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This article was published 16/9/2019 (535 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It was a banner year for a pair of young designers who will soon see their creative works beautify the streets of the North End.
Last school year, the North End Business Improvement Zone partnered with R.B. Russell Vocational School’s multi-level graphic design class to create banners for the BIZ to hang throughout the area.
Under the guidance of teacher Marcus Fowler, the students were given the optional task of coming up with four banner designs while also working on other class-related assignments.
The North End BIZ received five submissions and ended up selecting the designs of Anthony Hjorleifson and Kayla Creeley for installation. The not-for-profit organization also provided $500 to Hjorleifson and Creeley, who both graduated from Elmwood High School in June 2018 and attended R.B. Russell’s post-graduate graphic design program.
The banner designs each features their own distinct colour along with a word to represent the action of a figure on one side. The other side of each banner displays "North End BIZ" in large text.
In total, 86 of Creeley’s 5.5-foot banners will be displayed on decorative sidewalk poles, while 25 of Hjorleifson’s 8.5-foot banners will go up on hydro poles from Higgins Avenue to St. Johns Avenue on the east and west sides of Main Street.
"The best part about the project was getting the early experience of what can be considered client work — taking the suggestions into account and putting a personal spin on them to then convince them that this design is what will work best for viewing not only at a standstill but also when passing by in a vehicle or bicycle," Hjorleifson said.
"Communicating with the North End BIZ to finalize a design has been a great pleasure."
Similarly, Creeley values the experience and hopes it will lead to more commissioned projects.
"I think that seeing that my work is up for the public to see will make me feel really good about the things I create," said Creeley, who would like to study graphic design at Red River College.
"I usually get art block and designer’s block. Knowing that my work is good enough to be put up for the public really boosts my confidence."
As the teacher involved in the project, Fowler said it was a great opportunity for the students to get "real-world" work experience that required them to translate a client’s vision into reality.
"The folks from the North End BIZ were fantastic to work with, coming into our classroom to provide feedback on designs and to talk about what they’d like to see," Fowler said.
"They provided freedom to our students to put their own unique twist on the project but also provided guidance the way any real-world client would. This was an extremely valuable learning exercise and we are very excited to see the banners hanging in the neighbourhood."
Astrid Lichti, administrator for the North End BIZ, agrees that the experience was a positive one and she also looks forward to seeing the banners installed.
"We were trying to support the community and work within the community," she said. "It was a really great community project, and it was one of the most interesting things I’ve ever done."
The original plan was to have the banners installed before the end of the last school year, but the manufacturing process has been delayed. Lichti hopes that the banners will be installed soon for all to enjoy.