Good design can help deliver an important message: Vote! It all helps counter efforts of voter suppression, claims of fraud, and attempts at voter intimidation. The work from Professor Tevonian’s Foundation of Graphic Design class is an example of how we can help the public make its vital decision to vote.
Postcards with bold design and expressive typography that serve to get out the vote: They are the results from the semester’s first assignment in Professor Tevonian’s class.
“The goal was to encourage voting, not by commanding the viewer, but by showing why it is important,” says Prof. Tevonian. “Vote, Make Your Voice Heard” was the text that was included in each design.
After a year of foundation classes and an intro to typography, sophomores majoring in Communication Design Pathways take a class in one of several specializations before choosing a BFA major.
“The first assignment of this foundation class provides a taste of the profession,” she says.
The specifications for the 6″x5″ postcards required the use up to two colors and the rendering of two different solutions–one using an image and the other to be completed with typography along. This was to be accompanied by a matching stamp for each solution.
“Now that the project is finished, each student is mailing out three postcards to ideally ambivalent citizens and will ask them if the postcard influenced them to vote,” says Prof. Tevonian.
“Depictions of a ‘voice’ being heard through symbols and typography were not enough for this assignment,” says Prof. Tevonian. “There had to be connections to the essence of the country, with reference to the flag and Statue of Liberty.” One “theatrical example,” was Wei Zhen’s Statue of Liberty (second image) with red fingernails, she says.
There was class discussion of using how to make an image “inclusive,” says Prof. Tevonian. Nicole Kubinski’s design (below) achieves this through the use of abstract and neutral icons. “Next semester’s study focuses more on the use and creation of symbols and metaphors” she says.
“The principles of design were followed quite well and often with elegance,” says Prof. Tevonian. These included use of the grid, consideration of white space as part the solution, and an awareness of hierarchy that was expressed through contrast of type size and amount of white space.
“Students seemed to be under the positive influence of their Typography II class from last semester, which involved intensive study in the use of type to express ideas, along with the use of the grid,” says Prof. Tevonian.
“Most of the students were more comfortable using black and white, however, there were exceptions. They mostly viewed all colors equally except within certain contexts such as Sun Rui’s postcard (above) using the pink female symbol as part of the word ‘vote,’” says Prof. Tevonian.
“For now, says Pro. Tevonian, “imagine flags flying, the band playing, and please, do vote.“
All images used with permission.