Chad Syme has been powering KEXP for over a decade now. The Idaho-born, Queen Anne-dwelling graphic designer has contributed many of the station’s iconic t-shirt designs including the popular Troop 90.3 kids design from 2014.
This year he designed our Spring Fundraiser t-shirt. The focus is on community and his artwork reflects that idea. “At first, I thought about all the different things power means in various cultures, from electrical sockets to wind power.” Capturing the unique way KEXP connects with its listeners was Chad’s gameplan. The result was a design that showcases the heart to heart connection KEXP’s listeners feel with each other and the station. Become an Amplifier and you can choose the “Communi-tee” as your thank-you gift.
The father of two has been living in the Emerald City for over twenty years. “Seattle satisfies all my needs. I don’t need to go anywhere else.” He still remembers the first time he really connected with the KEXP. “I was listening to Quilty’s show and she played this Mirah song. The whole set was great but that song hit me hard. I realized that I needed to start listening to KEXP a lot more.”
It wasn’t long before he was an avid listener. This led to volunteering on the phones and eventually to lending his ample design skills to the station. To look at the full range of custom images he has created for the station check out: Chad Syme Behance KEXP Gallery. Some of his distinctive creations include the Pez dispenser, Swiss Army Knife, and a slew of colorful kids designs.
Chad spends his days handling branding at Mastin Labs, whose founder created an application which matches the textures and warmth of vintage film stock for use on digital images in Adobe Lightroom. Chad’s enthusiasm for his work is palpable; he leans forward and speaks excitedly from his chair in the KEXP Gathering Space. Still, he’s at a loss when trying to figure out how much time he has spent working on KEXP designs in the past. “When it’s a passion project the hours just fly by.”
We are grateful to Chad for all the work he has done for the station over the years.