A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words
He’s not an athlete, but the love of the games inspires his logo creations which are designed to communicate in meaningful ways.
By Donna Parker
John Hartwell, who received a degree in art from Trinity in 1991, loves athletics and relies on his graphic design talent to express his love of sports through the design of team logos.
"My clients are in need of visually compelling solutions," says this graphic design firm owner.
"Sports are something I always enjoyed even though I was the geeky kid who enjoyed watching from the sidelines," laughs John.
After attending the Portfolio Center, a graphic communication school based in Atlanta, John settled into the area and set up his own business, or as he calls it, "the find your own clients route!"
"Nobody really teaches you how to run a business when you major in art. So, I did what I always do - research, research, research. It's the same principle I apply to the initial process of designing sports logos. The more you know, the better the end result will be. Good design has something intentional to say and you can't know that without uncovering all there is to know about your target audience."
His business website is www.hartwellstudioworks.com and his firm has been commissioned by the Australian Rugby Union, Atlanta International School, and the Birmingham Barons, an AA farm team for the White Sox.
"If graphic design is at the intersection of art and commerce and branding is about helping create and sustain an emotional response to a brand, then the sports market offers the most intense of emotional experience," says John who continues with a smile, "and besides that - working in the space is a great deal of fun!"
When not hard at work at his drafting table, John is very involved with his church parish and the Catholic Archdiocese in Atlanta. He also teaches at the Portfolio Center and that certainly relates back to his Trinity days.
"I was told by the Portfolio Center's head of design that when I teach, it will impact my personal and professional life and that is 100 percent true. And Bill Bristow, department of art, was a phenomenal mentor at Trinity - encouraging and generous with his time. Much of what I teach is based on Bill's teaching talent. It's how I learned to teach creative arts."
"Char Miller, department of history, was also very influential in my life. He was so enthusiastic about history and we both found the same things interesting in American history. The way he engaged his students made the proverbial light bulb go off in my head."
John, who just secured a competitive bid to design for the Franciscan University of Steubenville, is focused on creating a logo with a strategic messaging objective. That and spending time with his girlfriend have led to a very fulfilling life.
"I am grateful for my opportunities, optimistic for what is yet to come and I just love what I do!"
You may contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org.