Young Adult Southern (YAS) Book Con 2018
The Young Adult Southern (YAS) Book Con is an annual event in Warren County, Kentucky that celebrates and encourages reading in middle grade children, teens, and young adults. The event typically features 30-50 authors of books for these young readers, who sign books, lead workshops, and participate in panel discussions. Books are also available for purchase through Barnes & Noble Booksellers.
The event is made possible by a partnership between Barnes & Noble, the Warren County Public Library, and the Western Kentucky University Libraries.
As the designer for the WKU Libraries, I created a versatile, multi-platform suite of design materials to promote and facilitate the event.
The Book Fest Partners promoted the event digitally and in print. We posted posters and fliers in local schools and in both the university and public libraries, as well as advertisements in the local city and and campus newspapers and a popular regional magazine.
For the 2018 event, I completely rethought the look and feel of the design materials to reflect the importance of social media for young readers. Instead of displaying book covers of participating authors as a cloud or simply in a line, I arranged them in columns in a large, open space to resemble a scroll-able photo grid, such as on Instagram, Snapchat, or Pinterest. I also focused on a clean typeface and graphics, and revamped the basic blue/yellow/orange color scheme of the previous year to be more vibrant and artistic.
Much of the young target audience for this event is very active on social media, so we knew it was important to grab their attention with bright, engaging posts. We focused much of our promotions on Instagram, while also remaining active on Twitter and Facebook as well.
In addition to design materials inviting people to participate in the Book Con in the weeks leading up, I also designed a set of materials to help facilitate the event on the day of.
This included directional signs and signs with session schedules, which had to be simple yet congruently designed so that readers could recognize they were official YAS informational signs.
Another big hit with the young readers was the pinback button station. I created dozens of original designs--from popular memes to visualizations of panel topics (such as "Fantastical Worlds" or "Epic Landscapes") to my own original artwork (the cartoon burger design being among the top 3 most popular of all)--and these designs were printed out on paper circles that young readers could bring to the button machine and press themselves in seconds.