Photo by Emily Mentzer
Jeff Collet accepts thanks from Public Safety Director Rebecca Chiles during an unveiling of Western Oregon University’s new public safety patch on June 9.
As of Wednesday, June 17, 2015
MONMOUTH — Campbell Hall and Mount Hood will soon grace the shoulders of public safety officers at Western Oregon University, thanks to a new badge designed by senior Jeff Collet.
“The problem that was presented was how can we describe the region and the campus in a simple way,” said Collet, a visual communication design student. “Campbell Hall, being the oldest building in public education this side of the country, was a fine representation of that. Mount Hood is symbolic of Oregon, and then it was suggested that the American flag be included. I love the way it turned out.”
Collet described the process of designing a new patch for public safety at an unveiling on June 9.
Currently, WOU public safety officers wear two different badges, one for the Oregon University System and one for WOU. But with the Oregon University System being dissolved July 1, and Western having its own governance board, it was time to take a look at a complete redesign, said Rebecca Chiles, public safety director.
It’s the first time the Public Safety Department has had a new patch since 1997, said Officer Trever Jackson.
“We were able to get more specific to the university and use the university’s colors with the red, which is fairly uncommon to have a lot of red on the patch,” Jackson noted. “I’m real happy about it. It’s really exciting.”
Six students in Jen Bracy’s visual communication design classes submitted designs, but Collet’s was chosen — a testament to his hard work and vision, Bracy said.
“All the other students were … further along in their coursework,” she said.
Collet said he tried to keep his design simple enough that details would not be lost in embroidery.
“It was chosen because they liked the direction I was going in, but it definitely needed an overhaul,” he said. “So I went back to the drawing board and took what I had done and their suggestions and made something that everyone enjoyed.”
One thing that needed to be rethought was the shape.
“The shape of the patch was, originally, it looked like a W for Western, but that was a little too custom for embroidery shops,” Collet said.
The W is still implied in the new patch, he noted, with sloping edges along the side.
The patch is the first big project Collet has done. Though he is a senior next year, he has only started in the visual communication design courses, having taken only 100 and 200 lower-division courses.
He came to Western after serving in the military as a combat photographer and videographer. After starting out majoring in chemistry and mathematics, he decided his passion lay in the arts.
“I looked at the programs that Western had that would strengthen my skills in photography and video, and I thought that pursing graphic design would only benefit me becoming a more well-rounded multimedia artist,” Collet said.
Chiles said she would make sure he got one of the badges, once they were made, to add to his portfolio.
“It’s pretty cool to be a part of Western history now, having that impact, that’s all I got to say,” Collet said.