SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Previously the Central Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce was known as the Jamesburg-Monroe Regional Chamber of Commerce. Back in the fall, the non-profit organization that supports businesses in southern Middlesex County, western Monmouth County and northern Mercer County decided to rename the chamber of commerce in order to incorporate other area member towns such as Spotswood and Helmetta. The organization decided to look outside the box for its new logo. 

"When we embarked on renaming and rebranding the Chamber, we wanted to involve the community, so we decided to approach the Spotswood and Monroe High Schools to have interested students participate in our Brand Identity/Logo Design Contest," explained board member and committee chair Steve Besserman.

The committee reached out to Spotswood High School's Joseph Schwartz and Monroe High School's Jessica Singer. Singer and Schwartz both teach Graphic Arts at their respective high schools. Eight students, six from Spotswood High School and two from Monroe High School, participated in the competition. The participants included Sheliza Dollete, Joey Fucci, Catherine Peter, Shawn Henry, Safia Khattak, Alfonso Penna, Rajiv Kuntamukkala and Maheen Khan.

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Dollete, Fucci, Peter, Henry, Khattak and Penna are from Spotswood High School and are students in Schwartz's Honors Computer Graphics and Design class. Kuntamukkala and Khan are from Monroe High School.

"The Chamber Board was extremely impressed with the logo design submissions we received," Besserman said. "These students are very talented. The instruction and guidance they have received obviously has bolstered their own innate creativity."

Schwartz made the logo competition a part of the class' lessons with the students conducting research on "business practices, competitions from other NJ chambers, logos on chambers from across the nation, color palettes, typefaces and local NJ symbols and geography." 

"Each student created a variety of rough sketches that were narrowed down to one concept for each student," Schwartz explained. "These concepts were finalized on computers using Adobe graphics software and were then applied to templates so that the Chamber members could see the possibilities of having their new logo applied to merchandise, signage and web applications.  Each solution was compiled in a presentation book that was digitally submitted to the Chamber for their consideration."

Dollete's design took first place and will now be utilized as the new logo for the Central Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce. Kuntamukkala's design earned second place honors and Fucci's placed third.

All three finalists will receive financial scholarships to be used to the school of their choice and will be recognized for their accomplishment at a special presentation held virtually on Zoom on Wednesday, June 3 at 5 p.m.

"We are very excited about our new brand identity and have already begun to deploy the logo on our website, digital and print communications," Besserman added.