Pilot & Captain is about the good old days of planes, trains, and discovery. Founded by Dustin Summers and Jason Kernevich, the duo behind the award-winning design studio The Heads of State, Pilot & Captain has set sail with an exclusive collection of city-specific t-shirts and posters with more locations, prints, and products just around the bend. We are delighted to bring you a short Q&A with the people behind the brand.
INSPIRATIONIST: What lead to the founding of ‘Pilot & Captain’? What inspired you to build this brand? Is it a common passion for travel you share?
Pilot& Captain: We definitely have a mutual love for travel but even moreso is a love for vintage travel. For a golden age of air travel and trains and ocean liners. We love the ephemeral design aesthetic surrounding this period of the mid 20th century. Building a brand around this aesthetic seemed like a great way to grow as designers and be in charge of the products we create.
I: The design element that characterizes your apparel seems to be the airport initial. Have you been to all those airports/countries? What made you pick those and not others?
P&C: We’ve seen our fair share. But the selections we make are really just a conversation with our customers. People feel connections to locales. It could be hometown pride, a favorite vacation memory, or a sports team. We want to speak that language.
I: Are there any new locations in works for continuing this series?
P&C: We’re considering a number of ideas for further retail experiences. There could be a holiday pop up in our future or perhaps a bricks and mortar down the line.
I: What’s the hardest part of the creative process? What step takes most time?
P&C: The most difficult step is choosing. We have a lot of ideas of where we want to take the brand. But you can’t do everything. It is a build that has to happen gradually.
I: Are you planning on extending the `Pilot & Captain` travel theme with other design concepts than the airport initials? Any new ideas you’re developing?
P&C: We’re working on more housewares and gift-type products.
I: What else do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t in the graphic design/illustration business?
P&C: Park ranger. Line cook. Private detective. It really depends on which one of us you ask and when.