Miami Shores

Retired Taekwondo instructor creates winning design in El Portal logo contest

Osmany Caballero of Share Media Agency, Sarah Holmes, El Portal Mayor Claudia Cubillos and Lior Halabi also of Share Media Agency, pose for a photo with the new village logo. Holmes’ design was chosen as El Portal's new logo after a countywide contest.
Osmany Caballero of Share Media Agency, Sarah Holmes, El Portal Mayor Claudia Cubillos and Lior Halabi also of Share Media Agency, pose for a photo with the new village logo. Holmes’ design was chosen as El Portal's new logo after a countywide contest. For the Miami Herald

Taekwondo instructor Sarah “KC” Holmes of North Miami retired three years ago. She had also worked in advertising and taught herself graphic arts.

At Friday’s annual art fair in El Portal, Holmes learned the value of her skills, by winning a countywide contest to design the village’s new logo.

About 20 people created and submitted logos in the contest.

“This is validation that I am a good artist,” Holmes said. “It’s a blessing.”

Holmes will receive a key to the village and be featured in El Portal’s publication.

Last month, the village council narrowed down the logos to three. Mayor Claudia Cubillos said it was difficult choosing a winner.

“It was a struggle to choose, but this logo had all the elements,” she said. “This logo displayed who we are. We were chosen as a Tree City, USA. We are a gateway to Florida. We have the peacock. It was tough. We had to look at what would fit everything.”

The village’s previous logo has been around for decades, according to Cubillos.

Holmes said she researched a lot of El Portal’s history to find inspiration for the logo. She said the Tequesta Indians, trees and the bird sanctuary were what motivated her.

“The colors were inspired because the Tequesta Indians used a lot of white for their beads and pottery,” she said. “I used those colors. I used colors blue and green for the neighboring cities. The peacock was added with an Art Deco-inspired fence. I had the gates opened to have a welcoming feeling. The peacock represents a bird sanctuary. The palm and oak tree represent that everything needs to be preserved.”

There will be a transitional period before the new logo replaces the current one.

Cubillos said the logo represents the future of El Portal.

“It’s a new era with so many residents that are involved,” she said. “But what we have in common is that we are all diverse and we embrace it.”

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