CU Denver Lynx Food Pantry Brand Process Book

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Jess Diaz Lynx Food Pantry | Brand Strategy + Design

University of Colorado Denver Lynx Food Pantry Brand Strategy + Identity Process Book Bachelor of Fine Art | Digital Design Thesis 2020 Jess Diaz

brand strategy + design

My first college roomate, for making me feel like the CU Denver food pantry was not for me, and fueling my desire to address the false perceptions and psychological barriers hungry students face during their journey toward a degree.

thank you to

CU Denver College the Arts & Media, for supporting the direction and funding the research behind this project, through the Dean’s Student Innovation Award. Maria Buszeck Rian Kerrane Haylee Jordan Coby Wikselaar Travis Vermilye Michelle Carpenter Stephen Schaf Chris Herr Hayase Yoshizumi James Sawyer Alicia Milanowski Erica Quintana Garcia Charlie Fredrick

n. it is too l a t e



ve r

oul d ha c v u




b e w h at y

George Eliot Designing Brand Identity

what’s inside ?




defining the problem

what I don’t know

what I do know

interactive survey installation


design research question


proposed solution






market research

what people are saying

existing brands who do it well

brand audit // SWOT

indirect competition


target persona


advice from the experts

subject matter expert

digital media expert

installation design expert


brand strategy


brand identity




digital asset management




installation proposal


about the designer

University of Colorado Denver 2018 survey results

In today’s educational climate, it is ever increasingly difficult for college students to meet life’s basic needs while pursuing a degree. Often times these non-traditional academics sacrifice meals to save money for rising tuition and housing costs in Colorado. Food Insecurity “The limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, or the ability to acquire such food in a socially acceptable manner.” // National Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice The Hope Centers annual #RealCollege survey is the nation’s largest assessment of basic needs security among college students. In 2018 the Hope Center reported forty percent of University of Colorado Denver respondents as food-insecure (2018 #RealCollege).


Hunger can lead to poor concentration, malnutrition, undernourishment, and a higher risk for mental and other physical health disorders. These affects directly translate into how well students perform in the classroom.


With a resource like the food pantry available to the CU Denver community, why is there still such a high rate of food insecurity reported?


defining the problem

After some preliminary research online as to how other universities approach college food insecurity, I came across a study conducted at the University of Florida that revealed reasons why their students were not using the food pantry. Psychological barriers and a lack of awareness were the primary reasons reported by their students. At the University of Florida, “the main impediments to using the food pantry were social stigma and embarrassment” (Zein).

what I don’t know Is shame a common variable among hungry college students? Could shame be addressed as an unmet need in the university’s food pantry brand? I proposed, designed, and built a public interactive survey installation to gather quanitative data around student participation and perceptions of the food pantries on campus. The results prove that shame is believed to be associated with food insecurity on Auraria campus, and building a better awareness around college food insecurity, and the university of Colorado Denver’s food pantry may help people feel less shame.

60 %

83 %

78 %

of survey respondents know there is a free food pantry available to them,

said they do skip meals sometimes to save money

of respondents say they feel shame is associated with food-insecurity

and at the same time...

87 % believe there should be greater awareness for food resources available to students

65 % said they could not afford to eat balanced meals in the last 30 days

what I do know Lack of awareness combined with psychological barriers (social stigma of shame) is preventing hungry students from accessing the food pantry. Shame is a social emotion Emotion + experience is what drives brand perception

defining the problem

Food pantries are associated with emergency crisis assistance Food insecurity is a sensitive subject to discuss for users. Feelings reported by food-insecure students include: shame / guilt vulnerability alienation / alone / isolated needy expectation of self-reliance and self-sufficiency fear of judgment desperation Users feelings and perceptions toward the food pantry are negatively reinforced by poor branding techniques. If students were not ashamed of using the pantry because of its association with food insecurity more people would know about it and use it to their benefit. As I studied shame further from phsycologists and world renowned researches I found that at its essence, shame is a fear of disconnection, and by reconnecting to society and community they begin to feel more human, and less alone.

shame is, at its essence a fear of disconnection by making connections, people start to realize... ‘this is human; I am human; others are human,’ and they are not alone

David Sack M.D. Psychology Today


noun 1. A painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety. 2. Condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute: ignominy. 3. Something that brings censure or reproach; also: something to be regretted: pity. Merriam-Webster

design research question

How might the principles and techniques of branding be used to alleviate the stigma of food insecurity at CU Denver in order to encourage hungry college students to increase their use of the university’s food pantry?


