Graphic Design for a Global Marketplace, London – A GC Study Aboard follow-up
Last May, a small group of Clemson students – both graduate and undergraduate – took part in the first study abroad class in the department’s history; Graphic Design for a Global Marketplace. The concept was for students to study in the world capital of London, England and get a feel for how packaging and branding can be altered for use in a global marketplace and then redesign a typical American products and “present” them for sale in an international landscape.
The students, five from Graphic Communications and one from Packaging Science, spent the entire month of May in the UK learning not only to take a wider view of packaging graphic design and marketing, from a global prospective, but also living and studying in a framework outside of their familiar North American concept of the world. They got a first hand view of both the similarities (and often extreme differences) in packaging and how and why packaging must reflect its cultural and geographical surroundings to be effective.
From their dorm in Islington, to their classroom around the corner from the British Museum in Bloomsbury, the students were immersed in the markets and products they were studying – many not only specific to the UK, but as a major crossroads – from all over the word. They saw them in context on the store shelf and even saw how familiar “American” brands deferred to the point of almost unrecognizable. With their redesign of American products for the British consumer they also learned a great deal about how such packaging is conceived with field trips and hands-on research including discussions and insight from one of the UK’s top agencies, Pi Global.
To paraphrase one student’s thoughts on the entire experience… “I feel when taking a class abroad, you learn more outside the classroom, simply participating in the daily life there, not just from PowerPoint presentations and lectures… I was relieved the class had just the right balance of structure and freedom as we were able to fully concentrate on our project redesigns and fully experience London.”
Enrollment for 2014 Study abroad program is now underway and is set to begin this summer, including several weeks of online classroom prep work before the trip begins. For more information, costs and travel details please contact Dr. Woolbright.