Cleveland + SCI


Project Background

The Smart Communities Initiative (SCI) is part of a national network of programs of its type, all founded upon the idea that universities and communities should work together to improve the health and vitality of their surrounding areas. This is accomplished by combining teaching, research and outreach into an Experiential Learning context for faculty, students and community leaders alike. The City of Cleveland, Tennessee was our SCI community for 2014—2015. The city was chosen to help them prepare for a 40 percent projected population growth over the next decade.

Interdisciplinary Focus

The Branding project was a one-year intensive multidisciplinary project . 15 other projects were happening simultaneously and ranged from Earth & Planetary Science working on Stormwater Infrastructure Mapping to Architecture reimagining an old Whirlpool site as a mixed-use/green space or 21st Century Industrial Park: a place for working, living and creating together.

Branding Cleveland

To accomplish this 1-year branding effort, 16 students in my Senior Design class worked on the initial and secondary research phases of the project which included gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing data about how the residents felt about their city. I also brought on Professor Vickie Phipps ( to consult with the team. After months of talking with people and researching, we discovered Cleveland had many strengths. Download Full PDF

  • Logo
    The surprising abundance found within Cleveland, eventually led us to a typographic mark for the city that celebrated inclusion and community by highlighting the word “and” in its name.

  • Wayfinding
    Wayfinding signage and Business Cards for City Council Members

  • Promotional Materials for the Chamber of Commerce
    This shows some promotional items that can be sold or given away by the Chamber or at downtown festivals.

  • Customizable Home Flags and stickers

  • Downtown Banners
    Downtown Banners could emphasize the city’s strengths through illustration.

  • Series of Music Nights for the downtown area—one per season.
    Combining the public’s desire for more cultural events with the musical talent in town, we conceptualized a series of Music Nights for the downtown area—one per season.

  • Festival posters
    Poster designs for promoting their downtown Apple festival and Farmers Market.

  • Two concepts for Greenways logo and flagpole banners
    The Greenway System is a point of pride for citizens so we developed 2 ideas for how they can brand the Greenway; One relates directly to the typographic mark for the City, and the second is based on the concept that the Greenway is like their North star, pointing to the direction of their health and well-being as a community.

  • Bumper stickers, flags, and additional stickers
    Bumper stickers, flags and additional stickers to promote the city’s resilient nature and as a reminder of the city's "maker" attitude.

  • Downtown murals
    The area's significant Native American History was our inspiration for downtown murals

  • Storefront Windows
    Abandoned storefront windows become homes for human rights articles.

  • Promotional Video :