A better brand perception is necessary to target food insecure students and create a positive, inclusive, and shameless image around the food pantry.


proposed solution

Brand Strategy Based off of the target audience persona positioning competition personality brand story mission, vision, values tone Brand Identity Based off the brand strategy logo design color pallette typography iconography + visual elements touchpoints including: signage, product design, partnerships and programs, community involvement, and interactive installations It is impossible to solve food insecurity with a single food pantry. Instead, my main goal is get food insecure students to utilize the food pantry more often than they currently do.


how a brand is perceived affects its success, regardless of whether it’s a start up, a non-profit, or a product

Alina Wheeler Designing Brand Identity



FBR is currently the sole partner for donations, but also operates a mobile food pantry as well as a weekly food rescue that could potentially come to Auraria campus.

CU Denver Housing & Dining could donate their excess food to the food pantry in the Wellness Center.

GrowHaus is a community driven indoor hydroponic and aquaponic farm providing

low-cost produce and educational programs in Denver. It was first created to combat the neighborhood’s food desert.

We Don’t Waste is an organization that saves and donates unused food to local pantries. CCD, an indirect competitor, is a partner with We Don’t Waste.

Universities in the next column provide their

students with solutions to food insecurity such as hydroponics for Dining Halls, food pantry branding, and student operated farms.


There are racial and economic disparities among college students most impacted by food insecurity. “Generally” college students who are Caucasian and heterosexual “have lower rates of basic needs insecurity as compared to their peers” (Goldrick). The following demographic information represents the students with the highest self-reported cases of food insecurity in the Hope Center’s 2018 #RealCollege Denver survey. This is my target market. part-time students ages 21 to 30 first generation international those identifying as “other” than heterosexual transgender low-income single and divorced parents people of color employed declare themselves independent have been convicted of a crime have medical conditions and/or psychological disorders


what people are saying “There should be a language sensitivity training for employees with this service.” “I would go if the pantry offered coupons for King Soopers or other local grocery stores.”

products and maybe even a weekly menu of items to see if going is even worth my time.” “Having more locations for food to be distributed and a public awarness campaign would give people easier access.”


market research

“Seeing we are not alone is reassuing.” “I use the food pantry more when money is low, but it would be great to donate my extra points to people who need it more than I do.” “I would only go back if there was consistency in the

“I stopped using the pantry because I didn’t know it moved locations. I never go in the Wellness Center. Now that I know I will use it!” “More fresh options please, not just canned vegetables and macaroni.”

“They don’t even give you a bag.” “It’s clean and organized with nice bright lighting, not like other food pantries I have been to.” “I wish they sent us email check-ins every week on our available points, and maybe also what I can get with those points.”

brands who do it well stigma challenging campaigns body image Dove - Real Beauty sexual harassment & trafficking Thistle Farms: Love Heals mental health disorders Time to Change Campaign menstruation Always: Keep Going #LikeAGirl U by Kotex: Break the Cycle abortion The Brazen Project - Abortion Rights: Bold & Without Shame

brand audit reasons to rebrand // little signage and means of wayfinding, no official name or logo, personality, story, or core messaging the existing brand is so poorly defined it’s non-existent there has been shift in the culture of the food pantry as it has moved buildings and is now described as being connected to the dimensions of wellness location // Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center, 3rd floor. operations // Shopping style distribution and is managed in a staff / employee model with one refridgerator and lots of shelves.

market research

eligibility // No demographic information is required for use, only a valid ID. Users are limited to 10 points of items weekly. supply // Most items are canned or dried non-perishables. Hygeine products, baby food, and snacks are available as well. donations // Sole partnership with Food Bank of the Rockies who provides donations on a volunteer basis or if bought. The majority of goods comes from staff, faculty and student government initiated food drives. marketing & outreach // Inconsistent, and does not extend beyond word of mouth or the existing website which lives under the Wellness Center’s domain.





