Commercial Art students collaborate on special project

New logo incorporates several meaningful images

Art students work on new St. Matthews logo

Working with clients is part of the learning that goes on in Commercial Art

Sandra Oseguera sat at her workstation manipulating a blue image on her computer screen. Several feet away, Emma Garcia was at her computer adjusting red words on her screen. The two New Rochelle High School students are students in the Commercial Art program at the Center for Career Services. They were selected to spearhead the final aspects of a special collaborative project to create a new logo for the Southern Westchester BOCES St. Matthews Center for Special Services.

“They gave us free reign,” Commercial Art teacher Damian Powers said of the project.

Students were instructed that the real-world project needed to include certain parameters, including designing a logo that a could be scaled up or down in size without losing any detail. The logo also needed to incorporate the principles of St. Matthew’s.

Throughout the process students met virtually with the client to gather information about what the clients hoped to achieve in the new design. The clients were questioned about the color palette, size, font style, what the logo will be used for and more.

“We want this logo to define what we stand for,” were one set of instructions given to students.

Students also learned more about the institution they were working for. They were told St. Matthews Center for Special Services is “an alternate assessment-based program that works with students in middle school and high school. Students in our program have an interest in working on pre-vocational skills and need support on functional life skills.” The center works specifically with Autistic students as well as those with Down syndrome and several with developmental delays. The client described the school as “compassionate, caring, safe, trustworthy, creative, community, family, friendly.”

Students worked on their own individual designs and shared them with one another in a peer review format. From there, students selected three designs from what they had developed and shared those with the clients.

Sandra, a junior, and Emma, a senior, were selected to take the feedback and finalize a design and present it to the clients.

“I’ve never created a logo before,” Sandra said. “It’s a first-time experience. I am out of my comfort zone, but I am pretty proud of the work I’ve done.”

Emma said she has worked on developing logos before, experience that helped make this current project easier.

“They knew what they wanted,” she said.

In her original design, Sandra incorporated the American Sign Language sign for “I love you,” along with books that represent learning and a tree symbolizing how students grow as they learn.

Emma also used the “I love you” hand sign in her original logo as well. She also included hearts and hands in her design as the clients noted they wanted the logo to represent caring and loving.

Just days before the two students were to present their final draft, Sandra admitted to being nervous, but hopeful that the design would be approved.

“It was enjoyable, but also nerve-wracking to find out if they would like any logo. It made me nervous, but in the end, I liked what I came up with. I was proud of myself,” Sandra said.

Mr. Powers said this type of project not only helped students learn how to work with clients, but also was important because it was a collaborative project amongst his students.

This year especially, a project like this was more challenging because students could not meet the clients in person and had to discuss the work virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. On the positive side, students are able to have the classes in-person, which Mr. Powers said enabled them to work with their peers and learn to communicate with one another.