Design class creates poster book project for young local students
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Loyola’s design department wrapped up a collaboration with the International School of Louisiana students by producing a poster book series.
Fifth graders at ISL wrote a series of essays about “Fever 1793,” a novel that follows an outbreak of yellow fever in Philadelphia in the 18th century. Loyola’s design students took these essays and adapted them into posters, creating four separate looks for their young clients.
Julia Morel, visiting design professor, approached ISL to bring the project to life.
“I got in touch with their English teacher, who told me her class was reading the book ‘Fever 1793’ and mentioned the students were doing an opinion piece comparing a character in the book to someone in the student’s life,” Morel said. “The difficulty was finding the balance between doing something the ISL student would recognize as their own ideas while still making a professional, clean design.”
Morel said uniting the visual ideas with one product made the most sense.
“We came up with the idea of doing a poster book to visualize the essays. Each student got assigned to two different ISL kids, and they designed something around the text, along with drawings the kids had made,” Morel said.
Students in Morel’s Print and Design Narrative class said that the turnaround was quick and they loved the unique challenges that came with working with younger students.
“We usually have strict parameters for our work, but because we were designing for kids, we were allowed to do pretty much whatever we wanted,” Collins said. “It was a bit challenging; however, watching the kids’ reactions made the project worth it.”
The project required the design students to create 12 variations for each of their four designs before presenting them to fifth-grade students for approval.
“We had to be realistic with our project and know what we could bring to life in our three week turnaround,” Morel said.
Design students were given the creative liberty to explore the essays written by the fifth-grade students. Morel noted that children tend to have a more descriptive style of writing, which the design students needed to take account of.
“It was interesting seeing the characteristics of each student, what they focus on, what their point of interest is and who they chose in their lives to view the story in their own context,” Morel said.
The poster book, “Fever 1793 Posters + Essays,” includes stylized transcripts of the essays next to the poster designs.
“Having an object like this book completed at the end of the project is so rewarding,” Morel said. “When there are so many different stories and many different drawings, you get afraid it’s going to be a big mess, but the completed posters are so different that, united under one idea and bound together, it just makes sense.”