Helmets used to be boring. Nutcase was founded to change all of that. To make helmets fun again. To make them into something you wanted to wear without being told you should. A piece of art, a little something that makes you smile, each and every time you put it on. Nutcase makes helmets for everyone. Babies, grandmas, and everyone between. No matter where you live, how old you are, or what kind of bike you ride, they have a helmet that will fit your head, and suit your soul.
BASED IN PORTLAND, OREGON, AMERICA’S BIKE CAPITAL
Bicycling is a way of life in the west coast hometown of Portland, Oregon. Portland leads the country in commute trips made by bicycle (up to 7% of the population, as of 2015), is home to the nation’s only exclusively transit-bicycle-pedestrian bridge, hosts a bike-themed Film Festival, makes deliveries with cargo bikes and trikes, and comes together for an entire month of themed rides and bike-fun during Pedalpalooza in the month of June each year. Portland was the first American city to achieve a Platinum designation from the League of American Bicyclists, and continue to base their vision of a better city on the promise of bicycles. This energy and spirit informs the work they do, and Nutcase customers carry their mission with them in cities and communities across North America. They are proud to be part of a movement for safer streets.
Nutcase was founded at a football game between two rival teams in Oregon back in 2000, when Michael Morrow, president and founder of Nutcase and former Nike Creative Director, brought out two helmets he had cooked up in his garage, both festooned with the mascots of each team.
He wore them in the bleachers at the game, and the response from fans around him was immediate. People loved the helmets. Something clicked in Michael’s head at that moment: “Sports helmets are dull. They are either licensed cartoon character designs for kids or simple solid colors. The helmet that is a vibrant extension of a person’s personality…it doesn’t exist.”
He thought on it more, and realized, “Most helmet graphics are either cheesy or based on cartoon characters, which means anybody over three is pretty much excluded. I believe there are kids and adults who want to ride their bikes or skate boards in a simpler helmet shape than the aerodynamic cycle helmet style, and would like a product that is more visually fun and expressive than just another black helmet”, said Morrow. “People are not going to wear helmets any less in the future, so somebody has to make them more exciting to wear. That ‘somebody’ is Nutcase!”
WORKING WITH ARTISTS
Ever since the dawn of Nutcase, they’ve received design suggestions of “wouldn’t that be cool on a helmet?!” from customers and friends. They heard you, and since 2014, we’ve worked with three international artists each year, selected from an open design competition, to bring awesome new designs to market. Their Unframed Artist Series Helmets have drawn over a thousand entries from dozens of countries. They are driven by art (and have two amazing designers on staff!), and are humbled by the opportunity to share our designs with the world.