Bye-bye California, hello Austin, Texas. People started catching on to what this magnificent city offered and its perks. They wanted a slice of the pie, and fast. Austin is considered the new Silicon Valley for young innovators and entrepreneurs. We are widely known for our nonstop live music, film, Tex-Mex and barbecue, Mexican martinis, cultural diversity, and jaw-dropping scenery. These quirky characteristics are masterfully captivated and executed through our art and hearts. Austin has even established its own popular slogan.
There is one gentleman, in particular, who I believe made Austin a sold-out show. Scott Jackson is a name I encourage you to remember. He is a top-notch graphic designer, artist, entrepreneur, advertiser, and a man with a plan. Austin became the new land of opportunity, and branding Austin with the ‘Keep Austin Weird’ slogan became the mother ship of keeping this city alive, with Scott being its captain. While the nation is dealing with its mid-life crisis, Austin residents are keeping it “alright, alright, alright.”
It was 1985 when Scott transferred his passion into a career, creating Outhouse Designs company. He designed these shirts so personable to Austin’s evolutionary free spirit movement, this funky vibe stuck, and his career flourished. The community mutually agreed to keep Austin weird, its true nature, thus laying out the ongoing foundation of the town’s success.
I first learned of Scott Jackson twenty years ago, while riding in a minivan with my grandparents and their friends heading to an Ice Bats hockey game. My grandparents nonchalantly told my sister and I the couple taking us to the game were the parents of the son who trademarked ‘Keep Austin Weird.’ I tried to keep a cool persona, but internally I totally freaked, squealing in my seat like a craze teen meeting their favorite pop star. Then they go on to tell me my mother and uncle went to high school with him, and Scott and Uncle Milton were roommates at Southwest Texas University, now known as Texas State University. The Jackson’s are one of the most down-to-earth families I have ever met, and they raised their son mighty swell.
Scott Jackson is a local hero, a legend, a big contributor to Austin’s fate and fortune. His works, skills, talents, helped pave my direction in advertising and graphic design.