Athletes, attendees can’t miss Sidekick Creative’s work.
BY MIRI SMITH | AUGUST 29, 2022 | 2:38 PM
Each time university athletes from around the world stand on podiums and bow their heads to accept medals this January in Lake Placid, they will take home a little piece of Glens Falls. It will happen 258 times, if all goes to plan, as the athletes compete in 86 events across 12 sports at the FISU Winter World University Games; 2,500 athletes from 50 nations are expected to compete for 11 days from Jan.12 to 22. FISU is the International University Sports Federation.
The medals for the events were designed by Will Fowler and Sidekick Creative on Glen Street in Glens Falls. But their influence does not stop there.
Sidekick also designed the logo; the lanyards for the medals; the racing bibs and armbands that athletes and coaches wear; the posters; the way-finding signs that will be erected in the village; and the grand-design signs that will provide inspiration and a back-drop for photos, Fowler said.
“There’s also the more eye-catching stuff like a countdown clock that’s in downtown Lake Placid,” Fowler said.
“It started with the logo,” he said.
In 2019, Sidekick bid on a short contract issued by the Adirondack Sports Council to design the logo and the branding — the fonts and color scheme — for the games. The sports council has been organizing and promoting the games.
At the heart of the logo is a humanoid shape, because the games are first for student athletes.
“The first thing you see is that human shape, with their arms raised above their head,” Fowler said, but the body can also be seen as a mountain with the sun rising above it. Nothing about the image is sleek or modern, he said, a reflection of the more classic Adirondack look.
Fowler said that winning the contract was, “daunting at first.” However, being involved with every aspect of design, and having a hand in the comprehensive whole look, was a creator’s dream.
He said that the first medal design was “artistic, though not practical for manufacturing.” The final design, angular and geometric and inspired by ice, remains artistic, though not impractical to produce.
Alfred University of New York’s Southern Tier, in conjunction with Corning Glass, designed and manufactured the glass inserts of the medals using reclaimed glass, a press release says. Using a touch of copper oxide, the glass inserts will look icy blue.
“That was a collaborative effort between us and the internal marketing and branding team at the World University Games,” Fowler said. Sustainability was a big focus for the games, and they wanted a New York touch. Fowler said they tried to incorporate garnet, the state gemstone, mined in the Adirondacks.
The team on the sports council side suggested using glass and the program at Alfred University, which has that connection to Corning Glass.
“We just thought, ‘Oh, glass will kind of look like ice’,” Fowler said.
The contract does not end when the games do. The firm will be responsible for recording their design, documenting all that went into it, and preparing it for archival preservation.
The company, run by Fowler and Cara Greenslade, celebrated its fifth anniversary in April.