In early April, Alpha Sigma Tau announced the Sorority’s 43rd National Convention will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, June 25-28, 2020. Accompanying the announcement was the event’s official logo, which was created by Melissa Abriola, an alumna of the Alpha Tau Chapter at Edinboro University and volunteer Designer for Alpha Sigma Tau. We’re going to take a behind-the-scenes look inside the logo’s creation and Melissa’s design process.
In 2018, Alpha Sigma Tau introduced a brand identity for its biennial National Conventions. This identity included elements like a dedicated website, event app, and logo template. Together, these pieces provide a cohesive look and feel to the biennial event. Alpha Sigma Tau’s goal for the Convention brand is that for each event, the exterior shell of the logo remains consistent, while the interior depicts and celebrates the unique location. For example, the logo for the 42nd National Convention held in Pittsburgh featured the city’s iconic rivers and bridges in the foreground and its unique skyline in the background. For the 43rd National Convention to be held in Atlanta, Melissa sought to create an image that represented the location in a visually appealing way.
When working on a project of this reach and influence, it’s vital to have points of reference— everything from the purpose of Convention to the vibe of the city. Melissa’s experiences at two past Conventions helped her absorb the scope of the project. “Attending previous Conventions allowed me to understand the balance between AΣT and ATL that the logo needed. It was important to keep the Alpha Sigma Tau feel by using our colors and represent Atlanta by using clean and simple illustrations.”
One of the first logo elements that draws your eye is the flowers. They’re clearly not our yellow rose, so what are they? They’re dogwood flowers! Atlanta is known as Dogwood City, and these flowers are a natural, unique feature of the area. The blooming dogwood flowers are to Atlanta almost in the way that cherry blossoms are to the nation’s capital.
Accompanying the dogwood blooms are peaches, an iconic symbol of Georgia. Members may recall that the 40th National Convention was held in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, and the logo contained a peach. For Convention 2020, we wanted to incorporate this iconic symbol of the region but ensure that members knew that while we are returning to the Atlanta-area, this Convention experience will be entirely different than 2014’s gathering.
Atlanta is full of many well-known buildings, experiences, and elements, but Melissa’s talent and vision created a design that encapsulates the feeling of Atlanta without the use of harsh or manmade structures. The chosen elements perpetuate Alpha Sigma Tau’s feminine brand while celebrating our Convention’s host city. “There are so many unique things about Atlanta. It was decided that out of all the iconic elements of the city, the peach and dogwood flowers paired the best together,” says Melissa. “These two elements together allowed for a feminine and fun design.”
Melissa, whose other work can be found throughout many of the Sorority’s social elements and branded materials, shares her enjoyment for being part of defining an event that will live in perpetuity. “I enjoyed every second of creating this logo! As a volunteer Designer, it is incredibly special to me that my Sisters use and experience my designs through an event that will forever be part of Alpha Sigma Tau’s story.”
Since 1899, Alpha Sigma Tau has relied on volunteer support to grow and advance the organization, both strategically and operationally, and today is no different. “The Sorority seeks to provide members with opportunities to engage with Alpha Sigma Tau that are mutually beneficial to both the volunteer and the organization,” says Jim Paponetti, Chief Executive Officer. “Our goal is to align members’ passions, talents, and desire for personal and professional growth with the needs and priorities of the Sorority. In her role as Designer, Melissa was able to contribute to the visual identity of a signature Sorority event while gaining experience in her professional field. This symbiotic experience is a prime example of what the Sorority’s volunteer program seeks to achieve. I am so thankful for her work and ongoing dedication in this role.”
If you are a graphic designer who is interested in blending your talents with your passion for advancing Alpha Sigma Tau, submit an application today to become a volunteer Designer.
Stay tuned for more information regarding the Sorority’s 43rd National Convention. More information will be available in the coming months at astconvention.org.