I need to start this post by apologizing to the subject, as Rick is a remarkably humble fellow. Sorry, Rick; we just couldn’t help ourselves.
If you subscribe to the HoliBlog, you also receive our news releases. If so, you’ve already seen that we recently honored 14 of our full-timers for their collective 210 years of service. More than two centuries!
At the head of the class is Rick Emmons, our graphic artist. He’s the guy who designs our logos and murals and creates signage for the park.
You know, like this one:
Yes, that’s Rick (along with Kyle) affixing the huge Thunderbird logo to the front of the barn, er … station.
Logos aren’t easy to design
It’s not just a sit-down-and-draw situation. There are many steps. And many opinions.
Here are just a few of the versions that Rick patiently created for us, starting with an early sketch:
Playing with colors and styles …
Getting closer to the final look …
I asked Matt for a few words about Rick: Considering that my finest piece of artwork is a glorified stick man, to see what Rick produces is amazing. Rick truly is an artist, in every sense of the word. There has yet to be a time I have requested a design that what he came back with was not only exactly what I envisioned, but so much more. In addition to this talent, he is one of the most kind and humble men I have ever known. We at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari are blessed beyond measure to have him as part of our family.
You may have noticed that several “news clippings” are posted within the Thunderbird station, each with a nod to a longtime employee.
Andrea, our Print Shop Manager, has a memory to share: Many years ago my husband told me that when they were in high school, Rick used his own car to practice airbrushing techniques. When he was tired of the design he would repaint the car and start from scratch. When I saw Rick at work the next day I asked him about the story. He joked that it wasn’t a fast car, but the flames he painted gave it the illusion of being fast. We joked that regardless of the historical inaccuracy maybe he should add flames to our Lewis & Clark antique cars to give them the illusion of being fast.
Speaking of many years ago, here’s a feature story from 1991, showing something else Rick created:
Tom, our Carpenter Shop Manager, remembers Rick’s early work, too: What most people don’t know about Rick – in his earlier years (say his rocker years) – was all the murals that he used to paint on cars; it was like a showcase on cars! Wish I had some of them to show you!
Now with all this praise, you’re probably expecting this post to end with a retirement announcement.
Not a chance!
Rick’s just hitting his stride
In fact we can’t wait to show you the 70th Birthday logo he designed for the park’s 2016 season!
Our humble artist, Rick, is probably shaking his head (if he even forces himself to read this) at the thought of all this attention. And to that, I can’t help but say, “Well, Rick – at least we didn’t name a shop after you, right?”
Congratulation to Rick on his first 40 years with us. Do you have a favorite logo, mural or sign at the park?
Please post your thoughts below.
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My favorite murals are the ones in Mrs. Kringle’s cafe. They are from my favorite Christmas book as a child, and I have never seen them anywhere else! No one has even heard of my book, “Jolly Old Santa Claus.” When we first took our kids to Holiday World years ago and discovered those particular murals, I couldn’t believe it; and I know this will sound corny, but I was filled with wonder. I hope you never update them to anything more modern. They are so magical.
I Remember your Car, with the moon painted on it! And your interpretations of Frazetta paintings!!