Connected with the dimensions of wellness by location

You can only access food from one location

City Heights and Campus Village can donate their excess or unused food

Goods and supplies are unpredictable, and therefore, unreliable from Food Bank of the Rockies

Demographic info is not required There are donor & partnerships opportunities including food education programs or a vertical garden inside of the Wellness Center’s large facility

No visual info for other food resources available Lack of identifying wayfinding, singage, and marketing materials Connection to, and knowledge about the food available within the pantry

Social media presence can facilitate greater awareness and help introduce the new brand A brand identity that addresses users experience Snack tower installations in various CU Denver buildings throughout campus Branded marketing materials

Most days there are little to no food options in the refrigerator or on the shelves People are not participating in the Volunteer in Partnership (VIP) program with FBR

indirect competition

MSU Denver Food Pantry identity // Connected to the MSU Denver brand mission // The Roadrunner Food Pantry serves to fight hunger on campus by providing basic nutritional food for students in times of need location // Ground floor of a highly trafficked area in the Tivoli Student Union

market research

partnerships // Buys products from Food Bank of The Rockies and has a partnerhsip with SECORCares that hosts a free mobile food market for MSU Denver students strengths // Heavily advertises other food options on & off-campus Experience provides users with University swag including re-usable water bottles and tote bags Gives students extra points when they bring a bag Invests in student success with a large CARE team Fundraiser holiday meal baskets for students Well marketed online Most visible signage and recognizable logo at the physical location out of all three pantries

indirect competition

CCD Food Pantry identity // Connected to the CCD brand mission // The food pantry gives you access to meals and nonperishable items at no cost location // Adjacent to the Roadrunner food pantry on the ground floor of a highly trafficked area in the Tivoli Student Union partnerships // Food Bank of The Rockies & We Dont Waste strengths // Provides users with a “7 Day Menu for Less Than $5”, so students can meal prep at extremely low costs with food currently available in the pantry Provides easy recipe booklets for home cooks who are learning to budget food costs Advertises food assistance options on and off-campus Visual experience directly targets users with signage and posters containing positive mantras, support for food justice, and equitable service Largest facility of all three campus pantries Best quantity and quality products of all food pantries “Snack stations” are provided as a touchpoint in plain site and in various CCD buildings across campus


undergrad student age 26 race afro-carribean gender trans female work 3 campus jobs living 1 roomate assistance receives financial aid, denied SNAP benefits


target persona

background story Elena comes from a non-traditional family, and was emancipated by the age of 15. She struggles to keep a steady living wage and provide for herself in college. Around others she keeps a straight face and acts like life is normal, admitting to very few that she needs help with food regularly. She has used the university’s food pantry before her transition, and does not use it unless she is in emergency situations with absolutely no money for food. When she does need food assistance the food pantry is often empty or very limited in options.

“I don’t think about it [the food pantry], and that’s a problem. There’s no presence, no promise, no heartbeat. Ya girl likes heartbeats from an organization. I went in blind and it left me with no expectations.”

frustrations Not being able to find the pantry’s location on her own is frustrating. The lack of conversation and awareness around basic needs resources is another pain point. Another is when Elena uses her precious time to go to the pantry and there is nothing available.

goals Trust that the food pantry can provide her with an all-in-one stop for food assistance options Feeling reasurrance, and security from a community that cares



Elena needs to know that she is not alone in her experience with food insecurity. She needs better access to information in person and online. She needs a service that provides what it promises with a personality and a presence.


