Thu 16 Mar 2017

Graduate designed WITT's new logo

Who is the designer of WITT’s new logo?

We asked former WITT student Elle Brennan to tell us about herself…

I’m 27 years old, born and bred in Taranaki. I went to Spotswood College, studying design in school – it was always my favourite subject. However in terms of my career it took a while to get where I am today. I started in hospitality - my mother Kerry Vosseler owns Chaos Café, so I was able to work for her on and off while I studied. I moved to Wellington for a couple of years to study hairdressing and experience a different city. After I returned home to Taranaki, I decided it wasn’t the future that I wanted and chose to enrol at WITT to begin my journey as a Graphic Designer.

As I mentioned, I’m a local. I grew up on a small farmlet in the Kaitake ranges in Oakura experiencing a classic kiwi-outdoors upbringing. With so many things to explore and create I would always find myself outside playing with dirt and diggers with my brother. I’m now settled in a cute little home in Bell Block with my partner and our two dogs.

I studied the Diploma in Creative Technologies at WITT, graduating in 2014. I found my interests lay predominantly in graphic design, typography and editorial layout. But what struck me the most was the print media section of the diploma where we worked with etchings into metal plates and creating prints. This is something I would love to pursue as a hobby in the future.

All of my teachers were passionate about their fields, constantly pushing the boundaries, and pushing us to do the same. I found all of the teachers were really passionate about their fields and really pushed us to explore our interests and push our own boundaries. They were always supportive but if they felt you hadn't challenged yourself, they encouraged us to go to the next step, commit to our projects and get to what we wanted to achieve. One tutor in particular – Peter Avison - had the most impact on my time at WITT. I still have good memories and occasional giggle about his amazing knowledge of seemingly all things. We could talk to him about any thoughts or ideas and not feel like they were stupid or insignificant; he would always provide a little spark of inspiration. He is definitely a tutor who had a major impact on my time there.

I have been at TGM Creative as a Graphic Designer for two years, starting in a part time position and eventually moving into a full-time roll. My initial involvement with TGM Creative actually began through WITT. I was taken on as part of a work experience programme offered by TGM Creative via recommendation from WITT. I’m now working with a number of corporate clients creating a full range of branding and advertising.

On working with WITT to come up with the new logo…

WITT approached TGM Creative wanting a refresh rather than a rebrand. The project was to refresh and modernise the logo while keeping the same WITT values and remaining recognisable. When I approached the logo redesign it was important to aspire to create a logo that was strong, modern, and at the same time struck the balance of retaining the WITT values and elements.

To achieve this I retained the WITT foundations, keeping the mountain, koru, book and shield. However I delivered this in a fresh new way that brings the design in line with a modern audience, the new generation of students coming to WITT. In the beginning the design was a number of small changes, playing with the fonts, the colours and layout. Then we wanted to bring it out of its static lockup, giving the logo a sense of engagement and modernism. After this we moved on to create a strong, clean, modern symbol that would be used as the focal point of the logo. The symbol retains all of the colours and elements of the original work; however it can now be used in inverse, as a watermark, varying sizes and standalone.

I believe I achieved all that I set out to with this logo. It was a challenge to bring something to the future without disregarding the past, but here the logo still incorporates all that WITT has been, and it manages to be a strong modern and recognisable logo. The logo has been refined, without losing the brand, inspiration and messaging that passes on to the upcoming generations of WITT students.

And what does she think of the fact that her logo will become one of the most seen in Taranaki?

I’m both excited and nervous. As always, change is uncertain, so I do expect there to be a little negativity as people adjust. But I stand behind my design and WITT’s decision to bring itself into a modern light that speaks to their audience.  Its purpose and vision remains, giving locals like myself the opportunity to study at a tertiary level. So, I am excited to see what the future for Taranaki and WITT will look like. It’s a brave new step in the right direction and I am proud to have been a part of it.