The Design Consortium, a faculty/student graphic design collaborative led by Jennifer Bernstein, Ned Drew, and Chantal Fischzang of the Arts, Culture & Media department at the School of Arts and Sciences-Newark (SASN), have won a 2021 Graphis Silver Award for the creation of the Express Newark brand identity. The project, which included the Express Newark logomark system, typography, print collateral, signage and wayfinding, was selected among an international pool of entries and will be included in the Graphis Design Annual 2021, their signature book showcasing the best of branding, print, and type design of the year.
Graphis, an international publisher of annual books on communication design based in New York City, invites professionals across the design communities to be considered for inclusion in several categories of annual books. Amongst these submissions, Graphis selects what they consider to be the most compelling work of the year for Platinum, Gold, and Silver awards considerations, which are featured in their online gallery and hardcover Annuals.
Fischzang, an Assistant Professor of graphic design, was especially thrilled that the collaboration between faculty and students was recognized, stating “Professional exposure and recognition from an entity as notable as Graphis is significant, but what makes this award particularly special is that it validates the wonderful, robust collaboration with my colleagues Jennifer Bernstein & Ned Drew, our students from the Design Consortium, and our partnership with Express Newark’s leadership and stakeholders. The resulting identity system for EN is a demonstration of genuine interconnection of ideas, all which continued to evolve as each semester’s group tackled a new phase of the project.”
Advanced students from the Arts, Culture & Media Department’s Graphic Design program are selected to participate as part of the Design Consortium by faculty, where they create work in partnerships with Newark community residents, organizations, educational institutions and/or local activists partners to achieve a common goal through design.
“It was a pleasure to take part in the creation of Express Newark's brand identity. I believe myself and the rest of the Design Consortium team are part of something bigger than ourselves,” said Tinhinane Khelifi, who graduated with a degree in graphic design in 2017 and was part of the cohort that created the Express Newark branding. “We got to experience how this entity that we visualized became an important part of the city's creative heart. Every step of designing and implementing this brand identity taught me something about myself. As a designer for Express Newark, I was able to see how the brand slowly began to be associated with all that EN has to offer. That, in itself, was incredibly inspiring and rewarding.”
For the Express Newark branding, faculty worked with students in the Design Consortium over the course of three semesters, developing the identity and its applications, guiding the process and giving students the opportunity to gain real-world design agency experience. Faculty took turns leading the class while tackling specific components of the project from strategy, community meetings, charrettes, collaborative brainstorming sessions and presentations through execution.
“The Design Consortium’s student/faculty collaborative framework allows our students to experience the unique potential of co-building with partners, and how their work as designers can have real impact in their city. The Graphis award affirms that this model of research-driven, community-centric design work is both successful pedagogy and professional practice,” said Associate Professor Bernstein.
In all, 20 students participated in the Express Newark branding project: Jennifer Jacob, Tinhinane Khelifi, Wilfredo Jimenez, Angel Lopez, Yosmany Michviv, Marsha Shnayder, Nii Solomon, Sarah Barcelos, Veronica Benavides, Rochelle Anne Bernal, Tim Cahill, Mark Carrione, Andrea Cassar, Michael Cocciadiferro, Shawn Collins, Andrew Da Silva, Bianca Dasne, Ken Delasalas, Jes D’Auria and Will Gilligan.
In addition to the Silver Award won by the Design Consortium, Fischzang won two additional Silver Awards from Graphis. The first was for Newark Rhythms, a project authored by Eva GIloi, Associate Professor in the History Department at SASN. Newark Rhythms brought to life the history of the Rutgers-Newark campus, and featured a printed history as well as promotional materials for a series of lectures and events.
The third Silver Award for Fischzang was given for the identity and promotional campaign for Abortion is Normal, designed in collaboration with SASN alumna and Visiting Professor Rebecca Jampol ('08), who also co-curated the exhibition. The exhibit and accompanying campaign were created as a call-to-action to raise both awareness and funding in support of accessible, safe, and legal abortion, according to the organizers, and was showcased first in Jampol’s gallery in Newark, Project for Empty Spaces, followed by several galleries in New York City.
Graphis also bestowed honorable mentions to Ned Drew, Chair of Arts, Culture and Media, and SASN alumna Brenda McManus for their moon landing stamp design, and to Bernstein, for branding and identity for Potamkin Companies.
Each project is available to view at the Graphis website at the links below.
- Design Consortium: Express Newark branding
- Chantal Fischzang: Newark Rhythms
- Chantal Fischzang and Rebecca Jampol: Abortion Is Normal