Orange County non-profit brings branding challenges to Indiana University

Student graphic designer creates a fresh brand identity for community non-profit HandUp OC


Carl Nelson


Jacob Simpson, Marshall Curry


HandUp OC, Paoli, IN
Community Size
19,646 (2019 Census Estimation)
Indiana University
Sustaining Hoosier Communities
Case Type
Project Stories
Graphic Design, Studio Art
EPA Region 5, USA
Sustainable Development Goals
3 Good Health and Well-Being

Orange County is a rural southern Indiana county comprising four incorporated towns and a number of unincorporated communities. Residents are intent on celebrating the county’s industrial roots, natural beauty, and historic architecture while embracing and preparing for the future. Local progress is driven in large part by “grassroots cooperative leadership” (Report, Pg. 4), while legal and medical non-profits provide essential communal services. This community-oriented mentality lends itself to innovative partnerships between various actors working towards common goals in areas like infrastructure, culture, tourism, and healthcare. 

An important community resource seeks a face to match its mission

HandUp OC is a regional nonprofit which aims to better the lives of Orange County citizens by improving personal and community health, fostering connections, and teaching valuable life skills. The organization sponsors local events, hosts clothing/food drives and community meetings, and provides vital resources for residents. Despite its active role in the community, HandUp OC’s promotional materials were visually inconsistent, relying primarily on name recognition and word of mouth. Seeking a coherent brand identity to unify its message and programming, the organization enlisted student help

HandUp enlists a student designer to view the organization with fresh eyes 

HandUp OC brought their branding challenge to the Sustaining Hoosier Communities (SHC) program at Indiana University. This unique project was one of two involving a single student participant on the university side, a graphic designer supervised by Professor Jenny El-Shamy in the School of Art, Architecture, and Design. Collaborating with HandUp OC community partner Dessica Albertson, the student designer worked to create a brand identity for the nonprofit which would communicate their message and effectively engage community members in their work. 

Brand designs to bring a non-profit to new heights 

This collaboration provided HandUp OC with innovative brand identity concepts. Equipped with new branding material, the organization increased its potential for community outreach. With a familiar identity across channels, HandUp OC is more likely to attract interested Orange County residents to its crucial programming. On the university side, the student designer benefitted from the project’s small scale, which mimicked a professional designer-client dynamic. 

The impressive scope of HandUp OC’s community work required an equally impressive brand, something this student designer was able to deliver. With a fresh, coherent identity, the non-profit can focus its efforts on community development and support. 

Sustaining Hoosier Communities Contact Info
Jane Rogan
Sustaining Hoosier Communities Director
(812) 855-0568

Indiana University Faculty Contact Info
Jenny El-Shamy

Read the full story of the partnership.

Read the final student report delivered to the local gov/community partner.

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