Case Study: Boh’s Birthday Bash

The National Leadership of Kappa Kappa Psi National Band Fraternity wanted to encourage alumni brothers to become Life Members, while also celebrating the birthday of Bohumil Makovsky – the Guiding Spirit of the Fraternity.

Bohumil Makovsky was the Director of Bands and Head of the Department of Music at Oklahoma A&M College (now – Oklahoma State University) during the founding of Kappa Kappa Psi. He was born on September 23, 1878. So, on September 23, 2016, Kappa Kappa Psi had a one day only, 20% off sale on Life Memberships.

When I was approached about designing a logo to help promote “Boh’s Birthday Bash”, I immediately wanted to incorporate an image of Boh. I’m far from a master of drawing but thought I could get enough of his essential features to make an illustration. First, I printed out one of his most iconic images and took it over to the Lightbox. The long neglected Lightbox was finally being put into the game.

Bohumil Mako

I traced over the photo, with the goal of getting the crucial elements down – one of those being his bow-tie. After finishing my illustrated Boh portrait, I took a photo of it , uploaded it, and brought it into Adobe Illustrator. In Illustrator, I created the vector image of Boh’s face. Once I had Boh the way I wanted, I began thinking about color and how I wanted to fit it within the text of “Boh’s Birthday Bash”.

The font I used was Trajan Pro, which is the same font used in the overall Kappa Kappa Psi brand identity. The color was the official darker blue of the Fraternity and a lighter shade of blue was chosen to complement the dark blue.

To provide some variety in the marketing of the event, I created 3 different graphics. One was just the illustration of Boh. The second was the logo with the illustration and the text. The third was a full mini-flyer with more details on the Life Membership sale.

Usually, when creating social media content for organizations, I try to make sure the page feed isn’t spamming the exact same graphic and copy over and over again. I used the graphics on a rotation leading up to the day and throughout the day itself.

On September 23rd alone, there were over 80 new Life Memberships purchased. The idea was a success and I was very happy to be a part of this campaign. Honoring the past can be a great inspiration and motivator.


The Audacity of Dream Fulfilling

Everyone has a dream.

Whether they believe it or not is the true question.

Business as usual will not result in dreams becoming reality. A change must come to produce what has never been produced. What has always been done is not enough to accomplish new and ambitious goals. Every great achievement in human history was preceded by a belief followed by hard work in the pursuit of success.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and was willing to risk his own life to motivate America to live the truth of its creed. These United States of America are better because of the life he led and the inspiration he provided generations. His level of bravery was of the highest order. It is one thing to dream, but quite another to believe in spite of the shadow of doubt and walk towards the light to fruition. Everyone dreams yet a criminally low number of us see those dreams as more — a future awaiting our confident and unwavering pursuit.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dreams vary in size but they all require our faith in their certainty and our audacity to believe they can be fulfilled. Dreams of a better nation require us all to walk together in the truth we wish to see. Dreams of a better self require a change in habits and mindset. Dreams of creation — art, business, non-profit, etc. — require determination and execution. Self-doubt and fear of failure must continuously be engulfed in the flames of our faith. I say continuously because we are human and we will falter. However, we possess the ability to rise above and beyond.

Our individual dreams may not be as grand as others’, past or present, but that does not make them any less valid. We must focus on the joy of a righteous pursuit, a love of the process of growth, and the promise of future fulfillment. We must work to live the dream expressed by Dr. King as well as our individual dreams that speak to the purpose of our existence.


The Power of the Niche Down

When I first started trying to be a freelance graphic designer in 2009, I tried to claim to be a graphic & web designer. I had yet to discover the wide range of different (and specific) applications for graphic design. I also had yet to discover that I much rather spend time working on someone’s logo or brand identity than wrestling with HTML and CSS for extended periods of time. (Salute to all those superstars who specialize in web development.)

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New Year, New You? What Are You Planning To Give The World In 2017?

Last year around this time, I wrote about being a gift to others. Marie Forleo, one of my sources of inspiration when it comes to content creation, always says “the world needs that special gift that only you have.” What are you planning to give the world in 2017?

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Why I Love Minor League Baseball Logos!

I love minor league logos.

Good ones, of course.

Good creative ones.

These logos depict the most interesting, unique mascots. The Flying Squirrels, Mud Hens, Iron Pigs, Rubber Ducks, Yard Goats, and more have taken their place in the pantheon of sports franchises.

It takes a talented designer (or design firm) to develop a visual brand around these mascots that goes beyond mere novelty. The creativity that is tapped into and put on display is something I truly marvel at.

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CreativeBobbieTV: A Weekly Dose of Design + Branding.

Every Thursday, I am posting a new video in addition to my weekly Tuesday blog. CreativeBobbieTV will teach lessons learned through my design work as well as show some behind the scenes / works-in-progress. In the future, there will be tutorials and case studies for those who want to know more about what I do and how it can help them.

This is another idea I’ve had for awhile and have finally delved into. I’ve written about the importance of video in the past. This is me entering that space on a regular and (hopefully) long-term basis.

There have been 3 episodes released thus far so make sure you subscribe on YouTube and follow me on social media to get notified of new episodes!

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Get People To Buy Physical Albums Through Creativity & Design

Last week, I talked about what happens when music artists invest in their brand. Like any other industry, investing in your brand increases your chances of success. To many people, album sales is a measure of success. How receptive your audience is in your latest project and their willingness to pay for pleasure of the listen will depend on how interested/invested they are in your brand. They buy the brand. The brand is you and each project is an extension of that.

Each project should provide an immersive, worthwhile experience for your audience. The overall experience is key. Particularly in this day and age, fewer people than ever actually buy the physical album release. So, for those of you still wanting to give people something tangible to purchase and enjoy, you had better make it worth it.

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What Happens When Music Artists Invest In Their Brand

“You know my first week looking crazy due to high demand
Cause people don’t buy music in this day and age
They buy the brand” – Logic, “44 Bars”

Branding is important in every market known to mankind. The product you produce, the story you tell, and the human (or humans) behind it all make up what is known as the brand. The more people you attract to the experience of you, the more successful you will be. People will support what (and who) they believe in.

The sheer amount of music available makes it increasingly important for music artists to understand how to stand out and rise above. You have to make sure you are projecting your authentic self, which will attract those meant to hear your message. Assembling a fan base is crucial to your long-lasting success. Having a dedicated fanbase means having ambassadors that will share your music and message with others.

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Case Study: 2017 National Convention Visual Brand Identity

Every two years, the brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi and the sisters of Tau Beta Sigma come together as national delegations to meet, fellowship, and direct the future of the organizations. Each event has its own identity. It’s one of my responsibilities as Publications Manager to create and present that identity visually. With the 2017 National Convention of Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma to be in Orlando, Florida, I am excited to craft the visual story of this event.

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What Should A Magazine Cover Do?

As the National Publications Manager at Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma National Headquarters, The Podium falls within my purview. Twice a year (Fall and Spring), we send this national publication to chapters and alumni across the nation. When they receive and open their package, the first thing they will see is the cover. The design of the cover is important to the overall presentation of the magazine. There is a reason why getting on the cover of certain publications is considered a big deal in the entertainment industry. The cover image is in many ways the “logo” of that particular issue. It is a condensed representation of that publication’s brand and that issue. It is worth investing serious effort.

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