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Side Gig: Chad Hargrove and Reuben Miller, Uniform Designers

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Side Gig: Chad Hargrove and Reuben Miller, Uniform Designers

Creativity never goes off the clock.

This blog series delves into the creative work our people do when they’re ‘off the clock.’

Inside the TMA hallways you’ll find the typical agency titles: account executives, copywriters, creative directors, operations managers, and more… but behind the scenes, those same folks double as photographers, artists, screenwriters, novelists, singers, actors and a plethora of other creative roles.

At TMA, we pride ourselves on creativity that matters – both inside and outside the office. In this new blog series, we take a closer look at the creative endeavors our people get into when they’re ‘off the clock.’ We recently sat down with Chad Hargrove, Creative Director and Reuben Miller, Design Director to discuss their freelance work, and how it led to them redesigning the uniforms for the Texas Rangers.

How long have the two of you been doing design?

Collectively, we’ve been designing 38 years. Chad graduated from UTA in 1996, and started immediately after graduating. Reuben graduated from UNT in 2005, and started immediately after as well.

How did the two of you hear about the opportunity?  

A former employee of TMA, Travis Dillon, reached out to us for this amazing opportunity. Travis and his team wanted to think outside the box and engage some trusted creative thinkers to help them look at things differently. He knew we were HUGE Ranger fans and that it would be a good fit. 

What does it mean to the two of you, personally, to have been involved in the design of the uniforms for the Rangers?

Chad: For me, it was a dream come true. I can honestly say that “I’m Living The Dream.” Heck, this is bucket list stuff we’re talkin’ here. I’ve lived in Arlington my entire life and have always been a HUGE Ranger fan. When I was in high school, through my junior college baseball years, I had the privilege to work in the Ranger’s clubhouse for six years (1986-1991) back in the Nolan Ryan days. I have come full circle with the Rangers with this opportunity and have loved every minute of it.

Reuben: For me, I had a brief dream as a freshman in high school to play baseball, but due to financial hardships growing up, I had to start working at the age 15 in order to help with family income. So needless to say, the opportunity to play organized sports wasn’t in the cards for me. Having our designs come to fruition for the Texas Rangers is a crazy dream come true and one way to say that we made it to the big leagues.

How did you try to strike a balance between the traditional look and an updated look?  Especially with the powder blues.

One of the mandatories in the brief was to come up with cutting edge jersey designs with a nod to the past. Travis and team had recommended that we explore designs that included the powder blue jerseys. This was something that they learned from listening to the Ranger fan base. 

How did it feel when the designs were approved? What were your responses?

Travis told us in the beginning that the “stakes were high” with this assignment. The amount of work we generated together with the Rangers design team was truly amazing and inspiring. After a few rounds of revisions, we finally landed on a set of designs that we were all proud of. From the hat down to the socks, we all knew that we had something really special here. Now it was time to send to MLB and get their feedback and ultimately an approval to move forward with production. This was the moment when it all started to seem very surreal. Fingers crossed…Our next feedback from Travis was in early December where he informed us that the uniforms were approved and produced. We were so pumped to hear this news! Not sure it gets any better than that. To say we were thrilled would be an understatement. So proud of what this entire team accomplished in such a short amount of time. GO TEAM!

What’s been the reaction?

The reaction to the new uniforms has been overwhelmingly positive. Travis made a comment that he could rest well after reading that Craig “Junior” Miller (a local radio personality) weighed in with a “Triple Thumbs Up.” YES!!!

What inspired the decision to move to a script “Rangers” from a block-lettered “Texas” on the powder blues?

The “Rangers” script design is a huge part of the team’s past. It was introduced in 1984 and lasted until 1993. Bringing the “Rangers” script back was something that we all felt confident about from the beginning. After a few rounds refining the script, we knew that together we had landed on something special. The Rangers script was back!!!

Check out this article for more details about Chad and Reuben’s work on the Rangers new uniforms.