The Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM) is asking members of the Iowa State community to vote on a design for a tartan plaid fabric to represent the pride and spirit of Iowa State.
The plaid fabric, generally called a tartan, is a traditional Scottish fabric that weaves two or more alternating-colored stripes which combine vertically and horizontally to form a repeating checkered pattern. The basis of a tartan is a simple two-color check pattern with which the designer adds an additional line of stripes, bands and stripes in contrasting colors.
The competition is led by Amy Shane-Nichols, lecturer in apparel, events, and hospitality management. Shane-Nichols decided to create a competition to create a tartan specific to Iowa State and Cyclone pride.
Eulanda Sanders, professor and chair of the AESHM department, partnered with Shane-Nichols with helming and overseeing the competition.
While the participants in the competition were primarily students of the apparel, merchandising, and design major, it was also open to anyone who wanted to submit a design.
“We felt like this was the time for us to have this visual textile that represents our university,” Sanders said. “Many other universities have tartans and have products that have been created from tartans so it was our time to have that so that both our students on campus, our students around the world, our alumni and our friends of the university could also have products that symbolized our pride in being a cyclone.”
Many people submitted designs for consideration, and through a long judging process, the instructors narrowed down submissions to the two final designs that will be voted on.
In the initial voting process, the faculty looked for an interpretation of Iowa State’s history, an interesting use of color and design while making sure the design is original and unique, and consideration of the Scottish Register of Tartans.
“We looked at … ones that met the aesthetics of the call for the competition and [faculty] felt would represent Iowa State well, had colors that were strongly tied to what our colors are — used the correct colors,” Sanders said. “Because Iowa State University has a very strong brand and visual brand and colors that are identified with that.”
Sanders has further clarified that students "were required in their designs to use Iowa State University brand standard colors."
When going to vote for the designs, the voter will only be able to see is the tartan design itself.
Sanders said they chose to keep the participants of the competition anonymous until voting has ended. Then, they will announce the identity of the winner.
“There is a lot of product development that is going to go on after the winner is chosen,” Sanders said. “We will take that design and look at it and we are working with a developer to first get it registered through the Scottish Registry. We will then look at getting some samples made of woven and printed textiles and color matching so it will have a main standard that will go with Iowa State’s brand.”
After the winner is chosen, the product developer will create sample pieces of the products which will be sold in the Bookstore.
Voting ballots can be found on the apparel, merchandising, and design website and will close at 5 p.m. Friday.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story included an incorrect link to the contest website and an incomplete transcription of a quote from Sanders. The article has since been updated to reflect the correct link and quote. The Daily regrets this error. The article has also been updated to include a clarification from Sanders about the guidelines of the contest.