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When Michael Tabankin learned the FL-AHEAD (Florida Association on Higher Education and Disability) launched a contest to sunset its dated sunshine logo and swap it for something fresh, he picked up the gauntlet.

Drawing on his Beacon bachelor’s degree in web and digital media design, Tabankin went to work on what he hoped would prove a winning design.

For Tabankin, hope morphed into reality last week when FL-AHEAD announced its new logo would be Tabankin’s creation.

“There was a lot happening the moment I found out that I won the FL-AHEAD redesign contest,” Tabankin says. Michael Tabankin “It was the last Friday of the Summer for Success program. The high school students where in the process of checking out and leaving campus to go home. At the same time, there were families visiting campus that needed my attention. As I finished speaking with the last family on campus, that’s when it hit me that I won. It was good way to end a Friday.”

Contestants faced no creative restraints, but were bound only by four guidelines:

With that, Tabankin went to work.

Florida Ahead In the end, his breezy electric fonts and swaying bronzy palm trees epitomized the fresh thinking and distinct Florida feel for which the group searched to help promote its mission to enhance professional knowledge and educational initiatives that impact full participation of people with disabilities in post-secondary education.

“On behalf of the Executive Board for Florida AHEAD — CONGRATULATIONS! Your submission was selected from our membership as the new logo/image for our organization,” wrote Brad Held, assistant director of accessible technology at the University of Central Florida.

FL AHEAD will feature Tabankin’s winning design in advertising campaigns and its marketing materials.

His prize: a $100 Visa gift card.

A prize he says wouldn’t have been possible without his Beacon training.

“Without question,” he says. “One particular class, I remember, was all about typography. Throughout my time in the class, I learned different styles of serif font vs san serif and which is used depending on the imagery.”