Senior Reflections

Dear Charlotte at age 18,

 You are going to meet a girl named Bonnie Cathryn and one night, freshman year, she is going to ask you to go on a drive. You will get into her car and realize that you are walking in on what nineteen year olds like to call a “mid- life crisis,” but what we will later learn is a simple “quarterly meltdown.” You won’t realize then that her exclaiming, “I used to wear hot pink and I never do anymore,” will become a mantra and way of reminding each other throughout the seasons to think back to what makes you happy and what makes you “you” despite trends, fads and pressure.  She will be your teacher in vulnerability.

You are going to meet a girl on your first day of college named Olivia. You will be ugly to her freshman year, but by the time you reach senior year, you will realize that she sticks and stands up for you like no other. There’s something about hurting each others’ feelings, and forgiving, that makes you feel a new level of comfort. She will become a comfort and a true confidant. She will be your teacher in loyalty.

You are going to sit at a table freshman year with a girl, named Mary Charles, and her parents at parents weekend and feel so awkward because it’s September, and you still do not know the girls in your pledge class. Y’all will both live on the hall sophomore year and go to Haiti together, and will later become close junior year. Mary Charles will show you what it means to be your full self. No matter how spunky, sassy or stupid you may be sometimes. She will be your teacher in being yourself.  

You are going to stay friends with Mary Helen all four years and from major meltdowns together freshman year, to being roommates sophomore year, to weekly coffee dates on Fridays at 11 junior year, to finding rest and comfort in the women we have grown to become senior year, you will cherish her. She will teach you the power of a passive aggressive Spotify playlist, but most of all she will teach you what selflessness looks like. She will be your teacher in passion.

You will meet Sidnie sophomore year and she will be unlike anyone you’ve ever known. She will show you that cheetah print is a neutral and y’all will eventually log more hours in classes and projects together than you would believe. She will teach you what it looks like to go all in with friendship, holding nothing back, and showing up for each other, time and time again. She will be your teacher in steadfastness.

You will grow closer to Amanda and she will become your partner in crime, crying and comfort. You will realize that there is an irreplaceable feeling in knowing someone since you were in first grade. She knows who you once were and she sees who you are now, and she celebrates both of those people. She will teach you that people are complex and have more layers than your roommates famous buttercream vanilla cakes. She will make you want to pause and be still more because she experiences things slowly, surely and simply. She will be your teacher in thoughtfulness. 

At the end of your four years you will look back and realize that it wasn’t the involvements, sorority, clubs or date parties that made the difference or carved the course of your life here. It’s the times you disappointed her and she forgave you, the time you were there for her when she felt like her heart was physically breaking in two, and the time after time when you forgot who you were, what you wanted or where you were going and she held your hand, squeezed it tight and said “same, here.”  

Love,

Charlotte at age 22, with a few wrinkles around her eyes from smiling and squinting to see the board in class.

Stories that Stick

When I mention the name Harry Potter what comes to your mind? Maybe it is the actor, your favorite character in the trilogy or maybe even your favorite quote. However, what immediately comes to my mind despite the million scenes and quotes going through the rolodex in my mind, is the font called Adobe Garamond. All of J.K. Rowlings’ books had the same borderless frame, diamond shaped images, 12 pt. Adobe Garamond type and thick cream paper. When I think of the stories written in these books, my mind immediately also goes to the pages that the stories were written on. The consistency that each book had in reference to the others. The aesthetic that his stuck in my memory as deeply as the characters and plot lines. This Adobe Garamond font takes me back to Thanksgivings growing up, listening to my Grandy read aloud to my sister and I whichever newest book in the trilogy had been released. I smell the turkey cooking in the oven, the pecan pie in my mouth and the crisp pages between my fingers. The fact of the matter is, a public relations major I can see that stories stick better in our minds when there is a memorable design behind them.

