Associate Professor of Graphic Design Mark Jamra is featured in the Portland Press Herald on his font collection, Phoreous Cherokee, the first commercially available and most complete typeface for the Cherokee language.
"Until recently, if members of the Cherokee Nation wanted to send a text message in their traditional language, they could do so only with a typeface that just partially captured their language. Now, they can send that text with all the nuance of the Cherokee language, expressed in looping, gestural glyphs that more closely resemble small drawings or doodles than letters from a Latin-based alphabet.
Mark Jamra is the reason why. The type designer from Portland is helping the Cherokee Nation adapt a writing system based on centuries-old traditions for the digital age".
Associate Professor of Graphic Design Mark Jamra has been recognized by Typographica.com as having one of the best typefaces of 2014. Mark Jamra is a renowned type designer and has been designing typefaces for close to 30 years. His company, TypeCulture is an independent type foundry and academic resource. Typographica reviewed Jamra's typeface "Phoreus Cherokee" which is one of the very few Cherokee typefaces available for use. The review talks about the desperate need for a quality Cherokee typeface,
"Four years ago, in a conference room filled with type enthusiasts, three representatives of the Cherokee Nation explained why the world still needs more fonts.
Of their 316,000 members (the largest tribal nation in the USA), only 22,000 native Cherokee speakers remain, and only a handful of Cherokee fonts exist, most of poor quality. Users have no way to make a headline bold or to italicize words for emphasis. Traditional Cherokee type designs are intricate and of high contrast, poorly suited for reading on screen. New, multifunctional Cherokee fonts are an essential tool necessary for the education, communication, and survival of their language.
Congratulations to RJ Condon, a junior in Graphic Design, winner of the annual Geary's Summer Ale package design competition open to all MECA undergraduates. His design will be featured on nearly 1 million bottles of beer and he receives a prize of $5,000 cash.
Graphic Design Students Partner with Casco Bay High
Graphic design students parntered with Casco Bay High students to redesign the logo for the expeditionary learning school. Graphic Design faculty member Margo Halverson and Illustration faculty member Mary Anne Lloyd guided the students in a four week collaborative process that included brainstorming, research and sketching. The final logo encompasses the core qualities of the high school - progressive, unique, explorative, and adventurous.
Sarah Mohammadi wins AIGA Bone Show Award
Recent graduate Sarah Mohammadi has won an AIGA Bone Show Award for her cookbook Turkmen Damegh. The bi-annual show celebrates the best of New England design. Sarah designed the book as an independent study after visiting her family in Iran. The exhibit is on view at Boston University's 808 Gallery until July 20.
Sarah Mohammadi graduated this spring with a degree in Graphic Design. Originally from Iran, she lives in Maine. For more about Sarah: http://sarahmohammadi.com/
The AIGA is a professional association for design. For more about AIGA:
MAINE COLLEGE OF ART UNVEILS NEW INSTITUTIONAL LOGO
An innovative collaboration between internationally-known design experts, graphic design majors,and faculty yields a bold new visual identity.
The Maine College of Art unveiled a new institutional logo at a press conference hosted on campus (522 Congress Street, 2nd Floor Osher Hall) at 11am on Friday, May 3, 2013. An innovative collaboration between internationally known professional graphic designers, and a select group of MECA design faculty and majors has resulted in a new visual identity for an historic institution that has been a pillar of the New England arts scene since 1882. MECA’s new mark reflects the institution’s strongest assets: an extraordinary community of artistically-gifted individuals and a mission dedicated to promoting academic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.
The new mark is the culmination of combined efforts that transpired over an intensive three-day charrette* hosted on campus in early February, 2013. Orchestrated under the guidance and vision of internationally known designer, Eddie Opara, Partner at Pentagram (the world’s largest interdisciplinary design firm) and MECA graphic design faculty led by professors Margo Halverson and Charles Melcher, a group of MECA graphic design majors were selected to participate. According to Eddie Opara, “The whole process is to establish a way that the students can start to understand how the real world actually works.”
Professor Charles Melcher noted, “This is an avant-garde approach to developing an institutional identity that, to the best of our knowledge, has never before been attempted in North America. What better way to celebrate MECA’s mission than through creating an unprecedented legacy that highlights the college’s creative force and trust and support for our students and faculty.”
Inspired by MECA’s distinctive sense of place and the critical role MECA serves as an anchor in the Arts District of Portland Maine, the new visual identity captures the creative energy that pours out of the historic Porteous building 24/7 into our increasingly interconnected local and global communities.
Rebecca Swanson Conrad, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, believes that the introduction of a new visual identity is a historic moment for MECA. She said, “The purpose of developing a new mark that more effectively communicates the vibrant pulse of our community is not only to cultivate unity and a sense of pride, but to reaffirm the common thread that holds us all together as a greater sense of whole.”
