I usually change the projects in classes that I routinely teach each year, but sometimes an assignment yields substantial educational rewards to warrant repeating. Last year’s anti-bullying campaign was important, relevant, and challenging, so we started off this year’s fall semester again with it. All of the original parameters and requirements remained the same.
The Newton Public Schools has a full anti-bullying curriculum in place that was designed by a local firm. We imagined ourselves as a design company being subcontracted by the firm to design a logo, poster, and t-shirt. After an initial orientation and discussion, each student selected their target audience: grades 2-8 or high school (all but one student in this year’s class chose high school). Everyone, including me, has their own Pinterest board for posting influences, inspirations, and ideas that contributed to their designs.
I made the logo design into a contest. Each student was required to design a logo that would become the umbrella identifier for the campaign. That was a challenging task, given the wide range of ages in the target audiences. The winning logo was used on all of the posters and T-shirts. The submissions were reviewed by me and a small group of colleagues. The results and some of my feedback comments are below.
October is anti-bullying month, which is one reason why we begin the semester with this assignment. October 21 was “Unite Against Bullying Day” nationwide. Next year, be sure to wear orange that day to show your support!
Specifications (final pdfs should show bleeds and crop marks):
logo – Must show in black & white, as well as in 4/c (four-color = cmyk); must be 300ppi. Must use winning logo on poster and t-shirt
poster – 24″ x 36″, plus 9 pt. bleeds. 4/c (four-color), 300ppi
t-shirt – 8″ square. 2/c (two-color = combination of pantones and/or black), 300ppi
logo – Can be type, graphic mark, or a combination of both
poster – Logo, at least 1 image, 1 headline, 1 Call-to-Action that includes 1 phone number and/or 1 website URL
t-shirt – Logo, at least 1 image, 1 headline
Student Designs: Logos
Karen’s original logo had a youthful graphic that was targeted for elementary school students. It might not be suitable for high-schoolers. There was a thumbnail in Karen’s concept book that I thought was more sophisticated and had more potential. I suggested that she develop it further, and she did (see below).
Karen’s revised logo is more abstract, clean, and effective. It would also work with the entire target audience.
This logo was a strong contender in the contest. A few refinements were suggested:
- Switch the left and right thought bubbles so that the pointers will be pointing to the type below
- Place the hand inside the right thought bubble to represent “Stop”.
- Use a silo image of a person speaking to represent “Share”.
This is a lovely graphic, yet it has an unclear message. “Heal a Broken Heart” could mean a lot of things. The type color of type is too light and soft for the campaign it’s being used for. Pink contributes to a mixed message, since it’s usually associated with valentines and romance.
There’s a lot of potential here. But the main problem was lack of clarity in its message: the mark alone is not sufficient. A tagline is needed to help communicate the message.
The winning logo. Clear, direct message that works well for both student age groups.
This is supposed to be a “helping hand” that’s reaching out, but it looks more like a fist. The letters on top of the hand obscure the fingers . Difficult to read “out”.
Another strong contender in the contest. Clarity of message: this is a very sophisticated concept, but it misses the mark a bit. Although bullying is negative behavior, “negativity” is an attitude. The statement implies that bullying can be stopped by changing attitudes. That’s true to an extent, but simplifies the problem too much.
Student Designs: Posters
Student Designs: T-Shirts
We do class critiques every week and the students are always curious to know what people think about their designs. We welcome your feedback, too! Sharing your thoughts adds new perspectives and contributes to the students’ educational experience.
Anti-Bullying Project in GD2 Class
Open Studios Marketing Campaign in GD2 Class
Sochi Posters by Design Students
Sochi Olympics: Lessons Beyond Design
Design Students’ Favorite Websites – Fall 2013
Design Inspiration: A.M. Cassandre