Necessity fuels creativity in “I Care!” mask design contest

3rd May 2021

By Steven Krolak

(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)–Necessity is the mother of invention. And there’s no bigger necessity than social distancing during a pandemic.

Hence the “I Care!” mask design contest, a collaboration involving the graphic design program, Campus Life and student support offices that awarded scholarships to winning student creations.

Contestants were able to enter up to three designs each. Online voting took place on Facebook with a total of 14 designs up for the prize.

The winners of the “I Care!” mask contest are:

First Place: Tony Engle
Second Place: Annamae Harmon
Third Place: Shane Sartell

The idea for the contest was first broached by Dr. Seuth Chaleunphonh, dean of student life, inspired by a similar initiative at IUPUI. Chaleunphonh was joined by Dr. Kok-Cheow Yeoh, assistant professor of fine arts (graphic design area), and Dr. Julia Mattingly, assistant professor of nursing, as the final judges. In the final analysis, the judges agreed with the popular vote.

From a design standpoint, the contest presented several challenges, according to Yeoh. The design had to work within the “I Care” theme, visualizing the message to suggest how they care. Students were allowed to work with direct, representational, abstract, pictorial or graphical elements. Finally, they had to create a flat two-dimensional design that would work on the three-dimensional surface of a human face.

“Tony Engle’s winning design features IU-inspired colors and has a collegiate look and feel, with a good blend of serif font used on the letter ‘I’ and calligraphic typestyles on words like ‘wear’ and ‘care,'” Yeoh said. “It also has a sedate background that adds a nice contrast to the graphic elements that are centrally ploaced in the middle, making it legible and noticeable.”

Annamae Harmon’s design, in contrast, used simple, recognizable icons as patterns to fill the entire surface of the mask, while Shane Sartell chose to emphasize our closeness to our grandparents, who are most at risk from the coronavirus.

Yeoh has won approval from the IU Southeast Office of Marketing and Communications for the winners to rework their designs to fit IU-approved vendors’ templates, so that the masks can actually be produced.

So if you happen to see a particularly creative mask on campus in the near future, it may have been designed by a talented Grenadier.

Homepage photo: Winning mask design by Tony Engle. Courtesy of Kok-Cheow Yeoh.

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