Graphic design student, Pete Surges was recently announced as the winner of a T-shirt design contest for Chicago’s “Bike the Drive.” An annual event where bike riders enjoy five hours of car-free riding along 30 scenic miles of the city.
Surges submitted his design idea in early March, nervous to go up against huge city schools like DePaul and Columbia. However, he knew what he was capable of: “I thought, ‘hey, you guys have some big competition.’ COD has one of the best graphic design programs.”
Surges was given a color template for the design. He knew he was going to keep his idea simple, yet recognizable.
“I wanted to create something people could be comfortable with. I also decided to use the skyline in the background to give an essence of the event,” he said.
In the past, Surges designed clothing for Insane Motor Sports and Sad Story, a rollerblading company. The Bike the Drive T-shirt can be purchased on bikethedrive.org for anyone participating in the event on May 25.
The former automotive student found out about the contest through COD’s AIGA Student Group, an organization focused on graphic design, Web design and illustration. Surges has been a member for two years, and is thankful for the opportunities the group has given him.
“Ami Rupani (AIGA president) and the group really pushed me to get involved and meet new people. They motivated me to give this contest a shot and get my name out there.”
Graphic design was always something that came natural to Surges, and it was after dealing with some health issues in his automotive career that he decided to make a living out of it.
“I grew up always having the passion to draw and design cool things. It was always a hobby of mine.”
He decided to return to school at COD in 2011 to pursue a career in graphic design. At first, Surges was frightened to take his old childhood hobby to another level. Today he says it is one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
“COD has given me meaning of what I want to do with my life. The type of work teachers push us to do here is awesome. They also just taught me with hard work, anything is possible,” he said.
Surges is excited to graduate with an associates degree in graphic design this semester, and feels prepared to take on more opportunities to share his work.