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VALLEY AND VENTURA COUNTY | VENTURA COUNTY REVIEW

Gateway Arts Creates Boy George CD-ROM

July 28, 1998|LEO SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Flamboyant British pop vocalist Boy George and his popular 1980s band Culture Club have reunited for an American tour more than a decade after the group last topped the music charts.

No doubt, this is good news to the musician's fans throughout the United States. But perhaps no one is more excited by the turn of events than David Carlson, founder and director of the Gateway Arts multimedia design firm of Newbury Park.

Earlier this month, Carlson contracted with North Hollywood-based Zebra Marketing, which is managing the American merchandising for the Boy George tour, to create a limited-edition multimedia CD-ROM to be sold as a promotional product at concert venues.

The first 2,500 discs, which include music videos, photos and audiotaped interviews of Boy George, were on sale at last week's tour opening in Atlanta.

"The CD-ROM had to project the Boy George attitude and style--from what we've seen he's definitely classier than he was before," Carlson said. "We did our research. He has been doing a solo tour in Europe, he has released numerous albums. The CD-ROM has sort of a European, energetic, colorful design to it. It's not subtle, it's flashy."

Gateway Arts, which has a staff of four and works with outside contractors on various projects, also has been hired to create a Boy George-Culture Club Web site and a tour brochure.

Carlson founded his company in 1991 focusing primarily on package designs, product brochures and other graphics-based corporate promotional material. The firm's clients include Moorpark in-line skate and snowboard manufacturer Variflex, Blue Cross of California and the New West Symphony.

"Our intent by doing the [Boy George] project is to establish that we're more focused now on the interactive CD-ROM market," Carlson said.

"The significance is the amount of people who will be able to see the product we have created," he said. "Our intention was to create a great product and put Gateway Arts on the map as an interactive design company.

"We've been developing the Internet as a communication vehicle for the last three years and the CD-ROM development for the last two years, and to get a break like this is what we need."

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