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CCRI students win Board of Education logo contest

Nov. 13, 2013

CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale congratulates Chad Bacon as the logo he created with fellow student Karissa Palmer is unveiled. CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale congratulates Chad Bacon as the logo he created with fellow student Karissa Palmer is unveiled.

Two Community College of Rhode Island students took their hard work out of the classroom and into the spotlight when their design was selected as the new, official logo for the Department of Education.

Chad Bacon, working with Professor Deanna Agresti, and Karissa Palmer, working with Professor Mark Hartshorn, worked together to produce about 20 treatments for the logo, which earned them bragging rights, a recognizable client and a lunch date with Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Hartshorn said it was Bacon’s aesthetic treatment of the logo combined with Palmer’s strong eye and understanding of typography that won the pair the honors. “Because each school was only allowed to present one direction, we leveraged the strengths of each student, and that is how we got to the final product,” Hartshorn said.

Bacon remembers always having an aptitude for art. He said that he often took art classes in high school, and has made it a point to take at least one art class per semester since the 20-year-old Cumberland native started at the college in 2012. He loves to draw in black and white, reveling in simple forms. Yet, curiously, he doesn’t see himself as too creative.

Agresti begs to differ with Bacon. “I knew he was extremely talented right from the start,” she said of him when she first encountered him in her Spring 2013 Graphic Design I class.

Bacon admitted that it was his failure to do his homework one day that landed him the OHE logo redesign project: “We were supposed to bring in a title or sign to redesign. I didn’t have one. So Deanna Agresti asked me if I would enter the logo contest.”

At first, Bacon was hesitant; he thought that more experienced students from other institutions would have a better shot at winning. But Agresti said he soon “dove right in.”

Bacon said that, indeed, his motto is that simpler is better, and he doesn’t like a lot of frills and fluff to his forms. To that end, he worked tirelessly for four or five classes refining the shape of the logo in Adobe Illustrator, a program that he had encountered for the first time in the class.

Despite how long it was taking him, he persevered, which is another feather in his cap, said Agresti. “He stepped back from it and took the initiative to see the interaction between the two contours, and to make that work. I think the logo was selected because of its very subtle and sophisticated interaction. It feels very professional.”

Bacon said that he eventually will transition to applying his talent to a creative field such as advertising, while Hartshorn reported that Palmer is set to transfer to Massachusetts College of Art and Design as a graphic design major.

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Last Updated: 8/25/16