Tim Mellman

Tim Mellman

he/him or they/them

1. How does the flag you designed represent who you are and what you care about? (2-3 sentences)

The flag I designed is representative of both the county’s national pride and its diversity — its three colors of red, white, and blue make up not only the American flag, but the plurality of country flags around the world. It is mathematical, with relative dimensions measured exactly to ensure equal margins, and also flexible and adaptable into everything from social media profile pictures to virtual backgrounds, or even could be applied to create a county brand system. Likewise, as a proud Jewish American, I am both patriotic and diverse, and my tendency to put great effort into the smallest details reflects the mathematical and adaptable nature of the design.

2. Why did you decide to join the Flag 2021 competition? (2 sentences)

To put it simply, I joined the Flag 2021 competition because I am fascinated by flags and vexillology, and am also a graphic designer in my free time. I also loved the idea that I could contribute directly to my community and have a lasting impact.

3. What did you learn about Cook County that surprised you? (1 sentence)

Prior to my research, I had no idea that Cook County has an official county flower, the purple coneflower — it was one of the models for the iconic red wheel, which I had initially designed in orange to match the center “cone” of the coneflower.

4. Tell us a short story about your collaboration with your flag mentor/partner(s). (3-5 sentences)

I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with Josh Witherspoon, a designer and advertising creative director at VSA Partners! I met with Josh several times over the collaboration portion of the competition and worked on making variations to the design live through Zoom screen sharing. Josh encouraged me to mock up a series of variations that ultimately enabled me to fine-tune the key elements of my design. His input was incredibly valuable, and while most of the changes between my initial design and final design were refinements, Josh’s advice was not just incredibly helpful in making an altogether more cohesive flag and design system, but also taught me the best ways to revise a design through experimentation and variations centered on a few core elements.