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Bermudian talent creates medal design success

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Triangle Challenge medals: some of the Strata-G team played a part in the concept for the Bermuda Triangle Challenge medals. From left is Avarie Graham; Anna Laura Hocking, wearing the four triangle medals that come together with magnets to form a larger triangle; and Francesca Rowlinson

Bermudian graphic artists and marketing talent came together to create a memorable memento for participants in The Royal Gazette Bermuda Triangle Challenge.A set of four medals issued to those who completed the Challenge miniseries of road races at the weekend were all triangle shaped and featured Bermudian-inspired images.But that’s not all.Because strategically placed magnetic grooves on the edges of the medals meant that, once put in the correct order, they clicked together to form one larger triangle.The design and unusual concept was dreamt up and turned into reality thanks to a team effort.Bermudians Anna Laura Hocking, of Strata-G, and Domico Watson, a freelance graphic designer with an international portfolio of work, had key roles in the process.The “four triangles into one” idea was first sketched out by Ms Hocking, who leads Hamilton-based marketing, advertising and creative agency Strata-G. She is also part of the Bermuda Triangle Challenge committee, which organised the weekend running festival that was formerly known as the Bermuda Marathon Weekend.Explaining the idea for the magnetically connecting medals, she said: “It came about because it was rebranded as the Bermuda Triangle Challenge, so the new logo is the shape of a triangle“One of the goals of revamping the branding is to market this to people overseas. People like to have a runcation, where there’s more than one race. So we are really pushing the triangle part of it.“I came up with the triangle design, because I knew there were four medals, and when you divide up a triangle you can get four triangles out of it.”Challenge entrants are awarded a medal for completing the Butterfield Front Street Mile, BF&M 10K and either the PwC Bermuda Marathon or Half-Marathon. The fourth medal signifies completion of the three races in three days.It was at a committee meeting that the concept for the medals took shape.“We were just playing around and pushing the triangle thing, so I sketched it out on a piece of paper and divided a larger triangle into four smaller triangles.“We did not know if it was feasible or not, so we went to a few different medal vendors to see if it would be feasible.“I was thinking of it being puzzle pieces or magnets, but they came back and said [connecting with] magnets would be the best.”Avarie Graham, lead graphic artist at Strata-G, was another of those who volunteered to help make the Bermuda Triangle Challenge a success. She created the “runner in a triangle” logo design that appeared on Challenge promotional items, including T-shirts and jackets. The image also features in a corner of each medal.Each medal has an eye-catching design. Ms Hocking said: “There was something Bermudian on each of the pieces. The team all made suggestions for the medals, such as the longtail, and the Bird Cage for the Front Street Mile, and then Domico drew up the designs.”Mr Watson is an accomplished freelance graphic designer who has worked in the entertainment world and been involved with corporations such as Walt Disney and Turner Network Television.He said: “I have to shout out and thank the Strata-G marketing agency, in particular Anna Laura Hocking.“They approached me to join the [event] marketing team in general, and they spearheaded the rebrand in terms of the logo, reaching out to social media.“They asked if I could tackle the medals. I did the illustrations, which were mostly a rough design, but they were pretty much what ended up being used on each of the medals.“They said ‘these are the medals’, and nothing from that point was heavily changed.”When he saw the finished medals, and how they connected to form a larger triangle, he said: “Wow!”He added: “The funny story is I thought it was just the rough designs that I did at first, and then to see them as the finished medal. I was happy that those guys ran with it from the get-go.“The Gombey and the fish got switched out, but the other medals were entirely the original illustrations that I threw in there.“And then designing the medals’ pink outline on blue. When I saw the [medal] company was able to produce it and make it blue, that was perfect.“I loved Strata-G’s designs for the blue and pink from the get-go.”He also helped design the route maps, and with some of the layout on the T-shirts.Mr Watson, is the son of Bermuda’s former Olympic 800m runner Michael Watson, and Donna Raynor, president of the Bermuda National Athletic Association. He is also a runner, and was fourteenth overall, and fourth local in the half-marathon at the weekend. That meant he collected one of the medals he designed, and a triangle trophy, which he had a hand in designing.He recently moved back to Bermuda, having been based in London for a number of years. He is still doing bits of work for film and TV studios. He assisted with the title sequence for Golden Globe winner Succession, and has done design work for this year’s Underwater movie, which stars Kristen Stewart.However, at the moment he is primarily focused on work connected with the Carifta Games, which Bermuda hosts in April.“I’m somewhat of a freelancer. I’m doing a lot of stuff for the Carifta Games. I’m in charge of marketing and also did the medals. I designed the Instagram, Facebook and website pages,” he said.Regarding his international work for studios, he said he is talking to companies who want him to jump on board, “but up until April, Carifta is going to be my big push”.Ms Hocking said: “Domico was great, he came on in a volunteer capacity. We had two graphic designers in a volunteer capacity, the other was Avarie who works for me. So we divvied the tasks out between them.”The weekend races attracted more than 1,000 competitors, with hundreds of those arriving from overseas. Volunteers played a major role in making the event happen.Ms Hocking said: “This event could not be run without lots of volunteers. I had a volunteer marketing committee, there were volunteer race committees for each race, and a volunteer sponsorship committee.”She also thanked the police, Corporation of Hamilton, sponsors and other organisations that played a role to ensure the 45-year-old event, which ended on Sunday, enjoyed another successful year. As for the medals, and what might happen next year, Mr Watson said: “Everyone is in love with that triangle, so I don’t see anything being different in terms of us not creating a triangle in future, but maybe the design could get brushed up a little bit.”While Ms Hocking said: “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback; everyone seemed to love it.“Some people live for the medals, and Bermuda has traditionally had nice medals. We had the lionfish medals and they were all really nicely done. I hope that is a tradition that we can continue.”

Design winner: Domico Watson, the freelance graphic artist who created designs for the Bermuda Triangle Challenge medals, and also helped with design work on the trophies. He won one of the trophies after setting a lifetime best in Sunday’s PwC Bermuda Half-Marathon (Photograph supplied)
four Bermuda Triangle Challenge medals connected together by magnets to form a large triangle (Photograph by Scott Neil)
four Bermuda Triangle Challenge medals that, when lined up correctly, connect magnetically to form a larger triangle (Photograph by Scott Neil)