Rotary Oktoberfest Branding


When the Rotary Club of Quincy (okay, our resident Rotarian and Business Development guy, Dean La Velle) came to us asking if we’d create a logo and supporting collateral materials for their re-imagined Oktoberfest, we immediately said “yes!”

When it was pointed out that this would be a fantastic opportunity for Rokusek Design to donate this design work, well, we still said “yes.” Why? Good question. After all, we already donate all marketing work we do for Advocacy Network for Children annually, and we do print and digital marketing work for the Historic Quincy Business District below cost.

But Rotary’s Oktoberfest looked like such a fun opportunity to create a brand identity that we jumped at it. Plus, we love what Rotary does for our community and internationally.

We asked the Oktoberfest committee three questions and got these answers:

  1. what’s the goal of the event?
    answer: to raise money for Rotary’s local projects
  2. who’s the audience?
    answer: tri-state residents, young & old
  3. what’s the vibe for Oktoberfest? Fun, traditional, polka-rific?
    answer: beer, brats, music, fun — yet family-friendly

One of the most important things to keep in mind, we were told, is that Rotary’s Oktoberfest was going to be a radical break with past local German festivals, which had more of a polka-traditionalist feel. This Oktoberfest was going to be fun, boisterous, and feature of mix of absurd contests, cool subterranean Brewery tours, and a mix of polka to get things started, and party rock to keep the party, well, rockin’.

So, we presented Rotary with several logo designs, from traditional to edgy to fun to a mix. After several design revisions, the committee selected the logo you see above. The “Gretchen” or Bavarian-style German maiden with fists full of foamy steins of beer is the centerpiece, while the red and gold ribbon around her mimics a beer bottle label. The event name, club name, and Rotary symbol rounded it all out.

From this we designed several pieces:

  • promotional poster
  • newspaper ads, six variants in color and black & white
  • rack card
  • contest rules
  • miscellaneous signage

As the date for Oktoberfest drew near, we started hearing more and more buzz around town… even so, the Rotary Club of Quincy was cautious. They planned for around 500 people to attend. Yeah… that was off by a factor of six or so.


Of course, we’d like to think our branding efforts helped draw out the crowds.