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Art Students Land Unique Airport Design Project

Four California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) art students are creating designs for a unique welcome sign at the Long Beach Airport that will be seen by hundreds of airline passengers and drivers on the San Diego (I-405) Freeway every day. 

Erin Clark, Janice Fong, David Ly and Ryan Milner – four of the 13 students in the fall graphic design workshop led by Professor Emeritus Tom Hall – are each designing an art deco sign that incorporates wings, a compass, sun rays and waves. Airport officials will select one student’s artwork to be constructed on a dirt berm that is about 280 feet long and 22 feet high and sits at the end of runway 1230. 

“We are going to take the center section of the berm and put a 100-foot-wide welcome sign on it,”  said Michael Slama, capital projects coordinator for the City of Long Beach.  “It will be highly visible from the Southbound 405 Freeway and half of all airplane passengers will taxi past it en route to departure.” 

The airport project is just one of many that students have undertaken in the graphic design workshop, an on-campus design studio that provides real-world experience working with clients, staying within a budget and meeting deadlinesStudents have also designed a calendar for Long Beach-based Queen Beach printers as well as unique die cut holiday cards that were printed in eight different inks — including gloss and matte coatings over gold and silver metallics — that recipients had to put together like a puzzle.  They designed the cover of the 2008-09 university catalog, class schedules, posters and postcards for CSULB’s dance department, a logo for CSULB’s Kaleidoscope event and more.   In the past, students have worked on other high-profile projects, including the logo for the Aquarium of the Pacific. 

Long Beach Airport officials will select the design for the berm in upcoming weeks. Then they will determine how to reproduce it.  Construction on the sign is scheduled to take place in 2009. 

“By working with the graphic design workshop we were able to obtain the community outreach element along with professional service at a reasonable cost to the City,"  Slama said.  “These students are amazing.  Everyone has been very impressed with their work.”

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