The University Record, February 12, 2001

Photo story: Design students are real-life winners

Students in a graphic design class at the School of Art and Design were challenged by the Chlorine Free Products Association to create a design attractive to fifth- and sixth-graders that would promote awareness of toxicity levels in manufactured products, and three of them have received awards for their work.

The semester-long research project about the social responsibility of persuasive media was completed by students of Dennis A. Miller, assistant professor of art.

In addition to being a ‘real-life’ experience of researching a topic and working with clients, joint projects with outside organizations such as the Chlorine Free Products Association introduce students to the possible negative effects their chosen area of study or profession may have on society as a whole, Miller explains.

‘During the 20th century, printers and designers convinced themselves that the best paper is as white as it can possibly be. As consumers, we accept bright, white paper as the standard, the norm.’

Meeting that standard, however, means that paper manufacturers use chlorine compounds to bleach all color from the wood pulp used to make paper. Over the past 30 years, the environmental impact of chlorine chemistry has become more serious, demonstrated by a dramatic increase in the levels of dioxin and other associated chemical compounds in water, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish.

Student award winners are Nate Streu (poster above), first place; Lauren Merrill, second place; and Kelly Labash, third place. The posters will be printed and distributed this spring.

Image courtesy Dennis A. Miller