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Student wins contest, creates new logo for group

By Staff | May 8, 2012

After more than two decades of holding onto the same logo, the Lee County Fire Marshals & Inspectors Association decided it was time for a change.

“It was rather sad for an organization and somewhat hand drawn,” Carolyn Mohr, secretary of the association, which covers 17 fire districts, said.

So, the board came up with a logo contest for high school students.

“We just wanted something new, updated,” Mohr said. “We need a new logo, let’s be more current – let’s open it up to the students in Lee County.”

The association provided information on its purpose, mission and what it does, then set up a “very basic” set of criteria for entrants to follow.

“It had to be reproduced for embroidery. It had to look good on letterhead, and it had to be in color,” she said. “We didn’t want to limit the students.”

There were a total of 36 submissions received.

“Four schools basically took park,” Mohr said, adding that the list included Island Coast High, Cape Coral High, Dunbar High and Riverdale High.

“I was really surprised we didn’t get a broader spectrum,” she said.

The association’s membership, of which there is currently about 100, was given the opportunity to vote on the submissions. About one-third voted, and the list was narrowed down to just a handful based on their overall ranking.

First place went to Karina Garcia, a 12-grader at Island Coast High.

“She really pretty much won this thing with one of her three logos,” Mohr said, adding that Garcia’s three submissions took first through third.

“They came in the top three,” she said.

Brett Billman, also of Island Coast High, took fourth place.

On Tuesday, Garcia was presented with a $250 check at the association’s meeting. She also received a T-shirt from the group with the new logo.

“I’m excited that I entered because it was a great opportunity,” Garcia said, adding that it was “really awesome” to have her logo picked as the winner.

“I was actually surprised they liked my stuff that much,” she said.

Garcia entered the contest as part of a digital design class assignment.

She said the original instructions indicated using paper and pencil, but that the association opened it up to graphic design when the schools inquired.

“I looked at some of the designs that firefighters already had and came up with my own idea off it,” Garcia said, adding that it took about a week.

She also pulled from her father, who once serving as a firefighter in Key West.

“So some of my inspiration came from that,” Garcia said.

Her first creation was a logo with hatchets and a ribbon that stated, “Integrity and dedication.” From there, she began taking elements away.

Her second entry, which took first, included the hatchets but no ribbon or words. Garcia’s third entry did not include the hatchets, ribbon or words.

“Three different designs to give them options,” she said.

Garcia also recently took first and third place for print advertising in a countywide digital competition open to students. Though she is interested in the design field, Garcia is not completely settled on it as a future career.

“It’s something that I’m considering,” she said.

The Lee County Fire Marshals & Inspectors Association meets the second Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m. at Fire Station 62, off Daniels Parkway and Sophomore Lane in Fort Myers. Its focus is on prevention and education.