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Graphic Design Students Make a Splash

BYU graphic design professor Linda Reynolds sees the skills she teaches as more than a mixture of aesthetics, images, symbols, and words–her design classes teach students to do good better.

Reynolds began working with the Ballard Center two years ago to pair her students with projects that would allow them to use their skills to create strategies and branding that would benefit worthy causes.

A graphic design course teamed with a Ballard Center partner to apply newfound skills to a social venture.
A graphic design course teamed with a Ballard Center partner to apply newfound skills to a social venture.

“It is a class structured around social practice that engages students in projects that bridge both their passions in graphic design with their passions in helping and serving communities,” Reynolds says.

During fall semester, six of her students came together with their mutual passion for conservation to do a project with Blue Ventures, a nonprofit focused on conserving the ocean by working with communities to build eco-friendly fisheries and cultivate sustainable businesses.

“For this project, we had an actual client and our logo could potentially be put everywhere,” King says. “We were meeting with a client which was different because normally we just have to feel good about our logo ourselves and impress our teachers.”

Adam Rallison, another student in Reynolds' class, said he always likes branding projects, but this project gave greater meaning to his design.

“The more we learned about this company, what they do, and the difference they make, it was really exciting to work for them because we knew that this branding was going to help their efforts to work with communities around the world," Rollins says. "It was exciting because we were making an impact on the world.”

Reynolds said the team worked incredibly well together because they all had a common passion for the cause Blue Ventures espoused. Communicating messages through design was no longer solely about improving a business’s repute, but about forwarding Blue Ventures’ mission of conservation and community development.

Angela Meteer, another student on the Blue Venture team, said the project changed her perspective about what she could do with her future.

“It was interesting to see how I could actually build a professional career around making a difference in people’s lives and in the world," Meteer says. "That was really wonderful to see that I could go in a meaningful direction."

Faculty and students from all majors can also be paired with vetted social venture projects through the Ballard Center to apply their interests in doing social good. If you would like to get your class involved in working with one of these organizations, please contact Ballard Center partner relationship manager Reid Robison at


Writer: Michaela Proctor