May 24, 2011

AGYA Debuts New Logo & Website

By: Carolyn Keene

Each semester the Brand Workshop; a student design firm at the Cal State University: Long Beach, takes on 4-5 different clients whom it works with to help them with their branding and graphic design goals. These goals could be anything from a logo redesign, to a fully developed packaging system. The workshop class is special in that it brings together graphic design students from all different classes to work together. We have a range of ages as well as a range of skills; from students with web proficiency, to those with a great eye for logo design. Under the direction of professor Sunook Park, all of these students are mentored and are able to combine their skills in small teams to turn out some amazing and fresh results for both small-scale and large-scale clients.

This semester I, Carolyn Keene (Graphic Design BFA), and my team of 4 others, Chrissy Song (Interior Design BFA, Graphic Design BA), J Diaz (Graphic Design BFA), Remo Colindres Jr. (Graphic Design BA), and Ro Oeurn (Graphic Design BFA) had the privilege of working with Divinity and AGYA.

Above: AGYA Co-Founders Divinity & Abraham with Professor Sunook Park and the CSULB students who worked on AGYA's project. 

Students do not get to choose which client they are assigned to, but I think I can definitely speak for the team when I say we felt very lucky to be able to work on the AGYA project. Something we loved about AGYA from the beginning was that we felt they were really making a difference in people's lives; that they had invested their entire heart and soul into AGYA. We could also see that AGYA had a competitive edge in the business world, being one of the only organizations that was not only lead by native Youth, but also focused on providing creative programs to foster self expression and empowerment.

Some people see graphic design as a very corporate enterprise, or- like in the advertising world- as a skill that is used to fool or take advantage of the public. Really though in my mind, graphic design is about creating personalities. It's about helping people and businesses express themselves to their fullest potential. This is what we were excited to do for AGYA. AGYA had done an amazing job of garnering public attention. It was now time to take their design to the next level in the form of a new website and a new logo that could not only hold their own against competitor businesses and look great, but communicate effectively.

We did this first with a logo re-design (see picture above). The team consolidated the many ideas of AGYA's original logo into a simplified form containing images of the ankh, the African continent, and light rays. We  paired this imagery with clear strong text and a memorable purple color to set AGYA apart from other African non-profits. We felt this logo was representative of strength and hope while also being trustworthy and professional. We took these emotional ideals and applied them to the second part of the project: the website ( Working in tandem with the current blog presence, we created a professional and informative 'face' of AGYA that would be easily modified to make room for new content as AGYA expands. We also focused on showcasing the AGYA social-media outlets in order to spread the word and communicate with AGYA supporters.

Overall working for AGYA was an amazing experience. Divinity was a great client who challenged us to find the best design  solution and really had a vision for where AGYA should be headed. Our Workshop team not only got a great education in working with real-life clients and businesses, but also about global issues, finding passion in your work, and having a heart for humanity. I think the entire team got a lot more out of this experience than just how to design a logo and a website... and we have Divinity and AGYA to thank for that! We hope AGYA enjoys the new logo and website, and that we have been able to help them continue to make a difference in communities both in Uganda and in the United States!  Thank you!

Carolyn and the AGYA Workshop Team