Born and raised in Canada, now working in California as a corporate communications designer, S. Preston has worked with such famous clients as Coca-Cola, TELUS, HP, and Pfizer. He has won several International Stevie Awards given annually to the best in communications design. His web design is described as stunning and brand empowering.
Despite this rather impressive resume, Preston found his creative juices unfulfilled working in corporate design. With a vision in mind that had sat on his desk for years, the graphic designer found a way to combine his love of sports and design in a way that is truly unique and visionary. What started out as a sketch on a piece of scrap paper helped launch his artwork onto the pages of Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, and USA Today.
By now, you are probably wondering exactly what a graphic designer could create that would land his work on some of the most prominent sports media platforms in the country. S. Preston created stunning visual representations of all 30 MLB stadiums using a unique brand of minimalist design. He launched with an initial round of eight stadiums before completing the collection. Interestingly enough, S. Preston has never played an inning of organized baseball in his life despite teaching himself to switch hit at the age of 13.
Initially worried that his work would bring down the wrath of Major League Baseball for not first seeking the proper licensing, S. has actually seen his work supported by the league which has worked to feature it prominently.
“The first 8 designs went viral immediately,” Preston said, “and the next morning, my phone was full of messages from ESPN, Sports Illustrated and USA Today asking for interviews and requests to share my artwork. I finished the series, and had an excellent (and tiring) Christmas… all along, waiting for the MLB to shut me down and sue my ass off. Well lo and behold, the MLB left a message on my voicemail requesting a meeting. As it turns out, they were so impressed with the unique and fresh look at baseball art, they actually threw a MLB license agreement in front of me and asked me to join them in the Art of Baseball exhibit at the 2014 All-Star Game in Minneapolis. From there, well it’s been a surreal roller coaster of a life in baseball, sports and art… where I should have been in the first place. I’m proud to say that I’m one of a very few artists that own my own license with the MLB.”
The key to the minimalist style that S. Preston employs is boiling down each stadium to its essence. Here is what the artist had to say about his own very unique way of capturing each MLB stadium: “The key to minimalist art is to make a concept more identifiable by removing as much as possible — the concept of ‘less is more.’ I often imagine sitting in the ballpark, and kinda zoning out a bit and you start looking around the ballpark instead of the game. What do you see? What do you remember? Those are normally the most relevant things that I focus on. I particularly love to take these concepts and keep zooming in with my eye until I can barely recognize what I’m looking at. And there you have it! My magic formula!”
Preston has found that his artwork speaks to fans, who can immediately recognize their own local ballparks. Each stadium has its own unique feature for those who take in games there. Be it the centerfield hill at Minute Maid Park in Houston or the row of purple seats at Coors Field that mark the mile high elevation, Preston has found something that stands out to fans of every team. The artist’s personal favorite design is the Washington Nationals’ President’s race design, while the design he feels best represents the minimalist style is Fenway Park.
“For me, my favorites are Nationals Park, with the Presidents Race. It’s not actually the ballpark per se, but a fan recommended that this is the ‘critical part of the Nationals baseball experience.’ It’s been great to have the fans’ input, which has helped me get past the finish line of all the ballparks and more! I think the design that embodies minimalist the best is Fenway Park. The block of green means nothing, but with the top of the Citgo sign, is enough to bring in any Red Sox fan to recognize it. It’s those little details, or lack of detail, that makes my art fun and rewarding.”
S. Preston’s work is for sale in four MLB stadium stores: Target Field, Wrigley Field, Kauffman Stadium, and Minute Maid Park. He has visited six stadiums in his time as a baseball fan, and hopes to get to each of the stadiums where his work is on sale this summer. The ballpark is a sacred place to S. Preston, so it is only natural that he looks to expand the list of stadiums he has visited. “It’s the cathedral where we worship the game. The theatre where the drama takes place. That’s what draws me towards ballparks, and I think my fans feel the same way.”
S. Preston’s collection has expanded to include several vintage MLB stadiums from bygone eras. If you would like to view more of his work, check out the artist’s website here. You can also follow S. Preston on Twitter under the handle @PootPoot.