Themester 2019’s focus on “Remembering and Forgetting” starts this fall, but one group of students explored the theme early. For the second year in a row, the theme provided an assignment for students in SOAD-S 452 BFA Graphic Design in the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design.
“We have such a dynamic cohort of BFA undergraduates studying graphic design in this class, from first semester students all the way through to fifth year seniors, that a project like Themester was a great opportunity to allow various skill levels to shine and learn from one another,” said Sarah Martin, assistant professor of graphic design.
This year the BFA course met with graduate course SOAD-S 551 MFA Graphic Design Seminar, taught by Jenny El-Shamy, senior lecturer and coordinator of IU's graphic design program. Students in both courses worked on creating posters that depicted the theme of “Remembering and Forgetting.”
The broad theme provided students with opportunity and challenge. Students could “consider the theme of "remembering and forgetting from the perspective of their own experience —as well as articulate and visualize from the unique experience—which seemed to reflect a core conceit of the Themester, in general,” Martin said.
The breadth of possibilities was difficult, however. “Many students struggled in the early conceptual phase of their creative processes—some ideas were too vague, while others were too specific,” El-Shamy explained. “Eventually, each designer was able to develop their own unique conceptual approach to the theme,” she said.
“Students eventually learned to navigate a fine line between poetics, metaphor and literal representation—a process very fruitful in any designer's education,” Martin said.
A total of six works from BFA and MFA students were chosen as part of the Themester 2019 poster series. The designs will be printed and posted on campus throughout the spring until the conclusion of Themester 2019 in December.
Students in the undergraduate section continued working with the theme to create animated designs, which will also be featured in Themester promotions.
Click below to read interviews with the artists. They discuss the concepts and inspiration behind their "Remembering and Forgetting" designs.