Design Students Give Back to Rochester Community

Community service becomes integral part of hands-on learning

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A. Sue Weisler

Assistant graphic design professor David Royka, right, and graphic design student Christina Salvas stand in front of the logo that she designed for the Toy Library.

Juniors in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology helped to create a new identity for the Toy Library in Rochester. As part of an environmental design course, which integrated a community service project into a valuable learning experience, students designed a unified system of hanging banners, large posters and interior signs.

The Toy Library, located on Joseph Avenue in Rochester, is a unique facility where toys can be rented like library books. It’s an important community asset that provides resources that enrich play experiences between children and their caregivers.

The students, who were led by assistant graphic design professor David Royka, worked on the rigorous community service project independently at first, then later in groups, in order to produce the various designs. The library selected its favorite elements, which were continually refined and improved throughout the course, then finally printed and installed in the library.

“It’s part of a whole new rejuvenated brand for the library,” Royka says. “It was an intense community service project and I praise each of my students for their individual contributions and their hard work.”

The 21 students were: Ally Wu, Anna Vecchi, Carrie Nesler, Christina Salvas, Diana Stevens, Hannah Frank, Jacquie Vujcec, Jared Unger, John Sinsabaugh, Kevin Buntaine, Kristen Wozniak, Laura Bartemus, Megan Buckalew, Mir Ali, Nate Pacelli, Nathan Meyer, Nina Hull, Renee Noel, Ryan Herman, Ryan Yelencsics and Samantha Simek.

Royka says that the assignment was an excellent real-world learning opportunity and his students delivered professional results.

“They did an amazing job in a short amount of time and they truly deserve recognition for their generous efforts,” he says.

Deb Wilsea, volunteer director of the Toy Library, is grateful for the work that the students performed.

“The new logo will allow us to brand the Toy Library with a representative graphic that captures the essence of the library as a distinctive, playful and active place,” Wilsea says. “It was because of the RIT students’ work that this long-wished-for project was made possible.”