The Big One 2016 pt. 1

As far as having fun on a project; this one sits firmly at the top. I got to make an animal-human hybrid in Air Force 1s with tattoos and a spiked bat. What’s funner than that!? It was a huge learning experience; I had to write about it.

I was so fortunate to be asked by AIGA Alaska to work on the promo material for The BIG One. It had the potential to be really really cool, so of course, I said yes. I mean, this was for a creative group of people, so I could flex a little creative muscle and get a bit weird. But the thing that made it cool, also made it intimidating. When you’re designing something for graphic designers, it has to be tight. I knew this was going to be looked at under a microscope. It just comes with the territory.

My first thought was, “This has to be different. This has to be something that no one has ever done for this event.” I immediately thought of doing something three-dimensional and getting away from the traditional flat print design. And personally, I was getting really bored with that, and starting to feel stuck in a rut. So something three-dimensional, but what exactly? I knew that the Best of Show won a sweet trophy at the end of the night. So what if I built a really elaborate, mix-media trophy and used that as the main artwork? Could be cool right? But what exactly would it be?

I took a gander at the past events to source some ideas…

2012 by Sini Salminen

2013 by Spawn Ideas

2014 by Solstice Advertising

2015 by Corso Graphics

One thing these all had in common was the reference to size – a whale, Denali, the big earthquake of ’64, and big bold type. It plays well with the title and could introduce some interesting visual scenarios.

I thought it would be good to show some Alaska pride. Let’s take a symbol of Alaska and make it bigger than life. So I’m thinking something with a moose, cause I’m always in awe when I see a moose strolling down the sidewalk.

It was right around this time I got intrigued with the work of Hidden Foo, Coolrain, and Kiddo I was amazed and envious of the detail and craftsmanship. Plus it didn’t look like work. It looked like fun. Ever since I seen their work and the work of others, I wanted to give it a shot. Maybe this project was my chance.

Now the concept is starting to evolve and pick up steam. Instead of just a moose, what about a larger than life moose-man as the symbol of Alaska? That’s interesting. Next thing: how do we make it say AIGA? Let’s just deck him out in AIGA design references. Better yet, let’s reference the AIGA speakers who visited the state. I chose six speakers. Here’s a visual:

References from Aaron DraplinJames VictoreJessica HischeDebbie MillmanStefan Bucher, and Marc English.

With no idea of how I would pull this off, I started sketching…

I found that personality was going to play an important part. The only thing that came to mind is “bad-ass rebel.”  Why not? This is the last frontier. It takes a special type of attitude to venture up to these parts.

Having a big game trophy as the Best of Show award seemed to fit perfectly with the narrative. The big winner of the night caught and mounted “The Big One.” It’s a little weird, somewhat sadistic and shocking, but that’s what I liked about it. In some of the earlier sketches, I played with the idea of gold blood dripping from the neck.

I can’t believe they actually signed off on this! Now I’ve got to find a way to pull it off…

Continue reading in next post.