Designing for a grade and a good cause
LAU’s Graphic Design Department challenges students to give a local child advocacy NGO a “new look” in web design contest.
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A group of four LAU graphic design students has been selected to revamp the website of Child of Lebanon, a non-governmental organization that promotes good practices in child rights, after winning a contest to create a new online identity for the NGO.
Members of the Graphic Design Department and representatives from Child of Lebanon announced the winners of the month-long contest on March 5 at the Beirut campus.
For winning students Sari Awada, Hiba Fares, Mahmoud Daoud and Nour Chamoun, it was the first time dealing with a “real client.”
“We usually have to answer to our professors, but this time we were dealing with an outside party — we actually had a real client to satisfy,” says Awada. “It was a genuine professional experience.”
The contest began when Child of Lebanon presented Randa Abdel Baki, chair of the department, with the idea of having LAU’s graphic design students compete in producing a new and refreshing website that would better represent the organization and its achievements.
“The website was outdated and did not communicate our success and accomplishments,” says Dr. Bernard Gerbaka, the NGO’s founder and president.
The contest represented the opportunity for young graphic designers to get hands-on training, and consequently became a graded project for students taking the Web Design course. Divided into six different groups, students were asked to produce colorful and elegantly designed websites.
“We came up with a new logo, a new online identity, a whole new website,” says Awada, who will soon move to the practical phase of the project, which is to build the actual website in collaboration with the organization’s team.
MarieJoe Raidy, Child of Lebanon’s head of communications, is the one behind this initiative. “I think that no one can better raise awareness than students, especially when advertising this kind of NGO, since they are the bridge between childhood and adulthood,” she says.
Her trust in the students has paid off. “The students worked wholeheartedly on this project and managed to convey the message in a very clear and pure way,” says Raidy.
Although all of the website proposals were attractive, the winning team, according to Raidy, proposed a simple and “straight forward” new identity.
For Abdel Baki, however, the project meant more than just bringing graphic and web design together to produce a visually enticing website. “I hope this is the starting point for the students to become more active citizens,” she says.
Child of Lebanon works to empower individuals and organizations in helping prevent child abuse in Lebanon. Its advocacy is based on the principles of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child..
The NGO, and its identity revamping project, are supported by Raidy Printing Group, Time Out Magazine, Creative Lounges, Time Kids Magazine, Tagged Magazine, World Environment Magazine, Societe Generale de Banque au Liban, Yumi Sushi Restaurant, Papers of Dialogue Magazine, and LAU.