We had a special guest join us a few weeks ago in our New Artist class: Kim Collins, owner and creative director of Blue Tomato. Blue Tomato is a local boutique graphic design and website firm located here in South Side, Pittsburgh. Kim has been a positive presence in our neighborhood, and we asked her to share a bit about how she came to be a graphic designer, and what all goes into her creative process.
Kim had our students do a fun game recognizing many different big brands to demonstrate how images are associated with a message, ie. branding, logos etc. The students really enjoyed this game and were practically jumping out of their chairs to get the right answer first. It was a great way to introduce the power of image, and what it communicates in today's marketing world.
The students were then asked to design a logo for their own imaginary company keeping their business or product in mind. They used Sharpies, colored pencils and graphite to illustrate their image. We had many different logos; their imaginations went wild!
Note: if you do this with your class be prepared for a whole back story of the business being presented. We were not expecting this when they gave their presentation at the end of the project. We simply asked for a business name/style and a logo. Almost every student had thought out a detailed back story for their business, and what they had to offer the community. Each one was unique and different. We were happy they were carefully thinking things out and thinking outside of the box. Wombat accessories, doll clothes, owl clothing, gothic restaurants and animal clothing lines were presented along with a detailed story.
Kim was an excellent teacher and really got the kids excited about design. A few were so proud of their personal designs that they offered them to Kim to take back and use for her future designs with Blue Tomato.
We are really thankful for awesome members of our community who love to give back to our students: teaching them new avenues of looking at art and how they can make it into a potential career.