Friday, November 5, 2010

Running with the Right Crowd

Anderson Design Group has had the pleasure of working on dozens of posters ever since our Spirit of Nashville Collection became popular. Recently, we were asked to create a new poster and t-shirt design for an annual charity race called the Boulevard Bolt. The race takes place every Thanksgiving Day on scenic Belle Meade Boulevard in Nashville, TN. Since 1994, the Boulevard Bolt has grown from 2,500 participants to nearly 8,000 participants. Today, it ranks among the largest 5-mile races in the country, having raised over $1.4 million for the homeless community in Nashville since it began.

The Boulevard Bolt Committee representative emphasized that the event always happens Thanksgiving Day, so a fall theme would be in order. So ADG staff artist Andy Gregg produced a couple of concepts that were like Art Deco Olympic posters. The designs looked right at home in the Spirit of Nashville Collection. Unsatisfied (and a little bored with himself) Andy set out to create a design that would involve some kind of graphic pattern or rhythm based on autumn colors and symbols, using positive and negative space to create drama. Inspired by a 1960's-style Modern design style (made famous by TWA Airlines travel posters,) Andy created a bold, stylish option with hand-lettering that was very different from the Spirit of Nashville look. To his surprise, the Boulevard Bolt committee picked this more inventive and risky design.

In Andy’s own words: “I've always loved retro design, and having illustrated many of the Art & Soul of America prints, I had had plenty of chances to work in an Art Deco style. However, I really hadn't been able to break out of the first half of the 20th century on a poster design project. I saw this as an opportunity, figuring the Modern style would be conducive to the flat, graphic nature of this concept. What you see is the final product. The header typography I created is admittedly not really 60's Modern, but rather conflation of 60's and 70's script styles. When designing a piece that does not need to be from a specific design movement, why limit it?” 

The project took about 5 days from start to finish. Andy had a great time working on it, and the Boulevard Bolt committee was very pleased to have such a cool design for this year’s event.

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