Loyola design students create logo for Lower Ninth Ward Market


Photos Courtesy of Tippy Tippens

Skyllarr Trusty, staff writer

Burnell Cotlon was hand-making signs for his Lower Ninth Ward Market before Loyola design students decided to lend their talents to the local cause.

Burnell’s market acts as a local source of fresh produce for those who cannot travel far due to lack of transportation. Cotlon began the initiative following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and was recently recognized by The Ellen Degeneres Show.

“The students of Loyola contacted me and asked how they could help because I had been doing everything on my own out of pocket,” Cotlon said. “Loyola came along and they were full of energy and ideas. About a week and a half later, I had a logo.”

Professor Tippy Tippens, instructor of the “Social/Political Design” course within the new design program, initiated the collaboration after meeting Cotlon in early 2015. Cotlon’s inspiring narrative led her to choose Burnell’s Lower Ninth Ward Market when choosing a community outreach project for her students.

“The class collaborated on all aspects of the project. Initially, each student created a logo and sign design,” Tippens said. “As a class, we decided on which aspects were preferred from each design and merged those qualities into one design for his building sign, logo, market sign, as well as stickers and marketing materials.”

One student worked hands on with local business GoodWood Nola in order to create the reclaimed wood signs. Owner and director of GoodWood Nola, Michael Dalle Molle, said that the students were a major part of the process.

“They helped with every step of the project, and contributed lots of great insight,” Dalle Molle said. “They were excellent throughout the whole process and we loved the efficiency and work ethic they continually displayed.”

Dalle Molle is proud to have been a part of the inspirational project.

“The simple nature of this project is what motivated us to get involved,” Dalle Molle said. “We donated our time and expertise to this because we wanted to help Burnell, a man who spends his whole life giving to others, it was time that he got something in return and we knew we could make it happen.”

Wren Overesch, contributor and design major, said that the project benefited the entire design department at Loyola.

“Although there has been other design classes concerning social impact in the past, none have been so hands-on like this course has been,” Overesch said. “Going to visit Burnell before we started the project was a huge contributor to the success for the project.”

Overesch said that students are usually given hypothetical subjects for their design projects, therefore the responsibility of a real-word budget and issue added a whole new level of experience.

“It was refreshing and eye-opening to work with a real client in the New Orleans community, and to solve a design problem in the real world,” Overesch said. “Tippy brings real-world experience when it comes to designing for social change, and keeps the class on track when developing our ideas and designs.”

Tippens said that the design department used their skills for good and were able to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.

“The impact is to many, this helps get the word out to Burnell’s neighborhood, that they have a grocery store, laundromat, barber and more in walking distance, saving multiple bus transfers to Wal-Mart,” Tippens said. “Burnell has worked so hard to bring back these everyday needs to his community in the Lower 9th.”

Cotlon said that the new design and logo have helped get his name out.

“It is amazing, the students of Loyola gave me these little stickers so I can advertise, Its wonderful,” Cotlon said, “If those students need me to stand on top of the Super Dome, do a commercial for them, give each and everyone of them my phone number, I’d be more than happy to sing praises for them, they’re great.”