trusted brands










subject matter expert

Coby Wiksellar


advice from the experts

CU Denver Politi-Sci Harding Fellow specializing in student hunger + homelessness Coby kept me up-to-date with all of the current events concerning campus food initiatives. She informed me that there are triinstitutional efferts to create one unified campus food pantry, but will not happen for a few years. You can’t talk about food insecurity without triggering some people, because when we talk about food insecurity we talk about privilege, and with that conversation comes shame. Shame has been linked to increased

mental health disorders, eating disorders, bullying, and substance abuse. shame = I am bad (related to self) guilt = I did something bad (related to behavior) Shames power comes from secrecy and silenced voices. Becoming aware of shame and communicating it reclaimes that power (Brown). Tone and language must be light-hearted and empathetic for successful

marketing and communication tactics. Questions asked on the survey installation should be appropriated from the USDA and Hope Center’s food security surveys.

digital media expert

Haylee Jordan

Brand strategy + brand design “Brands are not supposed to please everybody.� Rebranding is based on a problem. We can change the perception by embracing the

1 establish a DSI

situation. A core need reported by users is to feel more secure about the pantry and less shame about being food insecure. By defining a way


brand strategy

to differentiate you promise to fill that core need.


brand identity

installation design expert

Rian Kerrane

CU Denver Art Practices & Sculpture Professor A mobile food pantry, event tables, snack stations, and vertical farming were discussed with Rian, and the possibility of each. Rian was my installation class

professor at the time I created the interactive survey. The public art proposal for the survey was approved by the Auraria Higher Education Center. We had plans to

start building and testing a functional free-standing snack tower touchpoint, but the campus studio was unfortunately closed due to COVID-19.

dominant selling idea The Lynx Food Pantry breaks down the social stigma of food insecurity while diminishing feelings of shame.



brand strategy

A right turn when you’re hungry. Light-hearted humor is used as users have to make a physical right turn in direction in order to reach the pantry’s location. The tagline can also be interpreted through the lens of food justice. “Right turn” itself works as a deeper metaphor for a change in direction towards

a new perspective. People will no longer feel bad about themselves for needing to use the pantry if they look internally for validation, not externally. Psychologists say that making conscious decisions to separate who we are from what we do will cultivate self-worth, in-turn reducing feelings of shame (Sack). The choice between not eating to save money and going to the food pantry is made easier by telling people they can never be wrong by accessing the Lynx Food Pantry if they are hungry.

This messaging appeals to ones emotional sense of security.

the ultimate job of all brand communications is to propose to the customer what we’d like our DSI to be in their minds... then, only if actual performance lives up to our promise... the customer might grace us by accepting and internalizing our proposed DSI as their own.

Al Reis & Jack Trout Why Johnny Can’t Brand

messaging Our mission is to provide you with shame-free food assistance.

brand strategy

We have a vision of exposing the social stigma associated with food insecrity so you can feel better about getting food that will feed your mind and body. We value inclusion: a culture of caring and belonging where all are welcome. Respect: for ones-self and others in our journeys. Discussion: open and honest conversation can foster connection. Bravery: to embrace and challange societal expectations.

Holistic wellness: there are multiple ways to practice self-care.

story The Lynx Food Pantry was created as a response to nearly half the population at the University of Colorado Denver who are fighting to provide food for themselves. With all of the expectations placed on today’s college student we understand how difficult it is to pursue an education, pay for housing, and still afford food. We’re here to help take some of that pressure off,

because there is no shame in caring for yourself, and letting someone help along the way. As a pillar of wellness and a basic human need, we treat food as a right, not a privelage. If you or someone you know is hungry, the right turn is in the Lynx Food Pantry.

tone encouraging | motivating passionate | energetic sincere | candid optimistic | hopeful respectful | considerate

voice Speak like a conversation, more familiar, but not too casual. “Did you know we have a free food pantry in the Wellness Center?” Not “the Wellness Center has a food pantry.” Inspire empowerment, but don’t be commanding. “You have the power to choose to self-care.” Not “if you’re hungry then go to the food pantry.” Be polite and show sincerity, but don’t avoid energy. “Thank you for visting the lynx pantry, have a nice day” Not “thanks for coming, hope to see you again soon.”


