “transformative tools for surfing” reinforces the actual physical advantage conveyed by the products.

The final logo met the teams expectations

Product one-sheets

We created colorful one-sheets for distribution at the ASR trade show, in order to provide information about product specs. Text and design emphasised the competitive advantage conveyed by Culprit’s technological innovation.

Culprit Surf One-Sheets

Advertisement for the Action Sports Retailer trade show in San Diego, California

Every participant in the ASR trade-show created a small ad that was incorporated into a flash widget on the ASR promotional web site. The text for the ad appeared independently, on a facing page.

We referenced mathematical formulas and vectors to enhance the sense that technological innovation is at the core of the Culprit advantage.

Culprit Surf Postcard

Booth banner and business card

We applied the design to free-standing banners for the trade show booth, business cards and other collateral. The logo and tagline were even applied to chocolates that were handed out.

Culprit Surf Banner and Business Card

ASR trade show booth

We designed the booth according to the specs of the structure Pete and Tom acquired. Pete sourced a transluscent, blue, wave-textured plastic for the booth sign. I hand-cut foam core for the logos and letters. Backlit, it was quite striking.

Culprit Surf Tradeshow Booth
Culprit Surf Tradeshow Detail
Culprit Surf Tradeshow Stand
Culprit Surf Tradeshow Detail

Next Project: Less Experienced TV Pilot –>