May 04/17
By Kerri Benecke

Grindstone or die

In the mid 1970’s Southern California was hit with a serious drought that led to hot days, brown grass, dried up water hoses and drained pools. The streets were no longer flooded with kids running through sprinklers or lounging poolside on sunny summer days. Instead, you would catch a glimpse of kids hopping chain linked fences and heard the sound of wheels on asphalt. The empty pools created a new playground and served as a neighborhood gathering spot for one of California’s most iconic traditions – skateboarding. The drought, in many ways, served as a catalyst for the skateboarding culture and it’s rise in popularity.

Skateboarding has always been much more than a neighborhood sport. It’s a community, a sense of freedom, a form of art, and a personal expression. As skateboarding evolved, so did the art and graphics applied to the boards themselves. In the 70’s companies began decorating decks with art and logos to differentiate themselves from other brands. As more companies jumped on board (pun intended), designs took on a life of their own, representing the sub-culture and lifestyle of the skateboarding community. Today, deck art covers all spectrums of design from repurposed classic artwork to pop art, serving as a personal expression of the boards’ owner.

As a graphic design and branding agency in the heart of Southern California, it was only natural that Traina’s recent Grindstone* was all about designing a kickass skate deck. Each team member set out to create an inspired design with no limitations or guardrails. The results were epic. See for yourself below:



*Grindstone is a regular practice at the Traina digs, where all team members step away from client projects for the day and work on a creative team design project.

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