brand identity

brand architecture

brand name user testing

Tested well | Did not test well



MILO’S LYNX PANTRY food pantry



Food Pantry

Food Pantry

Outcomes Students preferred Lynx > Milo > CU Denver CU Denver logo is “too official” “So sick of the CU logo” “The color is enough” “CU Denver logo is more academic related” “Stray far away from the CU Denver logo”

official logo + variations

brand identity

Helvetica Neue LT Std 67 Medium Condensed

Vertical Full color

Centered Full color

Prater Sans Pro Bold + Regular

logo color options full color

reverse full color (preferred)

brand identity

1-color (gold, prefered)

1-color (white)

1-color (black)

clear space

minimum size

print or physical media // 2.25’’ wide or larger

online and digital media // 160 pixels wide or larger

improper logo usage Do not stretch, condense, or distort the logo in any way.

brand identity

Do not replace or retype the logo wordmark.

Do not alter the position or scale of logo elements.

Do not add additional text or graphics to the logo.

Do not change the logo color palette.

Do not ignore clear space with multiple CU logos in the same area.

Do not use the logo as a background, or repeating pattern.

Do not add drop shadows, gradients, or visual effects.

brand identity

primary color palette

This is the official color palette of the University of Colorado Denver. As the most recognizable and identifiable element in brand materials, the color palette visually connects and strengthens the impact of visual communications.

CU Gold

HEX #CFB87C RGB 207/184/124 CMYK 0/10/48/22 PMS 4525

CU Black

HEX #000000 RGB 0/0/0 CMYK 0/0/0/100 CMYK 40/40/40/100 (Rich Black) PMS Black

CU Black and Gold is the primary color palette, and are used in the official logotype. This palette can be expanded into accent colors, but should never be replaced by them in any visual communication, and instead used

sparingly. CU Black and Gold are only the colors used in the Lynx Food Pantry logo.

Gold -1

HEX #7B6F4B RGB 123/111/75 CMYK 27/29/88/41 PMS 4485

HEX #595955 RGB 89/89/85 CMYK 61/50/78/70 PMS 419

Black +1

Gold +1

HEX #D6CCA6 RGB 214/204/166 CMYK 4/5/31/4 PMS 4545

HEX #7C7E7F RGB 124/126/127 CMYK 25/18/15/51 PMS 425

Black +2


HEX #FFFFFF RGB 0/0/0 CMYK 0/0/0/0 PMS n/a

HEX #595955 RGB 89/89/85 CMYK 61/50/78/70 PMS 419

Black +3

secondary color palette

brand identity

This is secondary color palette for the Lynx Food Pantry. This palette is not meant to replace any of the official University colors, but rather act as a supplement to the Lynx Food Pantry visual identity. Secondary color palette options can be used in icons, overlay photo’s at a lower transparency, or used to label specific food categories within the pantry itself. When secondary colors are used with photographs it must be minimal, and not distract from the message. Legibility must always be maintained in best practice.


HEX #C2E76B RGB 194/231/107 CMYK 27/0/73/0 PMS 374 C

HEX #789904 RGB 120/153/4 CMYK 58/22/100/4 PMS 377 C

Green Olive

Red Apple

HEX #96282C RGB 150/40/44 CMYK 27/94/85/24 PMS 7622 C

HEX #401F20 RGB 64/31/32 CMYK 50/77/68/68 PMS 4975 C

Cherry Wood

Stainless Steel

HEX #EFF0EF RGB 239/239/238 CMYK 5/3/4/0 PMS Cool Gray 1C, 40%

HEX #F9A11E RGB 249/161/30 CMYK 0/42/98/0 PMS 137 C



heading 1 Prater Sans Pro Bold tracking | 0

heading 2 Helvetica Neue LT Std 45 Light tracking | 10

heading 3 Prater Sans Pro Regular tracking | 10

This typeface is for super huge titles. Only use it during special occassions for stand alone emphasis. FF Prater is a web friendly Adobe Typekit font family.

