Posted March 25, 2014

Graphic-design thesis project inspires seventh-grade class

Video Production: Gina Benigno

Students at St. James School, located in the Allegheny West section of North Philadelphia, got firsthand experience in being a part of a collaborative design team.

Over the course of a semester, four first-year graduate graphic and interactive design students from the Tyler School of Art formed partnerships and served as artistic mentors for a class of seventh-grade students. Together, the St. James students and their Tyler mentors put on smocks, brainstormed design ideas and created a series of colorful posters that represent the school pledge.

“The school’s mission states very clearly different [attributes] to strive for in your life,” said Nikki Eastman, a Tyler student. “Our group chose the future. They’re really focusing on their career goals, so ‘Dream Big’ became their poster statement.”

Each student was involved in the project fully, from the concept all the way through to the finished product. In addition to learning silkscreening techniques, students learned that the design process is collaborative.

“This is where design is going,” said Kelly Holohan, MFA program head and associate professor of interactive and graphic design in the Tyler School of Art. “It’s becoming much less of a solo practice and is instead much more collaborative.”

An exhibition of this project will take place May 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Tyler School of Art’s main atrium. Playing off the themes the St. James students came up with, the project mentors will design their own posters. Limited-edition prints of the posters will be available for purchase during the run of the exhibit.