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Student Works Highlight Performing Arts Gala Activities
William Larsen was one of several students whose publicity poster helped announce the Performing Arts Center opening.

Feb. 2, 2006
by Laurie McLaughlin

William Larsen knew the feeling he wanted to portray as he set out to design the publicity poster announcing the Jan. 14 “Deborah Voigt and Friends” performance, which hung on the kiosks surrounding the new Performing Arts Center on campus. With an eye on both glamour and tradition, he visited a Fullerton antique shop, told the owner what he was looking for, and set up a camera studio right there in the store. He photographed the objects he thought he may use for a tableau reminiscent of a night at the opera, including a pair of mother-of-pearl opera glasses procured by the antiques dealer.

Larsen was one of 20 students in last semester's graphic design practicum taught by Theron Moore, assistant professor of art, and each student submitted two posters advertising the various events surrounding last month's center gala opening celebration. “The best posters are visually arresting and engage the viewer emotionally and/or intellectually,” says Moore. “Good design starts with intellect. Image-making follows.”

From among the several dozen posters submitted by students, Moore and Jerry Samuelson, dean of the College of the Arts, chose the final designs, including Larsen's. “Selection was based on visual appeal, clarity of communication and the strength of the concept,” says Moore. “Each design was tailored specifically for the nature of the event, and in no case was pre-existing or ‘stock' imagery used.” And, seeing their work leave the lab and serve its intended purpose was satisfying, he says. “The exposure that these posters provide for young designers is very valuable as they begin their careers.”

In Larsen's playbill design, at right, Voigt's photograph is set in a gilded frame with the opera glasses in the foreground arranged with his wife's wedding gloves, his mother's pearl necklace and vintage train tickets the senior researched online and reproduced himself.

“A lot of people don't realize how resourceful designers have to be,” says Larsen, who has already started his own business, Bright Light Design. He's enjoyed seeing his work posted on campus. “Most school projects are hypothetical, but having a job go to press is always gratifying.”

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Student William Larsen's poster for Jan. 14 performance.

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