UH-Maui College students present logo designs to entrepreneurs in business planning class


UH-Maui College student Matt Ines’ logo proposal for Maui Vanilla was featured at “The Real Deal” online event on May 9.

In a collaborative event called “The Real Deal,” graphic design students from UH-Maui College presented their logo designs on May 9 to entrepreneurs in Maui Economic Opportunity’s business planning class.

Martina Nagasako, owner of Nagasako Designs, which sells handmade jewelry and accessories, said it was really cool to see the thought process behind the development of her logos. She said she also gained a greater appreciation for the work that goes into developing the logo.

Students from the college’s Intro to Graphic Design program were paired with entrepreneurs from MOE’s Core Four business planning course to design logos and develop promotional products for each business.

Core Four course instructor Marc Antosch said the goal was to provide students with fundamental design concepts and hands-on learning for a professional career in graphic design.

The students met with their “clients” to discuss corporate identity, target audience and their favorite corporate logos. In addition to logos, students created mock-ups of promotional items like t-shirts and shopping bags.

Graphic design students from UH-Maui College pitched their logo design marketing pitch to entrepreneurs in Maui Economic Opportunity’s business planning class at “The Real Deal” collaborative event, hosted via Zoom on May 9. Screenshot courtesy of MEO

Four companies from the MEO Core Four classes have joined the project.

  • Da Coffee House: a food truck selling tea, coffee, desserts and sandwiches on Moloka’i; owner Desirae Cabalar; students Arren Bacay and Tim McHugh.
  • island bitters; makes bitters with local ingredients; owner Joanne Wing; students Evan Sparkman and Jonas Marcial.
  • Nagasako Drawings; handmade jewelry and accessories; owner Martina Nagasako; students Jay Corpuz and Karlyn Romain.
  • Maui Vanilla Co.; produces extracts from the cocoa and vanilla flowers it grows; owner Mary Law; students Matt Ines and Arabella Llamello.

For entrepreneurs, interacting with UH-Maui College students gave them a window into the detailed components of developing a signature logo.

“I was so impressed with their work,” said Law, owner of Maui Vanilla. “I really didn’t realize all of this was happening” when designing the logo.

Law couldn’t choose between Ines and Llamello’s logo proposals.


“Both have the potential to be the logo,” she said, while expressing her gratitude for the energy put in by the two designers.

This is the second year that UH-Maui College and MEO’s Business Development Center have collaborated. The Core Four Series, offered multiple times throughout the year, provides business planning and development for entrepreneurs.

“Our students had the chance to work with these talented graphic designers for free,” said David Daly, director of the Center for Business Development. “Entrepreneurs may believe their magic idea is enough to succeed, but there’s so much more to opening, running and growing a business. Entrepreneurs got a glimpse into the genesis of a logo and a glimpse into the best how to market their products.

For more information on MEO Core Four courses, call 808-243-4318 or visit meoinc.org/programs-services/business-development-center/core-four/. To learn more about the Creative Media Academy at UH-Maui College, contact program coordinator Brian Kohne at [email protected]

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