Railroad Square Music Festival

Railroad Square Music Festival is an annual community event that celebrates local music and art in downtown Santa Rosa, CA. It’s organized by the North Bay Hootenanny, a non-profit organization committed to supporting the arts, and it’s sponsored by the city of Santa Rosa as well as local businesses such as Lagunitas Brewery, the North Bay Bohemian, and Krush 95.9. I designed the branding and oversaw the production of the promotional materials during the founding year (2015) and again for its second year. 

Photos by Bobby Cochran, Cochranbobbycochranphoto.com


The goal for the branding was to integrate the various sounds and styles of Sonoma County. I use a black-and-white color scheme to unify the breadth of art showcased by the event. The logo is a linocut carving meant to convey the festival’s DIY attitute, and its square shape reiterates the significance of the festival’s location. After making prints with the carving, I scanned it into Adobe Illustrator and vectorized it so that it would stay sharp at any size. 


The poster includes all of the information it needs to, but it’s a little boring. I struggled to find a design that fit the logo without either taking up too much space or being too small to be impactful. To make things even trickier, all of the festival’s collateral had to be produced in a rush, so there wasn’t time for illustrations to punch things up. Still, I was happy with the eye-catching logo, and 4,000 people ended up attending the event.


At the event, we displayed signs and banners to direct attendees to the attractions and to promote the event’s sponsors.


I also designed ads to promote the event in local newspapers and on social media. I used reiterations of the geometric linocut design with black-and-white sans serif type.


Event programs folded into a small square with the logo on the front. Inside, they included information about the event and sponsors, a map of the festival, and a schedule of attractions.