Meet The Designer Behind Our Anniversary Logo, Groundswell Alumna, Amanda Jones
This year Groundswell celebrates 25 years of art, community, and change. To commemorate this milestone, we issued an open call to Groundswell Artists for 25th Anniversary logo proposals. It was determined by Celeste Bryant, a member of our Board of Directors, that the selected artist would get the opportunity to partner with Vault49, a branding and advertising agency based in New York and London, to work on the design.
Our anniversary logo was designed by Groundswell alumna, Amanda Jones. Her design incorporated two powerful Groundswell murals from 2015 into the logo's “25”, “Respect Is The Strongest Compliment” (Lead Artist: Danielle McDonald, Assistant Artist: Jazmine Hayes), a soon to be demolished piece geared towards stopping street harassment; and “I Just Want To Come Home” (Lead Artists: Chris Soria & DonChristian Jones), a piece on police and community relations. Amanda was kind enough to take time out of her schedule for this exclusive interview about her Groundswell beginnings, the process behind creating the logo interpedently, and what she learned about herself through this opportunity.
I’ve never worked on a Groundswell project that didn’t shift my inspirations in some way…— Amanda Jones, Groundswell Teaching Artist
Tell us about your history with Groundswell?
I started with Groundswell back in the summer of 2017 when I joined their Voices Her’d and Youth Leadership Programs. I was 19 years old. I found out about them through a former Voices Her’d participant, Farangiz Yusopova, whom I attended college with at the time. I was told to apply because I enjoyed painting and could learn a lot while making some extra money. Going into that program at the time I didn’t think my relationship with Groundswell would come this far, it was only a summer job at the time in my mind. A summer later I got called to participate in Voices Her’d again and I figured why not? So, I took up the offer, and that summer was the turning point. At that point I was taking time off from attending college at F.I.T. I showed more interest in working with Groundswell, inquiring more about their mural making process, and other opportunities that they had to offer. Fast forward to 2020, I’m now a Teaching Artist, I’ve assisted on some mural work, and lead a few other smaller projects under them. I am very grateful for the other opportunities I was given these past few years.
What’s the most fulfilling part about being a Groundswell Teaching Artist?
The most fulfilling part is that I’m always inspired, thus I hope to inspire. I’ve never worked on a Groundswell project that didn’t shift my inspirations in some way or didn’t make me feel like I inspired someone else, and I appreciate that no one's work goes unnoticed.
How did it feel when Groundswell reached out to you to design the logo?
I felt honored when they reached out, I actually didn’t anticipate that they would. So, when I got the congratulatory email from them, I was very excited and grateful.
What was the process like creating the logo?
The process was a learning experience and very fun for me. I got to work under the mentorship of Sam Wilkes, the creative director at a design agency known as Vault49. Our process was a bit tedious because we had to revisit the same idea over and over again to make it work, but I think what made the process most fun was being able to work with another creative who can give much needed constructive criticism, bounce ideas off of you, and keep you on track. It also helped that collaboratively is actually how I prefer to work.
My biggest takeaway from the experience was the experience itself, it was a testament to what I can achieve. I’ve never done a 25th anniversary logo, I’ve never done mockups to that extent, I’ve never really done anything that came with creating one, so I went into a project with a lot of room to learn and take away a lot of knowledge from.— Amanda Jones, Groundswell Teaching Artist
What elements were most important to the design?
The elements that were most important to the design were the twenty-five and the Groundswell logo integration, making that relationship work while still conveying all that Groundswell embodies and does as an organization. So, taking into account color choices, composition, shapes; what that all ends up communicating about Groundswell to the rest of the world that may not know much about Groundswell as an organization, were the most important elements.
What is one of your biggest takeaways from this experience?
My biggest takeaway from the experience was the experience itself, a testament to what I can achieve. I’ve never done a 25th anniversary logo, I’ve never done mockups to that extent, I’ve never really done anything that came with creating one, so I went into a project with a lot of room to learn and take away a lot of knowledge from. Also being reminded of the importance of interdependence in the creative process was something that I took away and have been taking away in past collabs with Groundswell. More often than not, I work independently and I feel a lot of artists can relate to that, but through working with Sam, it was just a nice reminder that sometimes having that other creative is truly inspiring and makes things fun. I couldn’t have done it by myself.
I hope they understand that Groundswell is a compassionate mural arts organization with the success of youth artists as one of their goals.— Amanda Jones, Groundswell Teaching Artist
What do you hope the external audience understands about Groundswell via the logo?
I hope they understand that Groundswell is a compassionate mural arts organization with the success of youth artists as one of their goals. And I hope they look at the logo and see sophistication, boldness, warmth, and unity via logo.
Being a Groundswell Alum, what advice do you have for current and future program participants?
Be the change you want to see in your communities, keep an open mind, stay inspired, and stay motivated in whatever it is you want to achieve.
Where do YOU hope Groundswell goes in this next phase?
I hope that Groundswell expands more opportunities like this one and continues to expand their relationships with other organizations with their same goals in mind, strengthening creative youth and communities through the arts.