Graphic Design Students Engage in Community Outreach

Graphic Design Students Engage in Community Outreach

Wed Feb 15, 2017 at 09:13 AM

Junior and senior graphic design students enrolled in “DES385: Community Design” function as an operational graphic design studio, working in teams to pitch ideas, develop designs and follow projects through to production for Detroit metro nonprofits. Students gain professional design experience creating quality design concepts for community organizations under the direction of Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Meaghan Barry.

Currently, students are in the process of redesigning the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative’s logo, one of the organizations selected as a client this semester. The Detroit-based nonprofit “seeks to engage members of the Michigan community in sustainable agriculture.” They believe that challenges unique to the Michigan community (e.g., vacant land, poor diet, nutritional illiteracy and food insecurity) present a unique opportunity for community-supported agriculture. Using agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability and community — while simultaneously reducing socioeconomic disparity — they hope to empower urban communities. The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is 100 percent volunteer funded.

The client has asked students to balance the homegrown, grassroots feeling of the organization with a more modern, professional look as they begin expanding their reach and build partnerships with larger, more established companies. Attached is the current organization’s logo, as well as a couple of in-progress designs by student teams. Which one would you choose if you were the client?

Current logo:

Student updates:



The Lighthouse/Oakland Art Review

Last fall semester, one of the OU senior design classes visited Lighthouse of Oakland County which provides emergency support, including food and housing, to low-income families in Oakland County. The class worked on updating the brand and created new pantry flyers and social media ads to help the cause.

The same class also updated the Oakland Arts Review logo. The new logo was designed by Natalie Williams. The Oakland Art Review is an international undergraduate literary journal. This year's journal cover will not only feature a new logo, but also a painting that studio art student Marigrace Francis completed for her thesis project last semester.

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