November 2, 2020Students Help Solar Equity Initiative Develop Brand Identity
Students in Kimberly Mitchell’s Advanced Graphic Design class created brand designs for an initiative that advocates for accessibility to clean solar energy. In collaboration with Vote Solar and on behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Solar Equity Initiative, the students gained invaluable experience working with clients and viewing graphic design through the lens of diversity.
The NAACP’s Solar Equity Initiative connects communities of color and underserved communities with solar technology for homes and community centers and solar skills training in several states across the country. With this goal in mind, students met with a client representative to devise options for identity branding for the initiative.
To best serve their client, students investigated civil rights economic and environmental justice and learned about accessibility to clean solar energy.
During fall 2020, the students presented their graphic design concepts to Hilary Lewis from Vote Solar. Representatives from Solar Equity Initiative are expected to review all of the branding designs and choose one that best reflects the project’s intentions.
“This course gave us great insight into working with clients, especially clients who have little to no pre-built branding,” said Taylor Bogle, 4th year Graphic Design student. “This project gave us a glimpse of designing for an organization that is still finding a footing in their own identity, and being a part of that is amazing!”
The Solar Equity Initiative is a project of NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program to advance the organization’s civil rights programs, which include economic development, labor, education, health and criminal justice.
“Working with a client affiliated with the NAACP helped me broaden my scope of diversity even further,” said 4th-year Graphic Design student, Christina Sok. “My best advice is that you must always work with other ethnicities in mind. I always try to create projects through the lens of diversity in order to make my work accessible to all.”
Through this course, students learned to investigate critical issues surrounding graphic design and to make connections to the outside world. Their exemplary work demonstrates our students’ eagerness and willingness to serve the community, and when students are equipped to investigate and understand critical issues, they are better able to affect change everywhere under the sun.
Vote Solar is a non-profit, independent solar advocacy group making solar energy affordable and accessible to more people across America through technical expertise, public engagement and coalition building.