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8/01/2019 11:34 pm  #1

The Steel Corner - A Creator Spotlight with Section30

The Steel Corner
a column by Steelman

August 1st, 2019

For the August edition of my column I thought it might be fun to do an interview with one of our creators in our AHS community and talk about design and other random things. I reached out to Section30 and he happily agreed to answer all my questions. He is the creator of the fantastic Minnesota Amateur Hockey League series that originally began on CCSLC and migrated here to AHS. I've been a fan of his work and presentation and I thought I'd pester him with a ton of questions on what inspires his design and workflow. He really had some great answers and I think you'll enjoying reading them too.

A Creator Spotlight with Section30

First things first, do you play hockey in real life? If so, what's one of your favorite moments?

Yes, I've been playing since I was 3.

If I have to pick one moment here I would have to go with the Bantam AA VFW State Tournament. There was a skills competition after the opening night or whatever and one of the events is Goalie Race. Let me make this very clear, I am not fast... at all. I grew up playing baseball with the nickname "Flash" given to me by my best friends (not because of my blazing speed on the base paths) and I'm not any faster on the ice. So I go into this fully knowing I have no chance in hell. I get in all my gear and bring out my water bottle out of habit and just said screw it. When it was my turn I told one of the kids from my team that was in another event to just dump it on my head out on the ice. Now I'm on the far goal line with the other goalies and we're just sitting there waiting for some other guy that was late. While waiting there I got bored and just started bopping to the music they were playing. By the time the race started I was already getting tired from being the center of attention for so long with my killer dance moves. In the end I dove across the end line at least a good second after the next last goalie and moon walked off the ice (I wish I was lying... kinda).

What first inspired you to get into graphic design?

I first got interested in design when I went to my dad asking if he could make "jerseys" for teams that me and my friend made up for backyard baseball teams we made up with kids in the neighborhood. We told him what we wanted the teams called and I watched him mock up really rough edits of existing teams logos photoshopped onto white t shirts. We never ended up making the jerseys, but I bugged my dad after that to teach me how to do it so I could make goalie masks. I just started screwing around and figuring out what things did what while I tried to design my dream mask.

What programs do you use for your work? Do you also freehand draw or sketch your designs?

I use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, I am beginning to use Illustrator more and more over Photoshop though. I don't do nearly as much sketching as I probably should, when I am up at school I do it a lot more while I'm in class doodling. I usually just kind of go into something having a general idea of what I want it to look like. Then I mess around with ideas I have floating around in my head until I am happy with it.

When did you first start designing sports concepts?

I made my first jersey concept back in late 2012, but I had been making goalie mask designs for about a year at that point.

Your excellent MAHL (Minnesota Amateur Hockey League) is a huge project, how long have you been working on it since you first dreamed of it? And how have you evolved in keeping it all organized?

I first got the idea for the series in June 2018. I started working on a basic outline of how I thought things would go in terms of playoffs and leagues and all the rest of the stuff involved with creating a fictional history. After a couple of weeks of research I finally began designing and posting on the CCSLSC. When the MAHL first started all I used to keep organized was 3 tabs on Google Sheets. Now I have 8 tabs, a database of every teams logo and jersey history, and an archive of every post.

You've got some clean presentation which highlights a lot of information, what or who inspires your design style?

Thank you, I honestly don't really know what exactly it is that I am inspired by. I usually just try to do things that I think look good. I personally like to see at least a little of what every team looks like in the graphics, that's why most of my graphics use logos or team colors.

With so many teams and identities, what are a couple of your favorites with how they turned out compared to maybe what you originally had in mind?

I like so many of the identities that I can't really pick any in particular, but I really like how the St. Paul Victorias identity has evolved. I like to say that they are this leagues Red Wings.

I know in simming fictional seasons, for me I get so nerdy and excited when certain teams outperform or underwhelm compared to their ratings and provide those jaw-dropping moments while simming. Is there a particular season or two so far that stand out to you in a memorable way as the series creator?

The Austin Mavericks insane playoff run in 1956 to win the Kellogg Cup. I wasn't planning on a southern team being even near a championship contender until the 70s, but the Mavericks just kept beating the odds.

With the closing of the Fan Fiction on CCSLC and the subsequent moving of your series to Alternate History Sports, how challenging was it to effectively reboot the series in a new home?

It really wasn't difficult at all, the most difficult part of the whole process was having to archive all of my posts on the CCLSC. So far rebooting the series has been easy, I'm looking forward to making new posts soon!

You have alluded to some big improvements and changes to the series when you catch up soon to where you left off previously, what are you most excited about for the next chapter of the series?

I plan on revamping all of my graphics to be better suited for the new website which I am really excited for. But I also am really excited about a major event in the future of the league in a couple years after resuming.

As a designer and writer and creator, what is your favorite part of making the series?

By far my favorite part is getting to create an entire history. Designing logos and uniforms to be time accurate as well as good and unique is something I love to do, but creating the reasoning for why a team is named something or has that logo or this tradition, the little stuff like that is what I like the most.

In what areas do you want to grow more as a designer?

I want to push myself out of my comfort zone. Designing this many logos and trying to make them time specific should hopefully help me become a better designer.

How has the growing community here at AHS played a part in the growth of yourself as a designer and your MAHL series?

It definitely makes it a lot more enjoyable. Honestly, when I first started posting on here I didn't know if it was gonna last or if anyone would actually use it after the first couple days. Seeing everyone still stick around and especially seeing people leaving feedback on my series has been awesome to see and I'm excited to get working on new posts soon.

Who's your favorite hockey team and player in real life?

If you're asking NHL it's the Wild (shocker I know) and then the Flyers. I honestly have never really had a favorite player so instead I'll just say that Doc Emrick is the greatest broadcaster ever.

When you're in the ice cream aisle of the store, which flavor are you going for?

Chocolate with Reese's and peanut butter


I hope y'all enjoyed this interview with Section30. Be sure to check out his awesome series if you haven't already and leave him some love here or on his thread.


AHS Admin. Creator of the THLPUCHWHA: Redux and Retroliga.

8/03/2019 11:32 pm  #2

Re: The Steel Corner - A Creator Spotlight with Section30

(Update) Sorry guys, I didn't realize nobody could reply to this forum. We've got it changed now. Thanks to Balu!

Last edited by Steelman (8/03/2019 11:32 pm)

AHS Admin. Creator of the THLPUCHWHA: Redux and Retroliga.
     Thread Starter

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