The Light Up Hat Concept Genesis

The Creative Process

Creativity is a process that is equal parts skill, science, and luck.  

We started by studying an acrylic exit sign — like the one below.  

Acrylic exit signs glow because of total infinite internal reflection. We could geek out here, but in short, the photos only exit the acrylic shape on specific surfaces (like the edge). And when the photos leap out of the acrylic they are super excited and they spread out vividly. Thus, the glow.

We think it’s awesome.

So we got a patent.

Boom.

Mic drop.

Our friends, Mike and Allyssa, owners of Freedom Rave Wear, thought the light up hat was ‘LIT’ and immediately wanted to carry our hat as part of their line. We played it cool and said the hat needed more development.  

The Hurdle

NEWS FLASH: YOU CAN’T SEW A PLASTIC BRIM TO A FABRIC HAT.

Uh oh.

Sh*t.

WTF.

With some deep breathing and a little Zen thinking, we got through the emotional hurdle of feeling like schmucks. We FORGED AHEAD with GRIT and DETERMINATION. Finally, we resolved the problem with some creative and tactical engineering. (It’s a good example of when you can actually use 11th-grade math in real life.)

We were ecstatic. Honestly, it was a milestone for us to solve and developed a process to attach an acrylic bill to the crown of our light up hat.  

Thank you, Dr. M. Cobanli, Italian designer: Great design is great complexity presented via simplicity.

Full of confidence, we showed it to our friends at Insomniac and Relentless Beats.  Both gave very promising praise.  ‘This is a hit! So dope!’ said Lyle Maxson at Relentless Beats. YES!

We then knew it was full speed ahead to production, but where and whom?

Do we take it to China?

Didn’t we already learn this lesson?