About 650 Union

As a child and a teenager, Hal Hilliard spent hours staring at album covers. Whether digging through his parents’ LP collection—The Beatles, Earth Wind and Fire, Parliament, Sly and the Family Stone, Hair, Richard Pryor—or browsing the sealed records in music stores—Kiss, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Grace Jones—the 12-inch square frames fascinated him—so much said with so few words. This intrigue was the main current that guided Hal through 20 years of communication design.

Before earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, Hal was already a heavily published writer. After his first semester, he quickly got his hands dirty in the ink of the publishing world by interning, freelancing and working full time for magazines and newspapers in the Dallas area in both writing and page design capacities. Hal’s beat of choice was arts and entertainment and human-interest stories; on several occasions he met and interviewed his heroes George Clinton and Fishbone. But when the duty called, he also wrote hard-news stories and investigative pieces.

At the same time, Hal was the art director, publicist and one of two lead vocalists for Bassx, an innovative hip-hop quintet that meshed three live jazz musicians with nongangster rhyme schemes. The band won the title of Best Rap Hip-Hop Group for two consecutive years and Best Funk/R&B Group in the Dallas Observer Music Awards. Finding success in Dallas and the Southwest after three releases, Hal and Bassx eventually moved to New York City, but broke up after a few years.

After founding Halographic in Brooklyn, he continued designing CD covers and promotional material for other bands and record labels. His nationwide clientele quickly expanded to include small business and corporations in publishing, education, fashion, photography, real estate and healthcare. For eight years, Hal was the art director for The Posse Foundation, Inc., a national leadership development and college access nonprofit based in New York City. Still driven by the memories of the eclectic, over-the-top ’70s glam rock and funk album covers, he refines his work through the elegant influence of Blue Note jazz.

Hal now pursues a master’s degree in corporate communication at Baruch College.

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