Blog Post 2: The S.T.A.R Case Study
How can applying the S.T.A.R method can help design students in writing clear and professional case studies.
Seattle Pacific University BAJA SAE racing team is one of the university’s majorly funded clubs. The racing team showcases the engineering students and connects them to different groups across the country through racing and design-based competition. Baja SAE challenges engineering students to design and build an off-road vehicle capable of surviving the severe punishment of rough and watery terrains. As in real work situations, these future engineers work together as a team to discover and resolve technical challenges in design, test, and manufacturing, as well as business issues. The most rugged of all the competitions, Baja SAE also gives students the first-hand challenge of pursuing their passion while managing real-life demands and priorities. Each team’s goal is to design and build a prototype of an all-weather, rugged, single-seat, off-road recreational vehicle intended for sale to the nonprofessional weekend off-road enthusiast. Seattle Pacific University’s racing team was established in 2013 and has existed due to the dedicated students, funding from engineering alumni, and professors who make this a class elective. However, due to COVID, the club was unable to compete and lost a significant number of team members. This was due to team members graduating. The current captains of the racing team needed to find a way to promote and recruit new students into the club and create a new crowdfunding campaign. With the new school year approaching they decided to create a unifying brand identity for the racing team. The branding would help with recruitment, documentation, and gaining outside school funding.
My task was to create a logo, color palette, pattern, slide deck presentation, and t-shirt design. I would need to communicate my ideas, sketches, and final designs to the entire racing team, and create an accessible folder for future team members to access. Additionally, the racing team’s academic advisor would need to approve the design due to the logo represents an extension of the school.
The purpose behind the design was to show the racing team’s growth and create a brand for the students to stand behind. The idea came from the question, “how can I make the club stand out amongst students?” Because the racing team is an extension of the school and represents the engineering students, I decided to keep the school colors and used the color university’s color palette. Instead of prioritizing the maroon and cream colors, I used bright green and black. By using bright green and black, it isolated the racing team from the university. The color primary color choices gave the team a bright and distinctive approach upon first impression. The energetic and saturated colors would not only catch viewers’ attention but also potential investors. With the color and brand assets created, I switched my focus on forms. The team captains envisioned a logo that was icon-based, but also academically professional. I accomplished this by formatting the F and R, from the team’s name “Falcon Racing,” into a single structure.
With the aid of the brand identity, the team has grown in members and went from a team of 12 to 20. Falcon Racing utilized the designs and included them in its social media branding. Additionally, they re-hired me to create a new illustrated work for a t-shirt crowdfunding campaign. Through the use of my designs and branding, the team was able to raise $8,500 through their t-shirt sales and $15,000 in crowdfunding. In the spring of 2022, the team competed in Nashville and applied the logo and illustration to the design of the car. Not only will this represent the university, but also the hard-working students who put in the effort to create an award-winning racing team.