Design students tasked with major project


Members of the student group AIGA are redesigning YSU’s block logo. Photo by Chris Cotelesse/The Jambar.

The Youngstown State University block logo that hangs on the side of the Verizon tower can be seen for miles in any direction, but the iconic brand may be changing within the next few months. The YSU chapter of AIGA, the professional association of design, is redesigning the logo to be used on pins, official brochures and even to light up the Youngstown skyline. “The current block logo is being used less and less,” said Mark Van Tilburg, executive director of marketing and communications at YSU. “It is very dated in my opinion.” He said he has wanted to change the logo since he began working at YSU about four years ago. “It was quite adequate in its day, but its day has passed. I think it’s just time for something that young people are going to identify with more,” he said. He enlisted the help of AIGA and its faculty adviser, Rich Helfrich, for a more modern design. Five groups, led by the club’s senior members, are each working on their own design to present to Van Tilburg on April 1. “We didn’t give them any strict parameters,” Van Tilburg said. “I didn’t want to restrict them.” He said he gave the students two criteria to guide their work: It has to say “YSU,” and it has to use red, black and white. “They have creative freedom to come up with something in line with what Mark [Van Tilburg] had presented to them,” Helfrich said. Van Tilburg said along with a more contemporary theme, he and his marketing team directed the students to incorporate YSU’s mission of being an urban research institution into their themes. “This is part of that process is we try to upgrade all of our branding elements,” he said. He said he chose AIGA because of their previous work designing for the Rich Center for Autism and said the project will benefit both the university and the students involved. ”They’re looking for projects that are real world, that may well indeed end up getting used a lot,” he said. “And this will.”