Denfeld Zine Project

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Denfeld Zine Project

Zine Collaboration with Denfeld High School 9th Grade Students

Many of my assignments focus on how to integrate the community into the design and design research process. Specifically, I focus on the representation of marginalized voices in design and how design can give voice or communicate their experiences.

In this project, students developed illustration and typographic layout skills to create a contemporary zine (pronounced “zeen”). Students were required to debrief their client, in this case, a 9th-grade student from Denfeld High School. I required the students to read through their assigned stories and break up the story where they see fit, mimicking the real-life experience of a client needing a lot of guidance. Each spread included at least one illustration or manipulation of typography. I had students research zine culture to help influence their layouts.

Debriefing Our Client

Before the project began, I worked with Brian Jungman to come up with prompts that would have the students think creatively on solutions to real world problems while telling their own experiences. The prompts included:

  1. Write about a time when you’ve faced an ethical dilemma(s). Create an ethics guide with concrete examples of good and bad choices.
  2. What team of superhumans need to exist to make the world a better, more equitable place? What kinds of powers do they have, what code do they live by, what are their first acts as superhumans?
  3. What does it mean to be a responsible citizen on the internet? Create an internet etiquette guide.
  4. A being from outer space becomes lost in orbit and finds their way to earth. Create a guide to introduce them to our world and to help humanity include their newest visitor.
  5. What is the greatest act of service you can do for someone else? Create stories that develop characters to become better citizens.
  6. What makes a well functioning and equitable society? Create your own school, educational system, and/or government.

The 9th graders were instructed to create a variety of poems, short stories, journal entries, and song lyrics to create their zine. My graphic design students met with the students at the beginning and middle of the project to review content and show their progress to their clients.

Final Books

After the completion of the zines, the graphic design students came back to Denfeld to present the final products to the 9th graders with copies for each of them and a process presentation.

The work featured above are from the following students:

  • “Broken But Not Different” Written by Mallorie Schwartz and Gigi Boheim, Designed by Madalina Kelner
  • “The Marshall Adventures” Written by Cailyn Volkenant and Leah Nelson, Designed by Tara Anderson
  • “Election Day” Written by Kenyon Gilbert and Abby Ojard Illustrations, Designed by Libby Cook
  • “Three Wrongs Make a Right” Written by Alezea and Alayna, Designed by Morgan Hameister
  • “A New Home” Written by Mason Mahlum, Designed by Kristin Heater
  • “Stand Up” Written by Malik Jones, Designed by Kalley Hintermeyer
  • “Jim and Toby Play Ball” Written by Darian Lewandowski, Designed by Alli Urevig
  • “Zork Tours Earth” Written by Per Johnson, Tommy Kishida, and Davin Williams, Designed by Josiah Van Steeg
  • “It’s a New Place” Designed by Lauren Kotz