As a public relations major, I am captivated by the concept of being a narrator for people, causes and organizations. What does it look like to be a strong storyteller in a landscape where there is no shortage of content or messages shared? I believe that people pause and listen to the story that you are sharing and that stories stick better in our minds when there is a memorable design behind them. Whether it is something as minor as a font or something as monumental as a graphic that is used on every piece of information sent out, listeners’ memories are wired to remember the color of the event before they remember what the event is for.

Stories stick better in our minds when there is a memorable design behind them. This past week an event that I have been planning and creating content for months finally came to culmination. It was a women’s event called Dinner on the Hill and a graphic design major Sally Neal created this beautiful graphic on InDesign.

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We ended up using this design as the bones to consistently impressing in people’s minds the fact that this event was coming up. I created a menu with the same font and painted a banner that mimicked the graphic. We put a graphic on photos that symbolized the flyer, realizing that stories stick better in our minds when there is a memorable design behind them. The story that we were hoping to convey was that there is a chance to win a $1,000 Behind the Glass giftcard if you came to our women’s event called Dinner on the Hill!

Below are some pictures showing the other ways that the design was incorporated to reinforce the same story. 

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Just as I am vividly transported to thanksgivings growing up, reading Harry Potter books when I see the Adobe Garamond font or touch the thick cream pages of a book, this is because stories stick better in our minds when there is a memorable design behind them. As a Public Relations major it is so important for me to able to have an eye for design and an ability to consistently execute this aesthetic through many mediums so that the story that I am striving to imprint on my audience’s heart or mind will stick far beyond the event, product or click.

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Typography is Print's Voice

Typography is so much more than a few words strung together to create something that catches the reader’s eye. Type is an art and a science to a certain degree. Just as Frank Sinatra’s voice is impossible to replicate in “The Way You Look Tonight, type strung together to make a print creates something with its’ own unique voice. The benefits of typography go beyond relaying the message that you desire to share through words. It in and of itself conveys a message through its’ design.

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The benefits of typography is creating an eye-catching message that speaks to the reader before they are even reading - it’s while they are still simply a viewer or passer-by. A letterform is a graphic form of any letter of the alphabet. A letterform can take on any vibe from a masculine and bold message, to a dainty and petite script. They key is to find a type that does not distract from the words, but rather is a carrier of those words. For example, if you are saying like the magazine article below, to “paint outside the lines,” then you want your type to seem messy, creative and to have a flow almost as if they are painting outside the lines with its’ letterform.

The benefits of typography can be found anywhere from social media, where there is an influx of messages constantly fighting for your attention, to your own home. I looked around my house to find typography in random places where maybe I had never spotted the art and design before.

Below are some examples where type is found and speaks a design and literal message, from clippings on my fridge, to a sign over my sink:

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Typesetting is incremental for benefits of typography. Type size and leading make up typesetting, enabling your text to be read with a readable flow and horizontal rhythm. If your type has poor leading than your reader’s eyes will wander vertically down the page. If this happens they will lose their place and most likely stop reading. The ultimate goal is for your message to be conveyed, and the greatest problem in a culture of constant information coming at you is that it takes a lot for someone to pause, look and soak it all in.

Some resources that I used to help me get my bearings on Indesign’s typography is this Youtube video! It essentially breaks down how to pick out typography that enhances one another. One of the benefits of typography is that you do not have to have any artistic abilities like drawing or painting to pick out lettering. It is simply all about having an artful eye!

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I am always on the look out for pretty typography, now that I have learned its’ importance and benefits. I created a pinterest board called Style and Design where I compile inspiration and graphics that I would like to draw ideas from. You can visit it here.

The benefits of typography is that it creates a voice for you to let your message be read and told. Just like Sinatra’s rich and buttery voice, your typography can have an irreplaceable tone. This is done by having a careful eye and noticing the small ways that different fonts complement each other, being cognizant of font size and asking yourself what vibe is being conveyed through your specific type.

 

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