Branding – The Great Southern Tailgate Cook-Off

For this post we’re going to take a trip down memory lane. This post  will be a little different than the rest of the posts will be. Mainly in the fact, it’s looooooooong. I will spend more time discussing what went on each year behind the branding and design for this annual festival on Amelia island.

The Great Southern Tailgate Cook-Off and that damned pig…

From 2012-2104 that pig ruled my life from January till March, then he would attack in August. Now while I might say all that with a little salt, it by no means takes away from how much I enjoyed working on this project each year. This is pretty high up there on the list of achievements. I mean hey, its got a few things going for it.

1- It’s barbecue, I love that.
2- It’s a festival, I love those.
3- I got paid yo, I looove that.

So enough banter(trust me the recipe pages will not be like this) let’s get on with the process and where it all begins.

The pig and the logo re-work.

Well, its pretty basic, but there is a bit of a theme behind each year. The helmet color changes to match the team colors of the winning team from the most recent Gator Bowl. This was because this event was tied in with a Gator Bowl Sweepstakes Event that occurred later in the year. the rest of the pageantry is there because its what the Amelia Island Tourist Council asked for. Want a dread pirate pig in a football helmet? OK.

The Situation

Well, ole piggy couldn’t just be floating around with his feet all chopped off, so he had to be put in a situation. This process kinda varied each year.

The first year, he was going to be a pirate pig in a pirate ship in the ocean, the tourist council knew exactly what they wanted. That’s What they got.

The Second year(2013), which will be featured most in this post, worked totally different. They just wanted piggy in some shades and they asked me to pitch a few drafts of some Amelia Island themed piggy’s situation. I submitted a pig in a kayak, a pig  in the marsh by a lighthouse and a pig on a hammock. Pig on a hammock won. But easy turbo, it ain’t quite that simple, we will come back to this pig in a hammock later.

The Third year they knew they wanted piggy in a shrimp boat, with no bling on piggy. They allowed me to deviate from traditional “branding requirement of the tourist council” and go my own way with how we presented the entire thing. I think it was the best year of all, sadly the festival ended after that year. I’ll write more on that particular festival later on some time.

This is the final draft of the piggy in a hammock. This bad boy’s scaled and skewed and plastered on everything to street banners to oven mits to lapel pins. I mean they really sold it all this BBQ Festival.
In closing out this section I wanna talk about that hoof, that hoof holding gator bowl coconut, that fantastic three pronged Pina Colada caressing hoof, that hoof gave me fits, ugh, way too long of a story for this post.  Maybe one day I will write about it, if so it will be titled “Board of Directors.” Fellow designers can probably smell what I’m stepping in right about now.

The Manipulation

Well, the backbone of the project is nailed down so from here I basically make a few varieties of the image for various types of merchandise, print and advertisements. Below are some examples.

This is an example of the version used for print on the back of the 2013 festival t-shirts.
This is the manipulation for a 2012 lamppost banner flag.

And here it is printed and hanging on my wall.

Some of the designs were quite large. I did 18 foot wide banners to hang across streets. Banners to hang over the entryway to all the event tents and banners for the stage. All were super high resolution. Here’s a photo of the 2013 sponsor banner on the stagefront.

Posters, musicians, branding, branding, branding… Below is the standard size poster for the 2013 festival. There were multiple size variations of the poster each year.  Lots of requirements and such in these, especially when you throw in having to work a musical artists’ branding guidelines into the branding guidelines of the festival.

It’s tricky keeping everyone happy.

You’d be very surprised just how particular some artists’ or businesses’ can be about logos or headlines or photo sizes or measurements  and how they must be presented in comparison to another artists’ or businesses’ logos or headlines or photo sizes or measurements. Did that sentence structure give you a headache? Good I wanted you to really feel the depth of what I’m saying here. For real, I’m talking pixels here people! Pixels!
For real though headaches aside I could never replace the value or experience I got working on a project of this scale.

The Lapel

The last piece of design and merchandise I want to show is the lapel pin.  This is definitely my favorite souvenir from the festivals and a favorite among the competitors which is very cool cause there were some big names at these festivals as in Brad Orrison, Myron Mixon, the BBQ Pitmasters, and many more. Who knows maybe one of my designs is sitting in one of their curio cabinets. Below are the designs printed on the pins in all their glory.

The Attack

While it may seem like the middle phase has the most work to it, it also has the most time available. All those designs were done over the course of 6 months. But the week of the event was epic on all fronts. Super Fun, Super Busy, Super Hot.

Each year I would install a streaming webcam in the middle of the park face it toward the ocean,  connect it to their website and stream it non-stop throughout the entire festival.

First I would meet the power company at the beach and they would put up a pole with power to it for me. Then they would mount my camera on top of the ople for me as they would not allow me to ride up in the bucket or play with the electricity. Bummer.  They would also run power for all the event trailers, competitors and vendors while they were there.

Then I would meet AT&T at the beach, have them run a phone line form the street to my power pole and from the power pole to my trailer. I would have them install a router in my trailer and in a lock box i mounted on the side of the power pole.

Then I’d make it all work and get ready for the festival. During the festival I would monitor the live stream and post to social media all from the event site. Generally when something went wrong with the stream it was due to overheating, which tends to happen to beachfront electronics during August in Florida. This being the case it was important I was on site throughout the entire event so I could fix a problem ASAP, should one arise.

For this last photo I’ll share a picture of me using the iPad to take a picture of myself with the streaming webcam. That’s me in the bright blue shirt way down there. Legit.