“The primary mark has to work in black and white and it has to be as simple as possible” 

“That logo was talking to me… and it was talking to everyone…” ~Thom McElroy, Co-Founder Volcom


Thom McElroy covers a ton of ground in this special interview (recorded live from his ultra-modern, beachfront crib in Laguna Beach ; ).

He speaks candidly about his early days, being a “grom” growing up in Huntington Beach, as a graphic design major at SDSU, and yes, the creation of the Volcom logo and all the graphics that rallied the “YAE” Youth Against Establishment”.

The interview covers his inspirations and thoughts on logo and design, the rise and early struggle of the rebellious surf, skate and snowboard company Volcom.

Thom pulls no punches and shares

  • The crazy story that led him to SDSU— it’s surf related!
  • Growing up in Huntington beach
  • How his life pivots toward art and graphic design
  • How he defines success
  • His most important habits
  • The birth and evolution of the Volcom logo
  • His design influences
  • The essence of a great logo and the technique to get there!
  • & so much more!

“I love reading books about the struggles and how to get over the struggles and how to still win.”

When Volcom went public in 2005, Thom went on a leave of absence that eventually lead to his retirement. For the past ten years he has consulted with many new companies and young CEOs and invested in several emerging brands. Thom currently sits on the Campanile Board of Directors and Chairs the Alumni Engagement Committee. He also mentors at the Lavin Entrepreneur Management Center and is involved in the School of Business, the Zahn Center of Engineering and The College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at SDSU.

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Resources

The Habit Factor app

The Habit Factor template

The Habit Factor book

Big Brothers Big Sisters