Defiance College students use graphic design to make a difference

June 21, 2019

DEFIANCE, Ohio - During the 2019 McMaster School Symposium and Academic Colloquium, 12 Defiance College students presented custom identity designs for SARAH's House, a dedicated facility in Defiance that serves victims of crime through support and intervention. The presentation, titled "Design Makes a Difference," is part of an annual spring art exhibit featuring student works.Student Federico Gutierrez holding a microphone and speaking in front of an audience who is watching him point at his design on the exhibit wall.

In front of an audience of approximately fifty people, including Michelle White, Director of Defiance County Victims Assistance and Victim Advocate, students explained and defended how their visual solution best reflected the mission of the nonprofit as well as the people it serves. Federico Gutierrez (pictured), a business administration freshman, created the design selected to be the new corporate identity for SARAH's House.

"It was my pleasure to work with Professor Fanning's students as they created designs for SARAH's House," commented White. "They were welcoming, compassionate, and professional throughout the entire process. I was honored to be invited to watch their final presentations, and so proud of their final designs. They did a fantastic job from beginning to end."

Assistant Professor Beverly Fanning served as faculty mentor and exhibit curator for the third year. Fanning noted: "Even in today's visual culture, the powerful influence of graphic design isn't always comprehended until a students is afforded the opportunity to use it in such a way that positively impacts the world around them."

Fanning herself has spent more than a decade devoting the majority of her freelance work to supporting nonprofits and community programs and shares her enthusiasm for social design with her students. "Defiance College greatly values commitment to community and supports experiential learning," she stated. "Projects like SARAH's House, which extend beyond the classroom and involve service to the local community, inspire our students to be socially-conscious citizen-designers. It is what our society needs now and in the future."

SARAH's House is a safe place where people of all ages can meet with trained advocates who provide emergency assistance, emotional support, and criminal justice advocacy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SARAH's House is located at 1114 E. 2nd Street, Defiance. For more information, call 419-782-0911 or visit the SARAH's House website.

To discuss potential collaboration opportunities with DC's art and design department, contact Beverly Fanning at

Chartered in 1850, Defiance College is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The College is guided by the four pillars of its mission: To Know, To Understand, To Lead, and To Serve. The College website is