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Destination: Outer Space

The ArtWeek Design Challenge’s theme was out of this world

Participants used their imagination and knowledge of graphic design to create posters advertising a getaway to outer space.

Posters upon posters lined the wall of The Commons’ Mezzanine Gallery last Wednesday evening for a challenge that sparked many students’ creativity. Each of the posters, taking the guise of advertisements for excursions to outer space, displayed vivid colors and imagination.

Commonvision staff member Christina Canner, a senior graphic design major, came up with the space theme. “I was inspired by [Tuesday night’s] Motion Challenge which had ten-second long space animations. I’m also in an astronomy class, so I just think space is really cool,” she said while sporting galaxy-printed leggings.

Canner even designed one of the posters. Hers advertised a trip to the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter. “During my free time, I would work on it. One day when we had a delay, I just sat in Starbucks working on it.” Like Canner, a few other commonvision staff members participated in the challenge as well.

The judges were staff from The Commons Administration, and the three favorites happened to be pieces by commonvision staff members. Because of this, commonvision Coordinator Dwayne Butcher decided to forego making it a competition and instead offered everyone 3D ArtWeek keychains, made with the organization’s 3D printer, and a sketchbook full of designs submitted to them by students and faculty members.

“There were no labels on the pieces, no name tags during judging. I made the decision not to only award the favorites. I’m very proud of all the entries and how well the exhibition looks,” said Butcher. Even though they were unsure of how many submissions they were going to receive, they certainly got enough to line the gallery space in posters.

One of the favorites was a poster with the slogan, “Visit a black hole. You’ll never want to come back.” Designer and staff member, Farah Khan, a recent graduate from the class of 2014 with a degree in animation said, “I did some general research on black holes just to find out how things might look around it.” Intrigued by her findings, she dedicated her time to creating a depiction of a black hole that really stood out.

“I just used paint brush strokes in photoshop. It took about three hours. I’m pretty happy with it because I think it’s simple and funny like many advertisements are.” Khan has been a part of the commonvision team since June 2013 and admits that the majority of the graphic design she knows today comes from working with the organization.

The planning for this year’s Design Challenge began in January and the deadline to sign up was Feb. 21, which allowed artists plenty of time to create their unique pieces. Even though next year’s Design Challenge may not have the same space theme, there’s no doubt that commonvision will come up with another innovative way to challenge one’s imagination and artistic abilities.