Copper Collar Consulting Sticker

New Territory: Underwater

When this client contacted me, I must admit I didn’t understand half the words he was using: words like “OSV,” “Miller 400,” and “A-frame barge.”

Owner John Fontenot is a salvage diver based out of Hammond, Louisiana. That’s got to be one of the coolest–and most dangerous–jobs I’ve ever heard of. He had the design for the sticker rolling around in his head and sent me a simple outline sketch of two vessels I’d never seen before in real life: an OSV and an A-frame barge.

Client Sketch of an A-frame barge (top) and OSV (bottom)

That’s fine. Research is one of the most rewarding parts of this job–I learn about things and industries and people I’d never encounter otherwise.

The Design: Above water

Mr. Fontenot wanted an A-frame barge with chains around a sunken Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV). And he wanted it to look like the view was coming from inside a Miller 400 helmet.

Miller 400 Helmet

Once the design was complete, he ordered 500 oval stickers and 250 waterproof business cards through me. The stickers are intended for hard hats, so they are small: 1.5″ tall by 2.5″ wide.

Mr. Fontenot started working as a tender right out of high school before climbing up the ladder as a diver then a supervisor. It wasn’t long before he missed just being a diver in rotation.

“The term copper collar comes from the Mark V divers from the 1940’s,” Fontenot said. “These helmets were made of spun copper and mated up to a copper chest piece. The idea was that you had blue collar workers, and white collar workers. To be a diver you had to use your hands and your brain, so the phrase copper collar was used.”

Fontenot holds a B.S. in Industrial Technology, and a B.A. in English Literature with minors in History and Technical Writing.

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