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ONU graphic design alumna designs identity that does good best

August—In the nonprofit world, the word ‘do-gooder’ is a loaded term. It can refer to someone with good intentions who wants to help the underserved. But it also carries a stigma—that of an outsider parachuting into an unfamiliar place, imposing solutions and then disappearing just as quickly as he or she arrived.

An understanding of a culture or region of the world other than one’s own is an important part of a professional and liberal arts education at Ohio Northern. It’s also a key to developing leaders in an increasingly interdependent global society.

This summer, an ONU graduate is doing good by working to help underserved children in India. Olivia Lindsey (BFA/graphic design ’13) traveled to Faridabad at the beginning of June to explore the cultural, social and local history of PrakashDeep, a non-profit school. She is serving as their new communications officer for three months.

As the communications officer, Olivia is managing all of the PrakashDeep visual communications and social media outlets, including the implementation of a new identity that she created. She also is helping to instruct the students in English, computer literacy and in self-defense.

After she researched the school, Olivia started brainstorming possible logos. Eventually, “I focused on the kids,” wrote Olivia. “While light is a central theme of PrakashDeep, the name already hits the nail on the head. A cookie cutter representation of education, like a book, would be boring and overdone. PrakashDeep is exciting and progressive.”

The logo features three of PrakashDeep’s students and embodies the light that education ignites within every child. “Their beautiful, shining faces are a true representation of what PrakashDeep provides for its children, and the bright blue and orange represent hope and happiness,” explained Olivia.

PrakashDeep was established in May 2003 in a public park with seven students. Since then, it has touched the lives of hundreds of children who belong to the nomadic population of daily wage earners in search of an occupation. Presently, there are nearly 370 children receiving a free education, a mid-day meal and basic medical care.

The company that brought Olivia to India is Pro4Sport Solutions. It is partnering with a non-profit organization called Gram Vikas to institute recreational sports in rural schools. The two organizations entitle this partnership “Khel Vikas,” which means “developing sport.”

This trip was made possible by the love and support of her family and friends and by the financial aid from the Robby Scholarship Fund at Ohio Northern. The scholarship fund, named for William Robinson, a 1961 graduate of ONU, has spent more than 50 years with the University.

The mission of the Ohio Northern graphic design program is to prepare undergraduate students to become socially and environmentally aware leaders in the field of visual communication. Focusing on development and mastery of conceptual and technical skills in graphic design, illustration, and advertising as well as studio electives, cross disciplinary courses and collaborative experiences prepare students for the convergence of the design fields and for positions as creative directors across a broad spectrum of increasingly media-based careers. Graduates from the program have gone on to work at companies such as Wunderman Design, Foothold Design, Smithsonian Institution, Milan Historical Museum, NiSource, Bubbles Academy, and Recess Creative.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2013–14 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.