Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


More BC – A Look At The Art Process

Former Buzzard artist Brian Chalmers had one of the most brilliantly creative minds I've ever known. In any person, that trait combined with a love for music means that we're going to be friends for life.

In 2002, I graduated and moved on from WMMS to a new job and plenty of new projects. This gave me the ability to think of the various talented folks I had worked with over the years, and I finally had new reasons and opportunities to work with my friends again, even though we were no longer in the same building.

I've enjoyed this part a lot, because in my mind, it gives me a way to give back a bit to those that helped me out so much when I was first starting out.

Brian was one of the first people I reached out to - we had a project that I knew he could really take to the next level with his great artistic skills. While we didn't connect on that particular project, eventually I had another opportunity (although it was more of a side project) and this time, Brian and I were able to connect.

My friend Rebecca reached out to me - as a member of the board of directors for the annual Minneapolis radio conference The Conclave. The Conclave was in need of a logo for the 2008 conference theme - "At The Crossroads."

Rebecca asked me "Do you know anyone?"

I told her that I knew just the guy, if he was available.

I got in touch with Brian, and gave him some limited guidance based on the few details that had been given to me. The design would incorporate the theme of "At The Crossroads," with an old-fashioned road sign featuring arrows pointing different directions, each arrow featuring a different broadcasting term. As an added touch, it was suggested that the graphic should incorporate a pair of headphones that look like "the classic headphones that every DJ in the business has a pair of."

Before I show you the initial results, I should back up a bit for a further bit of backstory:

When I suggested Brian as the person that could take care of their logo needs, I told Rebecca to tell this group (made up of largely rock radio veterans) that Brian was the guy that had spent many years drawing The Buzzard for WMMS here in Cleveland.

Easy sell, right?

Rebecca came back to me, and sheepishly reported that the board wanted to see some samples of his previous work.

"He drew the frikkin' Buzzard!" I joked with her. "There's your frikkin' example!"

I asked Brian, and he sent over some samples, and we quickly moved on.

Once we began work on the project, Brian sent over this sample featuring the elements of what we had asked for in the design, and added an element of his own, a little character he referred to as the "Broadcast Bean." (Note: the text/fonts were just examples and roughly placed)


Rebecca and I loved the Bean. LOVED it.

It was going to be a total slam dunk.

But the rest of the board wasn't as enthusiastic about the Bean. The design was more than what they were looking for - they wanted something a bit more simple than what had been presented.

Brian listened to their suggestions and feedback, and submitted this final design.

Take two.



Brian's final graphic looked fantastic on everything that it was used on - from web banner ads, to the program guide that was given out to every Conclave attendee.

There's another story for all of you, and another peek into the talented and extraordinary individual that was Brian Chalmers.

Scene Magazine has a great piece online now featuring some really nice reflections from former Scene editor Mark Holan - check that out here.

Also, After The Gig has a really nice page of links and information.

A memorial for Brian Chalmers will be held on Saturday morning - click here for the information on services.