Student designs her way to the top

Graphic design student Brittany Barr will join The Rattlers and Wildcats football players in showcasing their talent at the Walt Disney Florida Classic game as the winner of the design contest for both the football game and the State Farm Battle of the Bands.

The 21-year-old senior from Jacksonville won the annual events’ first design competition, which challenged graphic design students from FAMU and Bethune Cookman University to create a program cover for both Classic events.

“It was our inaugural year [the design competition] and we really didn’t know how much participation we were going to get,” said Bradford Gillens, the Florida Classic assistant. “But we were impressed by what we saw,” Gillens said.

Although only 10 students submitted designs for the competition, Barr was the lone FAMU student to enter the contest. Barr said that she did not find out about the contest until the morning of deadline.

“I actually came to campus early to work on another project, and I saw the flier sitting on the desk,” Barr said. “I got the guidelines for the contest and started at about 9 a.m.”

Despite the tight deadline, Barr was able to craft the winning design by 4 p.m. the same day.

“I was O.K. with it,” said Barr of the pressing time schedule. “I work better under pressure anyway.”

Barr enlisted the help of one of her professors, Vincent Blyden.

“I was having some trouble setting up the guidelines and things like that, so [I asked] professor Blyden to help me out,” Barr said.

Using photographs from the 2006 Classic, Barr created a montage of the event featuring pictures from the game, the Battle of the Bands, and Disney characters.

Although Barr submitted her entry by deadline, she was not completely confident that she would garner a victory.

“When I was working I wasn’t really inspired by anything,” Barr said. “I didn’t think I was going to win.”

Barr said her fears were almost confirmed when she didn’t hear back on the day she was expecting to.

“They were supposed to announce the winners on a Friday,” Barr said. “But by Tuesday I hadn’t heard back, so I assumed I had lost.”

It turned out Barr had neglected to put her contact information on the application.

“But when I found I won I was so excited,” Barr said.

Director of the Division of Graphic Communication Arvid Mukes expressed excitement, saying that Bar was an exemplary student.

“It was marvelous,” Mukes said. “For her to do such great work on a short turnaround was excellent.”

Barr said that the intense course work that she receives at FAMU helped prepare her to perform well while on deadline.

“I get four assignments for class every week,” Barr said. So this was just like another assignment.”

Gilden said the selection committee was impressed with the professional nature of the design.

“Her attention to detail is what put her over the top,” Gilden said. “It looks very professional. Once people see that this is done by a student from their school or their rival school, it will peek interest.”

Gilden said the contest was developed to maximize student involvement in the annual event.

“A lot of time people forget it’s all about the students,” Gilden said. “There is a lot of focus on the alumni, but at the end of the day we wanted to make sure that we had as much student participation as possible.”

In addition to having her design displayed on the brochure, Barr will receive two free tickets to the game.