Designing posters for a series of university lectures appears to be a right of passage for many graphic designers. But Dayna Casey, an Australian-born, Hague-based graphic designer has gone above and beyond the usual one page InDesign layout. A graduate of The Royal Academy of Art in the Netherlands, she has created a whole publication, Studium Generale: Transmission Lexicon, on her old university’s lecture series.
The running theme throughout the Royal Academy’s lecture series from 2017 to 2018 was an investigation on the “broad terrain of communication, (post) truth and interpretation,” she tells It’s Nice That. Consequently, Dayna’s visual concept is grown from the act of sitting in a lecture theatre, creating a graphic design experiment on “the viewers subconscious and associative interpretation,” she explains.
Dayna has visually achieved this by creating a mishmash of design styles. Some pages within the publication are actually quite meme-like, image heavy in design using titles in a rounded yellow font. Others are text heavy, leading the reader to understand the educational context of the project. “The theme text is used as subtitles,” she says of these design decisions. “It can be read as a whole or can be read in a fragmentary manner, indistinct glimpses hinting at the larger story. The coincidental words per page cause unplanned associations when combined with the lecture’s text and/or image. Not only is this a conceptual choice,” she continues, “but it’s a way to give this text prominence and guide the viewer in a way that it must be read (partly or fully), ensuring it cannot be ignored.”
The reference images featured within Studium Generale: Transmission Lexicon have been collected into an extensive database over the past year, visualising “perspectives that are touched upon throughout the lecture series,” Dayna points out. While a large number of images were collated together, the ones selected in print are “intuitive or referential responses to each lecture’s subject,” the designer explains. “For example, using Baroque’s depictions of Time Unveiling Truth when referencing KellyAnne Conway’s Alternative Facts or The Mouth of Truth, combined with Flat Earth. Associations deriving from questions such as this include could ‘conspiracy theorist’s searches for absolute truth emerge from arising anxiety and fragmented national identities?’”
To also visualise the various topics covered across academic lectures Dayna’s publication is printed using a multitude of techniques. This includes Riso, flatbed printing and full colour spreads in places, “depending on paper sort availability, aimed to create an eclectic series in look and feel.” says the designer. Each edition of Studium Generale is also accompanied by a sticker format “containing all relevant information,” just as the usual poster format for university lectures has always done.
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