THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSEVERANCE
Judd Rummage is the creative force behind graphic design projects for The North Face, Hoonigan, Travis Pastrana, Subaru and King Offroad to name-drop just a few of his clients. For us RC enthusiasts, our ears especially perk up when he mentions that he also worked with the likes of Axial, Horizon Hobby, Pro-Line, Losi, RC4WD, Vanquish, Associated Electronics and more. Now that’s an impressive resume for anyone, especially in the highly competitive environment of graphic design. We sat down with the noted designer to find out more about his RC exploits and what current and future projects he’s got going on.
How did you get started in graphic design?
I’m originally from Phoenix, Arizona, where I grew up, went to school, and enjoyed skateboarding, mountain biking, snowboarding, art, and practicing my nun-chuck and bo-staff skills. I ultimately graduated from community college in Phoenix and moved to Flagstaff, where I graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor’s in art ed and accepted a teaching position there. After five years teaching and acquiring a Master’s in graphic design, I left and moved to Orange County, California, to work in the apparel business. Some of the employers, clients and long-term in-house consultations from my OC days include Rusty Surf International, ES shoes, Monster Energy, Hurley, Nike, Metal Mulisha, Atom Lab BMX and Fox Head Racing. I also had the pleasure of teaching graphic design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing FIDM. I left the apparel industry in 2011 and moved to Northern California to get out of the city and go independent in 2012.
What are you up to these days? Are there any projects you can let us in on?
I currently attempt to live the dream as owner, head imagineer and principle implementor of my own design firm. I do mostly graphic and apparel design work for licensed action-sport, hobby and lifestyle-oriented soft- and hard-good production companies.
I also operate as any supporting position within those two industrial bases. Some of my more high-end recent clients include The North Face, Hoonigan, Travis Pastrana, Subaru and King Offroad. I also work in RC quite a bit and have for almost 10 years. I have done quite a bit of work for Axial, from designing graphics and apparel to building seven Axialfest Grand Prize build concepts.
My work with Axial and Horizon spans over 10 years and continues to this day. I have also worked as a designer, artist and consultant for RC4WD both in-house and remotely. Other RC entities I have designed for include Vanquish, Incision, Associated Electronics, ESP, Hardcore RC, Knight Customs, G Speed, SBC, Nor Cal Crawlers, Pro-Line and Losi. I am also currently working with Carry All RC, ASD Crawlers, and some big things are coming from JRC for Castle Creations fans.
I’m also the creative mind behind my son’s company. He’s the other JRC, it’s called RC Pro Rack and it has taken on a life of its own. RC Pro Rack is a company that makes multifunctional, high-end RC vehicle wall mounts. They are rock-solid storage and display stands that keep your vehicle mounted in side profile, on the wall, where it’s up, out of the way and lookin’ good. RC Pro Rack also stores your driving bag and radio and keeps your shock springs unloaded, your foams from flat-spotting, and works for 90% of RC vehicles… with the other 10% coming soon.
What is your favorite category of RC?
I still enjoy RC crawling the most. For me, it’s mostly the terrain that has kept me going on the driving side. Northern California offers some of the best and most challenging driving experiences one could hope for. Epic all-day runs with killer views and endless terrain wait within short traveling distances. The aspect of being in the outdoors in beautiful settings offers its own set of rewards. On the building side, this is the most fun category to build and has the most potential for build challenges, and certainly more aftermarket goodies available than any other category. On top of that, the advances in aftermarket parts and the endless challenge of building classified and unclassified crawler rigs keep these vehicles in my “favorite” category for sure. The people involved in this category for the most part are the salt of the earth and just a pleasure to be around.
Which is your favorite RC vehicle?
For production vehicles, it’s the core Axial trucks I have driven the most. SCX10, Wraith and Bomber configurations of all kinds modded to the gills… [laughs] but that was yesterday. These days I’m into G Speed performance cheater builds and class rigs. From Class 1 hardbody to unlimited rigs like the G-shot. However, I still base most of my theme and concept builds on SCX10, Wraith and Bomber chassis.
I also have a few production vehicle favorites. It was my pleasure to work with Associated Electronics in a licensed crossover with Hoonigan on the “Hoonitruck” version of the AE APEX 2. I also worked with Losi/Horizon on another licensed crossover with the King Offroad Losi Baja Rey. Both of these projects were awesome. I got to work with the foreign production teams to learn the process of how these engineered prints are created, how they work and how they are implemented in the factory. This brought the process home for me, and totally changed the way I look at designing vehicle graphics, so I feel very connected to these projects. It was also very rewarding to know these graphics were going across the desk in front of people like Ken Block at Hoonigan and the art director and executives at King. Getting designs approved with little to no revisions was a genuine moment of arrival for me.
What other hobbies do you enjoy?
Back in the day I was the International Karate-Break-Dancing-association’s world champion in both Nun-Chuck/Trashcan Lid and Double Nun-Chuck. After my fifth concussion I had to give all that fame and glory up. These days, when I’m not working or building, I spend my time doing some RC driving and hanging out with the kids. We enjoy fly-fishing, snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking. We also enjoy working on home improvements together as a team.
Is there anything else you want to let our readers know?
This shameless piece of self-promotion is the cake in the window. It looks pretty in its final state, all frosted and pretty, but it was one hell of a process, with countless obstacles and hills to climb. Doing anything cool takes hard work and perseverance. One person that has always inspired me was Carol Shelby. The only person in history to walk into the Ford Motor Company and have the skills, reputation and balls to tell them they were doing it wrong, and have them say, here’s a pile of cash and a facility, show us how to do it right. Here is a quote from Carol Shelby I want to leave you with: “Perseverance is the most important thing in life. Believe in what you want to do, go do that, and don’t let anyone sidetrack you.”
For more on Judd Rummage and his company RC Pro Rack, check out his websites at juddrummage.com and rcprorack.com. You can also follow him on Instagram at @juddrummageconcepts
Text by Leigh Guarnieri and RCCA Staff
Images provided by Judd Rummage