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Tabor's senior designer puts heart and soul into work

Staff writer

Diane Steiner of Durham is the senior designer in the communications department at Tabor College.

For her, designing graphics is like painting a picture. The art has to convey a message to its target audience.

“You need to have a real understanding of clients and their audience,” she said. “I do know Tabor but I need to know their target. Tabor can’t stand still. We have to be out there showing people what we have to offer.”

She creates printed materials for everyone involved with the school, including alumni, donors, prospective students, administration, and staff.

Steiner recently was assigned to develop a new trademark logo for Tabor College. The original logo showed the roof and pillars of the H.W. Lohrenz Building, the most well-known structure on campus.

President Jules Glanzer noted that more Tabor College constituents are attending classes at the School for Adult and Graduate Studies at Wichita or taking courses through the Internet.

“One of the things that I’ve learned since coming back to Tabor is that we are more than a Hillsboro campus now and our future will include more than Hillsboro,” he said. “A new logo was needed to embrace the broader Tabor community and vision.”

Steiner worked on the design for two years, getting significant input from students, alumni, faculty, and friends. A formal survey generated 1,000 responses.

“The one thing everybody agreed on was that it had to have a Christian identity,” she said.

She created an image that gives the college an updated icon for the digital world, while preserving its identity as a Christ-centered liberal arts college.

The crossed “T” in a vivid Tabor blue is imbibed with a white cross setting on a small mound.

“If you know what Tabor is about it makes it easier to understand, but the cross is something you are not going to miss,” she said.

The “T” stands for Tabor, the cross identifies it as a Christian college, and the mound represents Mount Tabor, the biblical mount from which the school gets its name. The flowing lines reflect movement and life.

“Diane listened well and was able to conceptualize all the words that we speak when we speak about Tabor College,” Glanzer said. “A lot can be said about this logo, but at the heart it communicates that Christ is at the center of Tabor.”

Steiner said the simpler logo is more flexible than the original one and can be shrunk to fit on small items such as pens without losing its legibility.

The new logo was launched this summer and now appears on letter heads, note cards, banners, and many other items. It is posted on the college server and can be used by students in their communications.

Steiner is the daughter of John and Kathy Oborny of rural Durham. George and Kathleen Oborny of Marion are her uncle and aunt.

She is a 1988 graduate of Centre High School and earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Fort Hays State University.

In high school, she was known for her artistic ability, but also she enjoyed life on the farm. As a freshman, she decided she wanted to be a veterinarian or a graphic artist, and finally settled on the latter because she didn’t think she would want to see suffering animals every day.

She said she has enjoyed her career in graphic arts.

“In graphic arts, I can do an incredible variety of work,” she said. “I haven’t gotten bored.”

She has been full-time at Tabor for 10 years. Prior to that she worked at Western Associates in Marion and Print Source Direct in Hillsboro, where she designed book pages and covers as well as newspaper pages.

She said she enjoys working in small shops because she gets to do a variety of things.

Tabor is a Mennonite school and Steiner is a Catholic, but she said that hasn’t proved to be a conflict.

“There are differences,” she said, “but the end result is the same. We both believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that He set an example of how we are to live.

“As an artist, visual imagery is important. People express their faith through their talent.”

She noted that Catholics focus more on tradition while Mennonites focus more on a personal relationship.

“The Mennonite faith has only enriched what I have as a Catholic,” she said. “I’m not leaving my faith behind, but I’ve really grown here.”

Last modified Oct. 15, 2008

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