Graphic Design Student Creates Logo for Auburn’s Early Learning Center

At the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester, Associate Professor of Graphic Design Courtney Windham assigned her Intro to Graphic Design students to work on a project for the Auburn University Early Learning Center (AUELC). The AUELC is a pre-school for three- and four-year old children located on Auburn’s campus. The center employs professional teachers as well as a staff of teaching assistants, interns, work-study and lab students from the Human Development and Family Studies department in the College of Human Sciences. AUELC recently selected the work of junior graphic design major Grace Halley, one of Windham’s students, to use as its new logo.

The project began back in January when students toured the center, where they took pictures for inspiration and visited with AUELC Director Sharon Wilbanks. “They asked well thought-out questions about our history, our vision for the future, our values, our culture and our daily life in the center,” Wilbanks said. Halley noticed that nature and trees were a recurring theme on her visit. “My initial ideas focused on a seedling that looked both like a child and a plant,” Halley said, “but as I continued to develop the idea, it grew into a tree, which I thought was oddly fitting as the Early Learning Center has a special affinity for the trees the kids play on and around.”

AUELC staff members held a vote and determined that Halley’s was the logo that best represented the center. The new logo will be in use this fall, on letterhead, business cards, t-shirts, social media and the center’s website. It will also be used on personal protective equipment (PPE) that staff may need to wear due to COVID-19.

Wilbanks is pleased with Halley’s new logo and its connection to both the AUELC and to Auburn in general. “In the end, hers stood out as clean with a great balance of playfulness and dignity,” she stated. “At the ELC we are strongly based in nature play, but the image of a tree is special to all of us in Auburn.”

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Courtney Windham