The Carolina Rollergirls knew one of the dates they had at Dorton Arena was during the ‘Got to be NC’ festival, and so they decided to take that date and have an all-day derby event. Four visiting leagues will come to Raleigh.
I’ll switch point-of-view here since I’m one of the Carolina Rollergirls, and it feels weird to say, “they.” We knew we wanted our event to feel like part of the festival. I had a look at their logo.
I thought our event’s logo should reference the festival’s, but be uniquely roller derby. As I was discussing design ideas with my derby cohorts, we started having a closer look at the festival logo. In an email discussion on the name of the event I said, “Ok. I’ll start designing a logo with a sheep in a tent, a hot dog and a tractor wearing roller skates.” And that’s where the joking idea of a hot dog on roller skates started taking shape. Kelly (aka Lady Smackbeth) drew a quick sketch in MS Paint of what a hot dog on roller skates might look like.
There are times I get to have some fun designing for my day job, but it’s never as out there as derby design can be. That’s what makes my pro bono freelance gig so refreshing. When roller derby is at its best, silly and absurd is embraced. And even though I had, at first, dismissed the idea of a roller skating hot dog as just a joke among a few people, the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that a roller skating hot dog was perfect. It was so crazy, it was perfect. Even though Kelly’s Paint sketch was done for laughs, I did actually take some inspiration from it.
I was so hesitant to go full hot dog, that I tried a few different variations. One
approach I had was to make it look like the words ‘derby expo’ were stamped onto the name of the festival. However after trying that out a few ways, I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. And then I tried a completely different approach, starting like how I was taught back in college, working only in black and white first. I came up with a couple nice marks, but they just didn’t have the personality of the hot dog. By the time I showed my ideas to friend and fellow marketeer, Ed, the hot dog was already far more developed. It was pretty clear that I favored one.
And so that’s how the roller skating hot dog came about. I had so much fun drawing it that I wouldn’t have minded if it didn’t make the logo cut. I knew I was going to do something with that little guy, or girl?