Creative Writing and Graphic Design Collaboration Provides Real-World Experience

By Caitlin Burns | June 28, 2021

By Katherine Haines ’21, ’22

Arcadia students in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in Creative Writing got the chance to see their manuscripts in book form after collaborating with Art and Design students. The cross-disciplinary project brought together Christian Patchell’s Typography class and Stephanie Feldman‘s English Workshop II, which paired up 13 MFA first-year students and 21 Art and Design students to give them real-world collaboration experience. 

Writers in the Workshop II class began the spring semester with a Thesis Summary assignment that included their vision and basic art direction for the artists. These visions were shared with the “Design Team” by mid-semester and used as the Typography class’s third assignment.

The Typography class mixes many different art disciplines like graphic design, illustration, and printmaking and is offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Even as the classes were held virtually, this collaboration was embraced by both courses and helped to encourage even more discussion between students.

This is the second time these courses have collaborated on this project; the project’s success may lead to it becoming an annual event and continues to build bridges between disciplines and give students experience in fostering real-world partnerships. 

“For two years now, MFA students have been excited to see the way visual artists have interpreted their writing,” said Joshua Isard, director of the MFA program. “It helps these writers to understand how their work is received, and also serves as an inspiration for them going forward.”