Office of University Communications & Marketing

UNA Students Design Logo For 2014 Handy Fest
May. 23, 2014



By Bryan Rachal, Public Affairs and Media Relations Ron Davis, Assist. Professor Computing Information Systems 

UNA Students Design Logo For 2014 Handy FestFLORENCE, Ala. – Three undergraduates at the University of North Alabama submitted the winning entry for the 2014 W.C. Handy Music Festival design competition. Their logo will function as the visual image for the 2014 W.C. Handy Music Festival and will be featured on the event’s promotional posters, brochures, billboards and pamphlets. 

Caroline Thomas from Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; Zach Swiatocha from Overhill, Tenn.; and Jordan Gowan from Center Point, Tenn., are members of the UNA Honors Program.

Thomas is a pre-med student, majoring in biology with minors in chemistry and psychology. Swiatocha, a junior, is a film & digital media production major and Gowan, a sophomore, is chemistry and industrial hygiene major. 

“We wanted an image that was symbolic of both W.C. Handy’s work and the musical history of the Shoals community,” Thomas said. “We spent the majority of our time coming up with ideas and editing them with Photoshop. Despite our efforts, we couldn’t agree on a concept until Zach came up with the idea of the up-close guitar image.” 

The design was created as a class assignment for an honors computing course taught in the fall semester of 2013 at UNA by Ron Davis, assistant professor of Computing Information Systems. “The Shoals is very fortunate to have an event of this caliber and I’m thrilled to play a small part in honoring the legacy of Mr. Handy,” said Davis. “I also appreciate how the Handy committee uses the design competition to give anyone an opportunity to be a part of the festival. I know the committee could easily hire a professional to design the logo each year, but they choose to make the design of the logo available to area students as an educational activity. We can all take pride in the fact that both college students and elementary school students have had their creations used by the festival as logos and on t-shirts in recent years.” 

Tori Bailey, chair of the W.C. Handy Music Festival, said there were several strong contenders and the decision was a tough one. “We had an initial vote and not one but two run-off votes before the winning design was selected. We are really proud of the three UNA students who put time and energy into creating a fantastic design that really pops.” 

Dr. Vince Brewton, professor of English and director of the Honors Program, said, "Our UNA Honors Program students really are amazing. It’s impossible not to feel good about the world when we see what our brightest young people are accomplishing. All of the credit goes to the students and to Ron Davis for the excellent job he is doing leading the Honors CIS course. It’s especially a pleasure to support the Handy Festival, which is without a doubt one of the best cultural events in the country." 

The W.C. Handy Music Festival is an annual event sponsored by the Music Preservation Society. This year will mark the 33rd year of the festival, which takes place July 18 – July 27 in Florence, Ala. 

The Honors Program at UNA is an academically selective four-year experience open to all majors. For more information or to apply, www.una.edu/honors.

The UNA Computer Science and Information Systems department offers undergraduate degrees both in Computer Science and Computer Information Systems. Information about the department may be found at, www.una.edu/business/departments-majors/computer-science-information-systems/index.html.

Handfest Poster Winners
From left to right: Zach Swiatocha, Jordan Gowan, Caroline Thomas