If you go to South Dakota State, you know homecoming is called Hobo Day—not Hobo Days.
There has been a push by the Hobo Day Committee to do consistent branding of the one-day celebration, which is why the committee is “disappointed” by the SDSU American Institute for Graphic Arts student design group who has released its own apparel line titled “Hobo Dayz.”
“We don’t do anything with Hobo Days—not D-A-Y-S or D-A-Y-Z,” said Miranda O’Bryan, assistant pooba of marketing.
Hobo Day, as O’Bryan explained, is the biggest one-day celebration in the Dakotas, it isn’t multiple days. So the committee feels the plural “days” is “not representative of what Hobo Day is.”
Tom Bates, senior graphic design major and AIGA vice president, was a part of the four-student team that created the Hobo Dayz designs.
Bates thought his group could use Hobo Dayz because it wasn’t trademarked by Hobo Day or the university. They thought the designs would appeal to college students well because it would be “their style.”
While reporting on this story, the Facebook page and designs have been changed to Dayz 2018, instead of Hobo Dayz. The group was getting heat from University Communications and Marketing and decided to take “hobo” out of the designs “to play it extra safe,” according to Bates.
“We’re not trying to be malicious,” he said. “We just thought it was a thing that maybe students would like to have, we thought maybe people would like the design and thought it would be a good fundraiser.”
The club wants to raise funds for a trip to Chicago. Bates said the club hopes to make a couple thousand dollars off of the fundraiser.
So far, there have been around 40 pre-orders for Dayz 2018 designs.
There are four designs to choose from, the rabbit, hobo, cassette tape and football designs. (The cassette tape design had to be altered when the line switched its name.) T-shirts are $15 and sweatshirts are $25. For a pre-order sale, customers can get a free koozie with the football design and a sticker with it. The sale goes till Sept. 24.
Apparel pick up and purchases are Oct. 8–12 on the corner of Eighth Street and Medary Avenue.
Bates drew the hobo design two years and thought it was cool to “be seen.”
The designs, O’Bryan said, are another reason for concern.
“If you look at them, [the shirts] they are putting D-A-Y-Z over their eyes,” she said. “When I see that it’s like another way to say inebriation because it’s the literally over the rabbit and hobos eyes. When you’re drunk, when you’re inebriated, you can’t see straight.”
She does think the shirts are well designed, they just don’t communicate the right message. O’Bryan said the word Dayz creates the connotation that the day is about partying, rather than celebrating homecoming and the university.
Bates, however, agrees.
“It’s all celebrating Hobo Day and the university,” he said.
The Hobo Day committee mentioned there could have been a better route of selling the design. The committee is open to working with creators and allowing them to work with its trademarks and logos. This year the committee worked with J.ella to create Hobo Day T-shirts for the boutique. O’Bryan said this is the first year the committee has been open to something like this before.
“We all support Hobo Day and we’re not trying to be bad,” Bates said. “It’s just all in celebration of Hobo Day… And we are all just celebrating the same thing.”