Alma High School art students are working on designs for a new City of Alma welcome sign.

Art teacher Katelyn Jeremiah and several art students brought 17 sign designs to the Alma City Council study session on Monday to ask for feedback from council members.

Jeremiah said the designs centered around three constraints given the students by Alma Mayor Keith Greene: That the signs had to represent Alma, incorporate “Welcome to Alma” and incorporate “Crossroads of America,” which is the mayor’s chosen slogan for the city.

AHS art students have been working on the designs since the beginning of the school year, she said.

Jeremiah pointed out elements in the designs, such as a representation of an aerial view of the location near Alma where Interstate 40 and Interstate 49 meet that forms the letter “A.”

Students also designed signs with the city’s current logos and city colors, and included modern elements, Jeremiah said.

Grace Murphy, a high school art student and state DECA president, attended the meeting with Jeremiah. Murphy told council members that their feedback was extremely important for the art students.

“This isn’t just a grade for us,” Murphy said. “We are really excited to be a part of this.”

Council members discussed the designs and other components of branding for the city, such as the city’s slogan.

City Planner Buddy Gray pointed out that “Crossroads of America” is trademarked as the official state motto of Indiana.

Though City Attorney Rinda Baker told the council it was possible to attain permission to use the motto, Alma Area Chamber of Commerce Director Bryan Huff, who attended the study session, noted that the city had been advised by the Community Development Institute team that is working with the city on a master plan for economic growth and marketing to steer clear of using a trademarked slogan.

Public Works Director Mark Yardley also pointed out that economic branding and community branding are two separate things.

“I think for our focus, this would be about community branding, about what’s different and what’s unique about the community,” Yardley said.

Council members promised to look over the designs, and told the students they would welcome their opinions on branding for the city.

Jeremiah said that she and her students could collaborate with the English department at the high school and take to social media, and bring back some ideas to the city council.