Maui Business

UH-Maui College students pitch logo designs to business planning class entrepreneurs

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UH-Maui College student Matt Ines’ logo proposal for Maui Vanilla was presented at “The Real Deal” online event on May 9.

In a collaborative event called “The Real Deal,” UH Maui College graphic design students pitched their logo designs May 9 to Maui Economic Opportunity business planning class entrepreneurs.

Martina Nagasako, owner of Nagasako Designs, which sells handcrafted jewelry and accessories, said it was really cool to see the thought process behind the development of her logos. She said she also gained a greater appreciation of the work that goes into logo development.

Students in the college’s “Intro to Graphic Design” were paired with entrepreneurs from MEO’s Core Four business planning class to design logos and develop promotional products for each business.


UH Maui College instructor Marc Antosch said the goal was to provide students with the foundational concepts of design and hands-on learning in preparation for a professional career in graphic design.

Students met with their “clients” to discuss business identity, target audience and their favorite business logos. In addition to logos, students created mockups of promotional items like T-shirts and shopping bags.

UH-Maui College graphic design students gave their logo design marketing pitch to Maui Economic Opportunity business planning class entrepreneurs in the collaborative “The Real Deal” event, held via Zoom on May 9. Screen shot courtesy MEO

Four businesses from the MEO Core Four classes joined the project.

  • Da Coffee House: a food truck selling tea, coffee, desserts and sandwiches on Moloka‘i; owner Desirae Cabalar; students Arren Bacay and Tim McHugh.
  • Island Bitters; makes bitters with local ingredients; owner Joanne Wing; students Evan Sparkman and Jonas Marcial.
  • Nagasako Designs; handcrafted jewelry and accessories; owner Martina Nagasako; students Jay Corpuz and Karlyn Romain.
  • Maui Vanilla Co.; produces extracts from the cacao and vanilla flowers it grows; owner Mary Law; students Matt Ines and Arabella Llamello.

For the entrepreneurs, the interaction with the UH-Maui College students gave them a window into the detailed components of developing a signature logo.

“I was just so impressed with their work,” said Law, owner of Maui Vanilla. “I really didn’t realize you had all of that going on” in designing the logo.

Law could not choose between the logo proposals by Ines and Llamello.


“Both have the potential for being the logo,” she said, while expressing her gratitude for the energy put in by the two graphic artists.

This is the second year UH-Maui College and MEO’s Business Development Center have collaborated. The Core Four series, offered multiple times during the year, provides business planning and development for entrepreneurs.

“Our students got a chance to work with these talented graphic artists without cost,” said Business Development Center Director David Daly. “Entrepreneurs may believe that their magical idea is enough to bring success, but there is so much more to opening, running and growing a business. The entrepreneurs got a look into the genesis of a logo and insight into better marketing their products.”

For more information about the MEO Core Four classes, call 808-243-4318 or go to To learn more about UH-Maui College’s Academy for Creative Media, contact program coordinator Brian Kohne at [email protected].

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