From local sites to big international boards, I’ve always found it pleasurable to read and discuss different topics with like-minded people. During my teenage years, I worked on personal project that reached a global audience.
Because of my interests—cars, photography, code, and design—my choices of websites were an array of mostly American domains with very few active Swedes.
I took my interests and mixed together Club JDM, a side project with the goal of building a forum for Swedish speaking people with an interest in Japanese modified cars.
Photo: Erik Gustafsson
Club JDM took inspiration from 60s Japanese movie posters, punk rock and Scandinavian design to form a raw but sophisticated look.
Our trademark Skull in a Helmet logo came two years after the launch of Club JDM, symbolizing our punk mentality—we don't go with the flow. All Guts, No Glory!
1967 John Surtees, Honda Racing. The inspiration for the Skull in a Helmet logo.
The blog was a window into Swedish car culture, presenting inspiration and stories for the visitor. Content was produced mostly by myself, but the community pitched in regularly to show what they were doing in their local areas.
WordPress powered the blog, and phpBB supported the forum. Weekly updates like new content and feature updates drove interest. Club JDM as a website served as an invaluable platform for me to learn to code.
The trial and error method, learning as I went, gave me a huge knowledge boost. Code, usability, SEO, UI, UX, content development, promotion and data analysis were a few of the topics I explored over the years while working this project.
Photo essay documenting the life of young rebellions and their unique cars in Stockholm.
From attending gatherings with a few dozen cars at different events in Sweden, Norway, and Holland to arranging our own gatherings, Club JDM quickly grew beyond its internet forum roots.
Autofest was a recurring event arranged by Club JDM with steady growth to upwards of 120 participants in 2012. Autofest, our most popular event, went beyond what the scene was accustomed to at the time.
Activities, music, and food were combined with good hangout areas to form a unique space where people could meet like-minded members to form new relationships.
In 2013, Club JDM signed a collaboration deal with Downforce Clothing Co. This meant a step up in quality on many levels, one of them being our presence at events.
The 196 square meter DFCO & CJDM booth encapsulated both our brand values and commitment to quality experiences through our interest in cars.
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