APSU graphic design students create new logo for Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Tullahoma
(Posted Nov. 29, 2018)
Earlier this year, when executives with Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Tullahoma discussed creating a new company logo, they reached out to one of their newest clients – Austin Peay State University. On July 1, 2017, the company became the campus’ exclusive beverage provider, and a year later, Rachel Bush, associate professor of art, heard the company wanted to host a logo design contest. She contacted the Tullahoma office with a different idea.
“I teach a class that’s called Design Center, which revolves around me partnering these students with clients,” she said. “I said, ‘Here’s an alternative. I have a class, and they’re learning to work with clients. They can partner up and make a logo and you can pay them and they get the experience.’”
The company agreed to the idea, and on a warm morning in September, the five APSU Design Center students put on business attire and drove two hours south to meet their new design client. Throughout the day, Jordan Ennis, president and CEO of Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Tullahoma, educated the students on the company’s more than 100-year history, while also filling them in on the company’s values.
“We pride ourselves on being family oriented,” he said. “The most important thing for our family, for four generations, the most important thing is the 250 associates that make up the family. Our success as a family business is because of the success of the Coca-Cola family.”
During the ensuing months, the APSU Design Center students – Ebony Walton, Alyson Williamson, Al Best, Graham Byrd and Clarissa Gunn – worked collaboratively to meet their client’s needs. Earlier this month, they presented Ennis with an official logo that he approved. The company plans to use the student-designed logo on everything, from stationary to signage to apparel.
“I enjoyed working on the project because we had a real client and got to sit in on the meetings and go through the design process, with them selecting and choosing what they don’t want, and going through revisions,” Walton said. “It was good to have that experience, and I can add it to my resume, getting another foot in the door.”
The new logo features the iconic Coca-Cola bottle and script in a circle, along with the words “Locally owned and operated.” The students were told they couldn’t tamper with the corporate identity because Coca-Cola possesses one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Byrd, a military veteran, added that something as simple as the soft drink company’s logo can help soldiers not feel so home sick.
“When I was in Afghanistan, home felt so far away,” he said. “There were phone calls home to my wife – sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t. Anything that you can grab and say ‘that’s a piece of where I’m from’ is huge. It doesn’t matter what the language is, when you see glimpses of that ribbon type in red, you know it’s a Coke.”