Baker Herky


Baker Herky is in the standard Herky pose, hands on his hips, legs apart, big smile, but he is decked out in baking attire. He has a giant cupcake-shaped baker’s hat, an apron with cooking utensils, a towel, oven mitts, and stands next to bowls of ingredients. Usually, Herky is impressive or intimidating, but here he looks a bit goofy in pink and polka dots. Herky has a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up like a real baker would, but the pink color is what really stands out because it’s so bright and so different from his usual color scheme.

Erin Fitzgerald, an Iowa State grad, and participated in the Herky on Parade event in 2004. This Herky’s design is very specific, and it is placed in a Scratch Cupcake bakery in Coralville. When Scratch opened, they wanted to embrace the University of Iowa spirit, so they customized their own Herky to combine their bakery with the school’s mascot.

Pathos: The immediate emotional response communicated by this Herky is joy and humor. He looks a little ridiculous with his proud stance and his over the top cupcake hat and frilly apron. While mascots are meant to inspire community and competitive spirit, this Herky takes the pride of the school and combines it in a silly way with a local business. No one is looking to win any sporting competition at a bakery, people want to eat cupcakes and feel happy instead. The statue combines the community spirit of the school with the cupcakery in a lighthearted way that makes Scratch an informal part of the University of Iowa.

Ethos: Erin Fitzgerald went to ISU, so she doesn’t add credibility by being a graduate, but she now works as an Art Director for the University of Iowa, so she has credibility in a professional capacity. However, she is not super well known by name, so the Herky must speak for itself. I have been to Scratch, and I have seen this Herky, and he is one of the most memorable ones in my opinion, so that adds to his credibility because he is well known and remembered. For Scratch, the reputation of the Herky helps their business because people will associate the bakery with the University. Even though Scratch is in Coralville, it carries the spirit of the school.

Kairos: The statue is placed right by the door in the bakery, so it greets you as you walk into the store. Also, as I mentioned before, the Herky has a very distinct look, so it speaks to the point and spirit of the bakery as a whole.

The Herky doesn’t speak to any overarching social issues or topics, but it does reflect the values of Scratch because it shows Herky as a baker as though he supports their business and eating their cupcakes. It doesn’t have a super deep meaning or purpose; it’s meant to be fun and supports a sense of community. I think it can make you more willing to buy a cupcake and support the business, especially because people take pictures with the statue and their cupcakes.

The statue speaks to the influence of the university in the local area. Scratch understands its clientele and wants to make a connection with them. Every university has incredible school pride, but in Iowa, the Hawkeye symbol is everywhere, so by connecting their business to Herky and the school, the owners join the community the school created.


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