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      Cris Cruz


      The Wicked Customizer has been a year in the making (with many more years of dreaming) and I can't believe you're all able to finally look at it and mess around with it. It was truly a labor of love. The all-nighters, the boundless ideas, the revisions, the revisions again, the just starting completely over. A lot of hours went into this from our end, and hopefully a lot of hours from your end will too :]  Here's a little breakdown of the the journey we've had, and some fun info you can only get from me, SJC's in-house graphic design nerd. 


      The very first rendition of the snare customizer dating all the way back to Fall 2020. After successfully creating the UFO Customizer, our next move was of course a snare customizer! This was actually what we were set on for a few months! We really loved the idea of make you feel like you're in the shop designing your own drum!

      The Whitebooth

      After looking at the previous layout for so long we worried about losing the image to the background. For our next edit, we wanted to clean it up! Really expose the drum, and provide a few different angles as well as changeable background images!

      The Elements

      Something was bugging me about the whitebooth version.  It just didn't have the zip and pep I wanted. At this point we planned to hold a focus group! So, I stayed up all night and created a brand new version. I didn't like the idea of switching the angles, so I wanted to work with one static image. I loved this grid paper I had, and thought it could serve as the perfect stage for the customizer and its elements.

      The Black Or White?

      The next revision brought the back view into play. The reason the lugs are not pictured here is because in this edit, when you selected the lug style, the drawn version of either one would fill in! We also inverted it to see if that sparkled anything in us. It was hard to decide. The chrome hardware really shined against a black background, but the individual elements would get a little lost. 

      The Blueprint

      The next big change was to include a spec list, where options chosen would fill in. The grid was also starting to become a little visually overwhelming, so it was time to get off the grid and add some layers! We actually held a focus group around this time, and asked participants to use this version, as well as the whitebooth version. We know what we think is cool and awesome but sometimes it's hard to know if you guys will too. Unsurprisingly, a majority of the group was behind "The Blueprint" version. 

      The Middle Part

      Now that we finally settled on a direction to stay with I could play around with the layout itself. At this point we also knew we wanted a ransom note design for the logo. What you see here is just a placeholder. Having liked how the snare looked on a black background, we tried to include that as well! This was really feeling good!! But that middle part wasn't working just right. 

      The Logo!

      Heerrre we go kiddddd! This is starting to really look final! Mike and I legit had a meeting to discuss branding, and picked letters one by one to best fit into a logo. We put the layout back to how it had been for that last few versions, and also added and area that credits YOU as the designer. 

      The Closer

      At last, this is the final version, live on our site right now. The spec sheet you see is from an actual order form used for a custom order for Panic! At The Disco in 2009! I removed the original order information, and reshaped it to fit this area. I also included a changeable label where you can enter your name upon completing a custom snare design. And this is where we are today. Thanks for reading this far, and actually as a thank you, let me tell you that we're not stopping here! Next we'll overhaul the UFO Customizer, and launch a 3pc Kit Customizer... 

      I could go on,
      maybe I will
      another time.
      For now,
      I dare you
      to make a design
      I haven't seen yet!

      Here are some designs from those of you that have already made it to the customizer!

       You can watch the below video here to learn more about going Wicked Custom