Heading to Toronto’s waterfront this weekend, or any weekend this summer? If you visit a new open-air food and drink festival you’ll experience the work of George Brown College students who created eye-catching designs for the event happening at the foot of Yonge Street.
Graphic Design students Christina Kim and Kendra Legault developed colour patterns and international food-themed illustrations for 20 standing tables for the Smorgasburg Toronto festival that launches Saturday, July 23 and runs weekly until September 10.
“The most exciting thing about this project was the hands-on experience," said Kim, who is going into her third year of the Graphic Design program this fall. “I had never been a part of a design project where I got to participate in the painting and overseeing how the stenciling worked. Being a part of that from day one was exciting. It was a challenging but rewarding experience.”
Smorgasburg Toronto tasked the students with creating table designs that reflected the diversity of food on offer at the event. Each outdoor table has its own vibrant three-colour palette and Kim and Legault’s 34 illustrations will tie the furniture pieces together. Each table will also include a George Brown College logo.
“It’s going to look like a massive festival of colour,” said Lori Endes, Professor, and Special Project and Labs Coordinator at the School of Design.
Kim also created the label design for beer cans being sold at the event and online by local brewer Henderson.
“I designed an illustration that would be cohesive with the tables we built," she said. “The concept was called ‘Harmonious Potluck.’ The idea behind that image was to showcase a potluck and convey that everyone is welcome to partake in other people’s experiences and cultures.”
A collaborative effort
Endes said while Kim and Legault developed the colour schemes and illustrations for the outdoor tables, the Smorgasburg Toronto project involved a great deal of collaboration from other areas.
Kim and Legault’s illustrations were converted to stencils by another group of students using a laser cutter in the School of Design’s Maker Space. Centre for Arts, Design, and Information Technology Dean Luigi Ferarra designed the tables with longtime School of Design partner and furniture fabricator Fernando López of Design 2100. And Endes and Professor Jennifer Masters provided guidance and mentorship throughout the project.
"My favourite part of the project was learning about laser cutting and preparing the laser cutting files. Working with so many different disciplines and moving parts was incredibly fun and educational," Legault said.
"Having our work featured is surreal. I'm incredibly proud of all the work we've done and I'm so glad it paid off."
There were also external collaborations with Smorgasburg and its partner Cookin, which covered the cost of building the tables.
Hands-on, resume-building experience
Kim and Legault became involved in the work-integrated learning project with Smorgasburg Toronto as employees of the IN Store and Studio at the School of Design.
"The IN Store and Studio in itself is a work-integrated learning experience,” Endes said. “We train students on the entrepreneurial side of designing products and selling but there is a studio where we take on special projects and mentor the students on design and managing and presenting to clients.”
Another cool waterfront design project is coming soon!
Stay tuned for details of another student design project that will be featured prominently on Toronto’s waterfront in August.
“It’s been one of our goals to get the student work out there in public more often," Endes said. "Having it so close to home — so close to our school — makes it even more exciting.”