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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Amherst Art Students Display Work At A&E Roastery For The Month of July


Hello all! I am pleased to announce that A & E Roastery in Amherst, NH will be displaying the work of five of my art students for the month of July in their café on Route 101A. 


The work is the product of my most recent art class, held after school at Amherst Middle School entitled "Art As A Career: The Graphic Design and Illustration Challenge." The class introduced students in grades 6-8 to the exciting careers available to artists today in the design industry.
As part of the class, the students created a label for a bag of "Earth Day Blend" coffee based on the specifications provided by real-world client, A & E Roastery.  Along the way, students were able to brainstorm and create a comprehensive illustration, select fonts that were readable and complemented their illustrations, and create a design that included all of the elements the client required. Quite a challenge, and the results are fresh and creative.

The students who have work on display are Hailey Hull (Grade 7), Cassandra Jillson (Grade 8), Sarah Kayser (Grade 7), Eliza Mastergeorge (Grade 7), and Lucy Stover (Grade 7).

The completed designs will be on display at A & E Coffee Roastery through the month of July in their café. A & E Roastery is a retail and wholesale café providing each customer with personalized service and the finest coffee and tea possible in a business that promotes environmental stewardship and economic fairness to growers. This display is part of an ongoing monthly series encouraging local arts. They are located at 135 Route Route 101A and open Monday -Friday: 6:30am - 6pm , Saturdays: 8am - 6pm, and Sundays: 9am - 5pm.

Hailey used colored pencils for her illustration. 
Cassandra used colored pencils for her illustration. 

Sarah used watercolor and ink for her illustration.

Eliza used cut paper for her illustration.

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Art teacher-y Stuff: A & E had a label design contest in February 2013 and gave all of the specs for the project online on their website. I saw this and thought "what a great project for my students!" I didn't have access to computers, so I had to do some creative thinking about how we'd do the design work and have a real-life finished product.

So, the first class, we brainstormed and did thumbnail sketches. Then the students created comprehensive drawings and we discussed different ways they could create their illustrations: cut paper, watercolor & ink, watercolor and colored pencils, or colored pencils. I gave demos on all four techniques.

In week two, the students were able to complete their illustrations and then I gave them a sheet that had a list of all of the components that needed to me on the finished label:

Each label needed to meet the following criteria:
  • A full color illustration
  • Include the title of the coffee ("Earth Day Blend")
  • Contain the A & E Logo
  • Contain the USDA Organic Logo
  • Display the coffee description
  • Include the text "Date Roasted" with a space to handwrite the date
  • Include the bag weight: 1 lb.
  • Display the A & E Contact Info (URL, Town, State, and telephone number)
  • Finished label size of 3" x 4"
I had all of the text and the logos printed on paper and the students literally cut and pasted them to create labels. I had 6 different fonts and three different colors of backgrounds with the fonts (dark green, black and white). The logos were in a variety of sizes, so they could choose what worked best with their design.

Their finished labels were mounted on black mat board just like we would do if we were showing them to a client. But for the show, I took a color photocopy of each label and mounted them on coffee bags (thank you A & E for those!). I then mounted the coffee bags to black foam core I bought at the dollar store. Seeing the labels on the coffee bags makes them look real!

If you are an upper elementary art teacher and want to include graphic design and illustration in your curriculum, this is a wonderful project! I highly recommend it!

Enjoy!


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