For 4 decades, Owensboro hosted the International Bar-B-Q Festival. After being cancelled in 2020, the event was redesigned as a “Block Party” for the last two years. It was redesigned again this year as BBQ and Barrels, heavily integrating bourbon into the festival. The business behind the new logo is Laser Beam Studio, an Owensboro print shop.
Taking part of a tradition and making it new isn’t unusual for Laser Beam Studio Owner Larry Taylor. He came into the business after his father had run Signs by Gina for several years.
After taking ownership in 2015, Taylor was dedicated to continuing the legacy of Signs by Gina, but in a more forward-thinking way with marketing and signage altogether.
“I though, how can we use the same machinery to make other things or just to go above and beyond on a product and deliver things that aren’t just plain Jane, but something that really makes a client pop out,” Taylor said.
From that point, he began to really enjoy doing his work with the studio, as it started to challenge his and his team’s way of presenting a product.
This way of business led them to continue the legacy of Signs by Gina and expanding across Owensboro.
Some of their work includes projects for Daviess County Public Library, Kahawa Java, Friday After 5, and Asylum Tattoos — but the biggest job they’ve had this year is filling 2nd Street with signage for BBQ and Barrels.
Production Manager Jacob Sommerville said while Laser Beam Studio doesn’t run the event, they had a hand in finalizing the new look and logo, and even renaming the festival.
When they were approached back in January, Sommerville said they took the job and immediately went to work on what the International Bar-B-Q Festival they grew up with would look like as BBQ and Barrels.
“We kind of started looking at the history of it and wanted to kind of carry that history forward because they’re evolving the festival — it’s not the Bar-B-Q Festival anymore,” Sommerville said.
Taylor and Sommerville, both Owensboro natives, were excited to help be part of the change in the community.
“I mean to think of being a kid and seeing how much of an impact [the festival] was in my life, who would have thought that someday that’d be part of our life, and that sense of helping grow the event, too,” Taylor said.
With BBQ and Barrels now in their portfolio, Taylor said he hopes to grow the business even more — as well as have a hand in the visual landscape across Owensboro.
“I think that’d be a huge, huge advantage where we’re not just a small sign company, but a company that can really help push the image that they want,” Taylor said.
The next assignment for Laser Beam Studio is ROMP, as they are working on posters for the 20-year anniversary of the music festival this summer.