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KCAD Students Design T-Shirts, Posters for Laughfest 2014

Posted March 11, 2014 in Student

LaughFest is back for 2014, spreading smiles throughout West Michigan and uniting communities with the power of humor. KCAD is once again a primary sponsor of the ten-day event, but this year the College took a more hands-on approach to getting involved.

In collaboration with LaughFest, KCAD students Abby Bedford, Brandon Shellan, Kaylee VanTuinen, and Nicholas Tisch were given the opportunity to show that great design can be just as contagious as laughter.

Each of the four students rose to the challenge of creating a unique design that encapsulated the community spirit of the festival. Despite being sent back to the drawing board a few times (check out Abby Bedford chronicling her experience on the KCAD blog!), the students prevailed, producing designs that wowed LaughFest organizers. They also learned some valuable lessons along the way about the dynamic between designer and client.

Graphic Design sophomore Abby Bedford models the t-shirt she designed for LaughFest 2014

Beyond professional experience, the project also gave the students the opportunity to use their creativity to help power the great cause championed by Gilda’s Club, the organization behind LaughFest that raises awareness and funds to support individuals who are struggling through the dark journey of cancer.

Now, the final designs (seen below) can be found gracing limited edition t-shirts and posters that will be seen by the thousands of people who will converge on West Michigan over the course of the event.

Abby Bedford (sophomore, Graphic Design)

Abby wanted her design to represent the diversity of humor while also showing LaughFest's roots in the community of Grand Rapids. What resulted is a mosaic of squares in the shape of our great state. None of the squares, however, are aligned with the frame, because, let’s face it - we’re all a little off-kilter.

Brandon Shellan (junior, Digital Media)

Favoring his eye for geometric forms, Brandon created a design consisting of sharp diagonals and heavy lines to evoke the collective nature of LaughFest, wherein the city, the artists and comedians, and the charities come together to provide us all with laughter.

Kaylee VanTuinen (sophomore, Graphic Design)

What Grand Rapids native Kaylee Van Tuinen loves most about LaughFest is the diversity of people it attracts. Using her experience as a graphic design major with a love for printmaking and creating designs by hand, she wanted to make something that could bring a smile to all of the LaughFest audiences’ faces. The result is a hand illustrated doodle that plays off of the joy of LaughFest.

Nicholas Tisch (senior, Graphic Design)

Nicholas wanted his design to resonate both with the city of Grand Rapids and the visitors LaughFest brings here, yet also personify what the event represents in a visual sense. After all, the act of laughing manifests itself differently to everyone and that’s what makes LaughFest and the variety of comedy it celebrates so pertinent.

Congratulations to these four students for their hard work and dedication in helping LaughFest develop a strong visual identity! As you explore the festival, be sure to pick up a limited edition t-shirt or poster with one of these awesome designs, and don’t forget to check out all the designs on display at LaughFest Central inside the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

For more information on LaughFest, go to laughfestgr.org.

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