Each year I look forward to the Montana State University Graphic Design Thesis Show. One reason is because I am an alumni of the MSU Design program but an even bigger draw for me is the truely awesome work the students produce year after year. Each student is given a semester to create a theoretical or actual business and present a final design project that would work in the real world. Each year I leave the show inspired and intrigued by the talent at MSU.

Students tackled design projects for mobile coffee shops, video game inspired apparel, iPad apps, Japanese language flashcards and tons more. In the gallery above you can see all of the projects and below I let you know what my favorites of the show are.

2012 MSU Graphic Design Thesis Show

I really enjoyed the design your own monster project by Emily Newhouse (sorry I don't remember the exact name of it.) The bright colors and playfulness immediately drew me into the project. Not only did Emily bring these creatures to life with actual stuffed figures, but each was classified with a clever personality based on his/her physical traits. Emily even had a website that allowed you to design your creature the way you wanted. The presentation of her piece was perfect for the playfulness of her topic. I would imagine the display of the product being nearly identical if it were in a large mall somewhere in America. It's like Build A Bear for the alternative kids/adults!

Andrew Lockhart's 2012 MSU Graphic Design Thesis

Another of my favorite projects at the show, which has already evolved into a full fledged business, was Rockhart. Created by Andrew Lockhart, Rockhart is a retro video game inspired apparel company. The products on display featured a T-Shirt with the graphic of a severed arm clutching an NES controller and a T-Shirt with the iconic orange Duck Hunt gun in a beautifully illustrated style. The main logo for the company is an 8-bit rock fist which fits the brand brilliantly. I really have nothing bad to say about this project/company. The installation of the project also included a video screen constructed inside of an old pinball machine which had a slide show of pictures controlled by the flipper buttons of the pinball machine. Too cool! Check out Rockhart at www.rockhartclothing.com

Those are just a couple of my favorites. There are so many more to check out and view at the show I couldn't talk about here. Be sure to stop by today because it's the last day of the exhibit! Tonight there will be a huge closing reception.

The closing reception for the show which draws hundreds of attendees is tonight May 4th from 7pm to 9pm at the Helen E. Copeland Gallery in Haynes Hall at MSU. Stop by, eat some grub, chat with the designers and leave inspired.

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