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Honouring CapU history through design

The challenge was to design a poster commemorating CapU’s 50th anniversary and third-year Bachelor of Design student Brynn Staples didn’t hesitate to dive in.

“I really wanted to contribute to the anniversary celebrations. It seemed like a great opportunity to honour the University,” says Staples, winner of the IDEA School of Design’s poster design contest launched in late July 2018.

With just three weeks to come up with a design concept, she started to sketch, write down ideas and to think about ways to convey those ideas visually, eventually settling on the rings of a tree.

“I was thinking about what really sets CapU apart. For me, it’s the fact that Capilano is so connected to the land and nature. I felt that the 50 tree rings were a way to honour the fact that Cap is turning 50, and also to show that Cap is growing. It was a way to recognize the past and look to the future.”

Brynn Staples

“I was thinking about what really sets CapU apart. For me, it’s the fact that Capilano is so connected to the land and nature. I felt that the 50 tree rings were a way to honour the fact that Cap is turning 50, and also to show that Cap is growing. It was a way to recognize the past and look to the future.”

Brynn Staples

She decided to use words to form the rings, borrowing stories about CapU history from the University’s 50th anniversary microsite. She initially started to hand-letter them, but switched to type as the lettering was too time-consuming and hard to read.

Instructor, Pascal Milelli says encountering a stumbling block is typical of design projects, where you often hit a “now what” moment and have to change course.

The concepts were presented as black and white sketches to the faculty judges in August.
“All the submissions had merit,” says Milelli, “and showed interesting thinking and process, which was a big part of the deliverable—to show how you think, and not just going with your first idea—because that reflects what happens in industry and what we teach in the program.”

Staples was excited that her design was selected to move forward. Faculty loved the understated, poetic feel of the piece and the “50 years and growing” tagline, says Milleli.

The final refined poster was printed with gold ink to honour CapU’s golden anniversary. If you look closely at the centre ring, you’ll find the University’s tagline, connecting through experience.

“I love the intersection of words and images,” says Staples, who has an English degree. “Design has the power to change the way we perceive and view things, and I like making people look at things differently.”

Interested in acquiring one of these posters? The first 10 people to request one by emailing comm-marketing@capilanou.ca will get one of these beautiful limited edition posters.

Written by: Shannon Colin

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