Image Courtesy: Oklahoma State Twitter
In today’s digital world, college football programs across the country have recognized the importance of their digital media presence. A Graphic Designer integrated with their social media team, has the ability to attracts recruits and attention from all over the country.
I have sought out and analyzed many college football programs and their social media accounts throughout the season, several standing out to me. The Oklahoma State Cowboys were one of those teams/programs. There is alot of noise to break through on both Twitter and Instagram. I am consistently drawn to their images based on design, meaning and color scheme. Underdog Sports recently connected with one of the designers who is responsible for creating some of this content. Big thanks to Forrest Buckner for shedding some light on the “how” and “why” behind some of the Cowboys content.
Nick Cipkus: You have produced some really great designs. How do you develop some of concepts?
Forrest Buckner: First of all, I want to say thank you. That means a great deal coming from someone who is looking at work across the country on a daily basis.
The first step was understanding my work doesn’t exist in a vacuum. This has been paramount in my growth and concept building as a designer. Understanding I am competing for attention amongst the clutter and noise forces me to visually articulate what is crucial to my visual message. I than do the following
- Decide on the tone of my design.
- Figure out how to satisfy branding challenges.
- Identify what is going to resonate with target audience.
After all of the mental work is done, it becomes all about implementing my look and feel. This is the most fun and rewarding part of the design process.
Nick Cipkus: What are your three favorite pieces of work? Why?
Forrest Buckner: “Another tough question. It seems my favorite pieces of work changes on a weekly or monthly basis. I go back and look at designs I created months ago and often times I see many flaws.
My most recent piece on our running back, Justice hill is currently my favorite (See below). At the time of this writing he is the Big 12’s leading rusher. I was pleased with my negative space as well as the cleanliness of the piece without it being boring.
My next favorite is in the same family of looks. This design includes one of our three WRs listed on the Biletnikoff Award watch list. In both of these I was trying to use full body shots while creating a semi realistic scene in this orange look. I have been trying to depict space and depth, still have a long ways to go but it’s a start.
My last third one would have to be the piece i did on our APR score. This was when i first started to stay with the very orange look. I also wanted to play heavily with typography. For an academic/institutional stat i felt this really captured an institutional feel while still having the recruiting/football edge.
Nick Cipkus: What are 2 keys to creating eye catching graphics?
Forrest Buckner: Two keys to creating eye catching graphics include typography and negative space. If you can master those two areas in design, the rest comes much more naturally. Both of these are tough disciplines, but to me executing these are what takes a good design and makes it great.
As you can see from above, the images designed by Forrest catch your eye. Which one of the three designs is your favorite? My favorite image is the three wide receivers who are on the Biletnekoff Watch List. Having three semi-finalists for the same award, from the same team, is very rare. Perfect opportunity to recognize this in the form of an image. I hope you are able to use some of the concepts used by Forrest when creating your next image/design.