Joining up generations...
When Dover Girls’ Grammar School’s past pupils and staff association asked me if I would give some pro bono help to produce a banner, I created an opportunity instead.
It would have been easy for me to do a simple piece of work putting a banner stand together. But as a past pupil of this state grammar school, I’ve long wanted to see an exchange of knowledge between its current students and staff and its alumnae so instead, I wrote a brief.
I worked with the association and the school’s design and technology department to look at how the association communicated, what it could do to attract younger members and how to join up the visual identity of the association and the school.
When we started the project, we didn’t realise how significant this intergenerational work would be. Lockdown hit and live events switched to online. So digital media already being central to young people’s lives, I gave the students carte blanche to look beyond the scope of the brief.
The students brought to the project their insight, intelligent analysis of online communications and impressively thorough materials research. They chose not to mess with visual tradition but they did tackle how to make a long name less cumbersome.
The designs were presented to the association’s committee and the chosen work passed back to me to turn into a functional visual identity, artwork for physical and Facebook banners and a bookmark. I took care to respect the students’ work – the final design is based on a combination of two students’ work and broader thinking from the group – and the school’s identity.
At every stage, I’ve logged my process for a student resource.
Design and technology teacher Gerard Cocker says. “Thank you so much on behalf of the school population and especially those involved in the project. You were an example of what can be achieved with hard work and seeking out, in your case, expert knowledge.”