Adjunct Instructor Rich Harrington’s ART 226: Advanced Computer Imagery class got a taste of the “real world” this semester when they were tasked with rebranding a local business. Students were required to meet with the owners of local small businesses to learn as much as possible about the business; its history, business plan, philosophy and product(s) or service(s) they provide.

They then took this information and redesigned the business’ existing logos to create more contemporary and representative marks. The new logos and chosen colorways were applied to a themed print and web ad campaign, billboards, a stationary program, outdoor signage, a brochure, vehicle wraps and company premiums (free promotional giveaways).

One student, Kendall Corey made a real hit with the business she chose: Thrive Hair Salon in Endicott, which according to Kendall has a holistic, almost Zen sensibility. Kendall is color blind, so the project was that much more challenging. In her words, “Being color blind doesn’t just get in the way of me matching my clothes or not being able to find objects because they blend in with, what would be to normal vision, a background of a fairly different color.

Color blindness can sometimes get in the way of making art, too. With this project, just like most of my past projects, I struggled a bit when trying to find colors that looked good both in my eyes and in the eyes of someone with normal vision. Pairing colors was also difficult, as it tends to look completely different for me than for most other people. Thankfully, over the years I have come up with my own strategies to work with my color blindness, but it still makes itself an issue every once in a while.

Thrive: A Northside Salon

I decided to rebrand the Thrive salon since I felt it needed a logo that truly represents the salon’s culture. I thought the logo should be simple yet stylish. Once I started sketching ideas, I decided on a lotus flower with a pair of open hairdressing shears on top. After working with some of the advice from the class creative meetings, I created the final logo.

A month later, the salon owner contacted me asking to purchase the logo. My professor offered thorough advice on pricing and the procedure for selling a logo. The salon owner bought the logo and is now rebranding the salon with it. Thrive will be using the logo on a new sign outside their building, on business cards, gift cards, small paper bags, and the salon’s Facebook page.”

Thrive: A northside salon

Kendall is a second year VisCom student majoring in Graphic Design and plans to transfer to Binghamton University in the fall to continue her education in Graphic Design. Her goal is to have her own freelance business after earning her degree.

Harrington reflects on the experience: “it’s very gratifying to see the hard work, dedication and talent of my students come full circle when they can experience the application of design concepts and processes to a real world scenario. I couldn’t be prouder!” Harrington is encouraging the rest of the class to approach the owners of their chosen business with the possibility of rebranding with their new logo designs. He is working on a way to share these other creative solutions with the college community online.

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