SAIC AIGA created a virtual exhibition for graduating BFA and MFA students in the Visual Communication Design Department. At the end of every school year, SAIC AIGA puts on an exhibition for the VCD department. Due to COVID-19, we had to cancel our gallery exhibition and prepare to showcase virtually. Within a couple of months we created an identity for the show, curated the work of twenty-four designers, and showcased their designs on instagram.
This project was particularly challenging because it was the first group project where I was the design lead. As the president of the group, all final decisions in terms of the identity design, curation, and how we would showcase the work were up to me. It was definitely challenging having to alter my plan for the exhibition at the last minute. Like most designers during the quarantine, we had to figure out a way to overcome our physical barriers so that we could continue to design as a team. Essentially, we needed to think about how we could use the instagram platform to showcase as much work as possible as well as give each designer the spotlight they deserve.
We decided that it was very important to use the show as a tool for the featured designers to gain recognition for their hard work. We wanted to use all the features of instagram in order to shed light on these wonderful designers that were unable to have the graduation they deserved. We began by creating a playful identity mark that fueled the whole design of the identity system. We then moved forward with a countdown series which would be posted to our instagram story. The countdown stories including facts about the exhibition, design group, the featured designers, etc. It was a perfect way to gain an audience leading up to the first day of the show.
We then needed to think about the design of the actual exhibition. We decided to create a tiled layout on our instagram page, featuring portraits of all the designers. This was a nice way to link the exhibition posts together as well as separate them from the rest of our content on instagram. Each day, for the span of eight days, we posted three designers' work using the carousal feature on instagram. Each designer included up to five pieces of their work and a quote about their designs. We linked their website and instagram in the description so that anyone following could check out the rest of their work.
Like I mentioned before, we really wanted each designer to gain as much exposure as possible, so we also posted instagram stories each day for the designers featured on that particular day. The week long show turned out amazing and we ended it by highlighting the wonderful design team.
Click this link to check out the SAIC AIGA instagram page.