The Badger Shirt
“I teamed up with my creative art director, Hal Arneson, and chief designer Kathy Larramendy, to create a refreshing new approach for kids,” writes former Patagonia clothing designer Michael Rogers. “As Yvon’s spirit-animal tag was Badger, I came up with a fun-loving badger character who devoted his time surfing, kayaking, free climbing, bouldering, and cross-country skiing wearing Patagonia-inspired apparel.
“So in about ten days, I came into the art department and showed Hal and Madelyn, then Kathy, the color comps of the Badger artwork. Hal and Madelyn signed me off immediately that I would return in a week with the finished art. In those days, before digital art software, artwork was hand painted; in this case Luma dyes on bristol vellum board with a separate black-line overlay for fabric application.
“I returned in a week with the badgers at play and the logo. I celebrated with a grand feast in the Patagonia cafeteria lunchroom. As the Badger shirt and shorts were a secret, I kept my peace about my involvement until Yvon was presented a finished prototype pair of shorts and shirt that was produced for his approval. So successful was the response that a lot of designers requested shirt and shorts for themselves. The Fall 1988 Patagonia Kids catalog had a two-page spread of the artwork, with Fletcher Chouinard modeling the graphic ensemble in Belize. It was the coolest collaborative ever.”