The rock band inspires the running/exercise crowd with a unique visual style

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from reader Tony McCosham, who’s going to tell us about a very cool project. Enjoy. Paul]

By Tony McCosham

I’ve been wanting to tell Paul and his readers about a group of uniform-adjacent drills and exercises inspired by Cincinnati rock band The National called I Think Im Hittin’ a Wall (ITIHAW) for a while now. The running group was started in the UK a little over four years ago by a guy called Brett Shelton. It was inspired to bring together people who enjoyed the National and exercise, especially running. It is a virtual group where members connect mainly through Instagram and Facebook. The group’s name comes from a line in the National song Where Is Her Head.

From the beginning, Brett created a strong visual identity. First, there’s the ITIHAW logo, which has evolved over the years but is primarily based on the graphics of the National’s New York recording studio.

A cap for the National band.
The first nationally inspired running group logo I Think I’m Hittin’ a Wall.
Current current group logo.

In addition to appearing on ITIHAW’s social media, the logo has also been featured on hats, t-shirts and stickers, which ITIHAW members enjoy wearing and sharing in group posts. I even got Brett’s logo to use for the group bibs (to hold the bibs in place), as seen here:

The shirt in the last photo in that slideshow was designed by an ITIHAW member called James De Villiers, who originally designed the image of a zombie Matt Berninger (the lead singer of the National) from a line from the band’s song Conversation 16.

Additionally, Brett’s enthusiasm for the National has extended to an appreciation for all things Ohio and Cincinnati. He has made several pieces of memorabilia for fictional Ohio sports teams inspired by the band. This includes the bees of the state of Ohio, inspired by the song by the band Bloodbuzz Ohio, which includes the line I was brought to Ohio by a swarm of bees:

[It’s not clear whether Brett was also drawing inspiration from the real-life Cincinnati Stingers. Paul]

Brett also made a Bengal-style hat for the fictional Cincinnati Berningers, inspired by a time Berninger posted a photo of himself dressed as Tigger.

Since starting ITIHAW, Brett has been able to connect with most of the band members and other adjacent artists and friends, often conducting interviews that he records and then publishes for the ITIHAW group. This led to a design collaboration with Ben Lanz, a multi-instrumentalist in the band who also releases work as a solo artist. Ben is really into cycling, so he and Brett collaborated on a cycling hat and some cycling related stickers, which were released alongside one of Bens solo albums:

Here is a zine that talks about how this project evolved. It was released by the Ben’s label in collaboration with ITIHAW.

Ben also wrote a song inspired by ITIHAW, called “I’ll Keep Running”, and had Brett create the video for the song using collective images of ITIHAW members, many of whom wear the ITIHAW logo to your training team:

I think one of the great things about ITIHAW is the positive and supportive community it creates, emphasizing personal well-being, both physical and mental, all with a unique visual style and great music!

Paul here. I’m not a runner, and I’ve never entered the National, but I love this project. Big thanks to Tony for sharing this with us, and all the best to him and the rest of ITIHAW!

ARTICLE! Draw for new members

Reader Corey Zoldan has generously given me funds to raffle off a Uni Watch membership card, so that’s what we’ll be doing today.

This will be a one day draw. No entry restrictions. To enter, send an email to the sweepstakes mailbox before 10:00 PM Eastern tonight. One ticket per person. I will announce the winner tomorrow. Big thanks to Corey for sponsoring this one!

Party reminder in New York

Remember May 26th is the 25th anniversary of Uni Watches and will also be my last day. To celebrate, the great hockey-rock band Zambonis will be playing at Manhattan’s Bowery Electric, along with comedian and accordionist Dave Hill. There’s a good chance this will sell out, so I recommend getting your tickets here. All the money goes to the band, not me. Hope to see you there!

Happy Birthdayto our very own Lloyd Alaban, who celebrates another trip around the sun today. Enjoy your special day, Lloyd! peace

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