In 2014, the College of Creative Arts & Communication and Department of Art at Youngstown State University launched Youngstown Design Works, a student-run graphic & interactive design agency that provides creative assets to Mahoning Valley non-profit organizations, small businesses, and startups. The students who participate in the Youngstown Design Works program gain practical, real-world experience working with local clients on both a short and long-term basis, relative to the size and scope of the project. Currently, Youngstown Design Works is in it’s initial pilot phase and involved in two major projects: the rebranding of the Salem Public Library in Salem, OH and brand development for Pittsburgh and Cameroon, Africa– based non-profit organization Cameroon Football Development Program. The experiences of working with both organizations have been enthusiastic and engaging – allowing our students and clients to effectively collaborate in exciting, progressive ways.
By way of providing marketing, advertising, and design assistance to businesses that either do not have a presence, are in a startup phase, or just need an injection of creative marketing, participating businesses will gain affordable yet dynamic visual assets that will allow them to either completely redefine their brand identity, revitalize their competitive efforts regionally and online, or allow their startup to gain the recognition it needs to become successful.