Mary Baldwin Student Designs New Logo for Staunton City Schools

April 30, 1999

Mary Baldwin Student Designs New Logo for Staunton City Schools

The Staunton City Schools (SCS) logo recently had a facelift. Mary Baldwin University student Chiho Kodama, a senior graphic design major from Japan, designed the new logo for SCS as part of her Advanced Graphic Design class earlier this semester.

By placing an advertisement in local newspapers, the design students offered their assistance in creating new logos and stationary for non-profit organizations. The students met with several prospective clients and decided as a group which organizations they would offer free services. Two of the organizations they chose were SCS and the Valley AIDS Network.

In February, the design students presented their logo designs, approximately two dozen, to the Staunton City School board, who wanted to update their old logo and give it a contemporary look. Each student presented two completed designs plus a mock-up of stationary for the school board’s review as a culmination of their weeks of hard work.

“This has been such a great experience for the students, especially working with actual clients in a professional setting,” said Susan Payne, Mary Baldwin professor of graphic design.

Kodama’s design is a dramatically different logo for SCS’s new look. The old logo was a crest with four points containing educational graphics. The new logo consists of three blocks stacked on top of each other that project ‘Staunton City Schools.’ The three colors used are grey (elementary school), red (middle school), and blue (high school).

“The design is based around the building blocks of education,” said Payne.

“It was difficult to decide because all of the designs were spectacular,” said Claudette Obenschain, instruction technology coordinator for SCS, who was the main contact between the school board and the students. She was impressed with all of the students’ designs and the research they used to develop their creations.

The students spoke with several members of the educational community, such as principals and teachers, in order to understand the perception of the school district while designing a logo that would represent the three educational levels.

In addition to aiding non-profits, the students are gaining hands-on experience they will be able to showcase in their portfolios. The Valley AIDS Network has also chosen a new logo from the class, and the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace is working with a student for the redesign of its brochure.

Currently working on her senior project which will be on display at Mary Baldwin’s Hunt Gallery May 4 through May 9, Kodama is designing a brochure for the art department at Mary Baldwin. Upon graduation, she plans to return to Japan and pursue a career in graphic design.

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