Nikki Enlow, a graphic design student at Hazard Community and Technical College, said she has a passion to see her fellow Kentuckians accessing healthy food and she is utilizing her talent as a graphic design student at HCTC to assist that mission through a University of Louisville project.
The “Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge: Perry County project,” said HCTC representatives, is uniquely positioned to not only help Perry County residents, but also serve as an example for other communities across the United States and help them improve food access locally. Enlow said when asked about participating in the project, she was happy to be part of it.
“How could I possibly say no to being involved with such an amazing and impactful project?” she said.
Enlow said the inspiration for the logo came from two main sources — Perry County itself and the goals of the HCCC Perry County project.
“For example, the colorful leaves on the tree represent the diversity of the people in Perry County as well as the diverse forms of food and food assistance available,” said Enlow. She said the “Perry County” text is placed at the base of the tree, serving as its “roots” because the initiative is rooted in the community.
“I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work on the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge: Perry County project. Not only is it a great work experience but my involvement has enabled me to do graphic design work that can effect real change in the Perry County community and beyond. I can’t adequately put into words just how much that means to me,” said Enlow.
Creating the graphic used for the project was just one aspect of Enlow’s involvement, she said. As a student in Professor Wendy Davidson’s “Visual Communications: Multimedia class,” Enlow designed a banner for the Facebook page, a sticker with a QR code and a modified logo design that will be printed on masks. Her work continues as she develops visuals for future Facebook posts.
Being in the HCTC Visual Communications program has helped Enlow in her volunteer pursuits with confidence, she said.
“I’ve learned a lot of technical skills in Ms. Davidson’s classes. Most of the assignments in my courses have been project-based, which is an ideal way for me to learn new skills and techniques because it’s very hands-on. So, at the end of a course, I’ve gained not only knowledge but practical experience,” she said. “But, beyond that, I’ve gained a lot of confidence from being in Ms. Davidson’s classes. She always provides comments and encouragement on my class assignments. Her feedback has really helped me see myself and my work in a more positive, confident way and, as a result, I’ve grown as a designer. I know I wouldn’t have been confident enough to take on this project role without her support and belief in me,”
Davidson praised Enlow’s creativity.
“Nikki produces such fantastic designs that I always look forward to seeing her work. Nikki puts so much thought and consideration into each design, making each piece of work unique and special. I am especially proud of her work on this project,” Davidson said.
Davidson said the project will help Enlow in the future.
“The classes in the Visual Communication Multimedia program have prepared Nikki with digital skills and knowledge needed to produce quality, professional multimedia across a variety of platforms. In today’s digital world these skills are invaluable,” said Davidson. “I am thankful to all involved in this opportunity that has allowed Nikki to work with a meaningful, community project. Through this project, Nikki has experienced what it’s like to participate in virtual meetings, creative collaboration sessions, working with third-party vendors, making mock up designs, proofing, editing, more editing and seeking final approval. This all has given her a good sense of what it is like working in the creative world of multimedia and meeting the client’s needs.”
Davidson said she is proud that Enlow will graduate from HCTC this spring with her Associate in Applied Science Degree in Visual Communications Multimedia.
Dr. Frances Hardin-Fanning, RN, at the University of Louisville, heads up the project where Enlow’s work is utilized. The University of Louisville is coordinating the Perry County project and it is sponsored by the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties.
“Nikki's work is some of the most innovative and creative I have seen. From her use of a font similar to old Kentucky census records (representing tradition) to the gradients of color (representing our diverse partners and the diversity of food in Appalachia), she has been able to incorporate our values into our logo and social media. She has elevated our social media campaigns to the level of a professional with experience in graphic design and marketing. I am amazed at how she is able to combine colors and shapes to send such powerful messages,” said Hardin-Fanning.
Hardin-Fanning said the goal of this project is to help people in Perry County learn how to eat healthier.
“We recognize many of the barriers to healthy eating in rural counties and we are working in partnership with the community to reduce those barriers,” she said. “I am very grateful to Wendy Davidson, Nikki's mentor, for helping us discover such a wonderful treasure right here at Hazard Community and Technical College. I look forward to working with the faculty and students at HCTC as we move forward in this work,”
As Enlow looks towards her career, she said she is considering being a graphic designer for a non-profit or possibly creating accessible visual communications for businesses.
“I don’t know specifics at the moment; I just know I want to make a positive impact on people’s lives,” she said. She plans to graduate in May; her major is “Visual Communications: Multimedia.”
To see the graphic in use, go to, www.facebook.com/HCCCPerry.