Heather Anderson

Heather Anderson
Graphic Designer, Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Design Mentor: The Key of Cook County

1. What inspired you to become a mentor for the Flag 2021 competition?
I wanted to help the young designers realize their vision and show them ways to push their work even further. 

2. Through this experience what did you learn from your student, and what did you hope to impart upon your student?
I learned how to look at things through the eyes of someone younger, and was inspired on how fast they interpret the world, process it and articulate it. It’s cool to see. 

3. Tell us about a favorite memory you have working with your student(s).
I just enjoyed seeing the work evolve, the experiments, iterations and questions.

The Key to Cook County Flag

About The Key of Cook County Flag

The Name of this flag is “The Key To Cook County”. There are several components that make the county strong and unique. The right side of the flag is a horizontal, signifying Cook County being bordered by Lake Michigan. The 8-point compass corresponds to all the directions of Cook County including the north, northwest, west, southwest, and south suburban area. The star symbolizes the empowering energy of the residents. The circle band around the star represents the unity of the people. I have chosen to use the same blue as the Chicago flag to create a suite of flags in the sky. The deep green directional and horizontal lines represent the large forest preserves that make the county exceptional. 

Kyle Trzaskus

Kyle Trzaskus


1. How does the flag you designed represent who you are and what you care about? 

The flag represents how the people of Cook County can stay connected under a flag no matter the distance between them. I love how the flag has more flair than most flags.

2.  Why did you decide to join the Flag 2021 competition?

I was in my graphic design class at ETHS and one of the assignments was to make an entry to this competition. It started as a fun project but has turned into an amazing experience.

3.  What did you learn about Cook County that surprised you?

One thing I learned about Cook County is that it has the biggest forest preserve in all of Illinois.

4. Tell us a short story about your collaboration with your flag mentor/partner(s).

The whole process of going over my flag design with my mentor, Heather Anderson, was a very fun and educational experience.  I’ve learned a lot about what colors look good together and the overall design of the artwork. She helped me make all of the flag’s pieces have the same length. My submission started as an inconsistent sketch brought to life by my Adobe inventor, to a flag that I am proud of.