Ohio fans know junior defenseman Ryan Hastings has a passion for hockey and excels on the ice. What many don’t know is that Hastings also has an enthusiasm for design.
Hastings’ love for design was sparked during his junior year of high school after taking a Photoshop class. He wanted to continue the work he did in high school and became a graphic design major when he enrolled at Ohio.
When he isn’t in Bird Arena preparing for the next game or hanging out with his teammates, Hastings is designing a variety of projects for various clients. He does freelance work for the most part, designing catalogs and posters for local businesses that request his services.
Over the past few months, however, Hastings has been working on a handful of projects that are special to him. Hastings has created graphics for his own team and even designed a line of Ohio merchandise that fans can buy on the team’s store. He also designed all of the infographics that Ohio uses on its social media accounts.
Much like he was eager to start the season, Hastings was also excited to get started on the projects for his team. He knows it’s important for the program to do as well off the ice as it does on the ice. He hopes the merchandise will help bring the team closer to its fans.
“We needed to connect more with the community and our boosters and everyone,” Hastings said. “We're trying to appeal to that crowd.”
In order to get that connection, Hastings picked a theme he thought many people would enjoy: rock ‘n’ roll. On most of Ohio’s new merchandise, the words “Ohio Hockey” sit on the front with lightning bolts shooting out of the bottom sides. When it came to designing the logo and theme, Hastings had an easy time coming up with what to pick.
“I just kind of had the idea in mind,” Hastings said. “I had a bunch of sketches in my book and just kind of went from there.”
Another inspiration for the rock ‘n’ roll theme was Hastings’ teammates. The Bobcats appreciate good rock songs and even listen to them over the speakers at Bird Arena while they practice. Hastings’ fellow Bobcats let him know ideas they want to see, and he listens to their suggestions.
“It's nice because I have input from the players too,” Hastings said. “So it's like they want this picture posted here … it’s easier to give them what they want.”
Between practice, games, school work and a social life, it is sometimes hard for Hastings to find time for his designs. However, years of playing hockey have taught him good time management skills and it's something he’s used to dealing with.
“It's tough,” Hastings said. “I have to find time here and there whenever I can to sit down and do designs, but practice isn't too overwhelming and classes aren’t terrible, so I'm able to find some time.”
Similar to hockey, the more you practice design, the better you become at it. Hastings has a lot of experience on his side that allows him to help his team both on and off the ice.