AdsoftheWorld BrandsoftheWorld LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser TVNewser TVSpy FishbowlNY FishbowlDC GalleyCat

Bobby Martin’s Religious Design Experience

bobbymartin2.jpg

Bobby Martin, design director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, got personal with another client of his, the Abyssinian Baptist Church, as he told the audience today at Cause/Effect. He even moved to an apartment a block away from the Harlem church. As his thesis project at SVA, Martin embarked on an incredible journey in bringing the church’s 200 year old message to the community.

Inspired by Calvin Butts, a reverend who painted over cigarette and alcohol ads in Harlem–Butts called it “peddling their poison”–the church started buying billboards up to replace them with positive imagery, but they didn’t have a whole lot of money to do it. Martin applied for the Sappi Ideas That Matter grant and got $30,000. (See kids? Grants work.)

bobbymartin.jpg

Hundreds of impeccably-dressed men from the church paraded 200 handmade signs throughout Harlem in a march. Then he transformed the signs and the images from the march into the ads, a campaign named “Word on the Street.” You can also check out a cool animated history of the church using that beautiful logo here.

“Freedom is a strong seed, planted in a great need,” he quoted Langston Hughes as he closed, summoning the oratory skills of some other great preachers we admire. We have to admit we teared up a little.

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media compaies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!