HOVAB - A History of the Visual Arts in Boulder

Graphic Design, Logo Design & Brand Development

Celebration! A History of the Visual Arts in Boulder (HOVAB) was an unprecedented, community-wide cultural event that revisited and celebrated the City of Boulder’s dynamic and diverse visual arts past. It was in 18 exhibition venues, featured over 300 artists, spanning 121 years of history, with 50 opening receptions, film screenings, presentations and panel discussions.

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The Brief:

While studying at the University of Colorado, I entered a design contest to design a logo for the new festival coming to Boulder, HOVAB.

The Approach:

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 art 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 right in front of me the whole time. I thought for a second.. when you break art down to it's very core, what is left? Shapes.. colors.. That's pretty much 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 no matter how complex you think my logo might look, it all boils down to the main ingredients of Art: mixing colors and making shapes.

The Impact:

I went on to freelance for HOVAB for almost a year, designing advertisements, posters, t-shirts, yard signs, and brochures. My work was put up all over Boulder and it was the buzz around Boulder for a few months while the festival was going on. It felt great seeing one of my first projects come to life and be appreciated by many artists that entered to have their work in the festival.