Helvetica Neue is the official typeface used by the University of Colorado Denver. It is clean, familiar, reliable, classic, and highly legible. H2 headings are for regular titles.

This subtitle is perfecty sized for page section headings. Use this style for all subtitle headings in print materials or in digital artwork that can be embedded into emails and the website.

heading 4 Helvetica Neue LT Std 75 Bold tracking | 10

Headings in this style are to be used as descriptors for H2 headings.

Editorial Helvetica Neue LT Std 55 Roman tracking | 10

All body copy in editorial and web content will be in this style. The bold variation in the same point size is for emphasis on lists, categories, or other important words within body copy.

iconography Just as life, icons for the Lynx Food Pantry are not perfect. They have a human, handdrawn, illustrative quality. All icons should be in this style and can be image traced in Adobe Illustrator for editable vectors. After importing an illustration into Adobe Illustrator click “embed,” and then go to “object - rasterize.” After the image has been rasterized click “image trace.” Settings within the image tracing can be adjusted for cleaner lines and less noise depending on the photo quality during import. Once the image has been traced click “ex-

pand,” and then press comand + shift + G on your keyboard to ungroup the objects. Delete the background and boom! Icons don’t have to have the exact same stroke line, but should be similar. Hatch marks can be used to illustrate shadows. Icons should always be identifiable, and include but are not limited to the ones on this page. Color usage can be seen on the “seconday color palette” page. If more icons are to be added to the set the strokes must be closed so color can be added.

brand identity

photography Photography for the food pantry should be shot in a high dynamic range, meaning there is a large difference in the light and dark tones. Short and long fields of depth are preferred, but are not required as some photography can be used for used specifically as a background in marketing materials. Photos that include a background should be familiar, and

can include light or dark wood, tile, and other common house hold countertops. Fresh foods are always to be highlighted in the foregound of photos unless promoting a canned food drive. Photographing the subject “falling off� the corner or edge of the frame is encouraged. Any time extra objects such as

bags, baskets, plants, or humans are photographed in addition to the food they must always be treated as secondary subject matter. Including human interaction is highly encourged. The photos below represent an acceptable editing style. Changes include cropping, adding vibrancy, and adjusting the tonal range and white balance.


New v. Old



New poster ideally located in various CU Denver buildings across campus The image on the opposite page compares the new Lynx Food Pantry signage compared to an old version. The old, black and white version is the only signage the university’s food pantry ever created and markted. It uses generic photography with standard Helvetica typography in a tone that is not friendly, caring, or approachable. The old poster uses the Denver Lynx graphic, usually reserved for physical areas of wellness and recreation, like sports. The new poster embraces

the student body as normal, considering 78% of survey respondents said they feel shame is associated with food insecurity. They can feel less alone, and more human by knowing this number, and then immediately follow that with the tagline, “The Lynx Food Pantry is a right turn when you’re hungry.” The poster presents the brand’s mission and recognizable graphics, as well as establishes the Lynx Food Pantry as a sub-brand of CU Denver’s Wellness and Recreation Services.



The Lynx Food Pantry is located in an obsure corner on the third floor of the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center. Playing off of the tagline, “a right turn when you’re hungry,” this visual is what users will see when they make that physical “right turn.” Currenlty there is absolutely no signage on the third floor that indicates the location of the Lynx Food Pantry. This made users feel like they need to keep their need for food assistance hidden and secret. There are no other rooms in this area of the Wellness Suite other than offices and storage.


