WSC Pushes Opportunities to Utilize Skills in Real Life

Aubreanna Miller, Editor-in-Chief

      Wayne State College’s Planetarium unveiled its brand-new banner, created by graphic design major Jillian Grantham. 

Last year, the previous banner, designed by a WSC student around 10 years ago, blew away in a large windstorm. Todd Young, a professor and director of the planetarium, had seen this as a perfect opportunity to update the banner, giving a new life to that area of campus.  

“College can be a bit of a bubble, so I jump on any opportunity I can to offer a real-world experience to students,” Young said. “It was a great way to get students involved on campus and Jillian’s design became a perfect addition to the planetarium.” 

Young offered parameters for what he wanted to see in a design, but the students mostly had creative freedom. His vision for the new banner included a space theme, a person in the picture and an enticing color scheme. He also asked designers to incorporate his favorite catch phrase to describe the planetarium: “Your gateway to everywhere.” 

This banner came from a special project given by Professor Josh Piersanti in his Graphic Design I class. Piersanti introduced the assignment to the class to utilize the lesson in a real-world setting. The students had the opportunity to meet with a client, hear their wants and formulate a piece of work that will go into print for use in real life.  

Each student produced a concept, a main design and offered feedback for their classmates to turn in two designs each.  

Grantham took Young’s phrase and composed a student standing in front of a gateway, opening their world to the space beyond.  

“When I was brainstorming, that was definitely something that had stuck out to me,” Grantham said. “I wanted to see how I could tie that in, so I chose to incorporate a real gateway.” 

  Young described the decision to choose a banner as extremely hard, saying every student turned in magnificent work that would have acted as a great representation of the planetarium.  

Another design, Grantham remembered, depicted a girl stepping out of a space station into a cluster of constellations.  

At the end of the fall semester, Young and other decision makers picked their top choices and gave them back with feedback to whittle down the choice once more. During finals week, the students updated fonts, fixed sizing and changed anything else asked by the directors.  

After coming back from winter break, Grantham had not heard anything and assumed they had decided on another design. Feeling a bit disappointed, she did not expect the email that came just a few weeks later making her aware of the decision. She then sent in her last updates, keeping in mind the picture would have to stretch to 25 feet.  

By the end of the spring semester, WSC assembled the banner, which now lives on the south side of the Carhart Science building.  

“One of my friends told me they had put it up, so I walked over there and saw it in person. That is when I got really excited,” Grantham said.  

Young invites students and faculty to come see the banner in person right before attending a Planetarium show. To find dates for shows, visit the website