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February 1, 2012

Giving a 'face' to the rail trail

The Bradford Rail Trail now has face, as well as a name.

The Friends of the Bradford Rail Trail committee have selected local graphic artist James Flynn's design as the official trail logo.

Drawing from the iconography of both railroads and Haverhill itself, Flynn's art features activities of the trail and the X design, used as a railroad warning sign throughout the country. He also used typography colored with the Haverhill High Hillies signature brown and gold.

"We felt like he did a good job on that," said Larry Olasky, a member of the Friends of the Bradford Rail Trail.

Olasky said the committee received 19 submissions for the contest, which opened for entries last October and closed in November.

"It was open to anybody," he said.

Flynn, owner of Spinleaf Art and Design, said the rail trail logo was the first municipal design he'd created, though he has contributed logos to other community organizations in the past such as the Buttonwoods Museum for its Festival of Trees.

"It was good that I got that little extension (of time in the contest) rather than try to rush," Flynn said.

Flynn said the artistic philosophy behind his submission was making sure people who would only see the design briefly or in passing but pick up on its meaning quickly.

"It needs to be very simple and clean," he said.

Flynn heard of the contest through his daughter, a student in the design and visual communications program at Whittier Regional High, and decided put his skills to the test.

Besides his design appearing on all rail trail signs and stationary, Flynn will also receive a ceremonial rail spike removed from the trail, a custom plate and a photo-op with Mayor James Fiorentini.

Other people who made submissions will receive a certificate from the Friends thanking them for their efforts.

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