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Logo contest calls on teens’ creativity

United Way seeks input from graphic-design students

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POSTED: March 21, 2012 9:32 a.m.

A local nonprofit organization is calling on teens to get involved in the community — but rather than asking for funds, it’s seeking creativity.

The United Way of Liberty County announced today that it is launching a logo design competition open to all high-school students in the county.

Liberty County United Way Executive Director Jennifer Darsey said she hopes the idea will be adopted by the entire United Way of the Coastal Empire, which also serves Chatham, Bryan and Effingham counties.

The idea arose after the United Way saw Liberty County High School students swing into action when the Backpack Buddies pilot program launched in February, she said.

“It made us completely aware of how involved young people want to be in community issues,” Darsey said.

“They’ve a culture of their own sometimes, and they come up with the most incredible ideas, and we want that,” she added. “To me, young people have such an incredible ability to do things with technology that none of us can come up with … They are creative, they are unique, and they are individual in nature.”

The organization is seeking diverse and creative images that convey its mission, which is to support community programs that target four priority issues: education and youth development, health and wellness, economic independence and basic human needs.

Darsey said the strongest pieces will focus on the idea that the community should “live united.”

“I like the ‘live united’ concept because it far exceeds United Way … It belongs to the community,” she said. “What do we do as a community? When we see homeless people? When you see hungry people, … the way that we make a difference is to unite as a community … and we make a difference together. We’re better together than we are apart.”

While there are no content restrictions on the images, Darsey said the entries must be one-dimensional and submitted in digital and hard-copy formats.

Submissions in JPEG or PDF format will be accepted, but they need to be 300 dots per inch.

The logo will be used in campaign materials such as letterheads, banners and merchandise, as well as still and moving digital graphics.

The organization also partnered with Bradwell Institute graphic communication instructor Jim Collins, who teaches the graphic communication pathway program for students at both high schools.

“Any type of competition for my students is always a good thing,” Collins said.

He added that the contest gives students a reason to practice their graphic design skills, which integrate the elements and principles of art with technical aspects and design software.

Collins, a technical consultant for the judging, is sharing the competition with his students, who have access to Adobe design programs at the school’s computer labs.

“Talent is out there, and it’s actually in our county,” he said. “What the kids need to be working on is real design projects, not the tutorials.

“As these students are out looking applying for jobs, the people already want them to have worked on projects, … (potential employers) don’t want to see knowledge; they want to see a real project, a real Flash project,” he said.

Prizes will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners, who will be selected by a panel of judges from the executive committee of the United Way advisory board.

Though the exact prizes have yet to be determined, Darsey stressed that they will be “outstanding prizes.”

 

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