by Emily Wurst
Every Independence Day, thousands of runners and supporters gather in Atlanta for the world’s largest 10K—the AJC Peachtree Road Race. The day is known for high energy, high temperatures, and high anticipation surrounding the reveal of the annual Peachtree Road Race T-shirt. This year’s T-shirt could be designed by University of West Georgia alumnus Kevin Benton.
Each year, local artists create and submit designs for the iconic T-shirt competition. The public then votes between five finalists for which design will be on the shirt worn by 60,000 race finishers. This year, Benton created two of the five final designs.
“The Peachtree Road Race is ingrained in the fabric of the Atlanta community, and it would feel amazing to have my shirt design on the backs 60,000 happy runners,” Benton said. “It's also a great accomplishment to be a finalist alongside some really talented designers in the Atlanta area. It's a cool notch on the belt for any local designer.”
For Benton, inspiration for a T-shirt design was all about pride—both American pride as well as pride in the city of Atlanta.
“Being that the race takes place on the Fourth of July, I focused my designs on a combination of patriotism and state pride,” Benton explained. “Patriotism has overtaken the country in such a big way over the last year; I felt it would increase my chances of being selected as a finalist.”
A graduate of the class of 2011, Benton studied graphic design at UWG. Currently, he serves as the creative director and graphic designer for a marketing agency in Buford, Ga. While he has submitted designs to the contest in the past, this is the first year his work has landed him in the top five.
Benton is not the first representative from UWG to have a design make the finals for the Peachtree Road Race T-shirt competition. In fact, seven out of the past eight years have seen UWG alumni or students featured in the top five finalists.
“I have to give a huge shout out to the art department at UWG,” Benton said. “I would positively not be a graphic designer today without the guidance of every single professor and classmate that I had the pleasure of working with during my time in school.”
Voting for the T-shirt design is currently open on the AJC website. The public can cast votes until March 22.Posted on