Friday, October 31, 2008

Georgia State Students’ Design Work Featured on CNN

At first glance, the portraits appear to be sketches of presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. But look closer and each line and curve is a letter, a word, a sentence.

Students in Stan Anderson’s advanced typography class at Georgia State were approached by CNN to create typographical portraits of the presidential candidates using each candidate’s own words and platforms. The works were then posted at

“I thought a nonpartisan type of political assignment would be terrific since it would allow the designers to actually research all six official presidential candidates running this year,” Anderson said. “I’m sure the students’ own views did play into their choices for their portraits, but they were very respectful of how they depicted the candidates.”

Each student created two portraits, choosing from the candidates running for president. While Obama and McCain were the most popular choices, students also depicted Bob Barr, Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney.

“No one was trying to sway another on how to vote or whom to vote for during this election,” Anderson said. “Words are powerful, and the use of the candidates’ own words made the assignment even more so.”

Last year, another of Anderson’s classes collaborated with CNN, presenting design work for the network’s League of First-Time Voters project. The assignments have been a way for Georgia State students to get real-world design experience, he said. Anderson came to Georgia State in 2001, after leaving CNN Headline News as Director of Design for the network.

“This year’s junior class of graphic design majors is some of the best and brightest — and creative — that I have ever seen,” he said. “Their keen sense of who they are and where they are in their chosen profession is remarkable. Each come to the projects with their own creative voice, and that translates into some of the most innovative and inspiring work I’ve ever seen. My students continue to inspire me.”

Editor's Note: This artwork is fantastic. It's impressive to see how words can literally draw a picture.

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