ASU design students get hands-on experience working 2018 ASU MLK Jr. Campaign

Lauren Schaecher, Rachel Estes, Sydni Alaniz and Ryan Luy pose with their designs for the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Events.


Ryan Luy, Lauren Schaecher, Sydni Alaniz and Rachel Estes are excited to start their new careers in May with a hefty amount of real-world experience in their portfolios. The Arizona State University seniors developed a design plan for the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. committee through their Visual Communications III class and won the opportunity to have their branding designs used for the celebration of events. 

The four visual communications seniors developed a design and competed against 10 other groups for the opportunity to have their work used in the campaign. Among those deciding the winning group was Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director of ASU Gammage and ASU Martin Luther King Jr. committee chair. 

“The ASU Martin Luther King Jr. events provide a great opportunity for real-world design experience for our ASU students,” Jennings-Roggensack said. “This group of students truly captured the essence of our celebration with their creative execution and unique branding. We are so proud of their achievements and to award them this enriching opportunity.” 

The project was a component of their Visual Communications III class in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in spring 2017. All the other groups in the class were working on their own design for the events, and at the end of the semester, each group pitched the designs to the 2018 ASU MLK Jr. Committee. 

“We create what we think is necessary for this campaign,” Schaecher said. “We were able to show them the merits of a more digital route. All of us worked really hard on the digital aspect.” 

The group focused more on making their products digital. They knew the committee would want to see traditional marketing forms, but they wanted to show them the analytics and what would be the most effective way of promoting the events. 

“You could also tell how the ASU campuses have been changing,” Luy said. “You need to be strong and confident with your concept and ideas.” 

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts has been involved with the Martin Luther King Jr. events branding for nearly 10 years. The team knew exactly what the committee expected, but they also wanted to innovate new tactics and ideas. 

“They traditionally have a lot of posters,” Alaniz said. “They’ve been doing this for so long. They know what they like. We had to convince them our way is the best way to solve this.” 

The students admit that there were minimal issues between group members. They all brought different ideas to the table when they came together, but they final product was a cohesive vision. 

“We all knew each other,” Alaniz said. “There were some rocky moments, but we shared the same vision.” 

They were given guidelines on what the committee wanted to see during the presentation. After all the groups presented, the 11 were narrowed down to approximately five finalists. The students admit it was challenging giving their presentation more than once.  

““Everyone steps up their game so much,” Schaecher recalled. “We would hold some stuff back.” 

Their presentation had to include materials such as an email blast, t-shirts, posters, website design, budgeting, accurate numbers, custom folders and packets of samples. 

LuySchaecher, Estes and Alaniz’s work will be utilized in Arizona State University's 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. events in January 2018. Events include the MLK Day of Service, MLK Holiday, March on West and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Celebration. For more information, visit the website designed by the team at 

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