Graphic design students display their talents in a senior showcase
Graphic design seniors at Southern Miss took what they learned in hands-on and class to display in the USM Art and Design Senior Show.
The showcase featuring the work of 19 seniors from the program ran from April 21 to April 29 as a free exhibition.
For seniors, it marked the culmination of a months-long process and one of the final steps towards graduation.
“The seniors have been working hard all semester,” said associate professor and graphic design field coordinator John Mark Lawler. “I am amazed year after year at the level of talent and dedication to the craft of design that our students have shown.”
The student’s work involved a variety of business concept topics, with their work involving the creation of logos, posters, menus and the overall branding of their intended business.
One of the group’s seniors, Anna Denette, created a ’60s-inspired cannabis-infused bakery, a concept incorporating the era’s iconic psychedelic fonts and colors into her branding.
Denette moved into graphic design early in her college career at USM, having to learn the intricacies of the software and tools needed to be successful.
Her work led her to this project, which served as a complete test for everything she learned.
Denette said she felt relieved to have completed the project, which was difficult but a labor of love.
“It was really stressful,” Denette said. “There were a lot of late nights in the studio, a lot of sleepless nights, but overall I think it went really well. I’m just really proud of the job I was able to do.
Denette and the other students took on a project on a scale they had never done before. She said it stalled at times, especially early in the process and when it took her almost a month to come up with the logo and design.
But the experience taught Denette some valuable lessons and was well worth it, as she said she got a passing grade above her expectations.
“Setting up a production schedule and being able to handle multiple things at the same time [was important]”, Denette said. “I’ve never had a project really on this scale, and I also think the idea of creating it by being perfect, like just putting things on paper just to try it, was really important during this project because you needed to move at such a fast pace.
Senior Sydney Beech also expressed similar sentiments about the project.
“At USM, one of the most important skills I learned was perseverance. Keep working hard even when the going gets tough, and you can look back on those moments or that project and be proud of yourself,” Beech said. “Moving into the job market is scary enough, but I believe USM and the Graphic Design program eloquently prepared me for this next step.”
The seniors were able to step back and let people visit their exhibits. Students and faculty across campus appreciated the work of the students.
“I’m here because I’m very curious about graphic design in the sense that I’ve always known that communication is a power, but being able to communicate visually today is a superpower, and there are clearly students here with superpowers because they did a great job of clearly communicating some really great concepts,” said Director of Research Development and Science Entrepreneurship Henry Jones.
Watch SM2 reporter Nathan Lee’s package on the Graphic Design Showcase: