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Seahawks Gameday Poster Series: The Art of Barry Ament

Get to know Barry Ament: half of the renowned Ames Bros design duo and the Seattle Seahawks Gameday Poster artist for Week 12’s home matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.

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The Seattle Seahawks return home to Lumen Field for Week 12 to face the Las Vegas Raiders. In the continued effort to create initiatives to highlight homegrown Pacific Northwest talent, the Seattle Seahawks Gameday Poster series does just that. Meet Week 12 feature artist Barry Ament.

Behind The Gameday Poster

The fourth edition of the Seattle Seahawks Gameday Poster works in partnership with Seattle art pioneer the Ames Bros. This series gives fans the option to purchase limited-edition gameday art memorabilia brought to you by local artists from right here in the Pacific Northwest. The Week 12 beneficiary is Northwest Harvest, the leading hunger relief agency in the state. Northwest Harvest's mission is to build partnerships in communities across Washington to get food where it's needed most, averaging two million meals each month throughout the state of Washington.

The duo of Barry Ament and Coby Schultz are the masterminds behind some of the world's greatest illustrations, created here in Seattle. The pair met at art college in Montana, moving to Seattle to pursue their artistic endeavors in a bigger market. The duo found a niche in poster and apparel artwork for mega groups like Pearl Jam and Metallica. Now they are giving homegrown talent an opportunity to shine on a major platform courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks.

Barry Ament, The Artist

More than three decades ago, Montana State University's graphic design studio served as a meeting place for one of art's greatest duos. Two Montana natives - Barry Ament from Big Sandy, and Coby Schultz that split his formative years between Kalispell and Livingston. The duo that would pair over a common love for art and drawing in college grew up using their environments to inspire their drive and creativity. In 2011, the duo sat down with their alma mater to discuss their starts and the journey to being one of the country's most-renowned design firms.

"Living in Big Sandy," said Ament. "If you didn't have an imagination, there really wasn't a lot to look at. It's a pretty flat, barren landscape. Growing up in the era that we did, was almost a generation back. I didn't play video games; I rode my bike. If I was bored, I drew pictures. There weren't a lot of other opportunities or distractions. Looking back, I think that was a great thing for my development and my imagination."

Who could've imagined just where the Ament name would go, as Barry and brother Jeff created legacies that went far beyond Montana state limits. Originally Barry had plans on being a dentist, but a fear of blood and a color theory class changed the course of history.

Jeff moved to Seattle first, pursuing his dreams as bassist for now-iconic rock band Pearl Jam. By the time Barry met Schultz at Montana State, the band was making waves nationwide in preparation of their 1991 debut album "Ten". By the time Ament and Schultz developed an inseparable bond that led them to take an international design opportunity in Holland, Pearl Jam was becoming international rockstars. Jeff enlisted the help of his brother to help with design in Seattle.

"We were selling a lot of records," said Ament — indeed, "Ten" went platinum 12 times — "but the organization was really small. So it made sense to be hands-on with Barry."

Schultz joined Ament in Emerald City shortly thereafter, and Ames Bros graphics design company was created in 1994. With a focus on unique concert posters and memorabilia, the market for the duo soon swelled from artists to major corporations looking for work.

Over the last three decades, the Ames Bros have designed for some of the biggest names in the music business, as well as product design for brands like Converse and Ray-Ban. The pair that spent hours back-to-back bouncing ideas off each other since college has done plenty individually as well. The Ament brothers won a 2020 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package for the Chris Cornell album.

The Seahawks gameday poster series is another opportunity for art lovers to get signature pieces from some of the Pacific Northwest's best. It's also a chance for Ament - a season ticket holder - to create pieces for the team he loves.

The Artwork

This week's gameday poster is the best of both worlds, as it integrates the Thanksgiving holiday with Seattle's incoming battle with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Ament perfectly blends the college navy and action green of the Seahawks with the Raiders' signature silver and black to create a vibrant, fun holiday gameday poster. But that's as far as the courtesies go, as the poster does little to give Raiders fans any hope of victory. This is the Seahawks gameday poster after all, as Ament explains.

"First and foremost," said Ament. "It needs to be 100-percent a Seahawks poster. But, it's fun to take the opponents colors and imagery, re-imagine, re-appropriate and flip things on their head. It's a way to memorialize the event as a whole by including the opponent, but making it clear they're not invited to the party."

Art is about creativity and drawing inspiration, and this week's poster was a personal dedication to Ament's childhood.

"I grew up in a small town in Montana and as a kid nothing mattered more to me and my friends than football," said Ament. "Football at recess. Football after school. Football behind the end-zone when the high school game was going on. Understand, growing up in Montana, there's no home team, at least not for hundreds of miles and in another state. So, as a kid you had to pick "your'' team. We got AFC West and NFC East games on TV, so most of my friends were Seahawks, Chargers, Raiders and Cowboy fans. Mostly Raiders and Cowboy fans for sure. So I grew up with a disdain for both of those teams. I straight up could not stand America's team, but the Raiders? The Raiders, I loved to hate, they're like the Darth Vader of sports. The ultimate villains. And if you get me talking about Lester Hayes, The Snake, Matuszak or any of those Raiders from the 80s, I might get a little choked up. I miss some vintage Silver and Black. So, my favorite part of creating this poster is thinking about my buddies, who I grew up with, who had the Raider's shoe laces, pants and satin jackets and imagining they'll be a little sad after this Sunday's game. It's honestly why I looked at the schedule and picked this game, satisfying my inner 12-year-old."

Not only was this week's gameday poster a chance to have fun with the holiday-based theme for Ament, but to help out a great cause. Pay close attention to the details of the poster, because you may miss a more-important message.

"This being a Thanksgiving weekend game and having the proceeds going to the NW Harvest sparked an idea," said Ament. "It's one of my favorite holidays - not terribly commercialized and all about family, food and football. And with an emphasis on giving and thinking about your fellow man. I really like the idea of everyone getting fed on Thanksgiving and collectively being so full of food and good-will that we let a few turkeys off the hook. I've actually seen the turkeys who are pardoned by the president who live out their days tucked away in a remote corner at Disneyland. It's an enviable set-up. With the poster, I thought, why stop there - what if Coach Carroll pardoned a few more and made them honorary Seahawks? I figured he's earned the power to do so at this point. If you read the fine print on the Pardon you'll see that all birds are welcome but does not include Cardinals, Falcons, Eagles or Ravens. I like to tell a story with a poster, even if only for self-amusement."

Northwest Harvest is a food justice organization striving to end hunger in Washington state. It's all about the details, down to the text itself, which Ament used to pay homage to someone that inspired him.

"Definitely a tip of the cap to vintage holiday cards and type treatments from the days of yore," said Ament. "Something Burl Ives would be happy with. Pure nostalgia."

This week's poster is officially sold out, but you can BID NOW for an opportunity to secure a Week 12 platinum poster via our auction website.

The Seahawks face the Raiders at Lumen Field for Week 12 of the 2022 season. Take a look back at photos from previous games between the two teams.

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