Reistle ’21 Builds Design Portfolio Through Competitions

Katherine Haines '21

Arcadia University student Chris Reistle
Chris Reistle ’21, Studio Art major with a concentration in Graphic Design and a minor in Marketing, always finds ways to fit his love of art into music and sports. 

Since the pandemic, his opportunities to combine those passions with professional experience took off through competitions and album commissions. 

“Considering how different things are in terms of going through an entire senior year with a virtual format, the fluidity has made it a lot easier to get everything accomplished that I need to,” said Reistle about his silverlining of 2020. “Commissioned album art was something I started to do over the summer because I love music, and album art is really cool. It’s just been going from there.”

After his commissioned album art started to take off, Reistle submitted a drawing of the lead singer of Misterwives, Mandy Lee, to an art contest hosted by the band, which placed in the top 10. While Reistle had been noticed by artists on social media, this was the first time his art was selected as contest winner by a band—with prizes such as a custom band face mask released only to the winners and, of course, bragging rights. 

Arcadia University student Chris Reistle's Misterwives design

Reistle's Misterwives design

“I’ve drawn a lot of music artists before for fun and gotten recognition from them, whether it’s something like posting on their story or a comment from them, but this was the first time it was a contest from one of these artists, so that was really cool,” said Reistle.

Reistle is a bit chagrined that the design he created for the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Championships, the conference Arcadia University and Reistle, who captains the cross country team and runs distance for indoor and outdoor track, compete in. When the pandemic struck, the championships were cancelled and the logo design wasn’t released. Even if his design is used for next year’s championships, Reistle won’t be able to participate in the event.

“It’s still cool regardless,” Reistle said about winning the MAC design. “Somehow, just being home, all these different contests and stuff kind of fell into my lap and so I was just like ‘hey why don’t I try out this,’ and it just worked out a lot.”

He won the contest to design the Arcadia For The Kids’ (FTK) t-shirt—the University’s first all-night dance marathon on Feb. 28, 2020. Reistle initially struggled with the design because FTK wanted it to be space-themed before finding inspiration from NASA patches that astronauts wear for different space missions.

Reistle's Dance All Knight tshirt design of Grey Towers Castle and the moon

Reistle's Dance All Knight tshirt design

Reistle can’t wait for his next win to be announced, which he’s keeping tightly guarded until it’s revealed to the public. 

“I’ve had to keep quiet about it, but that’ll be happening in the spring,” said Reistle. “So stay tuned.”

Beyond competitions, Reistle has volunteered his talents to his local soccer team, which was going through a rebranding last summer.

“I realized I could help,” said Reistle. “My branding for the team is on their jerseys and the website. It was cool because it was the team I used to play for back in the day.”

By working on these projects, Reistle has been able to hone his skills in preparation for his capstone project. Working on the album artwork over the summer has helped him visualize what he wants his thesis project to look like. His focus is designing a music discovery app that works similar to dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, that will help connect music listeners with lesser known artists.

“Especially right now with COVID, a lot of music venues are closed and artists aren’t able to have concerts,” said Reistle. “It’s very hard for them in terms of outreach to make money because streaming services don’t give them a whole lot of revenue. I want to design something that would really help them with their outreach and promote themselves.”

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