"Life, life / Bring my [logo] life!" - Dr. Fran[ken]stein
By: Keni Brown
BOOM! CRASH! A LIGHTNING FLASH!
A flash of genius strikes the Communication Arts department of Wilmington College.
And thus... The Quake was created from the brain of founder and WC alum, Nick Wiget.
All that was left was to come up with a logo, some pretty colors, and call it a day. Right?
Luckily enough, that's where I got to come in.
As with anyone that goes to college and has the realization that what they signed up to focus on for the rest of their life was, in fact, NOT what they wanted to do for all eternity, I changed my Education major at the end of my sophomore year. Luckily, I still had my English major in my back pocket, so I was ecstatic to further my design skill set through my new, shiny Communication Arts major.
A double whammy of creativity! The world was to be my oyster!
Or... not so much.
I was having trouble finding an outlet where I felt my skills could be honed to their sharpest potential. I hadn't really drawn anything since manga doodles in middle school, much less designed anything apart from janky posterboards or haphazard bulletin board designs in my other extracurriculars. And, y'know, when you don't have the right outlet, ya just feel like maybe your entire brain needs thrown in the compost bin.
It wasn't until Nick returned to our campus and stirred up movement toward creating a student & faculty run radio station that I realized that was the perfect place for me to be. I talked to the man, we set up a Design I class revolving around creative development for the station, and BOOM. Done. I was officially a #designer. This class signified it... even with all the pressure that comes with creating the *perfect* brand for something so vital to campus life. I'm finally validated in the world of creatives! Right? Right...? Finally???
News flash for anyone that has never developed an entire brand: this stuff is hard.
Before you even get to start on the *~*cool design stuff *~*, you have to determine the brand archetype, or the essence that your brand communicates to your audience(s). The purpose. The values of the student broadcasters. You can have all of the cool design work you want, but it's meaningless and empty unless it sends the message you need.
So, after all that was established in mid-December, the first step of crafting a logo could finally begin. We (we being myself and the incredible Corey Cockerill, Comm. Arts professor extraordinaire, without whom none of this could have been accomplished) wrapped it up the week before we officially went live on February 15th.
So it all boiled down to this: what message are we trying to communicate?
With this blocky, bold, imperfectly-perfect-hand-scribble, I envisioned a risk-taking brand that could stand out in the sea of green that is Wilmington's color palette; not only visually, of course, but whose voice could be amplified across campus by the students that inhabit it, for the students.
Unafraid. Authentic. Rebellious.
A diverse sound that embodies the defiant spirit of all Quakers.
The Quake, Wilmington College Radio.
I truly couldn't be more proud of our final product (the blue-ish circular logo you see literally anywhere on our website.) The coolest thing about this creative journey was the realization that yes, even though designing this unique brand was fun and challenging, sometimes you have to compromise with things that aren't quite as fun and altogether more challenging.
That's the struggle with metabranding (creating a brand within a brand), but the creative powers of myself, Corey, and Randy Sarvis were able to collate into a logo, color hex codes, and fonts that represent what both parties wanted to achieve. Teamwork takes new forms, sometimes it feels like you're only going backwards, but hey:
We're pumping out strongly branded content every week.
We have a loyal social media following.
We have new student and faculty broadcasts constantly popping up.
We are constantly in awe at the tremors that these new air waves have caused.
As a graduating senior, I'm most excited to be able to look back at this station in a few years and see what it has evolved into. Music is the number one form of self-expression (for me, anyways) and to be able to use it as a vehicle for communication? To build bridges across campus? To start our amplified dialogue?
Oh yeah. Our purpose has been achieved. And it feels pretty darned good.