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The teacher's online companion to Scholastic Art
the student magazine that brings together art history,
contemporary art and rich art-making experiences.

What elements of this logo represent Arizona?
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Image courtesy of LaneTerralever and Peter Schaer
Pete Schaer
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Image courtesy of LaneTerralever and Peter Schaer
Q&A with a Graphic Designer
Pete Schaer tells Scholastic Art about designing the logo for the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee

By Kimberly Taylor | for Scholastic Art

Scholastic Art: What is your job?
Pete Schaer: I am the creative director at an advertising, digital strategy, and marketing agency. I manage a team of designers who create commercials, product labels, banner ads on websites, outdoor signs, photo shoots, logos, and more. Basically, we invent new ideas for advertising.

SA: What was the first step for creating the Host Committee logo?
PS: The Super Bowl is taking place in Arizona. People often think of the traditional west when they think of Arizona. But the Host Committee wanted to convey a new image of Arizona through the logo. So I thought of keywords that express the new Arizona—modern and sophisticated—to create a concept for the logo.

SA: How did you design the logo?
PS: I made sketches with pencil on paper, playing with shapes. That way I could “fail fast”—or quickly figure out what worked and what didn’t—and get to the right shape faster. Logos have to work in many different formats. A logo might be huge on a billboard or very tiny on an app on a phone, so it should have a shape that will be recognizable and powerful at different sizes.

SA: How did you pick the colors?
PS: You can’t walk into a meeting with a client and say, “This is blue because I like the color blue.” You have to give specific reasons for every decision about a design, especially color. So keeping in mind the new brand for Arizona, we wanted to use colors that appear in the desert. So the blue in the logo represents the sky and the beautiful weather we have here. The red represents our gorgeous sunsets. The outlines are a dark brown-purplish color that represents the unusual color our mountains become in the evening.

SA: What skills do you need to be a successful creative director?
PS: You need to have a good understanding of both traditional advertising media (television commercials, print advertisements, and billboards) and digital advertising media. You also need to be a good communicator. You need to be able to communicate your ideas to your team, but also to your client. And, of course, you need to be good at design!

SA: What do you love most about your job?
PS: The people I work with! I like to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am. In most creative jobs, it’s all about sharing ideas and building on them.