Prints tell viewers to go green

Design students created more than 1,000 prints for clean energy awareness.

Allison Wickler

Joel Haskard looked for artistic pieces with a message about renewable resources, but had little luck finding them.

That is until he left Borlaug Hall and found the answer to his search on the St. Paul campus.

“I went looking for some talent,” he said, “and found it next door.”

Haskard, the assistant coordinator for the University’s Clean Energy Resource Teams, teamed up with the University’s College of Design to create environment-themed screen prints to raise money for clean-energy projects around the state.

Students in James Boyd-Brent’s Color and Form in Surface Design created 18 poster designs and made 1,400 prints total, addressing issues such as global warming and resource conservation in the home.

The prints target a range of audiences, he said, from school-aged children to adults in the farming industry.

The posters vary in styles, from a child with a dandelion to a racy image of a pin-up girl directing viewers to turn down the heat.

Boyd-Brent said each student made between 30 and 100 original prints, which was clearly more labor-intensive than the five to six prints they usually create for each project.

The Clean Energy Resource Teams plan to distribute the posters at its regional meetings and project sites and encourage each group to sell them for $10, Haskard said.

The team, part of the University’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, began in 2003 to give Minnesotans resources to implement energy conservation and energy efficiency projects in their communities.

The funds will support community projects around Minnesota, including a solar hot

water project at a community center in Finland, Minn., an educational display about wind turbines in Proctor, Minn., and research for industrial-sized corn-burning stoves in Staples, Minn., he said.

Graphic design and Spanish senior and former Daily employee Jennifer Trooien said when Haskard talked to the class about the stipulations for the project, it gave students both an environmental and creative base.

“He wanted something that was art-based, not just a poster with a strong message – something more artistic that people are proud to show off and want to display,” she said.

Boyd-Brent said in addition to providing funds for community energy projects,

these prints help counteract the large amount of waste generated by the printing industry by using 100 percent recycled paper.

He also said the prints use less toxic, water-based inks instead of oil-based inks, a standard that has developed in the industry as a whole.

Fashion design sophomore Luci Kandler said the focus on the environment, sustainability and design in general in her classes is increasing, and this was an opportunity to learn more about that aspect of the industry.

“It has that sort of ethical dimension,” Boyd-Brent said. “There’s a lot of feeling in the posters.”