Shine Together is a nonprofit organization that holds monthly dances for individuals with special needs. Our community consists of so many different kinds of people and being able to have individuals with special needs involved is something we strive for. This is a brand identity to help the already functioning dance reach new heights and get more people involved even if they are not in our surrounding area. Shine Together offers monthly subscription packages that provide people with the necessary tools and training they need to start their own Shine Together dances in their neighborhood. Shine Together also offers an easy to use website that has all the information one might need to get involved, either as a volunteer or as a dancer themselves.

Art Direction:

Scott Laserow

Visit the full website here.


This was my senior thesis project where I decided to rebrand the identity of a special needs dance that I run with my family in order to help it continue to grow. My initial concept was to create a new logo and collateral to go with it but I ended up moving more towards focusing on how I can help the dance to expand beyond just the small area we are reaching right now. This would make it possible for people to hold their own Shine Together dance if they were not able to come to the ones we hold.

The special needs community is one that I hold very close to my heart and knowing how much these individuals love going and participating in our evens made it clear to me that this was the project I should be creating. As I conducted my research I found out that there are a lot of opportunities for individuals with special needs up until they graduate high school, then the opportunities are limiting to mostly only those who like sports. I decided to make the dances something that would give these individuals another option of something fun to do if they didn’t like sports or might not be able to participate in them. I also decided that I wanted to make it so that the individuals could help run the dances to give them more of a connection and feel as though they are part of the reason why the dances are so successful.

This eventually leads me to create branding through a logo, website, packaging, dance collateral like posters and volunteer materials. The playful illustrations help to make the viewer feel welcome and excited to be a part of our organization while also keeping it professional to show sponsors or other businesses that we are the real deal and we want to continue to grow and succeed.

Logo and Character Development 

For my first round of logo sketches, I looked at ways of making a simple figure dancing through line drawings. I also tried making an abstract sun that had a few variations to represent how everyone is unique. My first round of quick sketch character design is also shown in this image.

Inspired by Christopher Lee’s illustrations, I wanted my characters to have a fun and happy feel to them to help reflect what we are trying to accomplish with our dances. I sketched out every illustration that appears in this projects before bringing them all into illustrator for further design.


When I began thinking about the themes I had chosen to use in this project, I made lists and mind maps to give me a large variety of options to choose from so that each theme could be different from one another. 


The site map that I created so I knew what I needed to include in my website and so I could figure out its overall flow.

The first round sketches of the possible options of what I wanted my site to look like.

A prototype of the website showing what page each button takes you to.


Sketches for the Pajama Party and Flannel Frenzy Posters.

Sketches for the Hoedown and Dancing Through the Decades Posters.

Sketches for the Tropically Tie Dye Poster.