Collaborative DEC Honors Courses Help Revitalize Philly Neighborhood

(Left to right) Cecily Peterson Magnum, executive director at Logan CDC; engineering student Claire Reardon ’14; graphic design students Jewell Richardson ’13, J’Nay Penn ’13, Kristin Ward ’14; and Sylvia Okechukwu, business district manager at Logan CDC worked together to create a branding campaign for the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia.

A collaborative project across multiple Philadelphia University classes and majors helped develop a full-scale branding campaign for the Logan Community Development Corporation (Logan CDC), which focuses on revitalizing the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia.

The project began in the Opportunities Finding in Emerging Markets course, developed by associate professor Natalie Nixon as a pilot honors course for the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. Frank Baseman, associate professor and program director for graphic design communications, and Marcella Deh, assistant professor and director of the honors program, collaborated with Nixon on the course.

Five students—Claire Reardon, Kristin Ward, Samantha Kibler, Kelly Porter and Deja-Nicole Stokes—spent hours conducting ethnographic research in Logan during the fall 2012 semester. The students observed and collected information about the businesses, people, places and culture in the community, and how each of those elements fit together to form a cohesive whole. Throughout the project, the students worked with Logan CDC representatives to hone their research and develop unique insights into the community.

The research conducted in the honors course was then passed on to Baseman, who utilized it in his annual Philadelphia University Design Workshop (PUDW) class. Three graphic design students, J’Nay Penn, Kristin Ward and Jewell Richardson, turned the research into a branding project for Logan CDC.

“The students created a brand identity for Logan Business District in the form of a logo, full business stationery, as well as proposals for a marketing campaign using the Logan slogan: ‘Shop. Dine. Love Logan!’” Baseman said. “The campaign is intended to be utilized on pole banners, small posters, shopping bags, and buttons throughout the Logan neighborhood to create a sense of place and a sense of pride in community. It lets people know that Logan is a destination.”

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