The Tyrants Have Arrived
For the past three months, 15 senior graphic design students (including this one) have been working non-stop on their thesis projects. This group of students is the third to be in the Thesis class taught by Graphic Design Department Chairman David Grey. It is also the biggest group with which Grey has worked.
“I have a lot of responsibilities with such a group,” says Grey. “But I am very happy to see a range of work that goes from books to 3-D printed objects.”
Last year’s thesis show consisted of six students and was titled “Royalty Has Arrived.” Playfully naming their show “Down with the Monarchy,” the fifteen students are bringing a hefty amount of work to the table.
All students had the liberty to choose different mediums to create a final project that would reflect their graphic design skills. This resulted in a very broad body of work, and no project is similar. The work created is a showcase of the skills that they have been gathering for the last four years and how they channeled them to the field where they feel the strongest.
“My thesis project is a synthesis of my skills in graphic design and costuming,” says student Craig Mortensen. “It is essentially a proposal for a fashion line with the looks based off of my favorite archetypal characters mixed with actual construction of selected outfits.
As an outsider to the graphic design world, Mortensen’s proposal for a fashion line would sound out of place. Some might be even expecting the upcoming show to be filled with posters, logos and books. But this is definitely not the case; the truth is that the students are offering designs that are applied to all sorts of pieces. Montana Currie’s project in particular, breaks the usual misconceptions that people have about graphic design.
“For my thesis I designed a school hallway for elementary kids through a graphic designers perspective,” says Currie. “ I chose to do a school hallway because I couldn’t build a whole classroom! Now having a designer’s eye, I realized the graphics that used to be all over the school were just awful! And it motivated me to re design my take on what school walls should look like.”
As if the redesign of the school isn’t impressive enough, some students decided to create new objects and used the rising technology of 3-D printing. Such is the case with Arnold Mateo’s chess piece and Daniel Bernaldez’ creation of a line of home décor pieces. Both students made use of the dynamic aspect of graphic design in order to bring new objects to life.
“Sometimes it was very frustrating to work with 3-D because you depend too much on the programs you use,” says Bernaldez. “But it felt good to find a new technological tool of graphic design in which not many have had the opportunity to work with.”
Mateo’s idea of creating a chess piece was inspired by his love for this game, and he started developing this idea last semester.
“I wanted to do an exploration on 3D softwares in the shape of chess pieces, which allowed me to explore relationships in spaces and shapes,” says Mateos. “Even though the project has some industrial design aspects, I feel like I had the freedom and opportunity to express my graphic design abilities.”
It was hard for everyone to work on one complex project for such a long period of time while still having to turn in work for the rest of the classes. Many breakdowns occurred, and it was common to see the seniors walking around Alexis Lab at 4 a.m. wondering what they would do next and fearing that the project would not be finished on time. Regardless of the differences between the projects, students remainded supportive with each other during all times, giving each other feedback and pointing out the things that did not work.
“It is great to see the work coming from my fellow students,” says senior student Julia Griffin. “I felt proud to be working with such amazing people. We helped each other in different ways and I feel privileged to be exhibited alongside them.”
After months of tears and sweat, the graphic design seniors are proud to exhibit their work on a show that will take place this May 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Thaw building on SFUAD.