The 2020 branding concepts shown below are from a collaborative project between Graphic Design, Interior Design and Integrated Marketing Communication majors at Harding University. The four student teams branded a fictitious park experience near the Little Red River in Searcy, Arkansas. Students were challenged to create not only the brand, but also to design lodging, park activities and amenities.
Meet our teams by clicking on the 2020 brand logos.
Our student teams of designers, marketers and storytellers are given four months to create the strategy and design for a brand. Teams set up an exhibition in the Stevens Art Gallery and formally present the brand to industry professionals, clients and professors. Students learn how to : develop project timelines, work with a team, understand the vernacular of other majors, engage in various research methods, work with unfamiliar software and technology and stay within a firm project budget.
This year, teams are presenting their strategy and concepts online. We appreciate and are impressed by our students’ ability to quickly transfer their concepts to a new media form. We hope you enjoy viewing their work and please leave a message in the guest book below.
“ I believe working in this group has been a great learning experience for everyone involved. We've been able to meet new people and learn about not only working together as a group, but also working with people who often have different perspectives and mindsets than our own. Projects like this aren’t created by one mind, it takes a team effort to accomplish a grand vision like this branding project."
-- Team River's Edge --
Collaboration between majors in graphic design and interior design at Harding University began in 2003 when Art & Design professors, Daniel Adams and Amy Cox, read about a turnkey design firm developing both the graphic design and interior design for a restaurant.
Each spring professors brainstorm a new branding challenge for the student teams. Projects sometimes have creative prompts such as a restaurant brand based on an artist's work and other years the concept is inspired by emerging trends in culture like boutique fitness or boutique hotels centered on university life.
Harding branding projects have included : restaurants, hotels, non-profits, a children’s museum, an airline, boutique fitness and a tourism kiosk. While most years the client is created by the professors, teams have had the opportunity to work with local and aspiring restaurant owners and with Searcy organizations.
Assembled and dismantled on the same day, projects were first displayed on tabletops. Due to the project’s popularity, in 2005, the branding displays were moved to Stevens Art Gallery. The larger venue allowed the project displays to grow to include : retail counters, furniture, light features, a plant wall and even
a climbing wall. As the scale of projects increased, teams were given a budget to help with printing and exhibition costs. Searcy and Little Rock businesses became involved generously providing furniture and various props.
Integrated Marketing Communication students joined the student teams in 2010 supervised first by professor Mark Davis and then with Lori Sloan in 2011. Stacy Gibson became the supervising professor for the graphic design majors in 2015 and Amy Cox has continued to supervise interior design majors since 2003.
Since 2005, alumni and industry professionals have travelled to Searcy to evaluate student presentations and share valuable insight with the teams.
The Branding Show is displayed in Steven Art Gallery the week leading up to and during Harding University’s Spring Sing. The gallery reception is well attended and a friendly competition has emerged between the teams. A jar for each team is set up in the gallery and visitors are encouraged to vote with their spare change for the team's work they like best. All proceeds go to a nonprofit. Our biggest collection was $1,200 collected for Habitat for Humanity.
This year we want to say thank you to : Searcy Mayor Kyle Osborne, Whitlow Engineering, Mat Faulkner, Think Idea Studio, Searcy Parks and Recreation and SREDC for sharing your time and insight. While this project is for academic purposes, our hope is that it will create interest in the possibilities that an attraction of this magnitude could have on the Searcy community and economy.