Fresh faces, fresh design: ECC Students revamp Explore Elgin Area trails logo

Fresh faces, fresh design: ECC Students revamp Explore Elgin Area trails logo
June 3, 2024 Elgin Area CVB

In a quest for a fresh visual identity, the Explore Elgin Area organization turned to the talented students in Elgin Community College’s Freelance Principles and Practices class.

After being tasked by their professor to craft a logo that would get travelers and consumers excited to participate in traveling trails as well as move visitors and residents throughout the region to support small businesses, the students got to work.

Ultimately, the designs by students Marisol Contreras and Janelle Binghay were chosen. Their designs included elements such as map markers to depict navigating to the different locations and businesses of the selected trail, and a car and bike to promote easy and sustainable travel.

The rollout of the new logo will also include new trails and promotions offered with this campaign after July 1st.

This collaboration with the pair not only gifted Explore Elgin Area a vibrant new logo, but also provided the students with invaluable real-world experience.


Student Spotlight: Behind the Brand

In the Q&A below, the students share their thoughts on reimagining the logo and the final product:

Janelle Binghay (left) and Marisol Contreras (right).



Thoughts on getting to rebrand the trails: “It’s such a cool opportunity just because the Elgin area is so beautiful and I think it’s really great our logo is able to help people know more about it and the businesses in the area.”

Thoughts on how the logo came out: “It’s really exciting. I think our meeting with Krisilee left a great first impression of the Explore Elgin Area mission, and it motivated us to contribute a purposeful logo that supported those ideals. I think Marisol and I achieved that.”

How did you come up with the logo: “We really like the minimalist look of the main Explore Elgin Area logo with the large umbrella unique to downtown Elgin, so we aimed for the same colors and art style. We chose map pins to portray the many activities and sights you can experience on the trails, and we also illustrated a bike variant of the logo to support more sustainable travel efforts.”

Will you consider going on the trail? “I have so much family that lives in the Elgin area so I’m excited to try some out.”

Portfolio link: Janelle Binghay (



Thoughts on getting to rebrand the trails: “We were really excited to have a real-life project to work on. Logo branding and redesigning is something I really needed practice in, so I was really excited to be able to help on this. I think the trails needed a more exciting and bright logo to catch the attention of people wanting to travel the trails.”

Thoughts on how the logo came out: “We’re really proud of how the logo came out. There were two designs we went back and forth between, but in the end, we went with the logo the team here at Explore Elgin Area wanted. Both were very hard to choose between, so we’re happy with the final product!”

How did you come up with the logo? “We wanted to do something with navigation images and elements, so we wanted to use map markers, a car for travel, and Krisilee suggested a bike for sustainable travel. We wanted to follow the guidelines of a generalized logo that can help promote all the trails that are currently available, as well as the trails that will be added in the future.”

Will you consider going on the trail: “Yes! I didn’t even know the trails were a thing. I’ve been living in Elgin for 10 years and had no idea they were offered so close to home. I’ll definitely consider going on one of the trails, preferably the taco one because I love a good taco!”

Portfolio link: Marisol Contreras (



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