Kutztown University 15th Annual Designathon

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Last month one of our designers, Becki Murray, attended her alma mater, Kutztown University. They hosted the Communication Design’s 15th annual Designathon, where she got the opportunity to work with three out of 20+ groups of students as their art director on Non-Profit work. She participated in her own Designathon back in 2017.

KUCD’s Designathon is a 12-hour marathon, which used to be a 24-hour marathon when Becki attended school. They have since learned that they are able to produce just as amazing work in 18 hours, and now down to 12. During these 12 hours, students were tasked with the challenge to design for nonprofit organizations with their groups. This ranged from designing and executing logos, merchandise, branding toolkits and more.

From 9am to 9pm, Becki worked with three groups on their designs for three separate organizations; The Kutztown University’s homecoming logo, Trekking With Kirk and Amos Lemon Burkhart Foundation.

While working to design something for the Kutztown homecoming logo is straight forward, Trekking with Kirk and Amos Lemon Burkhart Foundation have a story behind them.

Trekking with Kirk is a non-profit organization that was founded by Jeri Humm Fakete in 2020 to honor her son, Kirk M Fakete who passed away in 2019. When Kirk passed away, he left behind over 50 pairs of unique and interesting socks – it was his favorite accessory. Now, with their website they donate 100% of their purchase proceeds towards annual sock drives as well as provide funding for organizations involved in homeless services, rehabilitation and treatment programs, and policy advocacy. The students at Kutztown were challenged with the task to execute a brand toolkit.

The Amos Lemon Burkhart Foundation is a traveling art exhibit and online gallery to promote the legacy of artist Amos Lemon Burkhart who tragically passed away. He was a driven young artist who had created hundreds of paintings, works on paper, digital art, and animations. The foundation helps bring “conversation and awareness about creativity, mental illness and addiction in order to help young artists stay alive and make art”. They work to provide annual college scholarships to high school art students through the Berks County Community Foundation, provide annual scholarships to college art students who have struggled to overcome problems through the Montserrat College of Art, support treatment of young adults Caron treatment and recovery center, create other programs and support other causes aligned with our mission. Additionally, 100% of all proceeds from sales of original artwork, limited edition prints, and other merchandise are distributed to foundation grantees. The students at Kutztown were challenged with the task to design stickers for their merchandise shop.

Becki worked with the students through their design processes, guiding them with her design and work experience that she has gained from attending Kutztown University and working at Smith Design. From reviewing the brief, to working on sketches and thumbnails to the execution and then finally presenting their work to the client – the teams were super busy all day. See their final results here!

Becki feels honored for the chance to have been able to go back and work with students with the same passion in art and design that she has. She liked being able to share her “real world” knowledge with the students and help them make connections about what they were doing that day and how it can be connected to what they might be doing in their design field of work and career. Another perk was being able to combine the fun and excitement of design with helping others. She remembers learning a lot when she participated in Designathon as a student. Specifically, being able to work with real clients for the first time and having to take all their ideas and thoughts and curate them into a piece that they would like and in return help them grow. She feels that she has really grown as a designer throughout the years as she now feels knowledgeable to be able to now give art direction, help student decode a brief or thoughts from a client, as well as also help them present their work in a professional manner.

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