The University Record, June 7, 1993

New IPPS flag reflects mission: ‘government based on learning’

By Kate Kellogg
News and Information Services

Margot S. Chazen, a graphic design student in the School of Art, has proven once again that the school is a rich source of fresh, in-house talent for U-M clients.

Chazen’s client is the Institute of Public Policy Studies (IPPS), which last fall received authorization from the provost to develop its own official flag. When IPPS Director Edward M. Gramlich looked to the art school for design possibilities, David Smith, instructor of the school’s graphic design workshop, assigned Chazen to the project.

So began another interdisciplinary collaboration between the art school and another unit. Like the art students who worked with the School of Natural Resources on benches for the Nichols Arboretum, Chazen worked closely with IPPS staff on the flag project. The institute provided the overall concept for the flag and Chazen created the graphic representation.

Chazen, who received her B.F.A. last month, spent much of the year drawing and revising rough sketches of the flag. She shared these renderings with Helene C. McCarren, assistant director of IPPS. “We wanted a flag that was strong but simple,” McCarren says. “We felt that a cluttered design, even if well executed, would not provide the immediately effective visual image that we wanted the flag to project.”

As the design progressed, Chazen and McCarren implemented suggestions from IPPS students and faculty and obtained approval for the final design from the IPPS core faculty.

The finished product expresses the idea of “government based on learning,” which is linked to the mission of the institute, McCarren says.

Chazen says her project is a good example of the type of work that students in the graphic design workshop produce. The selective workshop’s admission requirements include submission of portfolios and faculty recommendations. Once admitted, students do much of their work for non-profit groups outside of class as a way of gaining experience with real clients.

Chazen’s other workshop projects include advertising and posters for the Ann Arbor Civic Theater production of Cinderella.