Students in Professor Erin Wright’s senior-level graphic design class at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) are getting some real-world experience working with a local company.

  February 4, 2010

Blue Ocean Technologies Logo. Download image.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Students in Professor Erin Wright's senior-level graphic design class at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) are getting some real-world experience working with a local company.

Blue Ocean Technologies, a start-up company located and operating in Innovation Depot, wanted to update the company's logo. CEO Bill Pautler consulted with Wright about the possibility of a student-designed logo. Wright said the department's policy is to be selective about projects like this, and to find clients willing to work with students for the betterment of all parties involved. After meeting with Pautler, Wright was enthusiastic about the project and shared the idea with his students, who conferred with Pautler and got to work.

"I liked our old logo," Pautler said, "but it was not fresh enough or tech-savvy enough for the company we have developed into. I wanted to communicate a level of trust and movement toward future technologies and business opportunities."

Each of the 13 students in Wright's class designed two logos, and Pautler selected one designed by Jordan Morrow, with assistance from Wright.

"I love the new logo," Pautler said. "The square shape is very current and fits with many of the icons used in the technology field. The wave going out of the box represents us as a company that thinks outside of the box. The wave also represents the flow of information and a transformation from old to new. On the whole, we think the new logo is a more accurate representation of Blue Ocean and its culture and vision."

Morrow, 22, of Trussville, will graduate from UAB in August with a degree in art studio with a focus on graphic design. The design experience was a valuable one, she said.

"For Blue Ocean to be so proactive, to go out in the community and approach the UAB Department of Art and Art History, it brings light on the department and is a real benefit to the students. Through this opportunity, we get real-life applications and real-life experience," Morrow said. The experience also confirmed her post-graduation plans.

"I am hoping to stay in the Birmingham area and find an advertising firm or marketing company and design for them. I like to do all different kinds of design, from packaging to posters to editorial," she said.

Blue Ocean Technologies was founded by Pautler and Steve Guthrie in 2006, when they realized the power of Internet protocol, or IP, telephony. Internet protocol is the set of techniques used by many hosts for transmitting data over the Internet. They look a leap of faith in a little-known technology and founded Blue Ocean Technologies. Their mission is to help businesses receive the benefits which come from implementing IP telephony and move forward with technology that adds value to their services, makes businesses more competitive and more cost-effective.

About the UAB Department of Art and Art History

Located within a vibrant arts and cultural scene, the UAB Department of Art and Art History offers studies in ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, time-based media, art history and art education. Their faculty and students exhibit in local, regional and national galleries, contribute to many community-based projects and work closely with Birmingham's museums and galleries.