Meet the Winner of Our TShirt Design Contest: Gary Bannister

Congratulations to Gary Bannister for submitting the winning design in our first-ever Atlanta BeltLine Run.Walk.Go! Race Series tshirt design contest. While numerous designs were submitted, the classic look and feel of Gary’s design, accompanied by the ability for each race to be uniquely featured in the design – by virtue of showcasing the unique foliage indigenous to trees found along each race route – gave the design a winning edge.

Here’s what Gary had to say about the Atlanta BeltLine and his work designing our Run.Walk.Go! Race Series tshirt:

How did you learn about the Atlanta BeltLine?

I have been a weekend bicyclist with a couple of my friends and we have watched the progress on the BeltLine since the first pour of concrete. Our bikes are set up for off-road and long distance riding so we have, on more than one occasion, pushed the boundaries of the finished areas and navigated the track lines several miles beyond the concrete ends just to see where the future BeltLine will allow us to go.

What is your favorite part of the Atlanta BeltLine?

I feel like my favorite part of the BeltLine isn’t a particular “part” but more of the overall effect it is having and will always have on Atlanta. I have lived in other cities prior to settling in Atlanta and starting my business, and then my family. I have always lived intown and preferred the lifestyle it afforded me and ultimately my family. Still, one of the most discouraging aspects of living in Atlanta, even intown, was the absence of a lifeline, a central point of community. We are a town filled with fantastic neighborhoods, areas, parks, sites, etc. But so often all of those seem to be not connected. Not a part of a whole. We all drive and eat, and shop and exercise and just hangout in different places. It wasn’t until I experienced having dinner near the BeltLine with family and walking afterwards to Piedmont Park in minutes that I experienced what is best described as a “pulse” in Atlanta. A common path where people, places, communities are all connected. Connected for all sorts of reasons. The BeltLine will make each of us feel accessible to one another, and then allow all of us a shared experience. It will be the lifeline of all of the communities it connects. I am very excited at that prospect for myself, my family, my friends and for Atlanta. The day will come when my son or daughter will say “Dad, we are WALKING or RIDING OUR BIKES down to Ponce City Market, or Krog Street Market to hang out and eat.” I like that possibility.

My wife and I Iove to take the dogs and run from Piedmont Park to Krog Street and back on the weekends. I tend to run better and longer on the Beltlne because of the “mojo” that the Belltline has on the weekends. It is motivating to see so many people doing every variation of exercise along the way.

What was your inspiration for the designs you submitted for the contest?

When I saw the contest and the fact that it was open to anyone I immediately felt like it was my chance to do something, participate through my talent to something I felt very passionately about. And to give to an organization, an effort, that I not only felt was essential for our city, but I had enjoyed watching being realized. For all of us. So I wanted the mark to speak to the excitement and experience that the BeltLine has created for all of us but also make it seem like a work in progress. something that is growing. And ultimately to give the participants in each race something that was symbolic and unique to their experience in the race.

What is your background/bio?

I was born and raised in Greenville, S.C., and moved to Atlanta not long after graduating college with a degree in graphic design. Then left (It was the early 80’s, people my age will understand) to take a job at a small design studio in New York City. Spent 4 years in the city and returned when the design industry became computerized almost over night. I met my wife Ellie while she was in graduate school and have her to thank for not only motivating me, but teaching me the computer skills that have allowed me to stay viable in one of the most quickly evolving professions for creatives anywhere. We formed Farmhouse Design Studio in 2002. We have 2 children – Keb who is 15, and our daughter Lylah, who is 12. We are a small design studio that thrives on helping small firms make a big impact through their brand. We do web, print, logos, etc. Our site is


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