My name is Sophia Lizberg and I am a graphic designer originally from Boise, Idaho. When I am not pursuing my love for Graphic Design, I like to travel (before there was a worldwide pandemic), read books, create, watch movies, and drink spectacular coffee. My design work is the product of me working through the design process to create impactful pieces and serve a client’s needs. As a designer, I first look at what would best benefit the client and where my style fits in second. My style draws inspiration from the Swiss/International Style that originated in the 1940s. I am drawn to the sans-serif typography, legibility, and saturated/matte color palettes that defined this era.
It goes without saying that 2020 was not without its immense challenges. We faced a pandemic, racial injustice, the effects of climate change, and economic uncertainty, to name a few. When Whitworth University decided to invite its students back to campus last fall, we knew that the traditional t-shirt leadership students wore needed to send an uplifting message. We wanted students and parents to know that we knew how stressful it was to make the decision to return in the middle of a pandemic, but our faith in our community was unwavering. We are Resilient, Faithful, Whitworth.
The original purpose of this design was to use on the t-shirts for 125 leadership students for move-in weekend. It was also used for little t-shirts that went on stuffed animals that students stuffed at the first event of the year. When creating this project, I worked on incorporating my love of Swiss principles into the format of hand-lettering. It turned out that our message resonated with more than our students. As images of the shirt were published on social media parents, alumni, faculty, and staff expressed their love for the message and the shirt. This led to the design gracing not only the shirts of 125 students but magazines, stickers, facemasks, and more.
When the message resonated with the Whitworth community, the Office of Marketing and Communications reached out and asked to put it on the cover of Whitworth Today. The publication is the university’s semiannual magazine that has a reach of 24,00 readers. Along with the cover I had the opportunity to hand letter more phrases for a story on the 2020 graduates inside the magazine. It was distributed physically and is available for online viewing here.
When I was creating this design, I had no idea of the impact it would have on my community. Not only did comments started flowing in on social media declaring love for the message and design, but people wanted to know where they could get one. This was a new situation for the university because these shirts are typically only made for leadership students. We decided to break the precedent and make the shirts available to the public. Ultimately, t-shirts, facemasks, and stickers were made available for purchase.