One of the country’s iconic festivals, California Roots, knew where to find the kind of talent needed to bring fresh designs reflective of the event’s peace and love vibes for creating official merchandise. The choice could only be Creative Allies, a place where brands, bands, and more go for creating winning designs at large scope while generating intense levels of fan engagement.
How did we develop these capabilities? It might have something to do with our own roots in the East Coast festival scene, starting in the arts mecca of Asheville, NC. We understand the festival scene, where fans escape to strange and wonderful sights and sounds. In the case of California Roots, that fan experience captures the laid-back California culture and lifestyle.
California Roots—taking place in late May—sought out the Creative Allies community with a simple request—creating envelope-pushing apparel designs for the festival’s official merchandise store. With just a few restrictions, California Roots unleashed the creative force of our design community, generating more than 200 eye-popping designs and 70,000 fan impressions during the contest.
According to campaign manager Phil Chamberlain, the openness of the people of California Roots was the key to unlocking the merch contest’s success. “With many of our contests, especially those in television and film, there are by necessity more stipulations, more dos and don’ts that our designers have to follow,” said Chamberlain. “And while placing restraints on creatives does tend to generate great output within a limited scope, the willingness to define California Roots’ values in more abstract terms allowed our community to create a much wider space for relating to the festival visually.”
California Roots isn’t alone in generating this level of designer and fan excitement. Earlier this year, Creative Allies ran successful projects with Austin’s Euphoria festival and the venerable Vans Warped Tour. In the case of the Warped Tour, Creative Allies designers stepped up to the unique challenge of designing stage banners. “Even when faced with designing for a much larger-scale medium like stage-wide and tall banners, 150 designers stepped up to the challenge, creating a huge win for the Warped Tour,” said Chamberlain.
Wherever the festival, the Creative Allies community of designers is ready to capture the sights, sounds, and culture in meaningful, evolving ways, whether it’s T-shirts, posters, or banners.