Broderick Adé Hogue, a Chicago-based designer who worked with brands like Nike, Target and even Alaska Airlines, graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2012. On Oct. 29, 2021, Hogue died from traumatic brain and head injuries in an accident after being struck by a van while he was riding his bike.
Almost a year after Hogue’s death, a Sept. 1 art gallery reception was organized in Rowe Galleries by several College of Arts and Architecture (CoA+A) faculty members to pay tribute to the late alumnus. This was titled “Beauty in the Struggle: Celebrating the Life & Works of Broderick Adé Hogue” and was made to honor the late designer. Before the reception, a heartfelt short film, “Finding Go: The Legacy of Ade Hogue,” was shown. This film outlined his life, legacy and achievements. The Hogue family, Charlotte alumni, CoA+A faculty members and students were in attendance at the reception.
The gallery showed samples of Hogue’s lettering designs on tracing paper, multimedia works, his college sketchbook, a prototype of the plane that he designed for Alaska Airlines and his iconic jean jacket he wore that read, “We Gon’ Be Alright.” These are lyrics he referenced from Kendrick Lamar’s song, “Alright.”
At the event, Hogue’s father, Benjamin Hogue, said that his son “always had this unique laugh about himself.”
“I’ll always remember him being persistent and his smile,” said Hogue’s mother, Vanessa. “He was just down to earth. He said, ‘Don’t die with your gift in your hand.’ I didn’t even know that he had told my daughter that until she brought it up when he passed. He didn’t die with this gift in his hand. He left it with everyone.”
Several CoA+A faculty members recalled Hogue’s time at UNC Charlotte. His professors described him not only as a talented designer but also as a friend.
“I would describe Adé as one of a kind,” said David Brodeur, one of the reception organizers and Hogue’s former design professors. “Yes, he was talented, but he also worked his tail off, especially when he left his salary job to become a freelancer.”
“After he [Hogue] changed to art and graphic design, he thrived because he fell in love with the process. He also had to balance school with working multiple part-time jobs to pay the bills, as well as internships and student organizations,” said Brodeur. “Yet somehow, he took advantage of these opportunities and carved out enough time to go above and beyond expectations.”
Robert Campbell, a Charlotte graphic design professor and another reception organizer, recalled some of his memories of Hogue in class.
“What stood out about him was his willingness to bring and spread positive energy in class,” Campbell said. “He was also quick with a funny joke or a silly comment to lift everyone’s spirits. I remember that when I had him in class, we were cracking up at some point.”
Campbell, who had taught Hogue for three semesters, had also described setting up the exhibition as bittersweet, “It was emotional to revisit those moments and see what he was writing and drawing in my classes. Assembling all of his work in one place was tremendously inspiring for me and our students.”
Jeff Murphy, a digital media professor who also teaches an interactive art and design class at UNC Charlotte, described Hogue as “a bright star amongst his design peers.” Murphy also mentioned the late alumni visiting the university after he graduated. “Hey [Hogue] was really giving of his time. After he graduated, he would visit the design classrooms and discuss professional life and design with the current students,” Murphy said. “Because he really gave back to the school, and because of his professional design reputation, Adé went on to receive our Distinguished Alumni Award in Art and Art History.”
Nova Literary-Arts Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Alexander Beets, recognized Hogue’s influence on future designers, creatives, and those who worked with the magazine.
“I think I, myself, aspire to go full force at what I want because I keep on hearing that’s what he [Hogue] did,” said Beets. “I think in times of doubt, worry and questioning, someone like Adé could go full force at what he wished and what he wanted to do, and that has much of a lasting impact.”
Hogue started his education as an engineering major until he transferred to the BFA program with the CoA+A, with a concentration in graphic design. He also served as a co-designer for Nova Literary-Arts Magazine (formerly known as Sanskrit Magazine).
After graduating from UNC Charlotte, he moved to Chicago to pursue graphic design. Throughout his life and career, PRINT Magazine recognized him as one of 15 designers under 30 years old who was changing and shaping the future of design. His airplane design for Alaska Airlines featured inspirational quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
Throughout the remainder of his life and beyond his passing, Hogue’s legacy continues to shape the future of design and inspire future artists throughout his work and inspiration.