GTCC STUDENT DESIGNS WINNING LOGO

Titan Link Program Coordinator Sybil Newman (left) and GTCC student  Jessica Dougherty (right) hold up a banner featuring the new Titan Link logo designed by Dougherty. (Kristi Short/GTCC)

Titan Link Program Coordinator Sybil Newman (left) and GTCC student Jessica Dougherty (right) hold up a banner featuring the new Titan Link logo designed by Dougherty. (Kristi Short/GTCC)

Simple is better. That’s the motto advertising and graphic design student Jessica Dougherty lives by when creating designs.

“Attention spans are not what they used to be, and when I’m designing something, I put that into consideration,” Dougherty said. “I just imagine that every project is a billboard and that’s all the time I have to convey my point— Is it memorable? Is it visually appealing? Is it readable?—all before the car drives past.”

Dougherty is the creative mind behind the first logo for GTCC’s Titan Link. She used that approach of simplicity in designing Titan Link’s new logo as part of an assignment in her GRD-141 Graphic Design I class taught by Michael Lawson. The idea for the “swoosh” symbol came first, followed by the concept for the figure connecting the letters in Titan Link, which came to her in a dream.

“Our class worked on this assignment for a few weeks and it wasn’t until the night before the assignment was due that the design changed,” she said. “I guess I tend to stress dream, which worked out in my favor, because I woke up with the idea to add the person to the logo.”

Launched in 2016, Titan Link serves as a resource for GTCC students facing nonacademic challenges such as issues related to transportation, housing, or childcare. It links students and members of the GTCC community to college and community resources to meet those challenges and more.  Titan Link is an expansion of the Center for Working Families, which was established on the High Point campus in 2009 through a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Dougherty’s design was chosen among 31 entries from students plus 11 from a professional graphic designer, and she said it felt validating to have her logo selected. After nine years of excuses and self-doubt, she made the decision to return to college to finish her graphic design degree. Winning the logo contest confirmed returning to school was the right decision and that she was on the right career path.

“I have a large family, and being the only kid who didn’t finish school weighed on me and for years,” she said. “I let that dictate my happiness rather than telling myself it’s ok to have a different path. Now that I’m back in school, I wish I could slap that girl and tell her, ‘Who cares you didn’t finish then? So what if it’s not the time frame you thought it was going to be?’ If I had the choice to go back and finish at 24 years old, I wouldn’t do it; my work and design and even my thought process is completely different.”

Dougherty’s logo will be used in marketing materials for Titan Link, including brochures, bookmarks, banners, signs and pens.  The logo is also featured on the Titan Link web page.

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— Carla Kucinski