His winning logo features a North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) and a great blue heron (Ardea herodias) back-to-back. The river otter, on the right, represents a species that has recovered after changes in land use and the destruction and degradation of wetlands and habitat dating back to the late 1800s. The heron, on the left, represents waterbird along Lake Erie.
Neighbors applied gold to the background of the logo, along with white and navy blue shading, for contrast elements. And the red, bursting out of the “0” of 2018, is meant to resemble the Ohio flag, which includes a white circle with a red dot in the middle.
A member of the student chapter of The Wildlife Society at Murray State University in Kentucky, Neighbors heard about the logo contest from the chapter’s social media chair. “She knew that I am interested in graphic design and art,” he said.
In fact, Neighbors earned a degree in digital media at East Tennessee State University in 2015 before going back to school the following year for wildlife biology. “I’m finding ways to join the two together, and this was the perfect way to do that,” he said.
Neighbors hopes he gets more opportunities to use his love for art in conjunction with wildlife conservation. “This was kind of a first shot at that,” he said. “Visual arts in connection with writing and verbal communication together gets messages across to the public and spreads the word for conservation and sustainability. I’d love to do that more in the future.”
Neighbors said he feels honored that his art was chosen as the logo for the Cleveland conference.
“I am very happy to represent such a good cause for the conference and what the society does for the environment and wildlife,” he said.