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Design Suite for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest 2018

Southern Kentucky (SOKY) Book Fest 2018
Event Design Suite

The SOKY Book Fest is an annual literary convention held in Bowling Green, Kentucky with the intention of connecting the public to a love of reading. Free to attend and open to the public, the event features a signing room where readers can meet over 100 authors of all genres and age groups, attend author panels, participate in workshops, purchase books, and more!
The Book Fest is presented by a partnership between the Western Kentucky University (WKU) Libraries, the Warren County Public Library, and Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

As the WKU Libraries graphic designer, I created a comprehensive set of design materials to promote the event before hand and for use on the day of the event. These materials included social media graphics, posters, fliers, digital signs, name tags for authors, bookmarks, an informational tabloid, and much more.
The Book Fest is a big event, highlighting the works of over 140 authors in 2018, so designing materials for it presented the big challenge of collaborating with so many authors, as well as the many parties that contributed to the event's organization.


11x17 inch promotional poster (left), 8.5x11 inch promotional flier (upper right), and digital sign for use in library buildings (lower right)

Promotional Materials
In the weeks leading up to the Book Fest, I created and distributed fliers, posters, digital signs, social media graphics, yard signs, and bookmarks. 
Each year, I revamped the overall style for the event materials to echo the design trends of the book covers for that year. Across the 2018 book selection, I noted a large number of gritty, dark, and/or intense cover designs and storylines, so I reflected this with a rough, grunge style, in sharp contrast to previous years' designs. However, I maintained the tradition of bright colors to keep the materials recognizable as the Book Fest.
Front of the 2018 bookmark, handed out at library locations (left); back of the 2018 bookmark (center); 1/4-page advertisement appearing in the SOKY Happenings, a local magazine (right); digital banner advertisement appearing on the website of the College Heights Herald, a local newspaper (below).

Informational Tabloid
In the weeks leading up to the event, I designed a 28-page print tabloid, containing a list of all authors who planned to attend, a description of each author's book, feature stories on headlining authors, and information about the event, such as the signing floor map and panel schedules.
The tabloid was intended to promote the event, make potential attendees aware of which authors would be at the event, and also to serve as a reference for attendees when they arrived at the venue.
Because of the high volume of authors and information, the tabloid was the most ambitious projects for the marketing team and required extensive collaboration.

Materials for Use at the Event
Materials such as signs and name tags were also crucial to help the event run smoothly.
I designed directional signs, digital announcement signs, name tags to identify authors and volunteers, table tents to mark each author's signing table and seat at panel discussions, and informational handouts for use on the day of the event.
From left: a handout with book descriptions and author bios for authors attending the Friday Teen and Children's Day session; example of a table tent on an author's signing table; example of an author name tag; a digital announcement sign thanking the event's sponsors

Photos from the Event
The main session of the Book Fest took place on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Carol Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky. All of the participating authors signed books and talked with readers at tables in the main signing hall, and panel discussions and workshops took place throughout the day.
Teen and Children's Day, a smaller session featuring authors of books for young readers, took place on Friday, April 20.
Below are photos from the Saturday session. Photography by Bryan Lemon, Isaac Russell, and Jennifer Wilson (Communications Coordinator for WKU Libraries).
From top left: Author Emmy Laybourne speaks at a panel discussion alongside other female authors; award-winning teen authors Virginia Stewart and Bella Wahbeh sit at their signing table; author and illustrator Phil Bildner engages with young attendees at a workshop during the Friday Teen and Children's Day session; a side view of the main signing room; Headlining author Loren Long signs a book for a young reader

Young attendees paint help paint a mural in the Knicely Conference Center
Design Suite for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest 2018

Design Suite for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest 2018

A comprehensive set of design materials to promote and facilitate the Southern Kentucky Book Fest 2018, an annual event where readers from across Read More