Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Face of Defense: Graphic Artist Aids Recruiting

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Hillary Stonemetz
Air Force Recruiting Service

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 3, 2011 – Many of the graphic design images that cover the walls of a Military Entrance Processing Station office here are designed by the sergeant who works there, and his talents are having an impact on Air Force recruiting efforts.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Hahn, the MEPS liaison supervisor, has designed advertising billboards, banners, logos, T-shirts, football jerseys, challenge coins and Web banners for Air Force recruiting.

"As I travel across our zone, I'm consistently reminded of his talents," said Air Force Maj. Anthony Williams, 337th Recruiting Squadron commander. "There are several giant billboards on the interstate highways showcasing [his] work. His Battlefield Airmen poster and design always turns heads, and we continuously reap those rewards every day in the 337th.

Recruiting efforts are going well in those areas, largely due to Hahn's efforts, the major added.

Hahn enlisted in the Air Force in 1991 as an F-111 hydraulics mechanic and then became a crew chief for the B-2 bomber before being assigned to the Charlotte MEPS as a liaison supervisor. By day he manages and schedules applicant processing, then hones his graphic design skills at night and on weekends.

"My training has been self-taught for the most part," said Hahn, who briefly attended college for graphic design and illustration before enlisting in the Air Force.

His skills are appreciated by many of his squadron mates.

"When you see the caliber of Sergeant Hahn's work, you immediately recognize the designs as innovative, relevant and eye-popping," Williams said. "His stylized version of the [squadron’s] logo has been a huge success and a major factor in our unit's team identity and continued success in achieving the recruiting mission.

"As recruiters, we're well aware of the value and positive aspects associated with graphics design and image branding," he continued. "Branding confirms our teaming message here in the 337th RCS, and it emotionally connects our members to a common cause."

In addition to his contributions to the Air Force, Hahn also does freelance design work and has been hired by many nationally recognized companies.

"I've designed the 2002 No. 21 Air Force race car paint scheme, many NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World truck series paint schemes," Hahn said. "I've also designed apparel for motorsports teams from hats, T-shirts, jackets, etc., as well as website designs, logo designs and program covers for Las Vegas Motor Speedway."

After he leaves the Air Force, Hahn said, he plans to use his design skills full-time with his freelance graphic design company.

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