by Elizabeth Stone
University of West Georgia students are once again featured in the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt Design Contest. Two of the five finalists, Natasha Stansel and Kristen Cone, are graphic design students currently enrolled at UWG. The public can continuously vote for their favorite design at www.ajc.com/s/sports/peachtree/. The winning design will be featured as the 2014 Peachtree Road Race official t-shirt and will be announced at the race finish line on July 4, 2014.
Natasha Stansel's design is on the left, and Kristen Cone's piece is on the right.
This is the sixth consecutive year that UWG students have been selected for the contest. Last year, four of the five finalists were students at UWG, including the 2013 design contest winner Justin Dunbar. Each year, the students create their contest entry designs as part of the “professional practices in design” class, taught by Clint Samples, associate professor of art at UWG.
"I'm very proud of Kristen and Natasha,” Clint says. “They worked hard on their designs, and I know they are both excited to be selected. The entire class did a great job and overall, we submitted some really nice designs this year. I'm glad we could keep the streak going and hopefully the winner will be another UWG art student."
Though equally impressive, each student used unique approaches in creating their designs, drawing on inspiration of the race, Atlanta and the 4th of July holiday. Both Natasha and Kristen created designs that are demographic, age and gender neutral, ensuring that the final product would be representative of all participants in the race.
Natasha, a senior majoring in art education, decided to blend a traditional artistic approach with graphic design to create an innovative look. “I wanted to create a design that was energetic and lively, and provided a festive, patriotic feel without relying on only red, white and blue colors,” she says. “I wanted it to have an ‘artist’ touch rather than a digitally-created look, not only in the actual image but also in the majority of the text.”
Natasha began by writing the word ‘Peachtree’ several times using a paintbrush with black ink on white paper. Once she settled on the lettering, she used oil pastel to draw the abstract of the peach. She scanned her hand drawn elements into the computer and then digitally layered them to create her final piece.
Kristen decided on a different approach. As a junior majoring in photography and graphic design, she used the inspiration of geometric shapes to create her final entry. She began with multicolored triangular shapes arranged in the shape of a peach, but in order to make the design representative of the race, she altered it a bit. She decided to replace the triangular shapes with the silhouettes of runners.
Originally from the Atlanta area, Cone is excited that her design could represent one of the city’s mainstay events. “It really is a blessing and an honor to have my design chosen to represent something that is so important to the Atlanta culture,” she says. “To know that I am part of something that helps represent our independence, freedom and the state of Georgia at the same time is amazing to me.”
Also from the Atlanta area, Natasha is proud to have the opportunity to be a finalist and to represent UWG. “I really felt like it was a dream come true,” she says. “Then I began to think about how in the past few years, at least one UWG student, and oftentimes more than one student, had their design chosen as a finalist. I am super proud to carry on that tradition for the University of West Georgia.”
For more information on the race, please visit www.peachtreeroadrace.org.