They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but let’s be honest, nothing sells a snowboard like a good-looking topsheet. While what’s under the hood of any Never Summer snowboard is top-notch, it’s Jeremy Salyer’s handiwork that gives their boards an iconic shelf appeal. We sat down with Jeremy to take a look back at his twenty years as Never Summer’s graphics guru and see what makes him tick. – Mike Basher
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Phoenix, raised in the Pacific Northwest, and have been living in Colorado since 1998.
How long have you been snowboarding?
Long enough that my first pair of snowboard boots were Sorels wrapped with duct tape to keep my heels in place. Damn I’m old.
How long have you been Never Summer’s creative director?
I’m about to hit the twenty year mark…where did the time go again?
What is your design background?
I’ve been at it since I could pick up crayons. Went through the art program at Central Washington University, put in some time at Adobe and Microsoft, and then chased the dream in the glorious world of action sports.
How many boards have you designed?
Only counting boards that have been officially released for production and not ones that didn’t make it, probably just over 500 boards.
What is your favorite board graphic and why?
In general they’re all fun to work on, but the freestyle graphics usually offer the most artistic bandwidth. I really enjoyed working with illustrator Sam Turner on our 2013 Evo, it was a dark, heavy metal theme but had a lot of interesting content in the art.
When you’re creating a board graphic, where do you pull your inspiration from? The board’s character, and end usage, or just what’s on your mind?
lt’s really a mix of everything from trend forecasting and themes to what we know works for Never Summer, and if it’s a new model or not. One of the things I love about the field of design is that it’s never stagnant and always evolving.
Did you get into art and design through snowboarding or was it the other way around?
I started drawing before I could walk, so art was definitely first! I feel very blessed that I had a strong passion for art from the get-go and have never had a serious thought about going into any other field.
In working on graphics for Sam Klein and Chris Corning, how does the collaboration work between you and the riders? Do you take ideas to them or do you compile their thoughts into the final graphic?
I generally have a good idea on how to kick things off design-wise, but I always chat with those guys to get feedback. I’ve definitely made graphic changes based on their experience as team riders and guys that have their thumb on the pulse of snowboarding.
Do you moonlight creating artwork for any other brands or purposes?
I do OEM boards for customers and some occasional side projects, but I’m not trying to work myself to death. I love being able to have free time to get outdoors!
Speaking of outdoors: fly fishing or waterfowl hunting?
The best outings have both CAST and BLAST, my man!
Which Canaday brother would win in a skinning race to the top of a 14’er? Tim or Tracey?
Tough one! They’d probably end up wrestling on the way up and never make it, haha.
Who would win the race down?!
Depends who’s using Clark Griswold’s special aluminum alloy sled sauce.
One last secret: Illustrator or Photoshop?
For me they’re like snowboarding and après brews with the homies…I gotta have ’em both!