Graphic design majors at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology created a visual image that will soon become recognized in Okmulgee as the symbol of a healthy lifestyle. Making healthy food choices, exercising regularly and having access to preventative health care are all elements of making people healthier — which is the goal of the Okmulgee County Wellness Coalition.
Bob Klabenes, chair of the coalition, decided that a new logo was needed so Okmulgee community members will begin to recognize the symbol when dining out at restaurants in the community and make healthy food choices. When Klabenes decided he needed a new logo and an awareness campaign, he knew exactly where to go – OSUIT’s Visual Communications graphic design department. Since Klabenes retired in 2011 as president of OSUIT, he was already very aware of the students’ creative capabilities and the skills they learn in the program.
OSUIT graphic design instructor Mary Trammell says three students in her Identity Design class were eager to work on the branding campaign for the OCWC, since they wanted to contribute to such a great cause. Sharry Mouss from Henryetta, Tess Ogden from Broken Arrow and Kristie Reed from Muskogee began working on the OCWC branding campaign in a “competitive” situation, and after finishing their designs, they presented them to the committee and one design was chosen.
Trammell says the exercise in her Identity Design class teaches students invaluable skills that they will use when on the job. “When students create a new branding design and campaign for an organization on a ‘live’ project, their process includes meeting with the clients to get briefed on the project and listening to the client’s needs and goals. Then, they thoroughly research the client’s organization, their demographics, and also research the organization’s competitors. Students have to brainstorm and produce a plethora of different solutions. Through a critiquing process, their ideas get refined and focused in a certain direction and they begin to produce designs based on that idea.
Tess Ogden was pleased that her design was chosen, and throughout the process she learned skills she will take with her when she is employed. ”
Trammell adds that during this in-class process, students learn the industry-level skills such as how to interact with clients, how to get detailed client briefings, how to produce design work that satisfies a client’s marketing needs, how to meet tight deadlines and how to present their designs to clients with persuasion and confidence.