March 10th, 2010

We are proud to unveil the winning logo for our Blueprints college access program:

It is the design of Christopher Murphy, a senior in UAB’s graphic design department. Chris is a 27-year-old from Birmingham, and his design was chosen out of over 15 entries from his design classmates.

Over a coffee meeting to choose a bright blue color for the logo, Chris talked about his design process. His enthusiasm for the project and his commitment to Blueprint’s mission led me to ask how he personally connected to the project:

“I have to connect with my design,” he said. “I could personally relate to what Blueprints is trying to do. Graduating from High School, I didn’t know what to do, where to go, how to get to college. I could really have used help from a program like Blueprints.”

Chris is not a first generation college student, but he is the first in his family to pursue a career in design – and he “gets” how kids must feel when they are the first in their family to enroll in college. “All the other men in my family are engineers, and all the women are nurses. They don’t really ‘get’ what I’m studying!”


Above: Chris and Kristina sort through Pantone color samples for inspiration.


Chris incorporated the color blue into his design from the very beginning, and not just because the program is titled “Blueprints.”

“My nickname is actually ‘True Blue’ – Christopher ‘True Blue’ Murphy. To me the color blue represents faithfulness and loyalty” – two traits that Chris values highly. The Blueprints program is also built on loyalty, commitment and enduring relationships between mentors from Alabama colleges and local high school students. To Chris, the color blue is just another layer of meaning in his design.

After hearing details about the Blueprints mission to equip students for college, Chris was inspired and immediately started sketching. The apple with a fingerprint was his very first idea.

The fingerprint design, aside from playing with the idea of “Blueprints,” also reflects a personal touch from the designer. Chris used his own fingerprint for the logo, inking his right index finger and scanning it into the computer.

This personal touch is something that Chris strives to add to all of his projects. “People need to know you’re reaching out to them in your design,” Chris said. “People need something to connect to.”

One of Chris’s design inspirations is artist Frank Chimero, whom Chris admires because “He talks about design with heart…and says you have to make sure your work has heart, because it is made for the people. It is very important to me that my own designs have meaning and heart.”

After graduating, Chris hopes to find a job in the Southeast working in design. His dream job would be designing packaging for Nike.

Posted by Robyn Hyden