Save the Date
See more of Rocio’s work, along with the work of over 2,000 graduating students at this year’s Manifest Urban Arts Festival happening on May 4th all over the South Loop all. day. long. Don’t miss out!
Each year the entire Manifest brand is rethought, with everything re-imagined from the Manifest website, to the buttons, posters and, of course, the iconic T-shirt.
At the heart of this process is the student creative director whose design is the seed for the entire brand. This year’s Manifest student creative director is Rocio Lopez, a Venezuela native who moved to Chicago in 2006.
“The concept for this year’s Manifest is based on a grid structure that would convey the narrative of Columbia’s textures,” Lopez, a graphic design major, said. “It’s an abstract of the things and places we as a community interact with while at school.”
The grid structure pulls from locations and textures many students may be familiar with; an examining at the photos may bring about an “aha” moment for students who have studied, socialized or walked past some of the areas the photos capture.
“I hope [students] see a part of themselves reflected in the poster,” Lopez said. “Not so much in a literal sense, because that is hard to capture, but a bigger picture of being a student at Columbia and looking forward to a career in the arts.”
To apply to be the student creative director of Manifest, students must take the Brand Identity class within the Art + Design department, with their final project being the Manifest submission. Columbia students voted for their favorite concept, choosing Lopez.
Lopez collaborated with several other students to complete the project, including Jane Kim who shot the photos for the poster and Vicente Vasquez and Greg Wegener, both design students who helped her take the merchandising and branding past the conceptual level.
I think that building a solid creative process, and being knowledgeable of your industry goes a long way in getting your work to do the talking for you.
Rocio Lopez, 2012 Manifest Student Creative Director
It was this creative posse – formed through mutual friendships and class – that helped Lopez develop Manifest’s new image. “Rocio designed the branding work for the campaign, and then my self along with Greg are used as a creative team to expand her branding onto variables like T-shirts, postcards and interactive pieces,” Vasquez said.
As Lopez graduates, her piece of advice for underclassmen is the age-old Columbia buzzword.
“I think that building a solid creative process, and being knowledgeable of your industry goes a long way in getting your work to do the talking for you,” Lopez said. “I am sure a lot of students have heard the word network about a hundred times per semester. For an industry that is driven by relationships, it’s a no-brainer. But again, I am still working on figuring this out as well.”