Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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February 15, 2009

New signs denote author’s hometown

Design submitted by Kokomo junior.

Kokomo Area Career Center student Lindsy Jenkins has a good start on her graphic arts portfolio.

The Kokomo High School junior won a contest to design highway signs denoting Kokomo as the hometown of “Clifford the Big Red Dog” author Norman Bridwell. The 3-foot-by-6-foot signs were unveiled during Sunday’s Big Red Celebration at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.

Melissa Cohick, career center graphic arts teacher, said Tom Tolen from the library contacted her about the competition, saying “because Mr. Bridwell graduated from Kokomo High School, they thought it would be nice to have a student from Kokomo High School design the signs.”

She gave the assignment to first-, second- and third-year graphic arts students. The requirements were that the sign had to include a picture of Clifford and the words “hometown of Norman Bridwell, author of the Clifford the Big Red Dog” on it.

“The rest was up to them,” Cohick said. She brought in several Clifford books for the students to use as research.

The 40 students turned in colorful signs, one showing Clifford by the Vermont Bridge in Highland Park, one with a cityscape that includes the Kokomo library, others resembling the covers of Clifford books, and many others.

Cohick turned the signs in to the mayor’s office, and a library committee and Bridwell reviewed the signs and chose Jenkins’ as the winner. All submitted designs are on display at the library.

Cohick said the competition provided good real world experience to her students, because they had to follow the rules for the competition, and after Jenkins’ sign was chosen, she had to do some editing before the final version was approved for printing.

Jenkins’ sign shows Clifford’s smiling face and part of his body on the left side, with the required words on a red background. It also has pawprints on the right side, so it looked like Clifford had walked on it, Jenkins said. She used a yellow border because the Clifford books have a lot of yellow in them, she said.

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