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.
This project was created to fulfill an assignment for Graphic Design II, Spring 2021. The brief required us to create a new logo for the recently renamed Whitworth Department of Art and Design. We were instructed to create a new identity and completely forget the established guidelines set by the university. I decided to create a dynamic logo that can stand alone or change depending on which degree track is being referenced. I kept the logo minimal so the art and design work it is placed next toocan speak for itself.
I started this project by creating the branding guide and dynamic logo. This established a set of rules for myself and others to follow when using the brand. I chose to go with a dynamic logo that fit with each track in the department. Even though each track fits under the larger Whitworth Art & Design umbrella, each one is unique and has instances where it should be distinguished.
The next step was using the dynamic logos to create business cards for each professor in the department. The front of the card features the logo and the back features their information along with the Whitworth A&D icon.
While designing the business cards I decided that I wanted to create a folder of information that would be sent to students when they were accepted into the department. I created several postcards, letterhead, and stickers that would be included in this folder. It would provide students with information like classes they need to take, what the department can offer them, and welcome letters from their advisor and the chair of the department.
The final portion of this project was creating a series of promotional posters that could be used to advertise the different tracks in the department. I adapted the tagline “Create Your Future” which can be found in the admission folder to fit three of the tracks the department offers. I wanted these posters to be eye-catching, engaging, and readable. To accomplish this, I used photos where the subject took up most of the frame and large text interacting with the subject. It creates an intriguing design that is stilllegible from afar.
I didn’t start printing until Fall 2020, but I quickly found myself enjoying the new medium. For this series of prints I initially created the images digitally using an iPad. Then, I used a laser cutter to make the sets of linoleum blocks used to create each print. This allowed me to get finer detail with more accuracy much faster than if I was hand carving the plates. Since there are two colors in each print there are six plates in total. The pink goes down first and is followed by the black.
For me, printmaking is an opportunity to focus on making pieces that are more reflective of myself. The process of printing forces me to step back from the fast-paced world, slow down and embrace the tangible. The concepts behind my prints come from the process of grieving and healing from past trauma. During this process, I often find myself at a loss for words to describe everything I’m experiencing. By turning these feelings into images, I am forced to slow down, process, and feel all that life throws my way.