First Steps

M:KE Logo The OnRamp Pilot Program was launched in January of 2009. Shortly after Hanson Dodge Creative became involved with Common Ground, a question arose: what can we do to help in our immediate community? The idea of OnRamp was born. Original OnRamp member organizations Hanson Dodge Creative, C2 Graphics, MATC and MIAD partnered with Community High School and leader teacher Jason O’Brien to identify 13 students to participate in this 16-week pilot program that concluded with a final project of designing and producing a Milwaukee branded line of t-shirts (M:KE).

The pilot program consisted of eight bi-weekly learning modules held at various facilities that went through the lifecycle of a creative project. Some of these modules included tours at the Eisner American Museum of Advertising & Design, Discovery World, Brew City Brand Apparel and MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design), in addition to the participating creative organizations. On the alternating weeks, work sessions called “Power Wednesdays” were held at MATC (Milwaukee Area Technical College) that allowed students to work on their projects using the resources from the college.

Design professional volunteers from various creative organizations gave students a first-hand look at the creative world as they mentored the students throughout the program. Kindred Clothiers provided branding guidelines, production and printing of the final project t-shirts.

The success of this program can only be attributed to the willingness of so many people and organizations to give of themselves to better the creative industry. Our hope is that the passion that motivates these volunteers and the successful results of the program will continue to spread and we can make a tremendous difference in both the lives of minorities and the creative industry.

Behind the M:KE Logo

The OnRamp Board of Directors, participating students and Paul Hunsicker from Kindred Clothiers developed this logo in order to create an identity for the line of t-shirts the students were creating that featured a Milwaukee-centric brand. The colon between the “M” and the “K” along with the backwards “K” gives the abbreviation personality as an emoticon smile emerges when you turn the logo. The anvil symbolizes the strength and hands-on activity of the industrial heritage of Milwaukee.