School Daze

Sorry Pink Floyd, we believe in educating youth
about the wonders of graphic design.

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  Ethos goes back to the classroom to share what we do with second graders.

Ethos goes back to the classroom to share what we do with second graders.

At Ethos Create, we like to stay connected to the local community, giving back in as many ways as possible. One recent effort involved a little presentation that Christine Xoinis, creative partner and founder, and Erica Katz, art director, did at nearby Eastlawn Elementary. The duo spoke to four second-grade classes, more than 100 students total, about the field of graphic design.

Each presentation began with Christine asking the class if they could identify a series of logos, including Target’s bull’s-eye, McDonald’s golden arches or Starbuck’s mermaid, which of course today’s media-savvy youth were able to do with ease. “They were really excited, and it was fun to see them thinking about graphic design in a way they could relate to,” Erica recalled.

Next Christine and Erica showed three famous logos with hidden meanings such as the FedEx logo (there’s a hidden arrow in it, go ahead, take another look, it took us a minute, too). Those whip-smart eight to nine year olds were able to spy two of the three hidden images. Not too shabby kids! Christine said, “They were so young, and branding had already made such a huge impression on them. They knew exactly what each logo represented. It just goes to show you the power that branding has on people, the messages come through even to children.” 

Now that the youngsters had the basics of branding under their belts, the duo from Ethos decided it was time to let them loose to explore their own creativity. Each child received a box of crayons, some paper and a sweet treat (for inspiration, of course!) and was asked to craft their own personal logo incorporating their first name and/or their first initial along with drawings of some of their favorite things. The range of creativity the students demonstrated blew Christine away. Some used flowers to spell out the letters of their names, while others opted for more minimalistic interpretations. “At some point in most lives that creativity gets snuffed out, but at this age they still had it,” she said.

The final takeaway from the event for Christine was one student’s question about how important it was to try your best at what you do for a living. “I said that was the most important thing you can do, no matter what your is job. Of all the questions, I found that to be the most interesting and the most true,” Christine said.