Image Project

Designing a Logo

Your challenge for this project is to research a local non-profit organization and design a new logo for it. For the research aspect of the project, you will need to discover as much information as you can about the organization (for example, who are the major stakeholders? Which part of the community does the organization serve? What is the organization’s primary mission?). While much of this information will be available on the organization’s website (assuming they have one), to really understand what kind of logo the organization might want, you also will need to interview employees and/or volunteers who work for the organization as well as some of the community members it serves, since both groups will constitute your intended audience.

The subject matter of your logo can be almost anything: a symbol, a seal, an important object, an historic building, creatively designed text…etc; however, once you’ve found a design you think will work for this project, you’ll need to again contact the organization to make sure they approve of your design choices and then make adjustments as necessary.

As previously indicated, you are designing this logo for an audience composed of people who serve the organization and the people who the organization serves, so before you dive-in to your project, think carefully about the scope of this audience. What your logo communicates to board members may not be the same thing that it communicates to the community, so you will need to adjust your design choices to make the logo appeal to as many of them as possible. Above all, remember that your intended audience will be expecting something that communicates, encapsulates, characterizes, or otherwise defines what the organization is, does, or aspires to do. What they won’t expect is a poorly constructed image surrounded by some illegible text that vaguely describes the organization; they’ll be expecting something targeted to them, something fresh, something exciting, and something appropriate for the medium in which it will appear (is this logo for their website, their pamphlets, both, neither? These are things you should be aware of before you start designing and also things to keep in mind all throughout the design process).

You can by all means use any program you feel comfortable with to make this image. Illustrator is an excellent program, and it’s available on most of the campus computers, but it is by no means the only program available. Whichever program(s) you end up using, the most important thing to remember about your image is that you must make it entirely by yourself. That’s going to be our mantra this semester: Make IT (see what I did there?). So, don’t import any shapes, pictures, textures, or other preassembled objects into your deliverable (creative commons or not). Draw, type, stamp, color, and arrange everything within the program you have chosen to use. Finally, remember to carefully consider all of your design choices ahead of time (you can do this in your weekly reports!), since you’ll ultimately need to explain and justify these choices in your reflection papers.

© Andrew N. Rechnitz
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