Josh Lipman

Josh Lipman

Evanston Township High School

Student Design: Standing Together on the Shore of Excellence and Equity

1.  How does the flag you designed represent who you are and what you care about? 
I am a sophomore studying mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and I am passionate about the environment and climate issues. I plan to pursue a career where I can develop technologies that solve problems and make the world a healthier and more sustainable place to live. The flag I designed represents my commitment to the environment and a healthier planet by using bold green and blue background stripes to highlight the County’s important land and water areas, including its vast forest preserves and rivers, canals, and Lake Michigan shoreline, which we all need to conserve and protect.

2.  Why did you decide to join the Flag 2021 competition?
My high school graphic design teacher Mr. William Simos recommended that I join the Flag 2021 competition. I decided to join the competition because I thought it would be a fun opportunity for me to strengthen my creative design and communication skills and be a part of Cook County history.

 3.  What did you learn about Cook County that surprised you?
When researching Cook County, I was surprised to learn that it has one of the oldest and largest forest preserves in the United States which protects 77,000 acres of public land and provides a huge variety of recreational opportunities for the public, including hiking and biking trails, sledding hills, cross-country skiing, golf courses, boat launches, aquatic centers, fishing, campgrounds, and even a zipline and adventure park.

 4. Tell us a short story about your collaboration with your flag mentor/partner(s).
I first met with my flag mentor/partner, Jim Kelly, the Executive Creative Director of closerlook, inc., on Sunday, December 6, 2020 after the Chicago Bears game and over Zoom. Jim encouraged me to think outside of the box and not limit my design possibilities by initially trying many different design ideas. We talked about some basic design principles and how each individual part and color on the flag I designed should have a purpose in order to communicate a message about Cook County. Jim also recommended websites with color selection tools used by designers, which was very helpful as I am color blind. After narrowing my design options and agreeing on two final design ideas with Jim, I selected and finalized my best flag design idea along with the description of the design.