COLUMBUS, Ohio – The creative expertise behind the Jesse Owens 75th Anniversary logo was Quinton Wash, who currently works as an Interactive Graphic Designer with The Ohio State University’s creative services team.
Wash was approached by Ohio State assistant athletics director T.J. Shelton to create the celebratory logo last October. When brainstorming about ideas, Wash wanted to create a logo that was simplistic, yet bold and eye-popping. But when viewed, it would represent the overall “class” in which the legendary Buckeye Bullet displayed throughout his career in addition to his excellence on the track. After several designs and renderings, the logo was finally decided on.
“The Jesse Owens 75th anniversary committee needed a design to serve as the official look for the weekend events and I knew Q was extremely talented and could provide the creative vision for the design,” Shelton said. “I basically put it in his hands, letting him use his creative vision for how he would best celebrate the life of Jesse Owens in developing the design.”
Wash used the ACaslon Regular font for the “J”. After liking what he saw, he proceeded to add the “O” with a cut down the middle, separating the “O” just enough for the “J” to fit in. He then added the “75” in the upper right with “Jesse Owens” spelled out at the bottom and the Jesse Owens logo was born. Seeking approval, he sought the opinion of the creative services team who fell in love with the look immediately.
“When I presented his material to the committee members, it was unanimous,” Shelton said. “His design captured the vision we had for the event. When you see the logo, sponsorship material and event program, without a doubt, Q excelled above and beyond what was expected.”
Once the logo was out of the way, it was time to put together a piece for the proposal for sponsors, including Nike, Key Bank and IMG. Wash wanted to continue in the same “classy” direction. Wash came upon a photo of Jesse Owens in a suit during his older years and lead with that. From there all that was left was to continue down the same path by compiling all the photos, highlighting him in professionally instead of him in a track uniform running.
“Since most imagery and logos have numerous effects placed on them before approval I decided that a two-tone look would be enough,” Wash said. “Normally, spelling the subjects name out would create the effect that I was looking for so I started there. After creating two versions I felt that what was presented was too easy and had already been done before. The second look was doing something with the initials of his names incorporating various fonts to see variety.”
Before long, the logo was appearing all over campus, around Columbus, on note cards and invitations while spreading throughout the internet and social media networks. It was also on display on two 25-foot banners at the Ohio Union, a flag at the Jerome Schottenstein Center, programs, digital presentations and even the banquet plates.
Columbus-based (by way of Dallas) Quinton P. Wash learned from his father what it takes to become a successful and respected businessman. Working under his father’s tutelage in the field of concert promotions, Quinton realized that among the most important tools a businessman needs are honesty, integrity, and talent.
With an undying desire to follow in his father’s footsteps as an entrepreneur, Quinton founded NicheOnline.net. At the start of his career, Quinton’s projects consisted of company logos and custom pages for members of BlackPlanet, an online community aimed at African-Americans. Since then—still with no formal training or design classes—Quinton has had the pleasure of adding to his portfolio such high-profile clients as comedian Rickey Smiley (from the Rickey Smiley Morning Show), Doug Banks and DeDe McGuire (from ABC Radio Networks), Paul Quinn College in Dallas, and the Ohio State University.
His progress is built on the foundation of those who gave him a head start in life: God, his mother, and his father.