West Liberty students design new logo for Home for Men

An intergenerational project proved to be a winning collaboration for the Home for Men in Wheeling and West Liberty University students.

Officials of the senior living residence, located at 1700 Warwood Ave., wanted to update its image to reflect its services to current generations. Part of that update involved creating a more appealing logo to offer a strong, effective visual representation of its mission.

Mark Knuth, the home’s executive director, said several designs were received from advertising and marketing agencies, but he also knew that West Liberty University’s senior graphic design students offer their skills to nonprofit groups in the Ohio Valley.

WLU seniors Elizabeth Springer, Emily Jessee and Jessica Bethel were selected to put their creative talents to work for the Home for Men project. They worked together as the Triptych Design Group.

Knuth and staff member Jennifer Duymich were impressed with the students’ professionalism and enthusiasm. They found it worthwhile to have “fresh sets of eyes looking at our issue from a different perspective,” he said.

“They were very professional. They dressed professionally. They gave me hope for the future,” he commented.

Regarding the project, Knuth said, “We asked them to come up with some different concepts, to think outside the box, to have a fresh perspective. These young ladies did the project in a timely manner.”

A total of 39 proposals, including the students’ concept, were submitted to the home’s board of directors.

“I knew that what’s it was going to be,” Knuth said, regarding the Triptych design. “Our board of directors reviewed all of them, and they said, ‘This is it.'”

He said, “We were very pleased not only how they handled the project, but also it was done in a timely manner and they were very professional, both in their speech and their dress. We were very well pleased with the work they had done for us … It inspired us and our board of directors that there are young people who do care about having a good work ethic.”

In fact, Knuth has written a letter of recommendation for Springer. “I would most definitely hire her. She was head of their group and did an excellent job,” he said.

“With all the negativity in the world, there is some hope. There is some good news, and these young

students from West Liberty expressed that,” he


To acknowledge the students’ efforts for a job well done and to show appreciation for their work, the home made a donation to the university for its graphic arts program, Knuth said.

The home’s residents also are pleased with the new, modern logo for the facility. “Our gentlemen really enjoyed the students coming down and talking,” the administrator said.

James Haizlett, WLU associate professor who coordinates the graphic design program, said, “Mark Knuth and the Home for Men provided these three young designers with a great opportunity to practice their skills on a ‘real world’ project.”

Haizlett explained, “Each year our graphic design students produce professional quality work for dozens of nonprofits and start-ups, making positive contributions throughout the Ohio Valley. These types of experiences also build confidence and provide our students with portfolio pieces they can take with them to help launch their professional careers.”

From the students’ perspective, Springer said, “It was really enlightening. It taught us how to work with ‘real time’ clients. It really showed us how to be innovative and make it (the logo) fit for the clients.”

She added, “We had a super-tight deadline … The time limit pushed us to think creatively and out of the box.”

Springer recalled meeting one of the residents. “He was really excited,” she said.

She and her team wanted their design to reflect the home’s traditional aspects while demonstrating that the senior residence “is stepping into the future and meeting men’s needs today.” She said they created a logo that “looks really clean and

modern, to bring it into the next generation.”

The student commented, “I think working with the home really was a great experience for us. We were working with nice people for a project that is nice for the community.”

The Home for Men’s new logo features an outline of the building’s roof and a chimney above the word “Home” and an underline below “Men” to emphasize the population that the residence serves. “It flows very well,” Knuth observed. “It’s very simplistic, but it symbolizes the meaning of what we are here.”

This logo is being used on the home’s stationery and on a new awning over the building’s main entrance. The executive director said residents love the new look.

“The old awnings were put on in 1959. The home got its money’s worth out of it,” Knuth quipped, adding, “We were looking to upgrade and accentuate the home.”

Currently, the home has 16 residents. The facility has capacity for 24 men.

Springer said she thinks the new logo and awnings “make the home more approachable and noticeable. I think it makes men of this generation more interested in going there.”


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