SEARCY, Ark. —

Twenty-eight Harding students within the Department  of Arts and Design and Department of Communication worked in teams to develop designs, branding and promotions for a theoretical park experience near the Little Red River in Searcy, Arkansas. The students met and collaborated with an advisory group made up of civic and business leaders who challenged them to create not only branding but also design lodging, park activities and amenities.

The teams developed four branding concepts, Riverside Outlook Park Lodge and Venue, River’s Edge, The River Side, and Riverbend. Each team was comprised of students majoring in integrated marketing communication, graphic design and interior architecture and design. In previous years teams have presented and displayed the culmination of their projects in the Stevens Art Gallery; however, due to the impact of COVID-19, students had to adapt and create virtual presentations to represent their brands. Four teams spent 13-14 weeks learning how to develop project timelines, work with a team, understand the vernacular of other majors, engage in various research methods, work with unfamiliar software and technology, and stay within a firm project budget.

“I believe working in this group has been a great learning experience for everyone involved,” said Landon Howard, graphic design major from Steele, Missouri. “We’ve been able to meet new people and learn a lot about not only working together in a large group but also working with people who often have different perspectives and mindsets than our own. Projects like this aren’t created by one mind, it takes a team effort to accomplish a grand vision like this branding project. I believe our team has done just that.”

Students met virtually with the advisory group for the final presentation of their projects April 28. To view the branding concepts, visit