I was an active member of Clarkson’s student-run radio station from 2008-2011. During that time I served on their executive board, DJ’d three shows (including a daily morning show) and produced various designs for shirts, posters and ads. I had very little experience in graphic design when I started, and working for them taught me the value of personal and pro bono projects. I learned to explore new ideas, the value of learning new software and – most importantly – the inspired work that can happen when your skills align with your hobbies and interests.
Some time during my sophomore year, 2010, I was asked to create the annual club t-shirt. At that point in time I’d never used Illustrator and I was nervous about not being able to deliver after I said yes to the project – but I discussed a concept with the eboard and created the following comps.
The concept was aimed at students and showed the diversity of our club. New students could staff a remote event, book time in the recording studio, direct music and content on their own shows, or simply listen to the broadcasts and discover new music. There are lots of ways to engage. The final shirt design was simple and effective. It got the point across and the art was popular enough that it was recycled for a sweatshirt a year or two later.
We updated the brand in 2010 and the students on the executive board designed a new logo, website and identity system. We shifted our design aesthetic from an imposing, austere black-and-white identity to one with more energy and appeal to increase interest and membership in the club.
The station’s call letters, WTSC, are set in a typeface called Punk’s Not Dead. The default was the starting point for the station’s new logotype, but I modified it here and there in my later projects.
The messy, imperfect nature of this typeface lends itself well to custom projects and the results fit better tonally with our free-format, student-run programming. When I first started at the station there was an old printing press across the hall that some students would use to make posters and other art to advertise their shows. The new identity nicely references that bit of history and the homemade aesthetic and attitude that was such a part of my time there.
After I received my degree and left the station I continued to offer design work until early 2015. Some were personal projects that I offered to the students and some were commissions.