Art professor designs posters via screen printing

November 9th, 2012 Comments Off on Art professor designs posters via screen printing

(Photo from The Reflector)

(By DANIEL HART | The Reflector)

Assistant professor of art Jude Landry does not teach notorious subjects like calculus, physics or chemistry. Although he said he excelled at them in school, classes such as screen printing, where students learn to design and print posters, are his specialty. Just one among the graphic design courses he teaches, Landry’s screen printing class was brought to Mississippi State University with his return to the South. Continuing what he said has become a primary course in his repertoire, Landry constructed the class from scratch.

“I had taught a screen printing course in Illinois as a special topics graphic design class, and they wanted me to continue that here, so we set up a screen printing facility in Briscoe Hall. I’ve been teaching the class ever since,” he said.

In a time of commonplace digital technology, Landry said screen printing is his chosen method of producing work due to its inherent tactile qualities and broad range of possibilities.

“Screen printing is a valuable process today because it has a thicker layer of ink. You can print with metallic inks and colored papers these (digital) printers can’t use; it gives them a different quality you can’t reproduce,” he said.

The subject of the class is a natural extension of his inclinations, as Landry said poster design is his preferred format of work.

“I fell in love with posters in school. The possibilities are so wide. Throughout the past century, a lot of graphic design that was at the forefront of being innovative and creative was poster design,” he said. “Some of my design heroes are poster artists; it’s a simple format, a blank sheet of paper like a canvas for an artist.”

Landry said an infatuation with posters was a catalyst behind his decision to pursue graphic design, rather than architecture, at Louisiana Tech University.

“I had drawn some stuff in Microsoft Paint in high school, and I fell in love with posters and logos. I don’t think in high school I knew what graphic design was,” he said. “When I visited LA Tech and saw the work their students were producing, I thought, ‘This is pretty cool stuff, and I want to check it out,’ so I switched my major,” he said.

Landry said another graphic design element of particular interest to him is the creation of typography.

“Typography is what makes graphic design very unique; if you’re not using typography, you’re probably an illustrator or artist,” he said.

Though he has no formal education in lettering, Landry said he is self-taught and creates his own type projects to hone his skills.

“I’ve drawn entire alphabets, but never made them into a working font. To make a font you have to design uppercase, lowercase, numbers and punctuation. One day I’ll be able to knock out a whole font and feel good about it, like it’s competent,” he said.

“Not like Comic Sans or something,” he added with a laugh.

As both educator and artist, Landry said the personal work he does outside the required 18 hours of class contact time a week is either paid freelance work or personally-driven projects.

“A lot of the freelance work I do is custom illustration type design and logo making. Time not spent on paid freelance work is spent creating my own art prints and selling them online and at art and craft festivals,” he said.

Landry said he has spent time building his portfolio since he began selling at festivals and focuses on local opportunities to display his work.

“There are lots close by. I do the Cotton District Arts Festival, the Prairie Arts Festival in West Point, one in Jackson; I’ve started doing some in Nashville,” he said.

Aside from these unique opportunities to view and purchase Landry’s work, his posters, prints and T-shirts can be viewed and bought through his website, judelandry.com.

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