AIGA FELLOW: NAMED BY AIGA CINCINNATI, 2008
Kenneth Botts is the founding partner of Visual Marketing Associates (VMA), launched in 1985. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Botts earned a BFA degree in graphic design from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Upon graduation, he moved to Southwestern Ohio when he was recruited as assistant art director for Cincinnati Magazine, published by the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. After approximately two years, during which he advanced to art director/production manager, Botts accepted an offer to join the Design Center at Dayton-based Huffy Corporation. There, he held several positions at the corporation over a five-year period, including: art director, Huffy Corporation; design manager, Raleigh Cycle Company of America/Gerico, Inc.; and manager, corporate design, Huffy Corporation. Botts resigned as manager, advanced product development, and creative design director at Huffy Bicycle Division to continue his career at his own design cosultancy, VMA.
Over the years and in each position, Botts has provided environments that have helped to launch the careers of numerous junior designers through his support of co-op and internship programs. Since VMA's inception, Botts has instituted a design-driven branding approach to addressing client's opportunities, engaging the firm’s multidisciplinary (graphic design, industrial design and marketing) capabilities. VMA has supported numerous local, national and international organizations to assist in product development, product packaging and communicating of marketing/sales messages through environmental, digital and print vehicles. A partial list of those clients include Aero Products International, Audiovox Accessories Corporation, Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, Aviation Heritage Foundation, Crown Equipment Company, Gerry Baby Products Company, InGEAR Corporation, JMB Retail Properties, MeadWestvaco Corporation, NewPage Corporation, PQ Systems, Inc., Senco Products, Suncast Corporation and W. C. Bradley, Inc.
Building upon his educational and professional experiences, Botts has focused on developing collaborative relationships between interdisciplinary creative entities that has lead to additional opportunities that complement the expertise of VMA. In 2000, he joined a partnership that developed the Firefly Building, a mixed-use rehabilitation project in Dayton, encompassing luxury residential condominiums and commercial lease space marketed to the creative industries. Another collaborative venture includes the Litehouse project, that features green, affordable homes aimed at developing a new benchmark for the residential building industry. These collaborative relationships have broadened Botts’ scope to encompass architecture, digital design, graphic design, industrial design and marketing.
Botts is a past board member of AIGA Cincinnati, in addition to serving on numerous subcommittees for the local chapter. He also has taught periodically in the Department of Art (Graphic Design) and Department of Architecture at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He resides in Germantown, Ohio, with his wife, Jo Ann, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah.