After seven days and nearly 500 miles, thousands of RAGBRAI bicyclists will finally dip their front tires in the Mississippi River on Saturday, July 28. A Clinton Community College student has designed a logo to commemorate this event, the first time the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa will wrap up in Clinton since 2004.
Chad Kimmer, a 2008 Clinton High School graduate and current CCC student, submitted the winning logo, which will be printed on T-shirts, advertisements and other promotional materials as RAGBRAI approaches. Kimmer created the design, which bears the slogan “Where the Rubber meets the River,” after his Graphic Arts teacher had been approached for design ideas.
“He said that the city had come to him looking for an emblem for RAGBRAI,” Kimmer said. “I kind of jumped on it. I thought it would be cool. Something for my portfolio.”
The design features a bicycle tire merged with a paddle wheel from an old boat. Kimmer said that his design combines the enthusiasm cyclists feel for their sport with some of the iconic imagery from the area.
“I immediately thought of the tire and the paddle wheel and the waves,” he said. “That’s kind of a Clinton image.”
Some of the design elements had been mandated, according to Kimmer. The red, white and blue color set, and the slogan were required elements for the logo. Kimmer said he met these requirements and took his design a step further by using the exact color shades used in the city’s official emblem.
Clinton RAGBRAI committee member Francie Hill said that her group had multiple designs to choose from after soliciting help from local graphic design students. But Kimmer’s submission stood out, she said. He was able to use all of the required design elements.
“We like the way it was able to combine the spokes of the bike with the (paddle) wheel, bringing them both together,” Hill said. “...(Kimmer) was able to incorporate it into something artistic.”
The design was created with Adobe Illustrator, and it took Kimmer a few hours to complete. He said he hopes it will be a good addition to his resume, which includes website designs for a few area businesses. Kimmer will attend the University of Northern Iowa in the fall, hoping to obtain a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts communications.
Hill said anyone who would like to get involved in RAGBRAI planning can contact the committee chairwoman Sue Raaymakers at 593-0944.