It was during Rich’s most recent turn at the helm of North Springs Charter High School (NSCHS) in Sandy Springs, Ga., that led to an auspicious mingling of his background and a graphic-design class full of aspiring digital artists. Inspired by the creativity and impressive talents these high-schoolers displayed, Rich invited them to create an affiliate-focused, full-page ad for Olympus.
“These kids have been doing things on computers since they were 5 or 6 that I never dreamed of at their age!” he says. “They are so talented. When I saw some logos the students have done for other businesses in the community, it sparked an idea: I knew I had a full-page ad coming up with Chauffeur Driven, so I asked their teacher, Cam Lupiani, how they would feel about working on a real-life project for a national magazine.”
Lupiani jumped at the opportunity, according to Rich, who returned to NSCHS a week later to speak with the class, present his idea, and answer all of their questions.
“I told them that this is a magazine ad, and that we’re reaching out to affiliates around the country, trying to get them to send us their work here in Atlanta,” says Rich. “I told them that this isn’t about corporate accounts, it’s not about saying we’re global: We wanted this ad to tell affiliates that we’re here for them if they need a partner in Atlanta.”
And Rich even had a chance to explain to his audience of technology-savvy teenagers why the flash of TNCs doesn’t mean they offer better services than what this industry does.
“They were asking all the right questions,” he says. “One of the students even asked how we compare to Uber. I couldn’t believe he asked me that! This was my chance to tell them about how we’re regulated, background-checked, have maintenance programs, carry proper insurance, and all the things that TNCs don’t do.”
When it came time to choose from the 17 different ad designs shown to him a few weeks later, Rich was as dazzled by the cumulative talents of one class as he was by their inquisitive interactions.
We wanted this ad to tell affiliates that we’re here for them if they need a partner in Atlanta.”
–Fred Rich of Olympus Worldwide
“When I went back and Cam presented the layouts, I was blown away!” Rich says. “I didn’t know which one to use. Those kids did such a great job. We kept narrowing it down until we finally had three designs, and it was still a very hard decision.”
Ultimately, an ad submitted by junior Jessie Deyo was selected, which can be seen on page 69 of the March 2017 issue of Chauffeur Driven (or check it out at goo.gl/NakHtf). With its dark red background, iconic local images set within an “ATL” design, and a succinct, inclusive message, Rich felt that Jessie’s was the best entry among an impressive parade of designs.
Deyo credits her winning design to a creative process that combined all of Rich’s specifications with her own eye for detail and desire to tailor her work to her client’s specific message.
“I want to ensure that my work is creative and will stand out, but will appeal to everyone,” she says. “I’ll research examples related to the project to get an idea of what has already been put out there and styles that have been used. It’s the little things that make a difference, so I make sure the small details are just as refined as the main elements in my designs.”
All those elements came together in an ad that delivered the message Rich wanted to convey in a cohesive, eye-catching concept.
“It’s an ad that we thought would just jump off the page. No one can miss it,” says Rich.
But that’s not the end of the relationship: Working so closely with the NSCHS family has yielded some unexpected benefits and relationships that Rich is happy to keep fostering.
“Olympus has become their adopted limo company: It’s like we’re all related now,” he laughs. “They asked if I could help them with prom; they’re telling their parents to use us to get to the airport; and now Cam wants me to let them know when I have any new projects: mailers, ads, whatever—they just want work, they want real-life experience.”
And that, according to NSCHS Principal Scott Hanson, is precisely why the Principal for a Day program has found a long-running recipe for success through connecting students with the community around them.
“The relationship established with Fred Rich is exactly what Principal of the Day, was intended to do, if not more so,” he says. “In our case, Fred was so impressed with the professionalism and talent he saw in our graphic design program, that he asked on the spot if Cam and his students could design an ad for Olympus to run in Chauffeur Driven magazine. The answer was an immediate yes, and as a result, our students got to work with a real client and gain valuable experience applying what they were learning to an actual product.”
In Deyo’s case, that opportunity to work on a project for an audience beyond her classroom provided practical insights into a career she’s increasingly interested in pursuing as she considers her future path.
“Every day I find myself leaning more toward graphic design,” Deyo says. “I want what I study in college to push my career and prepare me for the job force. It is inspiring to already have work that is published and reaches an audience other than just my instructors and peers.”
Of course, Rich is thrilled both to reach out to the community’s youth and for the opportunity to help fledgling talents flourish while Olympus offers them a chance to excel on their own merits.
“The students in that room represented all walks of life and it didn’t matter—they were all working on the same project,” he says. “I think everyone should do something like this in their own community. It just started out as an idea and turned into something more because these kids are really, really good.” [CD0417]