Senior’s graphic design thesis sparks controversy over possible change in LC’s name and colors.
Back around the week before finals, the Lynchburg College community was exposed to fliers and shirts featuring a University of Lynchburg brand in yellow and blue. It sparked a social media frenzy, with comments focusing on the lack of student feedback on the surprising and sudden development.
The fliers and shirts were a product of senior Damien Harris’s graphic design thesis project. When deciding what to do for his project, he looked to his interest in branding. The name change was on his mind, he said, and the idea was born.
“I originally came up with University of Lynchburg College, but that started to get really weird so I went to U of L,” Harris said. “Now, with the fliers and shirts, I wanted to create a buzz around campus to get reactions from the community.”
Harris did not want the students to know his identity and his plan so he could get the most honest reaction. This way, he could see the full effect of his rebranding ideas for LC. The only people who knew were his fellow classmates, his professor, his advisor, the head of the marketing department and Vice President and Dean for Student Development John Eccles, Harris said.
Reactions from students around campus were exactly what Harris was hoping for since it got them talking about the name change and contacting leadership involved with Strategic Planning.
“What I gathered mostly was the color change. A lot of people hated the colors and that was everyone’s main focus. Nobody said anything about the logo and that was a bit upsetting but it’s okay, I’ll get more reactions soon,” Harris said.
As for the name change decision, Harris said that LC leadership considers his project when making further decisions. The interactive nature of the fliers promotes more conversation, Harris said, and is more effective than emails or the forums.
He said that a name change would be a good modification to the school without losing LC’s values.
“I don’t think the name change will change anything for us students or alumni. We will still have the same community, the same family and the same principles that we all love,” Harris said.
There will be more to come from Harris’s project next semester. He will release more of his project and gage reactions from each step of his project, including #yellowandblue.
“This was the beginning of my campaign. I want people to see my logo, my materials and not just the colors. I want feedback on that,” Harris said. “I would like for as many people possible to come see what the future could look like.”
UPDATE: All of his results and materials were on display in the spring Senior Thesis Exhibition and Student Art Show.