The initial research and ideation phase of this project started by talking to a handful of officers and the chief of police to find a common theme among them that they felt was important to portray in the new police patch.
What I heard most from the parties that I talked to was that they felt there needed to be a representation of all of the IU Police Department locations that felt equal. When people hear Indiana University, they typically think of Bloomington’s campus, but there are eight other campuses, each with a police division. So I decided to work with concepts of eight units within the badge. I also felt it would be appropriate to work with simple shapes that did not change per unit — this provided each department with equal representation.
In these concept badges I began playing with the units of eight, but also pushing that forth with a shield made of eight units. I added the shield as the central symbol/image to represent protection.
The client did not like the shield and was against the approach I took. Overall, I think it felt to foreign to them. After all it is a university established in 1820. I had to rework the design in order to better relate to this heritage.
The initial round of badges incorporated the units of eight as well as familiar Indiana University symbols. Initially I had wanted to make the badge using simple units (as seen above) and maybe some text without symbols from the University. I had to set this aside and realize that I am making work for a University and that it should be evident within the design.
This led me to the use of the IU trident which is essentially the mark of Indiana University that most are familiar with. I also designed a badge with the Indiana University seal as this was something the police department felt very strongly about using.
The units of eight were incorporated using the simple circles as well as stars. Stars were something that the police department identified with heavily. Stars were also something that I felt I associated with law enforcement, rank, etc.
Colors were selected based on the IU brand colors for the blues and the reds. The black backgrounds and the dark blue background were selected to be the same color as the officer’s uniforms.
The final round involved the rearrangement of the stars, the implementation and sizing of the IU seal, and the color selection. Although two designs made it to the final round of designs, the officers felt most strongly about the red stars being used rather than the white stars.
This project was a great learning experience that was more involved with compromise and working towards a goal you and the client both felt strongly about rather than discovering new design methods and principles (although that definitely did happen)
The most exciting part of this project is the longevity of the design. I anticipate that IUPD will be using this badge for many many years. I feel very honored to have design a piece of Indiana University history. I think the design itself is non-offensive and approachable for students in need. Which was the ultimate goal from the beginning that the police and myself designed with in mind.