Cruise logo contest a family affair

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 17, 2016

 The winning logo for the 2016 Harper Charity Cruise was designed by Matthew Stephens, of Warren.

The winning logo for the 2016 Harper Charity Cruise was designed by Matthew Stephens, of Warren.


ST. CLAIR SHORES — While the cold, snow and salt keep classic cars covered for the winter, it’s not stopping plans from progressing for this year’s Shorewood Kiwanis Harper Charity Cruise. 

The winners of this year’s logo contest were announced Feb. 5 at Macomb Community College. 

This year, the third- and first-place prizes went to brothers that both attend Macomb Community College and major in creative imaging and illustration. Third-place winner Daniel Stephens, of Warren, is in his third year at the college, and his brother, Matthew Stephens — who took first place — is in his second year of the program.

Matthew said it was actually his brother’s idea to enter the contest to begin with.

“He definitely talked me into entering,” he said of Daniel. “I’m really glad he pushed me into doing it.” 

For his part, Daniel said he was thrilled to learn that his little brother took first place in the contest. Daniel said he tries to enter every contest he can to build up his portfolio and get his name out, and he encouraged Matthew to do the same.

“I had a feeling he could win,” Daniel said. “I’ll go to him for advice.”

Matthew said that, although there was a four-color limit, he wanted to limit himself further to just one color to make his logo stand out. His black-and-white logo for the 2016 Harper Charity Cruise was inspired by his grandfather, who has a hot rod and loves car cruises.

“This is really his kind of thing,” Matthew said. “That was definitely my inspiration point.”

Second-place winner Sandy Bombassei will have her design featured on volunteers’ shirts at the cruise, scheduled this year for Aug. 31 on Harper Avenue from Old Eight Mile Road to Bayside Street.

Bombassei, of Armada Township, has been in the college’s graphic design program for about a year to update her skills after years in the workforce.

This was the first contest she had entered at the college, she said, although she had won Michigan Press Association awards in the past for her work with a local newspaper, the Romeo Observer.

She said she was just hoping that her design would catch the judge’s eye. Designing for a contest is difficult, she said, because you don’t always know exactly what the judges are looking for in a logo. 

“Everybody’s different,” she said. “You just hope that you fit.”

The logo winners won cash prizes from Shorewood Kiwanis and Roy O’Brien Ford, as well as matching scholarships from Macomb Community College. Third place took home $400 in cash and a $400 scholarship, second place won $600 cash and a $600 scholarship, and first place was awarded $1,000 and a $1,000 scholarship.

Shorewood Kiwanis Harper Charity Cruise co-chair Rosanne Minne said that it was hard to choose between the logos this year. But Joe Petrosky, dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture Technology at MCC, said he appreciates their efforts.

“This is fantastic,” he said. “It’s a win for everybody.”