Some brainstorming leading up to an annual Graphic Design Summit led to a mural that brightens the hallway—and inspires students—at Parchment Central Elementary School.

+

November 2019

The yearly summit brings together the entire team of graphic designers for a day of celebration, recognition, education, and fun. In 2019, the theme for the summit was gratitude and giving back. In the planning leading up to the event, one person offered a long-time desire to create a mural that brought color and art to the community, another realized she had several connections to teachers and administrators in area schools, and the idea was born.

After Parchment Central Elementary School affirmed their enthusiasm for receiving a hallway mural, the design team organized a competition for concepts. Four teams competed, gathering information and inspiration from school employees. Each team developed one or two concepts and presented them to the principal and staff at the school. “Some went as far as mocking it up on a photo of the wall,” said Tessa Souers, leader of Graphic Design Operations.
+
+
+

+

The concept selected by the Parchment staff was developed and proposed by Nicole VanDyke, Lukas Gallegos, and Carlie Vanklompenberg. The team’s goal was to make the mural relatable to elementary-age kids through a light-hearted and whimsical approach. In a hand-drawn and -lettered style, it highlights words of encouragement the staff had said would reinforce the culture they work to create.

The real team-building began when it was time to apply the chosen concept to the wall, the afternoon of the Graphic Design Summit. Again, a call went out to the graphic designers for volunteers, not all of whom needed to wield a brush. “We had people going on snack runs, donating supplies, and providing moral support,” Tessa said.

+

+

The whole purpose of the summit is coming together as a team, celebrating our strengths and the way they complement each other.
- Tessa Souers, Graphic Design Operations Leader

+

+
+
“Actually painting the mural was a good problem-solving exercise,” Tessa continued. “None of us had done this before. We weren’t sure how to project onto the wall, work in a tiny space, make sure the paint would stick on the wall…. We had to be resourceful with donated supplies and equipment.”

One important result is that “the project worked perfectly with the whole purpose of the Graphics Summit,” Tessa said, “coming together as a team, celebrating our strengths and the way they complement each other.”

The other important result was the reaction from the principal and staff. Julie Kaemming, the principal, said, “The mural is AMAZING!!! Everyone at school absolutely loves it; it is so welcoming and inviting.”

+

Explore additional stories