High school students design pizzeria logo

Each time Dylan Willis passes Jason’s New York Pizzeria, he can glance up and smile.

Willis, a sophomore at Union Springs High School, will see the logo he created gracing the restaurant, beckoning all to come in for a slice or an Italian meal.

Willis is one of 19 students in the graphic design class at Union Springs High School. For about eight years, teacher Jason Charles has invited local business people who are looking for a new logo design to work with his students.

Each class member comes up with a design. The business person then selects one that will be put into use by the business.

Willis was shocked when pizzeria owner Jason Markel showed up at class Friday and announced that Willis’ logo was chosen for his expanding pizza business.

"I showed all of these to my whole family, my wife’s family and business people," Markel said to the class. "They all said, ’Wow. What company did you use for those?’ I told them it was a class of students at the high school.

"They’re all awesome, but this is the one we chose," he said, holding up Willis’ design.

"I thought, ’No way,’ " Willis said, about his reaction when his design was chosen.

Willis said he took the graphic design class because Charles mentioned they would be able to design CD jackets. "I love music and wanted to do that," Willis said.

The work for the logo took a number of hours over two days. Willis used the Adobe Photoshop program on the computer and found a picture of a boat he liked on the Internet.

Markel said when he met with the class, he told them he wanted the logo to incorporate that he served pizza and Italian dishes and that he does boat deliveries to other boats out on Cayuga Lake. Willis’ design shows a boat, a pizza, a heaping dish of spaghetti and the Italian flag colors of red, green and white.

"I loved the Italian colors in it," Markel said.

While Willis’ logo will be the main one, Markel said he plans to frame all the others and hang them in the new restaurant.

© 2008 Syracuse Online, LLC.