Kelly O’Hanlon’s IBS Nomination: Best Logo

Iz Indelicato – Hello again! It’s Iz, General Manager here at Simmons Radio: The Shark, and today we’re gonna share with you an interview with Kelly O’Hanlon. Kelly O’Hanlon is the designer of our fantastic logo which was nominated for Best Logo at this year’s Intercollegiate Broadcasting System awards.
To hear the full episode that this segment aired on, you can head over to the Welcome Home podcast feed which will be linked in the description. If you want to check out Kelly’s work, her portfolio website and her Instagram account will be linked in the episode description as well.

Katie Cole
Simmons students are just really creative across the board. That’s how we got our logo for our station, correct? 

Iz Indelicato  
Yes, it is. So as I hope some of you know, Simmons Radio: The Shark was nominated for six Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards, which Sarah is going to tell us more about after this quick piece, one of them being for best logo. And as journalists, we’re supposed to be curious, and we’re supposed to ask questions. But a question that I never asked is how did our logo come to be? I do not understand how I never asked that question. But now I know and we’re going to hear a little bit more about it. So in 2015 2016, around that time, Simmons Radio: The Shark had a competition for a new logo. And as a first-year student, Kelly O’Hanlon decided to throw her submission into the ring. Majoring in political science and international relations, Kelly graduated in 2008 is currently living in Omaha, Nebraska, working as a study abroad advisor at Creighton University. Let’s take a listen to hear a little bit more about Kelly’s background, her design process and what she’s up to now.

Can we get started by you just telling us a little bit about the process in which you designed the logo? Because I know you said that you were a poli sci major. So how did you find yourself entering this competition?

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yes. So I am in love with a lot of different things in life. When I was studying, I was really fascinated with politics and you know, countries around the world and how they operate. But in my spare time I to this day love to illustrate and paint and do graphic design, kind of fulfill my creative side. And that was the case when I was a student and I saw posters around advertising the contest for the logo for The Shark. And I thought, you know, why not give it a go? Like, try to try to see how I can make a fun logo for the station. Maybe I’ll win. And it just turns out that I did.

Iz Indelicato  
That’s so awesome. And what do you do you want to like walk through the process of how the design for The Shark came to be or if you like took certain inspiration for things or like color palettes. I’m just super interested if you have anything to share about that.

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yeah, um with my basic knowledge of color theory from art and drawing and painting. I knew that I wanted to do two really contrasting colors that when they came together just kind of electric and just burst off the page. And so I picked that kind of Simmons-ey teal with the yellow. I think those colors worked really well together. I also wanted to try to experiment doing something more abstract, because when you illustrate, you’re basically trying to capture what you see, but I wanted to do something a little bit more fun and kind of just imply a bit of imagination with it. So instead of kind of a very serious or gritty, realistic shark or otherwise. I just thought it would be kind of cool. The mic was like coming out of the wave. So just kind of little bits and pieces of art knowledge that I just had picked up from my hobby came together. And I think it actually had the effect that I wanted it to have on people when they saw the logo, which has really thrilled me and probably has informed a lot of my graphic design projects that I’ve done since then. Graphic Design is all about soliciting emotion and like a reaction to something using particular colors or design elements. And I was just really young at that time hadn’t done much graphic design, and it kind of inspired me to keep it going.

Iz Indelicato  
And can I ask what do you remember what programs you used to make the logo? 

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yeah, I still use this program to this day, even though they’ve made a bunch of new versions. But I use Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 6 for the whole thing. I probably should have used Illustrator and done some vectors on that. It is not a vector file. I didn’t know what I was doing. I basically drew it. Luckily big enough for it to be high enough quality, but I still kind of find myself doing everything in Photoshop, because that’s what I know and what I’ve known for a really long time, obviously, even if it’s not the most efficient at times. But yeah, I use that. I also use that when I draw, just kind of one-stop shop for everything I do.

Iz Indelicato  
Awesome. That’s so cool. And what are you doing these days in terms of outside of your work and kind of keeping that creative energy flowing?

Kelly O’Hanlon  
I actually do some graphic design on the side for different projects for people, I draw all the time I paint as much as I can. I really make sure to make time for my creative side. I’ve never really learned how to do graphic design formally. So I feel a little bit funny saying I find graphic design jobs here and there. But I think if you have an eye for color or art, you can get creative and kind of fall into a couple different artistic pursuits. So I definitely prioritize keeping up the arts. 

Iz Indelicato  
I feel like this is a question that artists are being asked all the time and they probably hate it. But almost a year into this pandemic, have you been using art as sort of a way to cope? Has it felt like a creative block or sort of an obligation to use this time to like, be creative or work on something?

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yeah, that’s a great question. Because I don’t do art for a living really, I’m, you know, lucky enough to be able to support myself in some other career while I do art on the side. And I think that relationship with art is really important to me, because if it was my career, especially during the pandemic, I just can’t even imagine how stressed out I would be. And I even was furloughed for a couple months over the summer. I work at a university so a lot of us went through that. Art absolutely captured all my emotions from last year, there were periods where I was so stressed, I wasn’t making anything. There were periods where I was making really weird stuff that I’d never tried before lots of emotions are coming out. And it was just a really good outlet and continues to be a great outlet into 2021. And I appreciate how art has been there for me during this tumultuous time it’s kind of rooted me.

Sarah Carlon  
Links to Kelly’s work can be found in the description of this episode.

Iz Indelicato – Congratulations to Kelly and all of the other nominees for the 2021 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards. Stay tuned to hear the two podcast nominations for ‘Welcome Home’ and Molly Jean Henebury’s ‘Food Insecurity On Campus’ two-part podcast.