‘Designathon’ forming connections between art department and the community

By Abby Bittner | gargoyle@flagler.edu

On Nov. 16, students will be working tirelessly for 24 hours, surrounded by editing software and coffee to keep them energized. They’re driven by their passion for graphic design, all while lending a hand to local nonprofits in St. Augustine.

Flagler graphic design students will put their skills to good use for Designathon, an event that provides local non-profits with free creative services.

The event will take place from Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. until Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. in the Molly Wiley Art Building.  Students, faculty, alumni and staff will aid nonprofits in the area by providing free graphic design-related services, from creating logos to branding the organizations.

Jasmin Quinones, a senior at Flagler, teamed up with graphic design professor Natalie Stephenson to help organize and create the event for the first time.

“It’s a 24-hour long event where we partner with non-profits in the community and find out their design needs and design for free,” Quinones said, “We made registration forms, ask what they need [logo branding flyer brochures, poster, small web elements], asked who and what the target audience would be, [and] other questions to help the designer figure out what to make.”

Quinones will be overseeing the entire event, which lasts 24 hours with six four-hour shifts, and said there will be snacks, coffee, and short breaks throughout, along with gift cards and prizes.

“Most designers usually spend hours and hours and weeks on projects,” she said. “So it will be interesting to see how people adapt within a time sensitive project and to the work that they will create.”

Chelsea Reppin, the director of development at Saint Augustine Youth Services (SAYS), which aids Florida’s at-risk youth in providing coaching and counseling, explained why she believes this event will be beneficial for organizations to participate in.

“Not only do local non-profits benefit from much needed graphic design help, which can improve community services, but Flagler students gain real world experience working with and designing for established organizations,” Reppin said.

Reppin, as a Flagler graphic design alumna, knows the quality Flagler students can produce when creating projects.

“I hope that Designathon will ultimately help local non-profits elevate their programs and extend the reach of the extraordinary work they are doing in our community,” she said.

Quinones believes this event will not only impact students involved this year, but should inspire more events similar to Designathon.

“Non-profits face struggles with finding designs to create a strong brand for themselves… I hope people learn the importance of good design to create a following and to help them follow their mission,” Quinones said.

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