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Vega students beat the clock in design competition

12 July 2017

To bring out the best in budding design geniuses, the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) gave Vega students 12 hours to design its new logo in a Design Jam.

The 77-year-old Council changed its name from the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa last year but a new name, and a renewed focus to build a society that offers equal economic and social opportunities to all South Africans, required a new visual identity and logo.

Vega School, collaborating with Flow Communications on behalf of the NCPD, devised the challenging competition. Apart from designing a new NCPD logo, a key aim of the Design Jam
was to expose Vega students to the rush (both the time pressure and the kick of adrenaline) of having to produce coherent creative concepts under pressure and in a short space of time, as
it is often the case at agencies such as Flow Communications.

Commenting on the Design Jam, Vega national programme manager Lizette Carstens says she was impressed by how the students performed with a demanding brief. “The new visual identity needed to reflect inclusivity of all forms of disabilities, as per the very broad definition in our Constitution. It also had to reflect the importance of including persons with disabilities into society. The design also had to show that the council is a modern and purposeful organisation that does vital advocacy work, and is a trusted partner in the disability sector. It was not a simple challenge, but our students rose to the occasion.”

Creating universally inclusive designs

Vega students in Johannesburg and Pretoria simultaneously presented their final proposed logos to Flow Communications, their Vega lecturers and to two businesswomen with disabilities who are spokespersons for the NCPD. Members of the audience viewing the presentations included parents at both campuses to attend the school’s Open Day, and other Vega students and lecturers.

Kevin Collins, the head of strategy for Flow Communications, says, “The passion, the meaning behind their logos, the creativity and the explanations about how their logos connect to the disability sector, were amazing.

“The experience we gave the students was the same as they will get in the real world and they produced world-class logos. It was astonishing and amazing to see all these young people producing such great logos in such a short time.” By the middle of this month Flow Communications will shortlist and present a selection of the logos to the NCPD. Then it will be up to the NCPD, along with its nine provincial affiliates, to select the winning logo, which will be announced later this year.

“A positive spin-off from the event was the sensitisation of the students to challenges faced by persons with disabilities in accessing their rights. They really had to think about this carefully, and it showed in the results. We know that these students will always remember the challenges of creating universally inclusive designs as they go through their careers,” concludes Carstens.

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