Visual Communications Alum Honored for His Tulsa International Mayfest Designs

Visual Communications Alum Honored for His Tulsa International Mayfest Designs

Sara Plummer
Visual Communications Alum Honored for His Tulsa International Mayfest Designs

Bryan Cooper, OSU Institute of Technology School of Visual Communications alumnus, has once again been recognized for his design work for arts and music festival Tulsa International Mayfest.

The International Festivals & Events Association honored Cooper, who is associate creative director at AcrobatAnt advertising agency in Tulsa, during its annual IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards in September. Cooper won the Silver award for his 2015 ad series for Mayfest.

Cooper first began working with Mayfest organizers when he was chosen to be the Mayfest poster artist in 2006. Since then he has designed ad campaigns, T-shirts, music posters and visitor guides, and a number of his designs have also earned accolades from IFEA.

It’s always great to be recognized for what you love to do. What’s even better is that it makes the client happy, he said. I love Mayfest because it encompassed two of my favorite worlds: design and art.

Heather Pingry, executive director of Mayfest, said Cooper has done so much for the festival including redesigning the logo in 2011 and creating a Gold award-winning ad campaign for the festival’s 40th anniversary in 2012.

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“The IFEA Pinnacle awards feature the best of the best in the festival world, and not just the arts festival world. We’re competing against events from all over the world,” Pingry said. “It’s incredible for Tulsa and Mayfest to be recognized on an international level. We couldn’t do it without people like Bryan that donate countless hours to make Mayfest and Tulsa better.”

Every year, Cooper is tasked with maintaining Mayfest’s brand identity while also bringing something new to the design.

“When it comes to Mayfest branding, consistency is key. We’ve been fortunate to have the same logo the last few years, which builds brand equity,” he said. “When the brand has equity you can let the art come first— those new elements that keep it fresh— and let the branding be secondary.”

Last year Cooper kept it fresh when he worked with his father, Phil Cooper, who was chosen as the 2014 poster artist. The two collaborated on last year’s T-shirt design.

“It’s always a joy to work with my dad. He’s the one that made me want to get in the design business in the first place. It’s great to share the honor of being Mayfest poster artists with my dad,” he said. “We are very similar in the way we think, but different in our styles, which is good. I think all artists need to find they’re own style and voice.”

Cooper plans to continue offering his style and voice to Mayfest in the coming years.

Bryan is one of the best designers and artists I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with, Pingry said. Through his work, Mayfest now has a more professional, yet fun brand. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with him.