University 101 is a program that provides free non-credit university courses to people that face barriers to accessing post-secondary education. It’s a cool program that does an awesome job supporting people from a really wide range of life experience.
The professors and TAs that volunteer to provide lectures, workshops, discussion times, assignments and grading are inevitably impressed and then inspired by the intelligence, passion and perspective of the students. Many professors even come to realize that it’s the kind of learning and teaching environment that they wish all of their classes could achieve.
For the last three semesters, Pink Sheep Media has provided design support of the Uni 101 and 102 journal, Divergent Convergent. It’s a natural fit, since Becky Cory is also the project coordinator for the program. We’ve been collaborating on the design of this journal with Wyndi Palmer and Sabrina Buzzalino and it’s turned out beautifully every year. Here’s the latest cover (this is the front and back cover with trim marks and colour bar info).
The submissions range from poetry to fiction stories, to critical theory pieces and it’s been our joy to produce it. When we started drafting the original, some of us wrongly assumed that we were putting together a zine. But when we reviewed the submissions and saw the quality of the writing, spoke with the editors, and started reading the quotes from the Dean’s, we realized that our preconceptions of “zine” just wouldn’t cut it. Every semester we get multiple submissions of photos for the cover, and this year, in particular, it was hard to make a choice of which one to use.
The print run has always been small, and because the program has a limited funding, we developed a design that would work well, in print, in black and white, but that was also available on the web in colour. And working with local printers, we developed a process using legal size paper to keep the costs down – it also provides a gratifying squarish dimension once folded, bound and trimmed.
Looking over the last three journals, we can see the benefits of having taken extra time to develop a design that allows us to build consistency and familiarity among community supporters and fans.
To check out the online version, or to find out more about Uni 101 at the University of Victoria, visit their website.