What's In A Name?

What’s in a Name?

 

Culled from youthful adventures, the company moniker morphed from my formal name. Wi (William) B (Bricker) and Worx (modernized Works). After a side distraction into the corporate world, the first act of my professional designer life was spent building and running a small graphics business as a home-Dad. The second act has been a half-dozen “real” jobs for various companies, corporations, and institutions. The lesson learned over time: If you want less of me, you get it. The third act is, for lack of a better term, this stuff. Below is a partial list of the side-hustles that brought me here.

 

The Side Hustles

 

1989-91: TODData – The Life & Times of Todd Rundgren
Series biography co-written with Todd’s mother, Ruth Rundgren. Key concept was to produce the newsletter to collect names and addresses into a fan database. Albums would be paid for in advance via direct marketing eliminating the need for a label. Predictably, and unfortunately, label-reps rejected the idea.

 

1991: 20 Years of Something/Anything? – A Rolling Stone Tribute

Compile a list of donors forging as large an ad in Rolling Stone Magazine as possible. Result: 300 fans in a 3 column-inch classified. 70% of funds raised were spent reaching fans via mail lists and classified ads.

 

1992: Utopia Is Here

By-line for a t-shirt design series of which 3 were made over consecutive years. Shelved after legal hassles. Surely to re-emerge at some point.

 

2004: 30 Years of Todd: The Album – A Rolling Stone Tribute

Round two of the fan-sponsored ad model. 300 names, but this time a quarter-page, full-color ad. Improved internet advertising methods reduced project promotion costs to 30% of gross. Other expenses were offset by increased merchandise options.

 

2007: Rundgren Radio

Along with being the first on-air guest, developed logo and host of ancillary merch including official AWATS Live and Todd/Healing tour shirts. In addition, a commemorative shirt with faces of all participants in a special Boston event came to be.  Large-crowd, interactive design seeds planted.

 

2009: 40 Years of Todd in Rolling Stone

Approximately 850 fans paid for a half-page ad in the 40th Anniversary issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. Social media promotion and Rundgren Radio connections were big factors in reaching supporters more economically.

 

2010: Akron Fan Flash

2,000 fans participated in a large-scale design presentation in concert. Three different colors of paper were distributed strategically and held up during the show encore to create a message and display from the stage POV.

 

2011: Philadelphia Love Light Flash

During a concert following the death of long-time friend and musician Mark “Moogy” Klingman, fans used 700 colored glow bracelets to spell “LOVE” in an attempt to set the world record for largest illuminated crowd message. No officiants were present to confirm the count.

 

2012: 40 Years of Something/Anything? – A Rolling Stone Tribute

Similar results to the previous outing. After narrowly missing the full-page price-mark, retired from tributes.

 

2013: The Music Plays Forever!

Having hung up my guns from fundraisers using the name/image of the artist, the call came to support an article in Goldmine Magazine on the band Utopia. In desperation, the idea of drawing the fans was fronted to great success. The magic shift off the artist to what the artist sees was born. Full page turned to two-page spread, turned to giant banner, turned to full-scale poster featuring 200 fan faces.

 

2018: 5-OH: 50 Years of Our Hero

The second outing to depict fans supporting the artist’s career spanning five decades resulted in an amusement park full of clues to dozens of songs. And, for the first time: a jigsaw puzzle. Participates also receive a framed actual puzzle piece featuring their likeness to display in office or at home.

 

2019: Hotel California

The first attempt to branch out into boarder markets. Every lyric of the classic rock song is represented in the art and sponsored by a different fan or group of fans who likenesses are rendered into the design. Shirts, posters, and puzzles are all in production ready to roll out as the band tours the album for the first time in 2020. Two-page spread in Goldmine Magazine March Issue hits the streets in late January.