The keys to Fenway: One student’s co-op with the Red Sox

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Every morning, Josh Svoboda would ride his bike from Hemenway Street to 4 Yawkey Way, where he’d throw it over his shoulder and walk up a flight of stairs to get to work on his latest project for the Boston Red Sox.

Svoboda, DMSB/AMD’20, worked on co-op as a graphic designer for the team’s Creative Services department, creating everything from Twitter-worthy animated GIFs to billboard-sized images during his six-month tenure from January to June.

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Like any job, he and his co-workers would occasionally attend a meeting or step outside for lunch. Unlike any job, though, those meetings were sometimes held on the Green Monster—some of the best seats available in any Major League Baseball stadium—and lunch might mean having the ballpark all to themselves, eating in the stands.

The rich history of Fenway Park is apparent to anyone who enters the gates. But for Svoboda and his team, it’s also a gallery showcasing their hard work.

Svoboda’s illustrations appear on vending machines and posters throughout the park. Some of his short-term projects included creating print ads for the Red Sox Foundation as well as an image highlighting the World Baseball Classic for the team’s official Twitter account.

“That was a chance to visualize the players in a fun way,” Svoboda said. “I didn’t want it to be too realistic, but I didn’t want it to be too cartoonish, either, so finding that balance took a while. But this was a project where I had the most say over the creative direction, so that was a lot of fun.”

Still, it was especially thrilling to see his work featured on social media platforms, Svoboda said.

“It was just so cool seeing friends of mine and people I knew retweeting this stuff that I made,” he said. “I was working for one of the biggest teams in Major League Baseball, so I wanted everything to look really good.”

In addition to his work behind the computer the budding designer helped the Creative Services department in other ways.  Svoboda came up with a concept to photograph all of the players with a unique red and blue style at the annual ‘photo day’ held during Spring Training. He stood in as a model for a mock photo shoot where he assisted with the art direction that was later used when photographing the entire Red Sox roster.

Svoboda—a native of Louisville, Kentucky—didn’t grow up watching baseball. But he knew the history and legacy of the Red Sox through cultural osmosis.

“It was crazy walking in on the first day, to see all these people coming from all over the country to see this park I got to work at every day,” he said.