Sunday, March 15, 2009

Scouts at Work

(Above) The final logo for the BSA Centennial coming in 2010, was first drawn by Scout Philip Goolkasian, selected as the winner and later finalized with the assistance of graphic design legend Kit Hinrichs.
(Above, from left) Graphic designer Scott Abel, logo-contest winner Philip Goolkasian, and Pentagram partner Kit Hinrichs team up to finalize a symbol for the future.
(Above) Kit Hinrichs, a partner at Pentagram in NY since 1986, happens also to be an Eagle Scout — as well as a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.

A WEEK OR SO AGO, I WAS DOING A STUDY ON CENTENNIAL LOGOS, curious about the creative approach many companies and organizations take to show the world they have reached this historic milestone. After all, 100-year anniversaries only come around once, as they say. I hate to see corporations and businesses blow this great opportunity with a weak, ill-planned celebration. Unfortunately, many companies simply slap a ribbon banner across whatever corporate logo they have with the words “Celebrating 100 Years” and call it a day.... or, a century, that is. When I stumbled upon this story about the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, and saw that the famous designer Kit Hinrichs was involved, I thought it was worth sharing with my readers. What intrigued me about the Boy Scout logo was the approach they took to get there. They held a contest for active Scouts nationwide.

“We could have hired a well-known, professional graphic design firm to create the logo,” said Robert Mersereau, project director for the 100th anniversary celebration, “but we thought that if our intention was to create a symbol to celebrate the youth of America, we should let youth create it.”

The winner (from over 4,000 entries) was 17-year-old Eagle Scout Philip Goolkasian of Fresno, CA. His reward? He got to work with famed designer Kit Hinrichs for the “final” design. Philip said he was at a football game when he started sketching ideas for the logo but left in the 3rd quarter because his idea was starting to gel. I am sure many of you who are artists know exactly what Philip was feeling.

“The way Philip worked the eagle into the BSA type using negative space and gave every element a distinct hierarchy was quite sophisticated,” Hinrichs said. “The kid has real talent!” Hinrichs suggested that Philip replace his serif font with Futura, and worked with him to tweak the final look.

Philip plans to study architecture in college. So far, he’s applied to Notre Dame and Catholic University, as well as schools in his home state: Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona.

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