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Linganore High seniors team up, create FBI logo

Tuesday - 1/29/2013, 10:00am  ET

Linganore High School teens (Frederick News Post)
Linganore High School seniors, from left, Helen Snell, Alex McCaslin and Kate Russo had a hand in the development of a new logo for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Frederick News-Post/Travis Pratt)

Three Linganore High School seniors can now say they've done work for the FBI.

Helen Snell, Alex McCaslin and Kate Russo teamed up to design a logo for the Baltimore bureau's newly formed Cyber Task Force.

Their finished work will be featured on staff uniforms, letterhead and ceremonial items.

"It's unreal," McCaslin, 18, said Monday during an interview at Linganore. "I feel like it does look professional."

The badge features an eagle holding the state flags of Maryland and Delaware, which the Baltimore bureau encompasses, and binary code.

There were some specifics that the bureau wanted in the design, according to Snell.

"They left a lot of room for creativity," said Snell, 17.

The students used Adobe Illustrator to complete the template, but the first attempt didn't stick.

"We all did our own designs at first," Snell said. "We started (a second time) on our own and decided to combine all of ours into one."

That proved to be the winning design.

"Individually, everything looked great," said Russo, 17. "When we put it together, it looked even better."

Computer graphics teacher Tracy Bozzonetti opened the project up to all her students after a colleague came up with the idea with someone who works at the FBI office.

They started working on it in November, and the trio didn't find out their design was selected until recently.

"I was worried the entire time they would say our designs weren't good enough," Snell said.

Bozzonetti said the students learned how to work with a client and how to meet deadlines. When they started the project, the class was learning about logo design and corporate identity.

"It's good to have real-world learning experience for these guys," Bozzonetti said. "It's very exciting."

All three students have an interest in graphic design.

Snell said she wants to do something with art, but isn't sure what.

Russo originally planned to study graphic design in college, but now wants to keep it as a hobby.

McCaslin said he plans to major in either graphics or cybersecurity.

"I want to go more into computer graphics after doing this," he said.

The FBI task force formed last year and is focused on criminal and national-security intrusion cases involving computers, said Special Agent Richard Wolf, spokesman for the Baltimore bureau.

The bureau and some local, state and federal partners have teamed up to form the group.

They were pleased with the final design, according to Wolf.

"Anytime the FBI can reach out to students, it's always a positive," Wolf said. "The FBI appreciates all the hard work by the students at Linganore. It certainly shows their interest level and dedication to get the project done."

All three students agreed this is a great way to wrap up their high school careers.

"Coming into senior year, I could not have expected to say I would help create a graphic for the FBI," Russo said. "It's as real as it gets as far as logos."