Jacqueline Swanson, Student of Visual Communications Design, EWU, No Phone Number Available
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 3:59 p.m.
As a student of visual communications design, I had no idea what to expect when I logged into my first senior capstone class over Zoom in January. I was thrilled when our professor, Melinda Breen, told us that we would be working with the Continuum of Care (CoC), an organization working to end homelessness in Spokane.
Our assignment was to create a brand identity for the CoC, as well as design a website that would later get developed by an intern. By creating these assets, the CoC would become a more recognizable and understood organization with better communication tools, and we, the design students, would gain experience working with a client to meet their needs and practice the skills we’ve acquired through years in the program.
The students were divided into three teams, so as to provide the CoC with multiple options and allow us to work collaboratively. Each student in the class was assigned with designing a logo that reflected the story and personality of the CoC. Because most of us were unfamiliar with this organization at the time, this process involved a lot of research into this vast network and community. Breen encouraged us to have a clear understanding of the problem before diving into a solution. After several rounds of communication and iteration, we presented our logos to the board and they chose one designed by Tessa Burke.
Once that decision was made, the teams each used Burke’s logo to design a more fleshed out branding package, which included a color palette, logo variations, and other visual elements. We also designed website mockups that incorporated that branding. We created multiple pages, but our main focus was designing a landing page that hit each one of the CoC’s main goals for its users. We also created user flow maps, which involved organizing and categorizing the abundance of information that will be communicated on the site. After each team presented their branding package and web mockups to CoC Board president, Ben Stuckart, one project was chosen to move forward with. I was lucky enough to be a part of the team that was chosen, alongside Sean Hinkson and Chance Woudenburg.
Because we have all since moved on from that class, (and some have even graduated), the project will be picked up by another visual communications design student that the CoC brings on as an intern.
Through this collaboration with the City of Spokane and Eastern’s visual communications design program, the Continuum of Care is provided with a recognizable and more understandable brand, which has the power to make it more accessible to the community. Through the development of the website, communication with its extensive network should be improved, and its impact more far reaching. As students, this project has better equipped us for real world assignments and working with a client to meet their needs. What’s more, we can feel greater joy and a sense of purpose by helping organizations that are making the world a better place.