product design Food Bank of the Rockies (FBR) has officially approved the University of Colorado Denver Lynx Food Pantry as a member agency in a Volunteer in Partnership Program (VIP). For every three hours of time a volunteer completes at FBR, the Lynx Food Pantry will receive 20 pounds of credit in food donations. Volunteers will need to commit to a 3-hour shift and mention the CU Denver Lynx Food Pantry as your designated agency when signing up on the Lynx Food Pantry’s website. The problem is that nearly no one uses this program, and it

is a great opportunity for the Lynx Food Pantry to provide more food options during busy seasons. As a thank you for volunteering time to help others in the CU Denver community, those who mention the Lynx Food Pantry as their agency of choice with receive a reusable mug free of charge. This is a fun way to raise brand awareness while letting volunteers know that their time and support is appreciated. The mug can be picked up at the Wellness Suite’s front desk on the third floor of the Wellness Center after volunteering.


partnerships In partnership with CU Denver Housing & Dining, the Lynx Food Pantry could potentially receive all of the unused and excess food from the dining halls. I have contacted Sodexo, the supplier of our Dining Hall’s food source to see if this can be managed. If so, this will solve a great deal of food shortages that the Lynx Food Pantry is encountering. This is also an opportunity to reduce food waste on our campus. GrowHaus is an indoor hydroponic and auquaponic farm located in Denver. As experts in urban food security, and knowledgeable in

food systems, they could host several workshops, demonstrations, and educational programs for our community within the CU Denver Wellness Center. GrowHaus also provides low-cost produce that could supply the “Snack Tower” installation touchpoint. Lynx Food Pantry could add the GrowHaus to their list of off-campus food resources as well.


community involvement The University of Colorado Denver’s Department of Geography and Environmental Scienece has a 13 acre farm in Wheat Ridge. Students learn sustainable agriculture and gain knowledge in food systems by growing food and caring for livestock. By connecting with the land and working with others, people can become dignified in food systems, gain respect for the food they eat, and feel more connected to the land. It has also been proven that working outdoors is beneficial for the mental and physical health of participants. Mental and physical health

impediments are experienced by my target market and demographic. The Wellness Center already has group programs in place, but they are mainly for physical excursions. If they added a volunteer program that allows students to visit, engage, and learn from the Departement of Geography and Environemental Sceince’s farming program they will build better connections and feel more dignified (Levkoe).


modular snack tower installation

Scale Model


Ideally placed in various offices around campus I built a scale model of a freestanding “Snack Tower” installation for the Lynx Food Pantry. It is cracked because it’s made from 100% Tennessee clay from my parents back yard, and one wooden dowel. Scaled down by a factor of 1/4, the full size in reality would be about 4.5 feet tall and crafted from light-weight wood using the CU Denver studio. Placed in several different offices around campus (CAM office, the Business School office, LynxConnect in

the Tivoli Student Union, and Visual Arts office in the CU Denver building), these installations would hold fresh fruit, granola bars, and other snack items with signage indicating it is provided by the Lynx Food Pantry. The newly established partners could potentially provide the food necessary to fill these installations. As they will be placed in offices around campus, students will not be able to take advantage of this resource, and are

encouraged to only take what they need in that moment. The purpose of these istallations is to normalize the need for food assistance, build brand awareness for the Lynx Food Pantry, and provide people with options for locating food around campus. All of this is to combat the social stigma of shame associated with college food insecurity.


digital asset management

file organization All assets will be named and filed according to the University of Colorado Denver’s standard naming conventions. I used to design for the College of Arts & Media under the Marketing and Communications team so I am familiar with how the university organizes and names assets. All assets will be kept in a Google Folder with separate folders for iconography, and logos, as well as pages for each indicating how to use those assets. Icons will be saved in black & white versions, as well as with color in EPS format. Logos

will be saved in all variations with and without color in PNG, JPG, and EPS formats. All of this is to make designing for markting and communication purposes easier and more efficient across web, digital, and print collateral.


extraordinary work is done for extraordinary clients

Milton Glasier Designer

Full Research Bibliography

Some items are not cited in this process book My full five-page research paper can be read on by searching, “Jessica Diaz, Branding the University of Colorado Denver Food Pantry.”

