The Society for Technical Communication, Michigan Great Lakes chapter (STC-MGL) recently had the pleasure of interviewing Kylie Jacobsen. Kylie is an active member of the STC-MGL chapter, and she created the winning design for the logo contest we held back in the fall.
Continue reading to learn more about Kylie, her design process, and our new logo!
Tell us about yourself! What is your educational background? Where do you currently work?
I am an assistant professor of writing at Grand Valley State University. I took this position in 2019 after graduating from Texas Tech University with a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric. I earned a masters degree in rhetoric, composition, and professional communication from Iowa State University and a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and graphic design from Southwest Minnesota State University.
When developing ideas for the logo, what inspired you?
I was mostly inspired by the things each Michigan chapter had in common while they were combining into one (other than a passion for technical communication). I was inspired by the geographical location of each MGL member and the literal path they take to come together for STC events. However, with the [chapter] merge, and with the concentrated efforts to go more virtual in its inaugural year, geographic boundaries don’t shape our community anymore; we live and work in various places all over the state and I wanted to include all of that in the logo.
What does each letter in the logo symbolize?
While focusing on the MGL part of the logo, I wanted to highlight a few things all Michiganders share. The two black horizontal lines under the charcoal gray M represent the two peninsulas in the state. The 5 vertical green lines under the G represent the 5 great national forests in Michigan. Finally, the 4 blue waves under the L represent the great lakes that border the state.
What tools did you use to create the logo?
I created the logo using Adobe InDesign.
What did your design process look like?
I followed the same design process that I emphasize to students in my document production courses. First, I read the creative brief and brainstormed a bunch of different thoughts, words, or concepts onto a page, thought them through, and brainstormed again. Then, I did a series of thumbnail sketches to scratch out the “bad” designs. With the “better” designs I did a rough composite sketch of each one. Finally, I took a couple to the screen and refined the one I thought worked best.
Do you have any tips for aspiring technical communicators and graphic designers?
My tips for aspiring technical communicators and graphics designers is to read the creative brief thoroughly (to understand the client’s needs and the end readers’!) and start your design process on paper first (I know it’s super exciting to get started on the computer, but you’ll save so much time working on “better” designs if you get rid of the “just okay” designs first).