Over the last four decades, the Metro Youth Football Association has made a major impact on thousands of young lives in the Cedar Rapids area. The league, which has grown to include 52 fall and 48 spring teams for athletes in grades one through eight, is an educational and recreational association that promotes character-building and life-long interest in sport.
This year the organization is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the help of a FUEL-designed logo and identity that captures the long-term quality and significance of the program.
For the last nine years, FUEL designers have donated their talents to create an annual Metro Youth Football program cover that projects the energy and caliber of the popular league. The program includes pictures and information about teams and participants, as well as the league’s schedule, leadership, activities and roll call of supporters. FUEL also designs a matching back cover that highlights the winner of the annual scholarship awarded by the league to a deserving alumnus.
— James Franta
“The book is a fundraiser and the main way we promote Metro Football,” says long-time organizer James Franta, a teacher at Harding Middle School. “Our goal is to sell as many as possible, so we’re looking for some sort of ‘wow’ factor.” That was especially important this season, as the league marks its 40th year.
Franta, who describes the 40th-anniversary logo as “a symbol of the strength and longevity of the organization,” says it builds on the bold Super Bowl-style look created by FUEL for the league’s 35th anniversary. “The FUEL guys never go backwards; they always improve. They’re very creative and they do wonderful work. People see the cover and say, ‘Wow. I’ve got to have one of these.’ It’s the first impression that sells the book to the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.” The 40th anniversary logo is also on the league’s Web site and will be featured on its trophies, participants’ photos, and a newspaper ad announcing this year’s scholarship winner.
Sales of the program book have grown from 300 the first year to nearly 1,300 copies of the 40th-anniversary edition, Franta reports. “I can’t give FUEL enough accolades. These guys really give us a polished image. They donate this year in and year out, and I’m just in awe of their talent.”
Bill Bollman is FUEL’s Creative Director. Before co-founding FUEL in 2001, he worked for Horizon Communications, JW Morton and Basler Design Group. Bill studied Illustration at Hawkeye Tech in Waterloo, Iowa. An expert in the “old ways” of hands-on print production, these skills influence his work in the digital world to this day. His work throughout his career has been featured in international publications including Graphis, How International Design, Communication Arts, and The One Book as well as numerous design annuals and reference books.