EnSight Magazine Launch

L-R: Stephanie Kates, Lindsey Beaver, Rebecca Holden, Kristen Bernhard, Brian Hourihan, Justin Miller, Dr. Richard E. Wylie (President)

L-R: Dean Mark Town, Amy Grigg, Annie Wilcox, Lindsey Beaver

L-R: Linda Klein (faculty), Rebecca Holden, Lindsey Beaver, Annie Wilcox, Cynthia Roberts (faculty)

L-R: Elijah Gould (AIGA student group president), Amy Grigg, Rick Haynes (faculty)

In December 2007, the AIGA student group at Endicott College released its second issue of the magazine EnSight. Throughout the semester, students meet weekly at Endicott’s Art Center to discuss trends, current events, and concepts for the magazine. They are responsible for the ideas, content creation, layout, design, and production of the total publication.

New Beginnings

EnSight’s development began shortly after Endicott launched its AIGA student group in the fall of 2006. The magazine—created in the group’s infancy—is a testimony to the students’ motivation and commitment to the pursuit of design as practice. The name, EnSight, is a combination of “Endicott” and “Insight”—strategized via Facebook message boards during winter break 2006-07.

“I knew this was a chance to do something different than other clubs on campus. I wanted it to be an organization students would join because of their passion for design, rather than for their resume,” states Elijah Gould, Endicott’s AIGA student group president. “My favorite part of the process is brainstorming ideas… I love seeing new members bring new ideas to the table.”

Cynthia Roberts, Endicott’s faculty advisor, speaks to the EnSight gestalt: “The students are taking on leadership roles, and creating an expression of what they are learning through design. By having ownership to the magazine’s form and content, the students approach the process with integrity—and a sense of authorship.”

Creating a Culture of Awareness

After a successful launch of the magazine in the Spring of 2007, students applied for a college-wide grant opportunity, The Political Awareness Fund, a special Presidential award created as a catalyst to inspire students to increase their political awareness through unique on-campus projects. Through this grant, students develop a growing engagement with the politics and politicians, within the context of contemporary culture.

Gould states: “The grant idea came up after we realized how difficult and expensive it was to publish a magazine… it needed to grow to mature. Being involved in the magazine made me aware of issues facing the world today, and it played a huge part in getting me to vote for the first time.”

“Culture creator”—words that comes to mind when Roberts describes EnSight. “The magazine is a vehicle towards developing a culture of ideas through the design process—a small look into the mindset of students from the twenty-first century. The group had the freedom and support from both AIGA and the grant to express their ideas.”

Process: A Collaborative Approach

EnSight is developed via a mentorship process, driven by upper level undergrads paired with freshmen and sophomores. Roberts describes the mentorship process as “organic,” stating  “we didn’t really plan it that way… it just came together and it seemed to make perfect sense.”

Gould describes the EnSight collaboration: “We all gravitate to what we enjoy, get into groups and just go from there. I feel our relaxed atmosphere and flexibility are what makes us strong… everyone has a say and the younger students learn from the upperclassmen. I try to pair every group working on a spread with a junior or senior to get things going.”

Each group presents a spread for the magazine during weekly critiques. Recently, the group invited their first guest critic, creating an opportunity to view their work through a professional designer’s eyes. Additionally, the student group has doubled in size and the print run for the magazine has increased.

“The students are proud to build something that reflects their sense of creativity merged with social responsibility. This process helps the students realize the possibilities of their relationship to AIGA and to the world… and how that relationship extends beyond the walls of the classroom.”

About the School

The School of Art and Design at Endicott College offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, giving students the opportunity to study Creative Arts Therapy, Graphic Design, Photography, and Studio Art; and the Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design with an option for a concentration is Sustainable Design. The School also offers Minors in Art History, Music, Photography, and Studio Art. For further information regarding the AIGA Student Group and EnSight Magazine at Endicott College please call Kathleen Moore at (978) 232-2655.

By AIGA Boston
Published February 1, 2008