Bad Bitch Branding. Creating a Profitable Brand: Craft a Unique Selling Proposition That Sells! | Haylee Jordan. Skillshare. https:// Accessed Dec. 2019 Brené, Brown. “Listening to Shame.” YouTube, Ted Conferences LLC, 16 Mar. 2012,



“CU Denver Food Pantry.” University of Colorado Denver | Wellness and Recreation, Higher Learning Commission, wellness/matters/food-pantry. Accessed 5 Nov. 2019 “Food Pantry.” Community College of Denver, Office of Student Life, 18 Feb. 2020, “Roadrunner Food Pantry.” MSU Denver Dean of Students, Metropolitan State University of Denver, 1 20, Sack M.D., David. “5 Ways to Silence Shame.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, LLC, 13 Jan. 2015, us/blog/where-science-meets-the-steps/201501/5-ways-silenceshame. Accessed 2 Feb. 2020.

Goldrick-Rab, Sara, et al. “College and University Basic Needs Insecurity: A National #RealCollege Survey Report.” The Hope Center | For College, Community, and Justice, The Lumina Foundation, 2019, Accessed Jan. 2020. Jordan, Haylee. “The Brand Checklist.” Accessed Jan. 2020. PDF file. Levkoe, C.Z. Learning Democracy Through Food Justice Movements. Agriculture and Hum Values 23, 89–98 (2006). Ries, Al, and Jack Trout. Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind. McGraw Hill Professional, 2001. Schley, Bill, and Jr. C. Nichols. Why Johnny Can’t Brand: Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Big Idea. 2nd ed., WidenerBooks, 2010. UC Berkeley Food Pantry – Battling Food Insecurity and Malnourishment, UC Berkeley, Accessed 2019. “2018 #RealCollege Survey Report For Denver Survey Participants.” Hope4College, The Hope Center | For College, Community, and Justice at Temple University, Sept. 2018, Accessed 10 Nov. 2019. Wheeler, A. Designing brand identity: A Complete Guide to Creating, Building, and Maintaining Strong Brands. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2006. Zein, Aseel E., et al. “Why are Hungry College Students Not Seeking Help? Predictors of and Barriers to using an On-Campus Food Pantry.” PMC, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 25 Aug. 2018. Accessed 10 Nov. 2019.

installation proposal


If we had the opportunity to present our thesis projects at Redline Gallery it would ideally be similar to the image on the opposite page. There is an 8 foot shelf holding two differnet thesis projects. Of the allocated 4 feet for my deisgn thesis project, a Mac computer screen would display the brand guidelines, copies of my process process book be displayed, and the Snack Tower installation touchpoint would be free-standing next to the shelf on the left side. The tower would be filled with snacks and fresh fruit for people to take and consume. For now the scale model of the installation has been shown

as a placeholder. My business cards would be displayed directly under the computer. The project can be identified from far away with the horizontal variation of the logotype present at about 2.5 feet wide. Under the logo is my design thesis research question to give context to the project, as well as some of the Lynx Food Pantries iconography set.

about the designer


I’m Jess! I am dedicated to designing for social impact, education, and sustainable development. I am inspired by user interaction and behavior, and how these can be driving forces in creating meaningful brand experiences. I explore ways to make concepts and experiences tangible through various areas of visual arts. I have had experience designing visual marketing materials for the College of Arts & Media, and was previously an intern at the Emmanuel Art Gallery. In 2020 I had the honor of receiving a CAM Dean’s Student Innovation Award to manage a two-part

project addressing sustainable development through multiple creative solutions. After graduation, I aims to continue practicing brand strategy as a visual designer for a range of clients in creative industries and small businesses. I chose branding the university’s food pantry as my design thesis subject ​​​​​​because I am passionate about social sustainability. Over the past year I have been exploring ways to communicate social sustainability through creative solutions. College food insecurity is an issue of equity. It’s time to prioritize people in our communities.

Visit my design website at to see more of my work.

It’s time to start prioitizing people in our community

The Lynx Food Pantry is a Right Turn When You’re Hungry Thank You

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