QU Design Course Assists Adams County Court


Quincy University’s ART 455 (Advanced Graphic Design) course spent the spring semester helping the Adams County court system improve its visibility. QU alumna Shelby Hoiness ’16, Assistant Public Defender of Adams County, contacted Professor Gary Meacher in hopes of finding a student willing to do design work for Adams County Courts . Hoiness is also a member of the Adams County Problem Solving Court Team, a group that helps defendants (and often repeat offenders) adjust to a healthier lifestyle.

Professor Meacher turned the idea into a class project so his students could engage with the community and work within real-world boundaries.

“Any project that ends up being jotted down and piled on my desk is a missed opportunity,” said Gary Meacher, MFA, assistant professor of design. “I want our students to see their work in action, whether it’s working with real clients, nonprofits, or through services.”

The design challenge: to develop an informative poster to help communicate the opportunity the problem-solving court provides to people who struggle to make positive change in their lives and who often find themselves stuck in a negative cycle.

Advanced Graphic Design students researched the court, target audience, local demographics, and the environment in which the poster might be displayed. They spoke with graduates of the program, people who have taken the necessary steps to change their lives, and gained insight into what motivates people to participate.

All of the students completed the project with viable solutions, but the problem-solving team had the final say on which one would be best printed and posted in a variety of places. Peyton Wiseman’s work was chosen as the most successful visual direction. Wiseman is a graphic design specialist from Payson, Illinois.

“Everyone was very, very impressed with all the hard work,” said Adams County assistant public defender Shelby Hoiness ’16. “The drawings were all fantastic. We showed them to all of our current participants and they really appreciated that the course took the time to create something for them and future participants.

On May 12, Professor Meacher and Peyton Wiseman visited the Adams County Courthouse for the culmination of the project and the chance to see the final posters printed and ready to display.

“I’m so proud of the class’ efforts on this project,” Meacher said. “It’s such a beautiful microcosm of what we want the QU experience to be – working with alumni, engaging the community, preparing our students for their careers with real-world experiences, and embracing the value of service.”

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University is a small Catholic university with an emphasis on the sciences, liberal arts, and professions. Quincy University offers undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that incorporate practical experience and Franciscan values. Faculty and advisors work with students to design personalized success plans to help them graduate on time, find their passion, and prepare them for life. QU is a member of NCAA Division II for intercollegiate athletics. For more information, please visit www.quincy.edu or contact the Office of Community Relations at (217) 228-5275 or [email protected] Quincy University. Success by design.


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