Students compete for IYO South Korea logo design

Emma Austin

As the International Year of South Africa nears its final weeks, preparations continue to move forward for the IYO South Korea.

To encourage more involvement from WKU students, the Office of International Programs is currently hosting a voting contest for next year’s logo design. The winning design will be featured as the official logo throughout the IYO South Korea, 2016-2017.

Joon Sung, associate professor of digital media and member of the IYO South Korea planning committee, said he saw the need for a logo as an opportunity for his students in ART 436 Electronic Illustration.

“I suggested we give this special design opportunity to our students who are a target audience of the event,” Sung said.

All the committee members agreed instantly on the idea, Sung said.

Sung said his class produced more than a dozen logos, which he narrowed down to 10 before sending them to the Office of International Programs. Three logos were then selected for voting.

Jessica Seitz, Bethany, Illinois, senior, was one of the students whose logo was selected for final voting.

Seitz said she looked up photographs of South Korea to find inspiration for her design and came across several pictures of the Seoul, South Korea, skyline.

“They’re known for their neon lights and technological advancements,” Seitz explained. She used the brightly colored photos she found as the basis of inspiration for her logo.

Gabriela Kempter, Louisville senior, said she decided to incorporate architectural designs into her project. Kempter said she wanted to find designs common to South Korean buildings and structures.

“My inspiration was the eaves on the ends of roofs,” Kempter explained. She drew some of her design patterns from the architecture of the Seoul temple, then personalized and simplified it to create her logo.

Sierra Billingsley, Bowling Green senior, also designed one of the logos selected for voting and said her personal inspiration was the national bird of South Korea: the Korean magpie.

Although Sung introduced the class to some aspects of Korean culture through food and Korean pop music, K-Pop, Billingsley said Sung encouraged students to do research on their own.

“I think he wanted us to find parts of the culture we were personally and genuinely interested in,” Billingsley said, “so when we incorporated them into our logos, there would be a sincerity to them.”

Kari Paschetto, programming coordinator of the Office of International Programs, said the contest is a way to give the WKU community ownership of the IYO by allowing them to select the logo that will represent the year.

“[The contest] is a way to create some buzz around the year before it officially begins,” said Paschetto.

Sung said the program is intended to provide WKU with a rich and complex sense of interconnectedness through the celebration of another country.

According to Billingsley, Sung encouraged her to have three birds in her logo rather than just one since the IYO is about uniting communities and togetherness.

The IYO South Korea planning committee has already scheduled several events for next year. These include bringing three visiting Korean artists to campus. One of these artists, Wonju Seo, is scheduled to give a talk and to provide individual critiques for art students. She will also attend the International Year of South Korea kickoff opening reception.

The committee also suggested bringing K-Pop musicians such as singer Lee Seung Chel and group Big Bang to campus, but these possibilities have not yet been confirmed. Sung suggested students and faculty keep an eye on campus announcements regarding the events to be involved with the celebration of South Korea.

“Having a program like this helps people see there’s more to this world than what’s in Bowling Green or their hometown,” Seitz said. She said the logo design project deepened her appreciation for Eastern culture and refreshed her desire to travel there one day.

A link to vote on the logo designs can be found on WKU’s IYO website; the link will be open until March 18.