Will Ravenstein

Wellington Daily News

The official button design for the 117th Kansas Wheat festival was revealed Thursday morning during a packed Wellington Chamber Coffee at Daylight Donuts.

Mark Cope, Tonkawa, Oklahoma, was named the winner of the annual design contest. Cope, graphic designer for KanOkla in Caldwell, joined the KOMT team in June.

“I honestly didn’t know a great deal about the Chisholm Trail before I entered the contest,” Cope said. “I went on Wikipedia and read all about it. It had some images there and just tried to get a concept of what would be a good design. They had a map on there, and I thought it would be great to integrate it. And, of course with the cowboy and them driving cattle up the Chisholm Trail, I thought that it would be great to integrate.”

The design features a silhouette of a cowboy over a map of the Chisholm Trail from Texas to Kansas. Off to the left side there are two stalks of wheat with the 117th Kansas Wheat Festival, July 12-16, 2017 over them.

“Being the Wheat Festival, I decided to integrate some wheat in there,” Cope said. “There is a 150 down there, that’s not apparent at first glance. Since it’s the 150th anniversary, I put that in there. (I) just really tried to keep it centered around the Chisholm Trail.”

The design beat out 10 other entries that were submitted to the Chamber board. The board voted on them without knowing who had designed the images to make it as impartial as possible.

Daylight Donuts was filled with local business representatives Thursday morning, adding to the excitement for Cope, though he is still learning who they are.

“I’m not familiar with everyone here yet,” he said. “Even from Tonkawa, I’ve heard of the Wheat Festival before, so I knew just how many years it has been going. It’s just a great honor.”

Cope’s background in photography, along with an art degree, allowed him to combine is knowledge of creative software to make his design come together.

“My main background is in photography,” he said. “I ran a professional studio for 10 years. So in the training in that, and with a degree in art, I learned a lot about composition and the software you use for Photoshop is basically the same software you use for graphic design. With my studio, I produced a lot of my marketing material, so it lead itself to this.”

The contest was promoted throughout the state as open to anyone who lived or worked within Kansas according to Annarose White, Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce Director. The state universities as-well-as the communities colleges that had graphic design or art class, were encouraged to participate in this years contest to fully promote the state.