The AIGA chapter of Alaska holds an annual statewide design competition and award ceremony titled The Big One. Each year the event is refreshed with a new concept, donated by a local creative outlet. This year was my turn.

I immediately started to draw inspiration from the title — “The Big One.” It had to convey “big,” not only in scale but also in personality. It also had to say Alaska. At this point, the solution was simple — “Let’s just personify all this into a mascot or something.” The execution, however, proved to be a bit more complicated. Read more about the process.

The Solution — A handmade anthropomorphic moose with an attitude, decked out in design references, set in a paper landscape to make him look larger than life.

The Big One Vertical

A real life fully articulated model gave us a lot more versatility. We were able to pose him any way we wanted. Being able to place him in different scenarios interacting with various objects, made it easy to build supporting images for collateral pieces.

This character is definitely a little rough around the edges, so I made a typeface to compliment that. The logo was hand-drawn as well. But, it was done in gold. After all, it is an award ceremony.

Hand drawn type sample
social media teaser image
The Big One 2016 Logo
gold foil stamp detail
AIGA Postcard Design


It was really important for the artwork to convey the idea of graphic design, more specifically AIGA. So, I worked in a lot of references to AIGA speakers who visited the state to show their influence. We took to social media to tell the story.

detail shot
detail shot

The spiked club was influenced by the quote “Graphic design is a big fucking club with spikes in it, and I want to wield it” from James Victore. The tattoo was ripped off from Jessica Hische.

detail shot
detail shot

The t-shirt was borrowed from Aaron Draplin’s Alaska state poster. The white felt letterforms were inspired by past projects of Debbie Millman.

hoodie detail shot
logo detail

The pattern on the hoodie was inspired by past works of Stefan Bucher. The logo on the jeans was designed by Marc English for MARK Skateboards.

trophy design

The theme extends to “The Best of Show” award as well. How can we illustrate that the winner caught The Big One? Let’s pretend the winner shot and mounted the mascot! I can’t think of an award that is more fitting for Alaska, than a big game trophy. Photo: Mark Meyer

Photo: Shane Spencer of Ellipsis Photography