Ursula’s Sister School Logo Approved by Muroto HS

Last year, PLHS proudly entered into a sister school arrangement with our friends at Muroto High School in Japan. Following the April signing ceremony, Year 12 Design student Ursula Clarke tackled the task of branding the relationship with an official logo. We are delighted to report that Ursula’s brilliant design has recently been approved and adopted by Muroto HS.

Ursula managed to cleverly combine symbolic colours, constellations and flowers to represent both nations and cultures. A full copy of her Practitioner’s Statement about the project can be found below.

We congratulate Ursula on her outstanding work and look forward to officially launching the logo later this term.

Practitioner’s Statement:

Having studied Japanese for most of my time at Port Lincoln High School, and having experienced the culture firsthand through our existing community exchange program, I enthusiastically grasped the opportunity of developing a logo to represent the sister school agreement between Port Lincoln High School and Muroto High School that was signed earlier this year. The design needed to combine the unique cultures of Japan and Australia whilst conveying unity between the two schools and nationalities.

I conducted research into the visual effectiveness and contemporary elements of logos and other graphic designs representing countries, subsequently noting techniques to explore in the creation of the logo. As the relationship between the cities of Port Lincoln and Muroto has been established for many years, when formulating ideas for this graphic, I considered existing designs such as a mosaic, logo, and mixed media gifts that incorporate visual elements from both communities. Exploration of the work of inspiring graphic designers Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar further guided my design processes as I acquired influence from their techniques such as a colour block, minimalism and negative space.

Whilst undertaking research on the region and history of both schools, to gain a better understanding of Muroto’s community, I maintained contact with Muroto High School’s English teacher; she assisted me greatly throughout my project, ensuring my final graphic accurately represented the school. I completed three groups of experimental concepts that incorporated visual aspects deemed similar in cultural significance. Using Adobe Illustrator throughout the development of these concepts, I used similar techniques of sketching a design by hand or on the program, before editing and transforming these shapes. Prominent historical monuments, birds, and cultural symbols were experimented with.

The final solution was eventually reached, incorporating constellations and flowers from each culture. The design process proved difficult, as it was of great importance that the elements representative of each nationality were equally emblematic. The Southern Cross holds positive meaning for the Australian First Nation’s Peoples, which was also integral in creating a representative and inclusive graphic. Communicating with my Japanese correspondent allowed me to confidently utilise the Big Dipper as a constellation of societal significance in Japan. Appreciating the meaning behind the Commonwealth Star featured on the Australian flag, I created my own version as well as a corresponding star boasting eight points for each of the major regions of Japan. I initially coloured the Japanese constellation red and the Australian constellation blue due to the nation’s flags. However, I later decided on pink and yellow shades in representation of the cherry blossom and golden wattle as each nation’s floral emblems.

I believe that the graphic I created is a successful solution to the challenge of creating a balanced logo which equally represents two cultures. The intertwined composition of the two constellations accurately conveys the sharing of knowledge and culture between Japanese and Australian students that the sister school agreement hopes to facilitate.

~ Ursula Clarke (Year 12 Design)

Leave a Reply