UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Every year, junior graphic design students at Penn State are tasked with submitting designs for the THON logo. Students start with an idea and work to perfect it until they make their vision into a design reality. This year, the design chosen to represent the “Shape the Moment” theme was that of Haley Stipes.
Stipes was excited to have an opportunity to make her mark on THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. She incorporated some of her favorite colors and signature styles when deciding how the logo should look and feel.
“I wanted to take shapes and turn them into letters. After the initial design, I decided I wanted to make it look warmer and more welcoming, so I added the little kid characters to the logo,” she said.
She has been to THON every year since coming to Penn State from her hometown of Woodbine, Maryland, and is currently a member of Eclipse, a special interest organization whose sole goal is to raise money and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer.
“I feel like the energy of THON is amazing. Everyone in that arena cares about the kids,” said Stipes.
When she found out that her design was chosen as the winner back in December, she was overjoyed. She said it was special to be able to make an impact on THON using her creative design skills.
Having grown up in a family of creatives, Stipes always loved drawing. Originally, she wanted to be a veterinarian because of her adoration for animals, but in high school, she fell in love with art classes and realized she wanted to pursue a career in something creative.
“Graphic design was a great way for me to be able to take my drawing skills and turn them into a career,” she said.
Stipes chose Penn State to study graphic design because she wanted to have the full college experience, which is sometimes lost at smaller art schools.
“All the professors at Penn State really push you and help you grow,” said Stipes.
She attributed her time management skills and much of her growth as a student to Kristen Sommese, an emeritus professor of graphic design who recently retired. She said her favorite instructor is Ryan Russell, an associate professor of graphic design, who taught a user design and experience course Stipes took.
When she isn’t busy with her curriculum, Stipes enjoys drawing for fun, stargazing and taking on freelance design gigs. During her sophomore year one of her friends who had worked with Hamilton the musical, a world-renowned Broadway production, over the summer, asked her to submit artwork for sticker emoji packs for the Hamilton App. Her designs were chosen, and she continues to freelance for Hamilton by designing new sticker packs.
Right now, Stipes is gearing up to find a summer internship. She is excited to see where those efforts lead her. After she graduates in 2020, she is looking to work in a friendly and collaborative environment as an art director.
To see more of Stipes’ work, visit her online portfolio.