Jeff Hobrath, Chief, USN (Ret) & Artist
President & Founder of NavyChief.com
Jeff's Bio By P. Fasset
Graphic artist Jeff Hobrath’s unique artistic style is unmistakable and is evident in everything he creates, whether it's print designs, technical drawings, web sites, caricatures, cartoons, or logos. Born in 1963 and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, by parents who immigrated to the United States after World War II, Jeff enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17.
Duty stations included RTC Great Lakes IL, NATTC Lakehurst NJ, NAS Miramar CA, NAS Glenview IL, NAS JRB Willow Grove PA, Fighter Squadron 21, Fleet Logistics Squadron 51, Fleet Logistics Squadron 52, the USS Constellation, and the USS Coral Sea. While at NAS JRB Willow Grove, Jeff was selected as “Sailor of the Year” and was promoted to Chief. His creativity and keen sense of humor made his cartoon strips “Geedunk” and "The Line Rats" in the Navy safety magazines Approach and Sea & Shore was a favorite among sailors.
After retiring from the Navy in 2002, Jeff worked as a Creative Director for defense contractor KR Systems, providing graphic art support to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and other commands around globe. He later joined the Joint Deficiency Reporting System (JDRS) where he served as the team’s public affairs specialist and principal graphic artist. Jeff continues to support various government organizations and businesses with graphic design and marketing consulting services as an independent contractor, and currently acting as Creative Director for Compass Systems, Inc. Jeff was selected as the official artist for the 2011 Lexington Park Maryland branding effort and the Naval Aviation Centennial.
Jeff’s devotion to the Navy continues to this day with NavyChief.com, which he began developing in 1997 as a way for sailors, chiefs, officers, as well as their families and supporters, to show their Navy pride through products such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads, etc. All items feature Jeff’s original designs, and his sought-after talent draws a long list of customers, including deployed troops, defense contractors, the Navy Exchange (NEX), the White House, TV shows, and commercial organizations around the world.
In 2006, Jeff founded NavalTees, LLC (DBA King of Tees and NavyChief.com) as a parent company for NavyChief.com and other projects. NavalTees is headquartered in Leonardtown, MD, and its production facility employs several people who fill orders worldwide on a daily basis. NavalTees is an active member of the local business community and participates in numerous local events in addition to supporting many non-profit organizations, such as the Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Scholarship Fund. Jeff co- founded and cosponsors the annual “Chiefs’ Run to the Wall,” a group motorcycle ride to the Vietnam Memorial in D.C., which raises funds for a local veterans home. In 2006, Jeff was selected as the Navy Historical Volunteer of the Year by the Navy Historical Society.
Jeff’s interest in art started in childhood and he spent countless hours illustrating in pencil and ink in the early days of his career. He credits his expertise in computer graphic arts to “long nights over many years of practice, practice, practice and thousands of hours working with Photoshop, going way back to the very first version.” Jeff was the first person ever to become an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) in Photoshop while serving on active duty in the armed forces. Most of his artwork is sketched freehand, either traditionally using pencil and then scanned into the computer, or sketched digitally via his art tablet. Jeff enjoys sharing his expertise and has taught classes in both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
In 2011 Jeff lost his wife Marion to cancer. They were married for 24 years and were high school sweethearts. He currently resides in Williamsburg, VA. Their son Christopher also served in the Navy.
The "Studio" actually refers to multiple locations, however, most of the art is created in Jeff's private office in Williamsburg, VA. Production and distribution of products designed by Jeff ship from the Leonardtown facility, the HQ for NavalTees, LLC, NavyChief.com, King of Tees, and other Jeff Hobrath Art Studio brands.
We strive to stay on the cutting edge of technology keeping current on Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Keynote, Power Point and the other creative tools required to offer quality service. Our equipment is only the best including Power MAC Pros, Mac Book Pros, multiple studio/cinema displays, digital art tablets and all required peripherals, and of course, the good old fashion drafting table that some projects still require creation in the traditional sense.
As one of the leading designers of military apparel, Jeff's line of t-shirts (NavalTees) can be seen at Navy Exchange Stores on military bases around the globe!
NavyChief.com carries over 1,500 products across multiple categories. Featured on TV shows, including “One Life To Live” and covered in many news articles and TV news programs. The staff has also been personally invited to the White House, and the company supports several charitable organizations nationwide.
The brand NavalTees was created primarily to serve our customers in the Navy and provide a logical identity when working with military stores. Currently NavalTees is a major supplier and recognized brand within the Navy Exchange System world wide. The success of the brand has lead expansion of the commercial brand KingofTees.