Thursday, March 17, 2011

Graduate Student Appreciation Week 2011

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students sponsors an annual Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation week to acknowledge the positive impact and accomplishments of advanced degree students. The University of Oklahoma is proud to support this aim with a graduate student celebration of our own.

To visually promote the week-long series of events, I started by designing several icons representative of each event throughout the week (microcosm). Then, I arranged each individual symbol so that they functioned together as a whole to create the bigger picture (macrocosm), the oh-so iconic smiley face, which is representative of the overall happiness of the graduate student population. The main concept behind the design is that these smaller events and initiatives combined aid in the overall happiness of the graduate students. So when the poster of the smiley face is viewed from a distance, one sees the big picture, the iconic smiley face, but when viewed closer, one begins to notice the details that make up the big picture.

Here are the stand-alone icons:

FAMILY DAY PICNIC: Pie and Watermelon.  
This is a bring your own lunch event but we provide watermelon, pie, drinks and games so I created pie and watermelon icons to represent this event. 

BOWLING NIGHT: Bowling Ball & Pin

MASSAGES: The Healing Hand
I had the hardest time coming up with an icon for this one and then the Healing Hand symbol popped in my head, so I created my own version based on the outline of my very own hand.

The folks from Buchanan Bicycles will be on hand to help students get their bikes in shape for the warm weather by fixing minor repairs and teaching students the basics of maintaining their bikes.
 OUPD will also be at the tent to register bikes on campus, a program that helps recover stolen bikes.

THE BGSA (Black Graduate Student Association) RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM: Atomic Structure
At first, I was getting images of beakers and test tubes when trying to think of an icon for 'research' but that was too specialized and seemed more limited to the sciences, leaving out other academic areas. Since the poster session is open to all graduate and undergraduate students of any discipline, I finally settled on an icon of a simplified atomic structure because it was the only icon that I could think of that seemed to best represent the idea of interdisciplinary research. The structural rings have a sort of an intertwining movement to them that, in my mind, communicates "all encompassing". 

WINE TASTING: Wine Bottle & Glass
This event provides students with an opportunity to sample various wines, all from local wineries.

We grill hamburgers and hot dogs for students and I couldn't choose just one to use as the icon for this event, so I went with both...and it was fun.


Since we invite parents to drop their kids off at a local church where we hire baby sitters for the night, we assume the parents will probably use this time to go out on a date. So, naturally, a heart came to mind. I stuck with the heart because it was simple and I think it works well not only to symbolize a date night for graduate students with children, but even if students do not go out on a date, it symbolizes the love and care we will provide the children so parents will have a worry free evening to do as they please. Spreading the love!

 Click images to view larger

1 comment:

Felina Lune Kavi said...

I like it. Then, of course, you probably knew I would...considering the underlying gestalt theme (the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts) and the microcosm/macrocosm emphasis. You really do put a lot of effort, time, and creativity into your job. I hope it's appropriately appreciated...and not just by me. ;)

And now...for the stuff you REALLY want to do...

I look forward to seeing more of your independent work in the following posts. ;)