AIGA’s “Love IS” event brings people together through difficult times

By Danielle Leonard

I wanted to do something that is a little scary for me which is showing bits of my body and personal story,” Maggie Halm, a graphic design major at Cleveland State University, said.

The AIGA organization hosted their second annual graphic design show on Friday Dec. 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Middough building. Halm is a part of AGIA’s organization and did a personal piece for her segment of the show.

This year’s theme was called “Love Is.”  This event was a response to the hate posters that were posted on campus against the LGBTQ+ community. AIGA stated they wanted to take a stand and position themselves in favor of a safe environment campus for everyone, without any exclusions.

The show had pieces that defined what love is according to the author and it also showcased projects done in design classes during the school year.

Helm’s piece was what love was to her. There were three photos of parts of her body with writing on them. The first picture was her arm which said, “There once was a boy who lay with me in bed and wrote words onto my skin.” The second picture was her thigh which said, “He tallied my marks and blemishes he drew hearts on my scars and stretched shell.” The last picture was her squishing her stomach which said, “I won’t share his words. But they sunk in even after he left. This was love.”

“I wanted to challenge myself to make a piece that actually meant something more to me, because graphic design is moreso marketing,” Helm said.  

There were many different types of pieces describing what love is to each author. Everyone had a different take.

A piece by Alejandro Meza shows two people holding hands and says, “Love Is Equal.” Alejandro wrote that love has no race, no ethnicity, no gender, no sexual preference and no religion. It is eternal, infinite and unique.

Miquel Bono Balcel made a piece that says, “Love is Respect because Rispetto è Fondamentale Respecte ès bàsic Respeto es la clave de todo.” Miquel wrote that he wanted to use the most basic and essential definition about love and to him that was respect. He created his own typeface based on the simplicity of the word. He stated that each letter is formed by very simple shapes. He used different languages that he speaks to show his background. The sentence can be translated into “Love is respect because respect is fundamental, respect is basic, respect is the key of everything.”

There were numerous pieces that showed how different everyone’s view of love is. The whole room was filled with support. In the front of the room was a paper with a marker that says “Love is.” Here people were encouraged to write what it is to them. Some of the words written were, complex, crazy, patient and comfortable.

These pieces that were made as a response to the hate posters that were posted on campus against the LGBTQ+ community showed the support Cleveland students have for one another.  

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