Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Graphic Design Thesis

My Thesis Consisted of......

two semesters
15 pages of research
7 pages of free writes
593 photographs
238 hours of work (not including class time, which was 6hrs/week for 8 months)
i went through 4 exacto knife blades
9 sheets of foam board
42 sheets of 19"x22" durotone french paper
5 trips to Staples 
2 trips to Ikea
4 trips to Michaels
3 trips to Hobby Lobby
1 trip to Walmart
14 lbs of paper and supplies shipped to my dorm

$384 worth of supplies total
approximately 62 trips to Starbucks 
about 91 pots of coffee
14 all-nighters
8,419 tears

and one design project to show for it.


Just to give you a quick run-through of what my project is....
The thesis project assignment was to pick a country outside the United States, and to pick a design topic related to that country, and create a design conference for that specific location and topic. When I say 'design topic' that means an aspect of art/design that you can build an entire conference around (example: Typography, Fashion Design, Textures, Landscape Design, Photography, ect) 

The conference will include Discussion Panels, Workshops, Tours, Speakers, Sessions, and Events focused around the city and design topic. 

My City: Paris, France
My Design Topic: Food Photography & Culinary Art 

Why? Because who loves food more than I do? Nobody. And who wouldn't want to study a romantic and timeless city, like Paris?! Nobody. Exactly.
I decided to call my conference 'LOVE' because the word 'love' is such a small short word for something that is so passionate and deep. The LOVE Conference that I created is all about finding your passion and capturing the moments of the everyday life. Everyday you eat. But do you look at your food? Do you see the colors, textures, contrast, and composition of the food on your plate? I do! Call me a nerd and a geek all you want, but I love photographing my food. I love adding random spices and flavors to normal food. I love it. I don't know about you, but eating food makes me happy. And photography makes me oh so happy too. So why not just make my entire senior degree project revolving around those things?! Win-Win situation. 

Here is a bunch of random pictures from my thesis project.....

my 'lets get down to business' face...

breakfast, lunch, and dinner...

printing out my process and changes

my 4am face...

Since mine was over culinary art, I decided to make my entire program guide in the form of recipe cards! I'm not very good at writing, but I wrote all the information and stuff myself, and I was pretty proud of how the Intro/Welcome to Paris blurb turned out. 
....it said:  

Paris, France; the city of love, the city of lovers, the city of romance, and French is the language of love. With so much love around, you should enjoy your visit to Paris! 

Paris is where love comes to blossom and dreams come to be fulfilled. We hope you enjoy the LOVE conference and can leave Paris with a whole new perspective on food and photography. This conference was specifically designed to tap into your photography passion and love for food. You will leave the LOVE Conference freshly inspired, romantically cultured, and with a full tummy. 

my work table...tables? 

I had to install my thesis on my birthday, so my parents came down and helped me put it up on the wall, and then took me out for a nice birthday dinner! :) 

I created a package design. The conference attendee would recieve this box as a favor. Inside is the recipe box containing the cards, as well as a handmade apron (created so perfectly and willingly by my lovely mother), and a few small jars of spices. 

There was over 60+ cards. There was different tabs for the LOVE Conference: Conference Love (an overview of the speakers/events/sessions), Food Love (actual recipe cards), Growing Love (info about organic foods and market gardens), Photo Love (photography section), Sweet Love (french pastry section), Wine Love (lists of wine/cheese combinations), French Love (french words, like 'learn chinese' on fortune cookies), Paris Love (Notes and Info on the History of the City), and finally Travel Love (map and lists of local cafes to try out!)
I designed, printed, and hand cut all of these stupid cards lol

oh and I made the box myself too. I used spray paint, glue, scrap-booking paper, string, hinges, ect. Apparently I'm not as good as box making as I thought...they took me about 9 hours longer than I was expecting, and they barely held together!  

my poster with logo on it, my shelf with the package designs, a little collection of french cookbooks and cooking tools, and spices, and to the left is my process binder and artist statement. 

These are six of the website pages I designed, and the color blocks are my wall graphics. 

All of it! 

Me with my thesis on the night of our Reception Gallery Opening! :)
The Thesis Reception was basically a 3 hour period in which we all got dressed up, stood next to our thesis, people walked around giving you compliments about how awesome your project looked, and family and friends came and told you congratulations, ect. They served kroger cheese and boxed wine. Classy. 

Stephanie (left), Me, and Laura (Right)...we have been design buddies for 4 years! 

Yes. Yes you do see me standing in between two boys wearing SHORT American flag shorts. Yes we are art majors. Yes this is normal.
Now that's what I call 'MURICA!!
Paul (left), Me, Matt (Right)

Group Photo Time!! Graphic Design Majors Class of 2013!!! 

In the end it was all worth it.....every single project, design critique, sheets of poster board and foamcore, pulling all nighters, printer jams, ordering pizza in the art department at 3am, paper cuts, weekly trips to staples and hobby lobby, and many many many pots of coffee later....getting that project done was worth it. 

Peace Out. 


  1. your project looks amazing! really wish i could have made it to see it. its so crazy to think that you are done with college! congrats bestie!!! love you!

  2. Wow! Awesome job Bethany. Wish we could have been there. Pray God directs you to that "perfect" job. Todd E.

  3. Wow! You certainly gave a lot on your thesis, Bethany! I think it is good because in the end, you can say that you really gave your all and not be disappointed with the outcome. I’m just concern on how much time you spent working with it. I think it would be good to visit reference website that can help you speed up working of your paper.