Copywriting: Description for Artwork Direction

College of the Mainland’s 9th GCIC Academic Symposium revealed a new annual theme for 2023 entitled “Translating, Reframing & Embracing Contradictions.” This theme would require the conceptualization of new artwork integrated into various marketing materials including a program, poster and event badge.

To first provide insight into the symposium for context, its intention is to enable students and their supporters to think more deeply than they’re able to in the classroom while sharing in formal and less formal networking opportunities. College students will submit 150 to 300-word abstracts aligned to the event’s annually-changing theme. With a new deep and thought-provoking theme, I felt it was necessary to note my thoughts on the matter to help drive my interpretative and symbolic design direction for visual materials. The paragraph below outlines my thoughts for meaning behind the design:

We reach for answers to life’s complex issues which if resolved could provide profound growth from preservational, societal, cultural and economic perspectives. Strip away the complexities of our issues and we may expose a simple uncomfortable truth that at some level we are lazy, comforted with good intentions and idealistic self-perceptions, but tied instinctively to pursuing paths of least resistance as we sit anchored in our comfort zones avoiding involvement in someone else’s battle. Passively resisting opportunities to eliminate our contradictions paints a desolate landscape for hopes of growth and survival. However as a study called the Effort Paradox unveils, making an effort is costly but valued. Once we commit to exerting energy towards an effort and the goal is achieved, it results in a greater inherent value placed on the accomplishment. What was once avoided now becomes a sense of pride. In the end, we must cultivate the unwillingness to let go so that we may plant new seeds for involvement. We ideate a world in which our circumstances improve but ignore the weight of our contradiction that presents reality. What will it take to cut the string so that we may align idealistic intentions with the value we discover in our efforts? The hope to move forward resides in you.

The design was used across posters, programs and other collateral. The March 2023 symposium event at College of the Mainland went on to have its largest attendance since its inception in 2015.

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