HG Skis
A few skiers hanging in front of a black van with orange HG ski decal on the exterior

Creative direction for a beloved staple in street skiing.

HG Skis was a boutique ski brand out of Burlington, VT with a focus on park and urban skiing. We built a brand that stood for skiing with your friends, not a huge production crew. This vision was carefully executed on through all touchpoints, from relatable and comical social media, to ski film production, and in our physical products. Our impact on the ski industry can be felt today with many ski films pulling inspiration from the raw, self-filmed, low-production and high-friendship qualities of the films we produced. Outside of the films, this was spoken to through the skis, with engineering designed specifically to withstand the abuse of parks and an industry-first impact warranty to back that up.

From 2014 through the closing of HG Skis in 2018, Charles worked with the founders, Harrison Goldberg and Connor Gaeta as lead creative director for the brand. From the branding, to ski graphics, to ski film production, we made it all happen with a tiny creative crew and budget through a shared passion for all things skiing.
Services Provided
Creative Direction
Video Production


HG needed a new mark that spoke to the stance the brand took on both ski manufacturing, riding and the state of the industry. To accomplish this, we crafted a bold, red mark with handmade brush strokes, allowing us a subtle nod to the counter culture nature of street skiing via undertones of graffiti. We enclosed the letterforms in a circle to pay homage to the old logo while also containing the letters in a unified mark. The narrowing of all forms of the mark at the bottom speaks to the truly ground up nature of the brand, with the first pairs of HG skis being garage-made in a Burlington, VT rental. This original mark wasn’t being confused with any other ski brand!
A black HG Ski van with an orange HG ski logo
A white and red HG ski logo
"I have worked with Charlie for over 7 years at the time of writing. In that period he has designed our website, product graphics, apparel and accessories. Additionally, Charlie functioned as our lead photographer and videographer. He lead edited multiple full length ski films, each recognized in our niche of the ski industry. In the process, he developed our logo and fully re-branded our business. Charlie is an excellent designer, but more importantly, a visionary creative director. Charlie began by executing my vision, but ultimately it was his own that became our brand identity. Many people of a given trade are one-dimensional, only capable of seeing the assignment and outcome of their tasks. Charlie is able to think not only in terms of creative design and direction, but also in terms of the needs of a business, far beyond branding and marketing. Anyone who has the opportunity to work with Charlie is fortunate to have him on their team."
Harrison Goldberg headshot

Ski Graphics

Ski graphics at HG were sourced from internal or local artists and produced with yearly themes. Charles had the pleasure of creating and directing the artwork on a variety of ski graphics over the years for HG.

2018 Maple Stinger

The Stinger was the flagship ski at HG, a fully cambered responsive and poppy park ski that could do it all. For 2018 we embraced Vermont with a tribute to the Maple Tree. This graphic used a cracked paint texture over a dark stained maple wood texture with minimalist graphic and branded stamps on the tails. Pulling from surfboard and cruiser skateboard design while putting our own rough edge into it, the Maple Stinger was an instant hit for HG.
A view of the top and bottom of HG skis
A view of the top and bottom of HG skis

2018 Junkyard El

The EL is the powder ski of legends, with a tight turning radius, directional dimensionality, and a center mount to keep it playful. This flagship powder ski ripped in every snow condition, east or west. To celebrate the Junkyard series, we built a library of related imagery and combined it with hand painted marks by Charles. Many, many hours in photoshop later, we had this mixed media artwork that was eye catching, ultra-rich in texture and color, and played to the values of the brand with street style markings.
An updated look for the top and bottom of HG skis
A close up detail of the "El" detail added to the new HG ski design
A closeup of new HG ski decals
A pair of HG skis in action: A skier is about to drop in for some pow turns
A skier is enjoying some face shots on the new HG skis

2017 Junkyard Transfer

For this graphic we worked with illustrator Scott McCurdy on a scene that used our Junkyard theme from a new approach - The Junkyard Dog. With subtle nods to inside jokes like the crushed Labatt cans that the team loved, this graphic was immediately welcomed by HG fans. Charles acted as art director on the project and created the typography/logo mark, as well as the base graphic.
A graphic that reads "Junkyard transfer"
A skier exciting a obstacle in a ski park with the HG skis

2017 Junkyard Stinger

For this graphic we worked with Vermont based illustrator Phoebe Low who created the beautifully intricate base graphic. With the completed graphic, Charles implemented a typography and top sheet design to bring the ski to production ready.
A graphic that reads "Stinger"
A top and bottom view of the Stinger HG skis
An action shot of a skier wearing the Stinger HG skis


HG X Tall T Cabana Graphic

In celebration of the release of the “Promocabana” a short ski film, we used the tropical theme to expand to a shirt graphic depicting tiki-men with large guts partaking in some casual drinking and smoking.
A graphic for HG ski apparel that shoes "Black lungs, gold livers"
HG ski long-sleeve T-shirts that have the 'black lungs gold liver" decal

Script Hoodie

A tribute to Quebec, this hg script featured the skyline of the urban filled Mecca against a white hoodie.
Someone wearing an HG ski white hoodie

Box Hoodie

An extension of the 2016 ski graphic theme of “subways” this pulled halftone lined work from subway maps to create a fresh version of a classic logo hoodie.
Someone wearing a dark grey HG ski hoodie

Althleisure Grey Kit (Club HG)

IDGAF Longsleeve

Pure athletic leisure & comfort, these high school athletic club inspired bulldog graphics were applied to full cotton tee and shorts.
Inspired by a real tattoo, we knew the HG fans would love a graphic that was vulgar only when desired.
2 men playing around on the track field with HG ski tshirts
A man wearing an IDGAF long sleeve shirt

Eat The Guts

Branding, event promotion, & Video Editing for HG Skis 2 year ski film. Eat The Guts was premiered around the world & released for free online December 4, 2017.
A dark colored graphic that reads "Eat the Guts"
Eat the Guts stickers
Eat the Guts event sign

Watch The Film

Edited by: Charles Stemen
Filmed By: Liam McKinley & John Hayes

Film Nominations:

Film Reviews:

International Freeski Film Festival:

“The film is raw without artifice, without romance and with the freedom that offers a production without sponsors.”
– High Five Film Festival

“First cult classic ski movie in years, this is one of those you just watch over and over. I am sure years from now this will still be timeless given the creativity and artistic value it presents.”
– MaineLandCollab