Create Appalachia works to highlight the value of creativity in the region. That’s why it seems only natural for us to feature the work of graphic designer Tim Smith, who created the logo for Kingsport’s recent G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) Festival of Art. This brand-new festival, organized as a partnership between five area non-profits[1], was held at the Kingsport Farmers Market Pavilion on April 21-23. Among the most popular items sold at the merchandise booth were bright blue t-shirts featuring an endearing goat encircled by kudzu. (It also looked great on the posters and social media, BTW.)

It turns out that t-shirt logos come pretty naturally to Tim, who became a freelancer after he graduated from ETSU in 2011. He currently works from his home in Kingsport, where he creates designs for his primary client, Crazy Dog T-shirts, of Rochester, New York. Remote working hasn’t affected Tim’s ability to form a bond with his employer. “I’ve only met Bill Kingston, the owner, once in the six years I’ve worked with him,” he says, “but he and his employees feel like family.”

When the organizing committee approached him about creating the G.O.A.T. logo, Tim did a lot of research before arriving at the final concept. “My process is to research every aspect of a project before I start,” he says. “In this case, I read everything I could about how a herd of goats were brought in to remove kudzu from Kingsport’s Cement Hill to clear it for development. The final design incorporates an art deco motif featuring a goat’s head surrounded by kudzu.” The result was a logo that fit the assignment exactly, down to the committee’s request for a “happy goat” that would “draw positive attention” and make people want to be part of the fun at the festival.

Laypeople often underestimate the value of a good logo. Most aren’t aware of the collaborative design process behind a successful one. Tim listened to our needs and goals, and put his artistry at our service. Success followed. At the wrap meeting, all of the organizations involved agreed that we want to offer the festival again next year. If Tim’s work hadn’t made such a positive first impression and drawn interest from the public, the festival may not have been such a success. Thank you, Tim!


Did you miss the festival? Don’t worry—the t-shirts and other G.O.A.T. Festival merchandise are available for sale at the Carousel gift shop in Kingsport. You can also learn more about Tim and his wife Mary Ellen (who is also an artist and teaches at Washington Elementary School) by visiting their Facebook page, Artsmith Design. If you want to see more of his t-shirt art, you can visit his website, www.teepublic.com/user/bettye-janes.

[1] The partnering organizations included Engage Kingsport, Create Appalachia, the Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts, The Inventor Center, the Kingsport Art Guild, , and Downtown Kingsport Association.


By Stephen Newton


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