HOVAB: A Lasting Legacy
Celebration! A History of Visual Arts in Boulder (HOVAB) revisits Boulder's lively arts past, beginning in the late 19th century and continuing into the present - a long stretch designed for depth and context. As Boulder moves into the future, it seems vital to look back at, explore, and celebrate the city's vibrant past to create a living archive and thereafter a lasting legacy for future generations.
In Fall of 2015 the advertising club at the University of Colorado Boulder opened up a contest to their 200+ members. There was an art festival that needed help designing a logo. I decided to take on this task and create a logo.
When I sat down to brainstorm I kept running into a wall. How am I going to create a logo for an arts festival? I needed more inspiration. That morning I drove down to the local bookstore and went straight to the design section. I rummaged through this section until I found a few books on logo design and typography. I read through them, but still nothing came to mind.
I went back home and stared at the blank art board in front of me. I was thinking too hard. The answer was in front of my the whole time. I thought for a second.. if you break every piece of art down to it's very core, what is left? Shapes and color. That's it. I will just build the logo out of shapes. It was so simple.
The first thing I did was make the 'H'. I made one big square. Then added two little squares, one at the bottom, one at the top. There was my 'H'. However it still needed something. Something more creative, to make it stand out. That was it "Stand out"!
When you take a piece of clear blue plastic and put it in front of a piece of clear yellow plastic, what do you get? Green. It's basic art 101.
So now matter how complex you think my logo might look, it all boils down to the main ingredients of Art: Mixing colors and making shapes.
Then Came the Rest
The HOVAB team loved my logo so much that they hired me on as their graphic designer. I met with the team every week to go over drafts of posters, brochures, and postcards.
The designs on the left are the final designs I came up with for the collateral. I still wanted to keep the design simple for the poster and the brochure. I decided to go with what Boulder knows best: the mountains. With the same simple idea as the logo in mind I made mountains out of triangles and smaller mountains out of their shades, with clouds overlapping.
If you would like to view the prints please download the zip file here. Thanks!
The brochure was designed to mimic the landscape of the flatirons. I took a photo of the flatirons and then put triangles to it. I added the Boulder creek to give it some more colour and wha la!
However, the brochure was a lengthy process. It wasn't really the design of the flatirons that took me forever to do, it was the copy that through me a challenge. There were so many participating galleries that it was very difficult to find room on the brochure. After hours of layout design, I decided to stagger the galleries with their logos and cross my fingers that it would work. It barely did with a little room to spare.
Towards the end of the festival, there was a gallery in the Boulder Public Library that I felt honoured to be a part of. Artist, George Peterson, blew up my logo and put it on pegs so it stood out from the wall and was the first thing to grab your attention when you walked into the exhibit.
I was very lucky to be a part of this festival. I learned a lot about the history of Boulder art and I am lucky to say that I am now officially part of Boulder's art history.