Last April, when Kjirsten Corson became the new director of Sisters in Shelter, a local safe house for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, she knew she wanted to infuse some fresh ideas into the organization. One of them was creating a new logo. Kjirsten turned to Heidelberg with a cool idea to have students enter a contest to design the new graphic identity for Sisters in Shelter.
“We thought it would be great to involve local talent, so we created the logo design contest,” Kjirsten said, adding that the contest was specific to Heidelberg students. “Heidelberg students are always reaching out for projects or wanting to volunteer. It’s awesome. That’s the reason I went for Heidelberg students first.”
Kjirsten reached out to Dr. Robin Heaton, who turned to Nathan Cutietta and his Visual Communication students to get them involved.
Turns out timing was perfect. Nathan and his students were studying logo design in their class. “It was a cool opportunity to do something for the community,” he said. Then, the students jumped on board.
They researched Sisters in Shelter, and learned that the organization provides critical first needs for women survivors of human trafficking such as emergency safe housing, medical care, safety planning and legal advocacy. And with Kjirsten as a new director, the organization now has expanded the scope of its services to assist victims of domestic violence. In class, Nathan taught the students logo conceptualization, colors and design elements, and messaging. Then, they went to work.
The students submitted their completed logo designs to Sisters in Shelter, whose membership voted on their favorite. They also opened up voting on their Facebook page.
By a large margin, voters chose a design by freshman Grace Fillinger, a health sciences major and softball player from Hinckley, Ohio.
Voters were attracted to Grace’s design “because it looks kind and light and soft … like a place you would come for peace,” Kjirsten said. Incorporating the words “Empowerment. Hope. Healing.” into the logo “represents a snapshot of our organization.”
Grace brought some experience to the assignment, having taken several graphic design classes in high school – but never designing for an actual client. After completing her research about Sisters in Shelter and its mission and exploring design elements, she created the logo with the hope of getting an A for her design and maybe even some extra credit. But she never expected to win the contest.
When Grace learned that her logo was the winner, her reaction was, “Oh cool!” She worked with Sisters in Shelter to tweak her design, changing the color scheme and the wording. “In the end, I liked it better, too,” she said. It’ll be “definitely weird” the first time she sees her design on a T-shirt, Grace said. But it’ll also be rewarding. Oh, and by the way, she did get that A.
For her outstanding design, Grace received a $50 Visa gift card and a T-shirt. A design by sophomore Isaiah Flood came in second. He received a $25 gift card and T-shirt. Senior Kate Mundy’s design was judged third, and she received a T-shirt.
“The talent was amazing,” Kjirsten said. “It was really nice to see how the students interpreted who we are as an organization.” She added that the new logo will be used organization-wide, featured on the Sisters in Shelter website and in a variety of other printed materials, such as business cards, brochures and media.