the best made wonder

creative direction & design

In 2011, a few years after I started Best Made Company, we sent an email out to existing customers asking if they were interested in a Best Made print catalog. Within 48 hours we had to stop accepting requests: we couldn’t afford to print that many. The catalog quickly grew to an industry touchstone, the jewel of Best Made’s crown, a calling card that took me around the world — Idaho, Alaska, Japan, Scotland, Texas, California, Brazil, Uruguay, Patagonia (x 3), British Columbia, and The Yukon. I went on every single adventure (see below) to personally forge relationships with the locations and our subjects. Our subjects were not paid models, these were some of the best “Best Made” men and women from around the world: cowboys, gauchos, backcountry guides, stuntmen, and a world-famous Argentinian chef (ie- Francis Mallmann). I wanted people using our product that represented this original lifestyle that we so vehemently celebrated at Best Made: where work, play and adventure intersect.


Wanting to showcase our earliest axes being used I reached out to Toronto-based director Finn O’Hara. The Phantom slow-motion camera had just been released, and using that nascent technology we filmed a series of “explosive” short vignettes of the axes in action. An original soundtrack was composed by Nico Muhly.

CLIENT: Best Made Company
PROJECT: The Best Made Catalog
DATES: 2011-2019
CREDITS: Peter Buchanan-Smith (design and creative direction); Pablo Delcan, Gelsey Maslanka (design); Ports Bishop, Nate Bressler, Christina Holmes, Tetsuya Ito, and Jason Frank Rothenberg (photography).