“The uncommon process employed to develop MECA’s new mark exemplifies creative problem-solving at its finest and underscores the distinctiveness of what makes this such a special place.” said MECA President Donald Tuski. “Not only does our logo signify the unparalleled educational experience and wealth of professional development opportunities found at MECA, it also symbolizes several of our most important defining attributes: the five-pronged ‘E’ represents the five core tenets of our educational philosophy statement —studio, agency, place, community, and ethics; the five floors of the historic Porteous building; and the five educational areas — BFA, MFA, Art Ed, Continuing Studies, and Pre-College, while paying tribute to the iconic red stairwell that unifies each of the departments and majors.”
Graphic design major Sarah Mohammadi ‘13, was honored and proud to have been involved in such an important project. “Having the opportunity to work with professional designers and faculty members on a project that had never been done before was truly amazing. As a student, being part of the collaboration that rebranded the school we represent was an experience that is irreplaceable. It was an experience that none of us will ever forget and we all will be proud of for years to come.”
*What is a charrette? Thought to originate from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 19th century, the word charrette refers to an intensely collaborative period of design activity where a group of design professionals work towards drafting a solution to a design problem.
MECA Wins Winter Window Walk Competition
MECA earned top honors at the 2012 Window Walk competition sponsored by Portland's Downtown District.
Under the guidance of MECA Graphic Design professor, Samantha Haedrich, MECA Graphic Design students collaborated with organizers of the annual Holiday Sale to produce the visual identity for this year's event. An important aspect to this assignment included dressing MECA's large window facing Congress Street in anticipation of the holidays.
Watch the video below to see the behind the scenes of the creation of this year's holiday window.
Geary's Brewing Company Hosts Design Competition
Each year, the D.L. Geary Brewing Company hosts a competition on campus for the design of the packaging for the Geary's Summer Ale. All undergraduate students are allowed to submit a design. The winning design is then featured on the labels of one million bottles of beer, as well as on the six-pack and 12-pack boxes. The student with the winning design is awarded $5,000. This year, there were more than 60 entries to the contest. The winner is selected in January and works with Geary on bringing the concept to production for a launch in late spring. See all the entries.
Maine Type Lab, First Friday Vote Button Booth Provoke the Vote
Maine Type Lab members designed a series of buttons for October First Friday at Maine College of Art as part of the “Provoke the Vote” event. The buttons were handed out to the public and passersby were encouraged to customize their buttons with their political beliefs. Students created over 50+ designs and distributed nearly 500 buttons to the public, for free.
Maine Type Lab received support from Public Engagement, who purchased the button supplies and invited us to participate.
Participants: Cassondra Amicone, Kaitlin Callender, Trisha Cobb, Klarizza Cruz, Molly Feole, Sarah Mohammadi, Annie Mora, Rangeley Morton, Sheyenne Rivers
MEGAWORDS Workshop with Anthony Smyrski
Maine Type Lab members participated in a Sunday workshop with MEGAWORDS’ co-creator Anthony Smyrski. Students learned how to create an assemble a zine using lo-fi, hands-on methods. Everyone contributed a spread and walked away with a copy of the zine. The zine is also on display at MECA ICA.
Each year, the D.L. Geary Brewing Company sponsors a contest for the undergraduate students at Maine College of Art to design the label and packaging for the Summer Ale. The winner receives $5000 and their artwork on nearly 1 million bottles of beer. This year’s winner is Annie Mora, a Graphic Design junior from South Londonderry, Vermont.
“When thinking of a design for the Summer Ale I wanted to illustrate the energy of the ocean. The inspiration for the splash came from watercolor paintings that I do in my sketchbook. The colors in the packaging represent warm summer days in Maine,” says Mora.
When it came time for the Portland Pirates to create a new logo to celebrate their 20th anniversary, the hockey team approached Maine College of Art. Portland Pirates Managing Owner/CEO Brian Petrovek said, "I could go to Boston or New York or I could go to the world class institution located right across the street."
Students in Samantha Haedrich’s graphic design class, Design Workshop, spent the fall semester collaborating on the identity assignment. The group of nine juniors and seniors conducted research, presented ideas and participated in critiques with the Pirates organization. The chosen anniversary logo integrates the Salty Pete mascot and his iconic pirate flag, a fan favorite.
The logo, which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the inception of the Portland Pirates franchise in 1993, will be included in all aspects of operation, including Pirates merchandise, and on a special alternate jersey to be worn for select games during the 2012-13 season.
"We are thrilled to partner with MECA students, faculty, and staff over the last few months to design this emblem," said Petrovek. "We are very pleased with the work of Samantha Haedrich and her graphic design students on the logo. We feel it accentuates the true spirit of the Pirates relationship with the great hockey fans of Portland over the last 20 years. We thank the students for all of their hard work in creating a truly fitting symbol to celebrate a franchise milestone."
The logo was unveiled during a press conference in the Karu Media Collective at the College on February 27.
Graphic Design faculty member Mark Jamra was one of 53 winning type designers in the 2nd Type Design Competition of the Association Typographique Internationale. More than 500 submissions were considered in this juried contest to find the best typefaces of the last decade from around the world.The contest aims to provide a wide-angled snapshot of the state of typeface design around the globe ten years after the 2001 competition, and to promote typographic excellence and best professional practices. It also intends to raise awareness about the role of typography at encouraging and maintaining cultural diversity.