Graphic design, the art of visual communication, combines symbols and images to send messages. Blair Stapp, a senior graphic design major at Auburn University, wants her messages to promote community involvement and giving back to others.
On Saturday, Aug. 29, local businesses joined together and hosted a block party on Gay Street next to Amsterdam Cafe. Stapp designed the poster for the block party and set up a table where she sold her art and photography.
“I always love doing design work for people, organizations and causes that I am passionate about,” said Stapp. “The block party brought together local businesses, local artists and local music. These are all three things that I am extremely passionate about.”
Last summer Stapp took her passion with her overseas where she studied abroad in Florence, Italy, at the University of the Arts. She took two design courses, digital photography and jewelry making. She fell in love with the art, the gelato and the experience.
“To have an opportunity to study art in a city known for its rich artistic history is truly life changing,” said Stapp.
This fall Stapp is working with a doctoral student in biology. He is writing his thesis on south Alabama’s endangered species. Stapp is creating posters and fliers to bring awareness to his cause.
Originally a business major, Stapp developed her passion for design at Auburn. After the first week Stapp knew something was missing. Without knowing what graphic design entailed, she decided to give it a try.
“I switched into graphic design not even knowing what it was, and I found out I really enjoyed it,” said Stapp.
The graphic design program falls under the Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction.
This year Auburn’s Bachelor of Architecture program was ranked second in DesignIntelligence Magazine surveying other university deans and departments.
Stapp believes the success of the college is directly related to the strong relationships built between the students and faculty.
“One thing I think is really unique about our program is the aspect of community,” said Stapp. “There are only seven faculty members, so you get this one-on-one time with the teachers who have had insane experience in the design field. That is hard to find at other universities.”
With graduation around the corner, Stapp is unsure where her passion for design will take her.
“All I know is that after school I want to do good design for good people, wherever that may be,” said Stapp. “I would like to work either for a non-profit organization or a design firm whose clientele is made up mostly of non-profits, sustainable businesses with an emphasis on the importance of local business.”
Utilizing her talents to focus on the community instead of the profit, Stapp is a shining example of the type of student that Auburn University represents.