It’s been almost 4 years since the The Curb Blog has been active. We thought now would be as good a time as any to give a brief history of CURB, as well as a little bit about what we’ve been up to lately, and whats on the horizon.
We printed our first Curb T-shirt in 2002. The same year we established the vehicle architecture class at Art Center College of Design and began writing the curriculum and class notes which would eventually become H-Point: The Fundementals of Car Design and Packaging.
Around this time we began formulating the idea for an automotive lifestyle brand which could tie into our passion for automotive design, our experience in the industry, and our love for car culture in general. Curb was a name we’d been kicking around, it had a nice ring to it, and an in automotive design language it represents the ground line, the starting point of a sketch. So we did our research and found out the trademark was available, and then immediately applied for it. It wasn’t long before a goliath came knocking on our door to pick a fight…
In 2006 We got a notice of opposition from Curb Records, which we soon found out is one of the worlds largest country music labels. Home to artists such as LeAnn Rimes, Hank Williams, Jr. and Tim McGraw to name a few. We consulted a trademark attorney who informed us that we had rightful ownership of the trademark, but that a lawsuit was unavoidable. He went on to describe a David vs Goliath legal battle in which Curb Records would attempt to bury us in paper work over a maximum period of time in which we would have to either concede, or go bankrupt fighting for the mark.
We felt that there where several mutually beneficial solutions to the dispute. We were open to co-existence, feeling confident the brands were different enough that they could share the same name without confusing customers. We also expressed being open to walking away from the name altogether in return for a sum sufficient to cover our modest investment in the brand so far. We are creative people after all, and coming up with a new name wouldn’t have been that difficult. Unfortunately these offers where rebuffed with impersonal legal documents, and a general lack of class. Being the type of people not keen to back down in a fight, we decided to go on with the case as a matter of principle.
3 years later, we won the case. The economy was in free fall and the out look was bleak. We continued to operate in a sort of sleeper mode. We focused on the educational aspects of the business, releasing H-Point in collaboration with ACCD and Design Studio Press.
Stuart continued to support the ACCD transportation design department while working as a package design consultant to several brands. Eventually Hyundai approached him with an offer he could not refuse, and since then he has worked with them as the studio engineer for Hyundai North America in Orange County. His primary area of focus as of late has been in the area of advanced HMI systems.This work was most recently featured in the HCD-14, a concept car launched at the North American International Autoshow. HCD-14 exhibited a working prototype of an interior utilizing advanced HMI systems such as eye tracking, gesture controls, and an elegant heads up display.
Over the past year the stars began to align for us to take a fresh approach to Curb with a renewed enthusiasm, a great deal of experience, and a more expansive yet more refined vision for what Curb could become. The iBook version of H-Point has been submitted and is currently being reviewed by Apple. It has been entirely reformatted specifically for the iPad, and features a significant amount of new or updated material. A kindle version will follow shortly after the iBook launch which we aim to deliver by the Fall semester. The apparel side of the business is in the process of relaunching, and The Curb Shop will soon become a one stop shop for any auto enthusiast. We have a variety of collaborations in the works which we are really excited about, and we will be working hard to deliver inspiring images, valuable information, and a source of automotive entertainment right here on The Curb Blog.
We hope you’ll join us on our adventure to build the Curb brand.
Thanks for reading,