On the B-Rink

February 3, 2016

Samples of a project Bill Rink completed while attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Mustang Marketing’s first ever employee was Bill Rink. I met Bill when he was a teenager and dating the daughter, who is now his wife, of some of my good friends. Bill wound up as a design student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Bill was at our home for dinner the night we decided to start Mustang (a story for another blog post), and because I liked his design work so much (the samples shown here are from a school project he did), I asked him to develop our first logo. I offered him $100 for the project, which was a lot of money to him as a stereotypical struggling student — and it was a lot of money to us! Bill designed a terrific logo (I’m currently looking for a sample of it), which we used for the first few years. This was in the mid-1980’s, in the days before email, the Internet or even personal computers. That meant that all of Bill’s designs were done by hand and even the simplest of changes (e.g., can I see this in a darker blue?) meant redrawing the entire comp or comps. Today, I sometimes watch as my designers click through 50 color options in five minutes, often with a client watching over their shoulder, and I think back to “those days” with a smile. In many ways, I miss those days. The even crazier part is that, for me to see the comps, Bill and I would each drive one and a half hours (him from Cal Poly and me from Simi Valley), meet at a fast food place, get a burger and fries, and review the work. I’d send him back with changes and, a week later, we’d do it again. We actually did this routine for the entirety of Bill’s senior year — not just with our logo, but with our first couple of clients as well. It seems crazy now, but it worked for our clients, who I don’t believe ever knew their creative director was a student living three hours away. It also worked for Bill, who stayed with Mustang for our first 10 years, and it worked for me. These early projects are among my earliest and fondest memories — from what is now more than 30 years of Mustang memories. Thank you for that, Bill.