The AIGA chapter of Alaska holds an annual statewide design competition and award ceremony titled The Big One. Each year the event is refreshed with a new concept, donated by a local creative outlet. I was honored to design the theme for the 2016 event.

I immediately started to draw inspiration from the title — “The Big One.” It had to convey “big,” not only in scale but also in personality. It also had to say Alaska. At this point, the solution was simple — “Let’s just personify all this into a mascot or something.” The execution, however, proved to be more complicated. Read more about the process.

The Solution – An anthropomorphic moose with an attitude, decked out in design references, set in a tiny landscape making him larger than life.

A real-life fully articulated model gave us a lot of versatility. We were able to pose him any way we wanted. Being able to place him in different scenarios interacting with various objects, made it super easy to illustrate a story.

This character is definitely a little rough around the edges, so I made a typeface to compliment that. The logo was hand-drawn as well. But, it was done in gold. After all, it is an award ceremony.

Hand-drawn type sample
Gold foil stamp

It was really important to tailor the message toward the graphic designers of AIGA Alaska. The artwork references a lot of the speakers who visited the state. We took to social media to tell the story.

The pattern on the hoodie was inspired by past works of Stefan Bucher.
The t-shirt was borrowed from Aaron Draplin’s Alaska state poster
The white felt letterforms were inspired by past projects of Debbie Millman.
The spiked club was influenced by the quote “Graphic design is a big fucking club with spikes in it, and I want to wield it” from James Victore.
The tattoo was ripped off from Jessica Hische.
The logo on the jeans was designed by Marc English for MARK Skateboards.

The theme extends to “The Best of Show” award as well. How can we illustrate that the winner caught The Big One? Let’s pretend the winner shot and mounted the mascot! I can’t think of an award that is more fitting for Alaska, than a big game trophy.


Client: AIGA Alaska. Trophy photo: Mark Meyer. Event photos: Shane Spencer of Ellipsis Photography.