Blog - The Man Behind Southsea Bronx

The Man Behind Southsea Bronx

1.10.15

Hey Bruce,

We know that you're a very busy man, between your work at the creative powerhouse that is I Love Dust and being a daddy so thanks for letting us quiz you for a few minutes.

Let's get the basics out the way first.

We get asked all the time about it and over the years our version has become a little vague, so it's probably best coming from the guy that drew it. You designed the Southsea Bronx Strong Island t-shirt for us probably over 10 years ago now, can you tell us about the story behind the design?

Back when I was at college there was a decent Hip Hop night run by some older Southsea heads called the Go-Off.

Ali was behind it with a few others. He used to have the record shop, Uncle Als, in the old Bored location down by the cross roads. I remember one night the boys were warming up for the main act and they dropped BDP's South Bronx. I think it was Brendan or Morgan DJing, they were cutting in and out on the South Bronx hook and everyone was shouting back South Sea, South South Sea.

It kinda stemmed from that moment I guess. My mates would always refer to Southsea as Southsea Bronx, but it was more of a tongue in cheek comment on where we lived. I worked up a graphic for my portfolio site whilst i was studying.  Gary spotted it and asked if he could run it as a tee for the shop. So it was all his vision really!

 

Were you still working at Fat Face at that time? Do you remember the year?

I don't think I'd started there at that point, I was second year of studies I think, so maybe 2002 perhaps?

 

What's the strangest or furthest away place that you've seen a Southsea Bronx t-shirt?

Honestly, I've never seen it anywhere else but I've had pals who've said they've seen one in NYC, Thailand and as far away as New Zealand.

 

Have you been able to find much time since becoming a dad to visit Fratton Park to watch PFC?

Still have my season ticket but admittedly my Dad has spent more time in my seat than me this last year.

So he's done quite well!

 

You're a Senior designer ILD. How long have you been there now?

Must be coming up to 10 years now i think. Fuck, where did that go..?

Bronx Toy

 

The company spends a lot of time in the U.S for work and especially Portland for all things Nike, so can you recommend to us a few bangin' fast food joints that you've come across?

Top question. I've been lucky to work alongside and for boys who love decent scran, so over the years I've had some top meals stateside. We've always made the effort to track down quality! Portland especially has so many top spots.

But if we are talking about fast food, In-&-Out burger has got to be up there. There is nothing better straight off the long haul into LAX. They have one right under the flight path by the airport. Leaning back on the bench in that evening sun,  watching the flights come in on approach, washing it all down with that ice cold cola.  It's a proper touch.
 
Buffalo Wild Wings is a request often frowned upon by most of our cabbies over there but we like to align ourselves with our blue collar friends state side. Mango Habenero Hot Wings, a PBR tallboy and BWW's ropey wifi have solved many a cross-timezone feedback issue.
 
Sizzle Pie in Portland deserves a special mention too. I think we're yet to find a better slice on the west coast. I think the last time we were over we ended up there everyday at least once, for a week.
 
Sizzle Pie

 Sizzle Pie 2

Excluding your career peaking too early with the Bronx sun for us, what have been the most memorable or enjoyable projects that you've worked on so far?

Working at Dust has offered me so many highlights over the years, but for me personally working on the Risk Everything World Cup campaign for Nike was certainly a highlight moment. I also had the chance to work up the presentation case and logo for Rooney's boots that he wore when he collected his 100th England cap. That was one I could show my mum.

Wayne Rooney 100th Cap

The Southsea Bronx design has been a huge sucess in the business for a number of years. Do you have any sense of attachment or pride that the Bronx sun has been adopted by the city as a kind of unofficial mascot for Southsea?

It's been cool to see people represent over the years, I honestly never expected so many faces to take to it.

I remember the first run we did, we were debating whether 25 tees as a first print run would be an effort to shift!
Bronx Mix
What's your favourite store design the stores ever put out in your opinion?
 
Thats a tough call, there's been so many great tees over the years. I think my first shirt was the floral typeface that Handsome Steve drew up. The Jon B classic I had in few colourways and Trigg's Tea Bar was a favourite. I think my top pick would be Luke's illustration of the Somerstown schemie on the granny shopper. That drawing was class. His caricatures he used to do for the Go-Off flyers around that time were top.
 
Chav T Shirt
 
Well can i just say a big thank you from all of us at Bored of Southsea for bringing a little sunshine in to all of our lives, and long may you continue to do so. Any bigups or shout outs?
 
Has to be a big shout out to Rob Trigg for getting me my first internship,
first step on the ladder and to Tristan Savage for getting me up to speed in my first job.
 
Shout out to Matty Magpie for convincing Mark to take on another junior designer who would work for beers and Dominos, and a big thanks to Mark & Ben for taking a punt on me all those years ago.
 
Cheers Bruce!
 
Portrait photo: @supermorebetter - instagram

 

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