07.23.13

Friends of Black Rock – High Rock celebrates their landscape with a new design

B-ROCK-H-ROCK-logo-cmyk-CS5How did a mountain lion become the new iconic logo for Friends of Black Rock – High Rock? The organization began its search for an artist to create fresh iconic imagery to fully represent the unique landscape they have stewarded since 1999. The wildlife, cultural history and natural resources provide the backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, OHV riders, campers, hikers, rock climbers, rocketeers and Burning Man attendee,s which makes up the active users and Friends membership list. As the organization is getting ready for it’s 15th anniversary, it was ready for new branding.

Friends of Black Rock’s Executive Director, Karen Dallett, recently contacted longtime friend Michael Schwab, an internationally known graphic artist to consider a project: How could the Black Rock-High Rock region, and the friends that care about the region, be better represented visually?

Being devoted to Schwab’s style, which focuses on the interplay of positive and negative space, she knew had always been drawn to his strong and simple style. Dallett says, “Michael has the unique ability to stop time and engage audiences with his resonant images. He offers up a quiet pause that is thoughtful, lasting, and sustainable. He was perfect for this project.”

The Friends’ Board of Directors agreed that Schwab was the man to freshly brand the conservation work of Friends in northern Nevada’s challenging landscape. Born and raised in Ardmore, Okla., Schwab worked cattle on horseback at his grandfather’s ranch, and spent many youthful days fishing, and hunting. Establishing an early appreciation and respect for the land, he embraces his heritage through heroic and meaningful portrayals of the people and places that typify the American West. Committed to recording and recounting a shared American experience, he agreed that this particular Nevada landscape held something within it that he wanted to discover. He set to work creating the first of three images.

Schwab skillfully captured something exciting out of the Black Rock Desert – High Rock Canyon in the mountain lion. This populous species in the NCA represented something mysterious, spoke to American freedom, the unknown and cautious exploration.

Using the mountain lion against a dark sky and full moon marks the mystery of the area and was the perfect first image for the series. Schwab created the acclaimed prints for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and his award-winning posters, logos, and advertising images include Nike, Polo, Mondavi, Wells Fargo, Amtrak, Sundance, Pebble Beach, the San Francisco Opera, Muhammad Ali, and Turner Classic Movies. Now, Friends of Black Rock – High Rock strengthens its brand for generations to come. The second poster will be unveiled in the winter of 2013.

Find out more about Friends of Black Rock – High Rock and their noteworthy conservation work, education programming and citizen science projects.

Friends Visitor Center: 320 Main Street, Gerlach, NV; 775.557.2900, info@blackrockdesert.org