Congratulations to College of Western Idaho (CWI) student, Eiko Pruett, winner of the College’s 2023 Connections Project Logo Contest! Pruett’s logo submission was chosen out of 23 entries earning her the $150 cash prize.
Pruett, who is in her second semester at CWI, found out about the Connections Project Logo Contest as part of an extra credit assignment in her Introduction to 2-D Art Foundations (ARTS 105) course. She downloaded a free sketchbook app on her phone to begin the design work and then integrated her work into the graphic design program, Canva.
After Pruett sent her design in, she didn’t think anything would come out of it, let alone being named the winner the contest.
“When I was told my logo was chosen, my first thought was, ‘Are you sure?’” said Pruett. “It is so cool they saw something in me when I didn’t have the vision for myself. I am really grateful I was able to integrate the lessons I learned in class into a real-life situation.”
Pruett’s inspiration behind the design was to bring together the different colleges in Idaho and around the region.
“I thought it would be interesting to do string art to connect the colleges,” Pruett said.
The logo selection process begins when student submissions are sent through an anonymous jurying process. The jurors consist of members of the Connections Project team including staff, faculty, and past logo winners. Finalists are determined, and the group votes on their favorites.
Once a design is selected, the winner has an opportunity to work with the College’s Graphic Designer, Cody Sprague, and Communication and Design Intern, Bri Daniels, to refine the design and create several iterations of the logo for t-shirts and digital promotion.
Karen Brown, Assistant Professor of Art History and Humanities, helped create the Connections Project logo design competition five years ago. She enjoys the types of connections the project brings.
“My favorite part of the entire event is facilitating the mentoring experience that the winner receives,” said Brown. “Cody is great with the students, preparing them for the process and gently guiding them through the changes — he’s kind, and generous and is a stickler for adhering to the CWI brand. “
“I feel extremely honored my design was chosen. It gives me some validation and more confidence to be able to pursue something in a more creative direction,” Pruett said. “I definitely had creative challenges through this process, but I had a lot of opportunity to overcome and learn.”
At 36 years old, Pruett is a non-traditional student at CWI and decided to return to school after she was nominated and awarded a scholarship last year. She encourages other students who may be like her — a parent, working a job — to branch out and get involved with activities, such as CWI Connections Project.
“Come to the College with an open mind to opportunities. It’ll be easier to reconnect with your love of learning,” Pruett said. “It can be really intimidating to come to class knowing you are one of the oldest, and a lot of the students in your class are the same age as your kids, but with that brings a lot of understanding. The reality is we're all here for a purpose and that is to learn. Once you start recognizing that there are people who, regardless of age, all are on the same path to something greater. I think that is really powerful.”
Save the date for this year’s Connections Project event Thursday, April 20. Visit the Connections Project online for more information and ways to get involved.