Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning (AACAL)graphic design class created the new Snack Pak logo.
Students build logos for local firms
Oct 24, 2012
By JACOB MAYER
When Snack Pak 4 Kids founder Dyron Howell decided his organization needed a new logo, he explored options with several design companies, but turned to high school students for a solution.
Howell contacted Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning graphic design teacher Tammy Newsom in September to develop a new logo, but the project turned into a chance for students to gain valuable experience beyond what Howell and Newsom first imagined.
“I was shocked,” Newsom said. “I thought, ‘What a great opportunity for my students to actually gain real-world experience, to see it from
beginning to end, that their work does have meaning and value.’”
Howell said he and his wife started the Snack Pak 4 Kids program two years ago, providing sacks of food for local at-risk students every weekend.
The students built their logo designs, and graphic designers visited the class to offer critiques, Newsom said.
More than 20 students presented their designs to Howell and the designers to learn how to work with clients, Newsom said.
That’s an aspect of the lesson Newsom wouldn’t have been able to provide otherwise, she said.
“It reinforces what I’ve been teaching them,” Newsom said. “It’s not all about what you want; it’s about what your client wants.”
The feedback also was an eye-opening experience for Logan Bryant, 16, a junior at AACAL and Amarillo High School.
“I wasn’t prepared for the critiquing,” Bryant said. “I wasn’t ready for what they had to say. You have to be a little emotionless when that happens.”
Bryant said he expects those learning moments, combined with the technical skills he is learning, to help him as he enters the workforce.
“Experience will blow anyone out of the water,” he said. “No matter how young you are, if you have experience they are more likely to choose you. This is really, really helpful.”
The chance to build the logo for Snack Pak 4 Kids was particularly meaningful for Kayla Bolin, 17, a junior at AACAL and Amarillo High. Bolin said she previously volunteered with the organization and saw how it helped students who need food for weekends.
“Creating a logo for them, whether or not they chose mine, was still a lot of fun,” Bolin said. “I liked being able to give back to an organization that gives to the community so much.”
Howell said the organization now works in 14 school districts throughout the Panhandle and helps feed more than 3,000 children.
The organization plans to use a logo created by Jasmine Uy, 16, a junior at AACAL and Amarillo High, Howell said.
Uy said she enjoyed working on the project, but she didn’t start with one idea she knew would work.
“I had a lot of trouble at first trying to come up with something,” Uy said. “I played around with 12, 13 or maybe more ideas. I just tried doing them all and it led to the one that they chose.”
Uy said she was nervous when she first presented her design to Howell and the professional designers, but their feedback helped her create a better logo and gave her the confidence to work on future projects.
Uy said she will work with designers John Chaka and Jerry Bergeron at “redcap,” an Amarillo design studio, to refine her logo.
Designers also will also mentor her for the remainder of the school year as part of AACAL’s mentoring program, Bergeron said.
“It’s rewarding and inspiring to see the level expertise and creativity that they have at that age,” Bergeron said. “If we can apply some real-life application to their experience and their work, it’s a win-win.”
The students’ next project is to design a logo for Urban Envy, a mobile boutique, Newsom said.
Whether or not the students pursue a career in graphic design, Newsom said she hopes lessons from this class help students interact professionally, as well as have technical design skills they can use later in life.
“I want to develop their creativity, to be able to see the design concepts,” Newsom said. “I want them to be able to actually recognize (the design concepts) and for them to think outside the box, to not allow us to stuff their creativity.”
For Howell, the Snack Pak 4 Kids project evolved from the need for a new logo into a chance for students to support an organization that helps other students.
“There’s nothing better than kids helping kids,” Howell said. “As adults, we try to solve problems and we think we know the best solutions, but we have involved kids since we started this program, and it’s been amazing. … They can see things in such a different way than we do.”