Blast from the Past


Water Follies 2013 (1)

Awards decorate Lockheed Martin’s graphic design office. Framed certificates hang on the walls, trophies arranged on side tables. Down the hall in his cubicle, lead designer Jason Fitzgerald has model race cars parked on his bookshelf,  hinting the amusements of the man who has designed the art for Water Follies since 2004.

frame fitzgerald

Jason Fitzgerald, the man behind the design.

“They want to do something different every year.” Fitzgerald says as he navigates his computer mouse and the biker-influenced design of an earlier Water Follies fills the monitor. “Sometimes they have an idea in their head, sometimes it’s inspired.”

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Inspiration From Sequestration

When those federal budget cuts this year grounded the military’s acrobatic fighters jets, Water Follies organizers pulled the annual airshow out of a nosedive by recruiting a fleet of vintage aircraft to perform.

“That’s how we came up with this year’s design,” Fitzgerald says. “Just kind of playing around.”frame fitz two planes

Fitzgerald says he did a little, “not a lot” of research into World War Two bombers.  He looked at some Fifties-era race car art and played around until he liked the color scheme. “Something warm and rich.”

The result is this year’s nostalgic, duo-chromatic design, ballroom big-band mixed with burger joint rock n’ roll.

I also wanted that feeling of the wine country,” Fitzgerald says. “That played a part in it, almost subliminally.”

The poster is available this weekend at the river shore, where race fans often have hydro pilots add their autographs,  but signed or not, this year’s poster will again become a collector’s item. 

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