Mission Vista Design Class Displays Taste

May 07th, 2019

Working with students to make connections between the classroom and the cafeteria is an ongoing opportunity for the WaveCrest Cafe team. Often we discuss things about the contribution of nutrition to learning and making sure that bodies and minds are fueled for learning and activity. At other times, we are able to dig deeper with students and connect the subjects they are learning in the classroom to what we do to provide fresh, healthy and delicious meals that fuel their learning and lives.

A recent example of this is the work that Mission Vista High School teachers Mrs. Laura Lee Juliano’s graphic design class (aka Studio 903) did in conjunction with Mrs. Marti Peruski’s creative writing class. We’ve outlined the work done by Mrs. Peruski’s students in another article, where they created advertising tag lines for several new menu items. That work was then handed off to Mrs. Juliano’s class, where students created poster designs and Instagram posts for the menu items.

Students had to take into account the WaveCrest Cafe logo, font and color pattern in creating their artwork, providing them with an opportunity to have a project for a real world client. Said sophomore Dexter Delaski, “A project like this really shows me what it would be like to work in the graphic design workforce, which is something that I would like to pursue. So it really helps me visualize how my future will be, which is a great opportunity.”

Mrs. Juliano continues on this theme and the way that the project increases the engagement level for students. “It raises the stakes for them. Their level of engagement increases as well, because they understand that this is real – it’s real work. And when there’s a possibility that they’ll see their work or that there’s another client involved – that helps to make it real.”

Designing for a client added several twists to the students’ regular work, as the WaveCrest Cafe logo, font choices and colors had to be factored in to the work. Senior Molly Mahoney, a recent recipient of the Kelly McGinnis Foundation’s CTE Grant for Graphic Design, explained a bit about the project. “[We had] to be able to combine an actual photo of the food and have more graphic elements around it. And then change it for an Instagram – to keep the same elements but make it smaller.”

Molly Mahoney’s Instagram post design for the Orange Chicken Wrap

Dexter shared his thoughts on the subject as well: “One of the challenges was putting visual elements inside the work with the stuff that was provided – because sometimes it’s hard to use graphic elements. Event though I know them, it’s hard to put them in with what’s provided. Because you’re using other peoples’ design with what you’re designing, so you’re incorporating their vision into your vision.”

A draft of Dexter Delaski’s poster design

Students learned about more than just client work on the  project as well. Team WaveCrest spoke with students about the menu items they were featuring, including information about how WaveCrest Cafe sources food, changes menu items regularly, and works to gain student insight and feedback. Said Molly, “It was very interesting for me to see that aspect of the school, and be connected to the food that we eat here. It’s super cool what you guys are doing with buying locally sourced types of food. I like how you cycle out food and make sure the menu is always changing and growing during a period of time. And how you’re trying to keep the menu interesting.” 

Dexter echoed those thoughts and expanded on them. “I eat at school every day. And so I learned how healthy WaveCrest is – how they get all their food from organic and local farms – things like that. Before, I wasn’t too fond of the food, but now that I know that it’s healthier, it makes me feel better about eating here.” Dexter, whose recent favorite entrees include the jalapeño quesadilla, pull apart bread, pork bahn mi sandwich, and chicken tamales, added, “My parents – they’ve asked how the food is at my school, and I told them, ‘yeah, WaveCrest actually takes into account having actual healthy food.’”

Mrs. Juliano’s Studio 903 design students at work

Mrs. Juliano, in her 2nd year teaching at Mission Vista, also expressed her pleasure at learning more about WaveCrest’s work to innovate and raise the stakes of school food. “I didn’t realize that you were doing so much to source things locally. I didn’t realize that you change the menu in the fall and in the winter and in the spring. It was informative for me to understand how you go about this.I do know that nutrition is important for kids, and I love that you’re sourcing things locally when you can, and that you’re trying to create balance with healthy options and also things that kids are going to eat.”

After a period of brainstorming, students set out to create their designs. And on Thursday, April 25, 2019, WaveCrest unveiled the designs of four posters and multiple Instagram posts that will be used by WaveCrest Cafe. Students congratulated their classmates’ work, and then headed to the cafeteria to hang the posters and highlight several new menu items. In addition to the posters being on display at the school, the winning artwork will be used throughout May on the WaveCrest Cafe Instagram feed.

The project was a hit with students and teachers, and Mrs. Juliano and Mrs. Peruski have discussed repeating and even expanding on the project with classes in future school years.

Photo Album Of Student Work And Celebration

Mrs. Juliano’s Graphic Design Class