As a professional graphic designer I am interested in the place that identity and branding create in the mind of consumers, specifically as it relates to logos. I have worked on several branding projects for local companies, and a large-scale regional branding for 8 counties in the state of Alabama. As an educator it is imperative that I continue my practice in the real-world of client-based projects. Maintaining this link helps me to keep up with changes in the discipline and that experience enriches my ability to teach a living- model of graphic design.
My efforts in mapping and documenting space led me to ideas of stewardship and caring for these places. I want young designers to understand the importance of community and how they can use the “Design for Good” model to care for local spaces and the people who call them home. I see this activity as a way to build community and foster under-served populations in Alabama, while transcending the typically commercial uses of graphic design.
While at UAB I have organized a small, student-run studio called BLOOM that takes on projects for non-profits, small businesses and local communities.Students work within the community, directly interacting with stakeholders as a way to explore and identify the true needs of the community. Once those needs are identified we work as a group using the designers toolset to addresses those needs. A typical outcome is an exploration document with examples of possible branding, identity, wayfinding, community development and marketing projects. These documents are more than traditional design. They become a roadmap of sorts that provides these communities an action plan that can then be used for grant writing and future planning. Clients included non-profit environmental groups and local community government. See More ---->
I created BLOOM Studio // DESIGN as a way to integrate Design for Good into the graphic design curriculum at UAB. We take on small projects for non-profits and small under-served communities in Alabama. In May of 2012 I was awarded a Sappi: Ideas That Matter grant based on work done by BLOOM Studios on the proposed Cahaba River National Blueway project.
BLOOM Studio supports my research trajectory and contributes to the discipline of graphic design by building an ongoing foundation for the academic examination of design for good. I presented work done by BLOOM during the 2012 SECAC conference and plan on continuing to use BLOOM projects as a basis for scholarly activity.