This project is about working with a single visual idea, exploring the connection we create with hand cut lettering or typography, and recognizing shifts in the availability of production for design. Communicating themes that relate to the Homecoming celebration at South Dakota State, the students use a professional printer to manufacture a small run of buttons.
During the project, students learn about the different ways text and image combine to create meaning. After discussing how text might caption an image, or how an image might elucidate concepts discussed in an editorial article, students work to combine visual themes for SDSU’s Homecoming with a small amount of text in a space that can be very limiting.
Students experience, often for the first time, what it’s like to take an idea from sketches to manufacture. Print on demand services represent a major shift in graphic design, and the experience of professional production instills meaning in a project when students may not be ready for client work. Using an outside producer also removes barriers to action after they leave campus when they graduate and print labs are no longer available and subsidized by student fees.