AMES, Iowa — More than 70 students who will graduate with degrees in graphic design from Iowa State University in May will share their work in the Graphic Design Senior Show Thursday, April 27, in Des Moines.

Titled “Hello World,” the student-organized event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. in Hy-Vee Hall C at the Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St. in downtown Des Moines. The exhibition will feature senior capstone projects ranging from cookbooks for canines to satirical TED Talks to experiments in hands-on confrontation with a panoply of American social, cultural and economic issues, said Alex Braidwood, assistant professor of graphic design and faculty adviser for the senior show.

“The show is a celebration of the students’ time at Iowa State and an opportunity to show the world that the Midwest is ‘#midbest,’” Braidwood said. The senior class is using this hashtag to promote the exhibition on social media.

“This is who we are as a generation,” said graphic design senior Diana Casas, Ames. “We might be ‘Iowa nice,’ but we’re still confident in who we are.”

Admission is free and open to the public. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available. Those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP on the event’s Facebook or Eventbrite page, but a ticket is not required. Dress is casual. The show is co-sponsored by the ISU Department of Graphic Design and Ames graphic design firm Measure.

Eclectic variety of work

Casas will exhibit her plus-size clothing line and body-positivity campaign materials, she said. This will include renderings of physical stores, a website, posters, stickers and actual clothing from a collaboration with Jordan Hullinger of Leon, a senior in apparel, merchandising and design.

Casas hopes to promote body-type diversity through “accessibility, plus-size representation in models and diversity in clothing styles,” she said. “Women don’t have to fit into the binary clothing industry. There are ‘#nowrongcurves.’”

The “CodeblU” project by Samantha Haberl, Breda, promotes ocean sustainability with the goal of “increasing awareness of how much plastic is in the ocean.” Her campaign can be followed using the hashtag #afuturewithNOplastic. Using posters, stickers and a sculpture, Haberl seeks to highlight different products that protect the environment, she said.

Kaley Lempke, Livermore, will share her branding project that promotes healthy eating in children through development of a “healthy kids’ fast food restaurant.” Inspired by how her 18-month-old nephew is being raised to follow a healthy lifestyle, she has created menus, packaging and coloring books for children to get them excited about eating well.

New beginnings

A desire to create projects that make a difference is why students chose “Hello World” as the title for the event, Braidwood said. The phrase exemplifies the idea of “celebrating the new work coming out of the graphic design program” and a “new beginning” for the students as they complete their undergraduate degrees and head out into the workforce.

This is the second year the show, formerly held on the Iowa State campus in Ames, will take place in downtown Des Moines.

“There is a large art and design community in Des Moines and we want to tap into the community that students wish to participate in,” Braidwood said. Being downtown also makes it “a much more cultural event,” while the high ceilings and expansive space “are more conducive to projects at different scales,” he said.

Venue selection, branding and promotion for the show are all being done entirely by students. Over the next two weeks, preview videos will be released daily on Facebook.


Diana Casas, Graphic Design senior, dlcasas@iastate.edu
Samantha Haberl, Graphic Design senior, srhaberl@iastate.edu
Kaley Lempke, Graphic Design senior, knlempke@iastate.edu
Alex Braidwood, Graphic Design, (313) 595-3155 (text is best), abr@iastate.edu
Paige Adams, Design Communications, psadams@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu