Solvay PD enlists students' design talent

Students in Steven Devendorf's graphic design class are getting their first taste of designing for a client. Their client? The Solvay Police Department.

The department last month reached out to Solvay High School to redesign the patches used on uniforms and equipment.

Devendorf said he was not sure how the police thought to contact the school with the project, but that the timing was perfect.

"We just happened to be coming off a logo design project," he said of his two graphic design classes, totaling about 28 students.

Two art classes were also given the option of working on the redesign.

Senior graphic design student Anna Pucello, 17, grew up in Solvay and was excited that the police wanted the students' input.

"I think it's cool that we get to design it, that they might be able to pick one of hte ones we make," Pucello said. "That would be cool - to come back and look on their sleeve and say, 'I made that.'"

Along that vein, students discussed the industrial history of the village and whether or not to incorporate the imagery into the patch. The current patch, more than 20 years old, includes the state seal.

Sophomore Monique Grady, 14, was working on her second concept last week, and was trying to include a historical image of Crucible Steel. Her first idea was a red, white and blue patch that incorporated the American flag.

Devendorf pointed out restraints imposed by the materials the patch would be constructed out of, the size and shape of the product, and color, illustration and design element considerations.

Other limitations stemmed from the embroidering of the design onto the patch, which prohibited very fine or detailed design work, and a relative lack of historical information about Solvay to draw from while designing the patch.

"Thats a restraint, something they have to think about. As an actual graphic designer, which is kind of the direction we lead to in here, those are project to project considerations that you make," Devendorf said.

Students will present their final designs to the class and will select as a group which designs to offer the department.

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