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When the Cincinnati Philharmonic Orchestra decided it was time to redesign its logo as part of a rebrand, they reached out for fresh ideas — to UC Clermont College students.
Formerly the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra, the organization wanted to redesign their logo in spring 2018 to reflect their new focus. “We wanted a design that would work well in color and black-and-white, a design that represents a modern outlook,” said Allison Jones of the Cincinnati Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gregory Sojka, professor and former dean of UC Clermont, serves on the orchestra’s board of directors and felt like the rebranding offered a potential experiential learning opportunity for UC Clermont students. “We knew this would give students an actual project to work on, a real-world experience that they can’t learn from a textbook,” said Sojka.
Sojka reached out to Professor Andy Curran, whose digital media students designed and presented new logo ideas to the orchestra as part of their illustration class. The top designs received cash prizes, but the logo designed by sophomore Chris Kaylor stood out in particular.
“Chris' initial design intrigued us,” Jones said. “We contacted him and asked if he was open to tweaking it to give it a more progressive look. And did he deliver! The CPO board is very impressed with the final logo design. From the colors Chris chose to the flowing nature of his design, he delivered everything we asked.”
Kaylor, a Bethel-Tate graduate, plans to transition to the digital media collaborative bachelor’s degree program at UC’s McMicken College of Arts and Sciences this fall. Originally a disillusioned business major, Kaylor’s passion for drawing eventually led him to major in digital media at his academic advisor’s suggestion. Kaylor says winning the contest and receiving his first “paycheck” as a graphic designer helped him see a future in following his passion. The Cincinnati Philharmonic Orchestra is now using Kaylor’s logo.
“I want to do it all,” Kaylor said. “I love video and graphic design. I’d like to start with logo design, and eventually work on movies and video games.”
Curran said he was proud of Kaylor and his other digital media students.
“The students put a lot of time and effort into this project, and they all stepped out of their comfort zones,” Curran said. “The designs were professional grade, and Chris was able to best capture the essence of what the orchestra people wanted.”
Kaylor says the friendly, supportive atmosphere at UC Clermont helped him find his true calling and gave him confidence to pursue his ambitions at the next level.
“UC Clermont was a great stepping stone to UC’s Main Campus for me,” Kaylor said. “I’m not sure I would have found what I really wanted to do if I had started somewhere else. I’m excited for what the future holds.”