As one of the service learning components, the Chaplin Public Library logo design project was integrated into my Art 329 Graphic Design II class in 2019. The class focused on the study of visual identity design-one of our class topics and stu-dents developed various logo design solutions. All of the logos hung in the library for almost a month and patrons of the library could cast a ballot for the logo they liked best. The board was impressed with the originality of designs that students provided, and ultimately chose a logo for the library designed by Jacquelyn Gen-dreau and a second logo for a newly formed Friends of the library group designed by Jocab Guertin. During the project, the library director Sandra Horning visited the class and talked to the students about their need and vision of their identity. One of their board mem-bers Eunice Edelman and Sandra also joined the students' presentations and provid-ed every student valuable feedback for their designs. Meeting with the library staff helped students understand further about the skills of oral and visual communication. The students conducted their research on the town’s history and environment, came up with specific visual solutions aiming for the targeted audiences, and continued re-fining their designs based on the feedback gathered through individual and class cri-tiques. This real-world design practice effectively stimulated students and helped them develop a deeper understanding of conceptualizing their ideas by appropriately using design elements and aesthetics.
Service learning is blended into my teaching. I strive to find ways to incorporate community-based projects in different levels of my design courses and independent studies.
Projects such as Chaplin Public Library logo design, Pin design for Willimantic 3rd Thursday Street Fest, Windham Senior Center logo design, brochure and poster design for the Windham Region No Freeze Project and etc. were created to provide students the opportunities to connect what they learn in the classroom to real-world challenges.