INSIDE THE DESIGN TEAM: ACLU AND THE MARCH FOR OUR SCHOOLS
Growing up in the county school system, I had no idea of the deficit in funding to schools in Baltimore, let alone across Maryland; that is, until I moved to the city. The lack of central air and heating paired with the unreasonable expectation for students to purchase their own books for school had me appalled. Little did I know, this was the case for most, if not all of the schools across the state. Through Wide Angle, I found out just how badly our schools were suffering due to seemingly endless budget cuts and mismanagement of funds. This lead to our project: to create a poster for the ACLU that hit straight to the heart of the matter; the fact that our kids cannot wait. We took these posters to the March for Our Schools rally in Annapolis, where over 8,500 people attended and a good number of those people asked for one of our posters. By the end of the night, we only had a few posters left because so many people at the rally asked for one or more to take home with them.
Working with Nicole McCann from ACLU Maryland was a very pleasant experience. She was very kind and patient with our many questions, and loved the final designs quite a bit. After getting the A-OK from her, we began the process to actually turn our ideas from simple prototypes into tangible products. Our posters were letterpressed (a form of printing in which letters are arranged into a press, painted over with ink, and used to print words and patterns onto a piece of paper using a rolling drum mechanism) by hand at Globe Collection and Press at MICA.
For some of us (including myself) it was our first experience with this sort of thing, so the hands on experience made creating the posters all the more worthwhile.
Although it was a small challenge meeting the branding expectations for ACLU, our posters had an immeasurable impact. It showed that the adults in Maryland aren’t the only people who care about the education of children across the state; the children themselves want a say in how the funding for the places that make up almost their entire lives is spent and used. If there is anything taken away from this project, I want it to be that it isn’t just about AC, or heat, or books. It’s about the quality of the education that’s being given to the people that will determine the future of our world. Our kids can’t wait, because change rests on them; and without change, this world wouldn’t be where it is today.
Hi there! I’m Aiara Manning, a proud Dove of Western High School, and a new member of the Wide Angle Design Team. Although I’m just starting out at Wide Angle and graphic design as a whole, I hope to grow a lot by the end of the program, and prepare myself for my dream career of interactive media design.
Funding for the Design Team is provided by OSI-Baltimore.