From left to right: Nick Schulz, Mia Burnett, Primrose Sobeck
Three A.W. Beattie students planning to pursue a career in advertising and design are hoping to turn heads next month at the state SkillsUSA competition with a months-long project that will aid the North Hills School District with its rebranding efforts.
North Hills High School senior Nick Schultz along with his Beattie classmates Mia Burnett from Avonworth and Primrose Sobeck of Northgate were tasked with developing a branding package for the district complete with logos, wordmarks, colors and font styles.
This after the NHSD Board of Education voted last fall to discontinue the use of the Indian chief logo while keeping the name “Indians” for the district’s athletic teams.
Rather than hire a graphic designer or design firm to establish acceptable graphic identification and usage guidelines, the district opted to utilize the talents of Beattie students, giving them invaluable real world experience to take with them beyond graduation.
Mia, Nick and Prim, all graduating this spring, were excited to take on the challenge as the district’s parameters not only aligned with what they’ve learned at Beattie, their completed project would be an ideal entry into the SkillsUSA Career Pathways Showcase.
The competition is one Beattie students have won consistently since 2018 earning a rightful spot in the national competition, where they’ve also found success.
“We’ve won or placed in three of the last four national conferences,” said Beattie Advertising Design instructor Heather Brown, adding, “We're hoping for another go at Nationals again this year!”
After months of work that included periodic meetings with North Hills superintendent Dr. Patrick Mannarino and other district administrators, the students presented their final designs at the March 2 school board meeting.
Included in the package are three custom font styles developed exclusively for NHSD and script-style wordmarks for “Indians” and “North Hills.”
The students also recreated vector images of the district’s current NH logo, the NHSD crest and a vintage-style NH logo currently used for varsity letters and by the North Hills Hockey Club. Vector images are vital in print and design industries because they are high quality and easily scaled so they are ready to print in various sizes.
Several alternate NH designs were also created, some with the help of Beattie grad Dylan Winters who previously worked for Pitt Athletics designing the Oakland Zoo logo currently used by the Pitt basketball student section and Pitt crest used by the university’s soccer teams.
Dylan, who now owns his design company specializing in sports logos, spent hours with Mia, Nick and Prim, offering not only specific guidance on logos and typography, but general tips and tricks.
“He’s a great resource simply for the fact that he has seen what career and technical education can offer these students from his own experiences,” Mrs. Brown said of her former student. “It really helps this team of students not only with this particular project, but in seeing the big picture. Bringing Dylan in allows them to see exactly where this education can take them.”
The student’s designs and fonts will now be reviewed by the NHSD school board before final branding guidelines are established prior to the start of the 2023-24 school year.
In the meantime, the Beattie team is putting the final touches on their project ahead of the state competition, taking place in Hershey April 12-14.
About A.W. Beattie Career Center
A.W. Beattie Career Center offers 20 programs to students from nine northern Allegheny County school districts including Advertising Design, Automotive Technology, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Health and Nursing Sciences, Intro to Pharmacy, Veterinary Sciences, Sports Medicine and more. North Hills students can attend Beattie in grades 10 through 12.