Nacha Mendez, Santa Fe musician and winner of the New Mexico Platinum Music Lifetime Achievement Award, decided to start her own scholarship to support young girls in their musical education. The Nacha Mendez Music Scholarship for New Mexican Girls of Color was an idea Nacha's brother planted in her ear as they reflected on her career as a musician and she made it a reality this summer. In preparation for the launch, we worked with Nacha to prepare a unique logo that could capture the essence of her mission.
About the scholarship:
The first two awards will be awarded in January of 2022, given to girls ages 8-15. The scholarships will be unrestricted so that funds can be applied where the need is greatest—music lessons, instrument purchase, travel expenses, or any cost that is essential to supporting access to learning.
Having learned first hand what an impact music can make in one's life and how important access to music education is, Nacha hopes to support the next generation of female musicians in her community.
It’s my wish to contribute financially and as a mentor in inspiring a young musician who has the passion and dedication to continue and to discover the richness that a music education or career can provide in whatever capacity. It is my wish that this scholarship will also address the gender and racial imbalance within the music world and help overcome socio-economic barriers.
Designing the logo
Nacha wanted to create a unique logo that emphasizes what this scholarship means: music in the southwest for young girls. Having worked with Nacha before, we already had a sense of her style and we focused on learning more about what she wanted for this particular logo in our first brainstorming session. Some of the elements that she could see included were:
After this first meeting, I worked on a few rough sketches and Nacha chose this version that was inspired by a guitar laying on its side, with the text on the fret and guitar strings. While Nacha chose this as a first direction to go with, the logo was far from finished and she gave me some great feedback to work with.
Can you tweak what surrounds the black guitar hole?
It looks like a fried egg.
Maybe curvier like hills.
The hole can be part of the Zia symbol!
I LOL-ed at Nacha's email response (I'm still laughing!! :D) and got back to work to make the abstract guitar shape more "mountain-like" and less "fried-egg". I created a mountain silhouette free-hand on my drawing tablet and tried adding a Zia symbol like she suggested. I sent a few more options. One was even vertical.
Nacha really liked the horizontal version (left), so I worked on refining this version and creating the final color options for her to choose.
After Nacha picked a color version, we actually had one final update: adding some dimension to the guitar by making the to curve thicker.
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