1. Self-Motivational Picket Signs.

    Facilitator: Ben Mulkey

    Introduction: Students create a picket sign featuring a unique self-motivational motto, devised to incite determination for the things they desire to accomplish. Active messages are developed during the workshop; using personal insight, provoking questions and design considerations. The picket sign are small in scale, built with a wooden stick and centered canvas.

    Goals: Create a motivational message that holds personal significance but still appeals to a broad audience. Students increase their understanding of communication and voice as well as symbol making and typography.

    Reflection
    “Demand resolve, protest yourself!” —Ben Mulkey

    Materials
    sign canvas: 6” x 8” cardstock or heavier paper
    sign stake: 12” flat wooden stick (approx 1” wide) 
    double-sided tape: applied to stick (approx 1” wide) 
    art supplies: for sign painting

    Process
    Step 1: Introduce the workshop. 

    Step 2: Discuss personal motivation and personal traits

    Step 3: Discuss language and message delivery. Brainstorm with students on the power of language and their ability to speak to an audience through visual as well as written communication. Work through possible terminology for picket signs. Have students share their ideas with the group.

    Step 4: Sketch roughts of final language; consider typography, symbols and the overall design of the picket sign. 

    Step 5: Using the provided materials, create and construct the sign. 

    Step 6: Display picket signs in a public place. Photograph each student with his or her sign.

    Discussion

    Personal Motivation 

    What drives you? Discipline, passion, success, respect, wages, growth, etc.
    How do you “pump yourself up”? How do you relax?
    Describe your Ideal work situation or further education.
    When are you most effective and least effective?
    What makes you feel confident? When do you feel accomplished?
    How/when do you procrastinate? When do you feel resistance?
    Share some metal roadblocks, discouraging thoughts, internal dialogue.
    When you are unmotivated, how do you find your resolve?
    When you are motivated, how do you maintain your resolve?

    Personal Traits
    List some clichés, now alter the words while keeping the clichés intent.
    Do you have any ‘jargon’ exclusive to group of friends? School? Hobbies?
    Do you have any odd systems for remembering things? (mnemonic devices)
    Do you have a favorite quote? Song lyric? Joke? Poem verse?
    Where do you think best? Where do you think worst? Do different places make you think about separate things?
    Invent a ‘portmanteau’ or word-blend like “Brangelina” (for Brad + Angelina).
    What do you find funny? (subject matter, joke delivery, people, situations)  
    How do you speak different with different social & work groups/individuals?
    What are some of your intrinsic behaviors, personality traits, style or word-usage that others would describe as “classic you”.

    Message Refinement
    What themes and language do you see developing in your written messages?
    What message methods (see handout) do you seem to be utilizing most?
    (Motto, mantra, catch phrase, etc.)
    Can your message be stated more clearly? With more rhythm? Impactful?
    Should certain words be emphasized in your message?
    Can your message be understood by an outside audience, while holding still holding some personal relevance?
    Which of your motivational messages do your classmates feel suits you best?
    When you start the next phase of your design, where will you start?

    Design Considerations
    Which do you feel are your best (and worst) design directions?
    Have you done any typographic, stylistic, or aesthetic research?
    How did you use typography to support the voice of your written message?
    How did you utilize symbols or representational imagery in your works?
    What are you trying to convey in the design of your sign?
    How will you lock-up / arrange your type? Where will you make your line breaks? 
    How will your designed message fit on the canvas?
    What areas do you feel can be made better? Which areas are strong already? (type, design, layout, hierarchy, message clarity, style, execution, etc.)