It’s crazy to think that graduation is only a couple days away and another year at JMU is coming to a close. This year for the Honors graduation Lina Akopov designed a new Honors College medallion! Here is the inside scoop on how her design came to life:
How did you get the opportunity to design the medallion?
I was asked to design the medallion as a design assistant for the Communications and Marketing Department during the summer of 2016.
What was your inspiration for your design on the medallion?
The medallion went through several different ideas and stages, but this final design is meant to display the James Madison (“Little Jimmy”) statue on campus. This idea was proposed to me by Bradley Newcomer, Dean of the JMU Honors College, who felt like utilizing the statue imagery would be special to graduating students. I thought this was a great idea. Instead of simply displaying the logo of the Honors College on the medallion, using an image of the statue would allow students to connect with a tangible aspect of JMU. I worked with this idea, attempting to balance the formality one would expect with a medallion and the sentimentality of the statue. To achieve the latter, I thought that rendering the campus behind the statue, rather than solely focusing on the statue, would create a more evocative image of JMU.
Why was designing this important to you?
I was really able to step outside of my usual boundaries to work on something very new to me. As someone who has primarily worked with print design, I had never really designed anything intended to be three dimensional before. It was a whole new design experience for me. I was also able to utilize some of my fine arts skills in the design process as well. Specifically, I was able to apply my knowledge of painting when I was creating the highlights and shadows for the digital mock-up of the medallion (and I really love painting!).
What do you hope people’s reactions to your design will be?
For the honors students who receive this medallion, I want it to be a special memento of their time at JMU. I want it to be something that they will look at years from now and be filled with memories of their time at the university. After all, each student does spend approximately four years at JMU, so it becomes an important part of their lives and shapes a large part of who they are.