ECU art professor wins design award
(Oct. 26, 2007)
An East Carolina University professor of art received top honors for his student recruitment poster for the School of Art and Design.
Gunnar Swanson, who teaches graphic arts at ECU, received an award of excellence from the University & College Designers Association. The poster is featured in Print magazine’s 2007 design awards, currently on newsstands, and will appear in a special awards issue of Graphic Design: USA and in the book Big Book of Design Ideas 3, by David Carter, both to be released in early 2008.
The poster depicts a collection of random but highly stylized objects that include a sheep, an open hand, a key, fishing lures and a pair of snips. It was printed by a team of ECU faculty and students, using silkscreen and letterpress techniques.
“We chose ‘art’ reproduction techniques rather than normal commercial printing methods so the poster would act as an exemplar as much as advertising,” Swanson said. “By creating a limited edition object we hope the poster will connect with issues of art and value.”
The design of the poster includes a complex iconography. The intention is to spur conversation not just about ECU’s School of Art and Design but about meaning and interpretation in art and design.
“When people say ‘What does that mean?’ we know it’s working” said Michael Drought, director of the School. “So much graphic design is either so transparent or so obscure that conscious consideration of meaning seems irrelevant. We’d like to create openings for conversations about how people in a university talk and think about art and design.”