CCAD students make their marks on Columbus Arts Festival merch

Alma Kim 2019 Columbus Arts Fest shirt

Two Columbus College of Art & Design Student Agency employees have created tee-riffic designs for the 2019 Columbus Arts Festival.

Yi Fei (Yiffy) Gu (Illustration, 2019) and Eun-Ji (Alma) Kim (Animation, 2020) designed T-shirts and tote bags that will be sold at this year’s Arts Fest, which runs from Friday, June 7, through Sunday, June 9.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council wanted to have a line of cool, family-friendly festival merchandise that included T-shirts, tote bags, and other items for sale, said GCAC Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Events Jami Goldstein.

“Yiffy’s work was so fun and colorful. It really stood out because it was different than what we have done in the past and really, our whole staff just fell in love with it,” she said.

Alma Kim 2019 Columbus Arts Fest shirt

Gu said the whimsical monsters in her design (which will cost $20 for an adult-sized tee, $15 for a youth-sized tee, and $15 for a tote) were inspired by the Arts Fest crowds. “All kinds of people gather and enjoy the art,” she said. “I always believe art people—both people who make art and people who love art—are unique. The different monsters represent the diversity of artists and people in the art festival, and the bright color conveys the playful atmosphere and fun environment.”

Kim’s design, a retro design that was inspired by the tables and booths at the Arts Festival, is being produced in partnership with Homage.

Kim, who designed the 2018 Art Shark-themed Arts Festival T-shirts for children, said she developed her new design, which will cost $25, by “playing around with 2D depth.”

“It’s less representative and more symbolic,” she said, adding that the colors she chose are intended to feel happy, optimistic, and energetic.

Homage doesn’t typically work with outside designers, but made an exception in this instance, said Goldstein, who said Homage founder Ryan Vesler and his company have been great partners with GCAC and the entire community.

Goldstein said Kim’s work seemed like a perfect match for Homage’s aesthetic.

“We really liked Alma’s design and it was fitting with the kind of shirts that Homage likes to produce. After she designed what turned out to be the youth shirt in 2018, we wanted to reward her with the Homage shirt. Ryan agreed, and here we are!” she said.

Partnerships with community and educational institutions are important to the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Arts Festival and we’ve worked hard over the past decade to strengthen these in all directions,” Goldstein said. “We love working with CCAD—the professionalism of the staff and the energy and creativity of the students is wonderful!”

Gu said is grateful for the nod from GCAC. “It’s a real-world client for me,” she said.

In addition to Kim and Gu’s merchandise designs, a number of CCAD grads will be selling their work at the festival, and the Virtual Reality Tent presented by White Castle features work by Animation Chair and Associate Professor Charlotte Belland (Advertising & Graphic Design 1997), too. Learn more about the 2019 Columbus Arts Festival or apply to CCAD here.