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Graphic Design Students Make Their Mark with JW Marriott

Posted August 27, 2019 in StudentGraphic Design

Following successful collaborations for the past two years, students in Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) Graphic Design instructor John Koziatek’s Branding II class were tapped again earlier this year by the JW Marriott hotel in downtown Grand Rapids to design new uniforms for its outdoor jdek patio restaurant staff.

This year’s objective was to integrate the hotel’s commitment to community involvement and partnerships along with considering its up-and-coming, French-bistro-style restaurant renovation.

Group of people standing in front of a brick wall(left to right): KCAD Graphic Design students Tyler West, Colette Holston, and Joshua Roberts, winners of a design competition held in collaboration with the JW Marriot Downtown Grand Rapids hotel

“In Branding II, students are transcending the core fundamentals and nuances of brand identity design taught in Branding I to leverage, adapt, and integrate a brand’s identity and messaging throughout a variety of media,” says Koziatek. “The passionate staff at JW Marriott understand the value and necessity of brand identity integration, and we welcomed the opportunity to once again apply our in-class learning to a real-world experience.”

As in years past, the project was held as a competition within Koziatek’s class, with JW Marriott management and staff judging entries on originality, creativity, and brand compatibility.

1st Place: Tyler West

Senior Tyler West took 1st place and a $300 prize with a design based upon six fundamental aesthetic experiences of the hotel property, including its jdek. The concept also reflects the hotel’s connectivity with the West Michigan community and its partnerships. West’s winning design is currently being printed on polo-style black shirts jdek staff will sport throughout the summer.

T-shirt logo designWinning design by Tyler West 


2nd Place: Colette Holston

2nd place and a $150 prize went to senior Colette Holston. Her chevron-inspired design featured organic content relevant to jdek’s river location, its live green wall, and its subtle yet energetic vibe.

T-shirt logo design2nd place design by Colette Holston

3rd Place: Joshua Roberts

3rd place and a $75 prize was awarded to senior Joshua Roberts, whose design featured a stylistic and expressive take on modern French urban chalk art.

Chalk-inspired t-shirt logo design3rd place design by Joshua Roberts 


“JW Marriott Grand Rapids is always excited to embrace the design-focused minds of our community and no one does it better than KCAD students,” said General Manager Nick Remes. “These future design leaders are making our world a more beautiful place to live in!”

Learn more about KCAD's Graphic Design program