Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Presentation to the Board

I had a very long night last night...I was chosen by my class (sucker) to present our class project to the Board of County Commissioners. We took on a hypothetical re-branding of the county and presented it to them in a book. However, we had a tough act to follow. We were agenda item number 27 out of 28...we thought we were done for it when they spent an hour and a half on number 6. Then in a surprise move they made a mass approval of items 7-24. 25 was a donation of lawn equipment from a local company (that I actually had interviewed with at one time) - that was an easy one.

Then 26 was a doozy. They were voting on benefits for domestic partners of county employees. It is amazing the fear and anger that can come out of some people on a topic like this. It does make me think of what I have learned of the civil rights era and how we look back on those views as so narrow now. I hope some day we'll look back on this time and think the same thing of the views that some people have now. They are just so angry...and so much hatred. Its amazing what people do in the name of Christianity. Anways...I digress. That topic took almost two hours and once it was over (it passed 6-3 right down party lines) it cleared the room. My fans were gone. But that's fine - it was 10:15pm and pregnant girl here had gotten up at 5:30am that morning to go running. I was pooped.

The presentation went very well and the angry faces on some of the commissioners were gone when they invited us to come up and shake their hands.

Here is my teacher, Kenn Compton's, rendition and pictures:

During the Fall 2009 semester, two classes from Advertising + Graphic Design collaborated on a project about the brand identity for Mecklenburg County. The project involved an investigation into the existing identity system and an exploration of possible solutions. Last night, two students (Becky Kobsik and Mike Calitri) from those classes, accompanied by their instructors (Jenna MacFarlane and Dimeji Onawafu), presented a book to the Mecklenburg County commissioners, bringing closure to the project.

The book features graphic explorations of a hypothetical new brand identity for the county departments, based upon the official county seal. Students also provided essays about what it means to them to be a Mecklenburg County resident. As part of their research, students interviewed each commissioner to get their impressions of what made Mecklenburg County special.

The commissioners response was very enthusiastic. Comments included: "an amazing piece of work" "terrific" "A+"

As they finished their presentation, Becky and Mike were invited to come to the floor and shake hands with the commissioners. One commissioner remarked that the students had done something that no one else had done that night--bring bipartisanship to the commission.

Afterwards, we were able to meet Mr. Harvey Boyd, a CPCC graduate from the 60s, and the designer of the Official Seal of Mecklenburg County. The students presented him with a copy of the book, since his work formed the foundation for their project. (He is also the designer of the Official Seal of CPCC, which can be seen on exterior campus signage.) Mr. Boyd has had a long and storied career as one the few African-Americans in the advertising field during the 60s and 70s.

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