HackDuke is the first collegiate hackathon to focus on creating projects that address social issues using technology. With over 800 participants in 2015, it is the premier social good college hackathon in the nation. Over the course of this 48-hour event, students from multiple schools across the nation create projects that aim to solve a problem in one of four "social good" tracks: Health, Inequality, Energy/Environment, and Education.
In conjunction with a rebrand that HackDuke underwent this year, I took charge of redesigning the HackDuke mascot and designing new mascots that embody the essential values and traits of each social good track.
I began this project with the primary goal to create mascots that were not only unique and memorable, but also clearly representative of HackDuke's ideals as a social good hackathon. The aim was to represent the event as a fun, impactful, and dynamic event, and to give Health, Inequality, Energy/Environment, and Education an image that would encourage passion for hacking towards one of these social good causes.
We chose to go with cats as the primary mascot to fit in with the fluid, dynamic nature of HackDuke's rebrand. The greatest challenge came in condensing all of the essential values of HackDuke and the four tracks into only a few simple character traits: how could I embody the evolving nature of the hackathon and modern technology, as well as the most notable features of health, education, energy/environment, and inequality, in designs that were simple and clear?
After many drafts and iterations, these were the final results of the design process:
The final test of these designs' effectiveness and endurance came on the weekend of Hackduke, as the mascots were placed on posters and event swag all over the event.