Freshmen Become Graphic Designers to Create Logos for National Parks

Have you ever created a logo? Freshmen students in our Design Visual Art class sure have! Every year, Upper School Fine Arts Teacher Tiffany D’Addario challenges her students with the annual Logo Design Project where they are tasked with designing a logo. In order to make the logo design experience as realistic as possible, students pretend to be graphic designers while Upper School faculty and staff volunteers pretend to be clients who are the owners of various U.S. National Parks needing new logos.
The project has seven steps in total:
  1. The faculty/staff client chose a National Park that they pretend to own.
  2. Each student/graphic designer is assigned to a faculty/staff client.
  3. The student/graphic designer arranges a 10-minute in-person meeting with their client to ask design questions (i.e. details about color, shape, etc.).
  4. The student researches and then produces three different digital logo designs for their client’s National Park.
  5. The student arranges a final five-minute meeting with their client to decide which logo works best.
  6. The student invoices their client for their graphic design services.
  7. The faculty/staff client pays the student/graphic designer with digital currency designed by Upper School Fine & Performing Arts Teacher Patrick Huber’s Digital Design class.
“I am creating a logo for Death Valley National Park,” shares Lily Pickett ’25. “For this project, we used many skills we recently learned including learning how to use the elements of design as well as working with our ‘clients’ and learning how to communicate with them. My client was Ms. Check [Upper School English Teacher], and it has gone very well. I knew Ms. Check before this from other classes, but it was really cool working with her in this sort of light. This project is something I have never done before and it has been way more difficult than I thought it would be; however, it has been one of my favorite projects so far.”
“The National Park I had was Dry Tortugas,” Anika Mulkanoor ’25 elaborates. “I used the principles of design which were texture, color, shape, form, and space. I communicated with Ms. D in order to perfect my design. During the process, I learned about the complexity of design and how hard designers work; kudos to them.”
“I’m currently creating a logo for Haleakalá National Park in Hawaii,” details Kriya Doshi ’25. “We spent a lot of time in class learning about what design is and the philosophy behind it. We also took time to learn the difference between marketing and branding and how that helped us create a logo. When creating our designs, we had to learn the origins and histories of our parks so we knew what tourists wanted to see when they would go to the park, and along with that was the psychology of color which helped us draw in our target viewers. For my park, I am working with Upper School Librarian Colleen Williamson who is the “owner” of the park, so I needed to interview her and get her perspective of the park because she is my client. She is a great client and has given me tons of ideas on how to create the perfect logo for this park. This project is really a cool experience because it pushes us to think past what we might want in a design, and instead forces us to imagine what will be the most effective design if this was real life.”

See some of the final logo designs in the gallery below!

Well done, graphic designers!