A project that UW–Madison’s Mitchell Volk assigns to his graphic design students got a shout out in Isthmus recently.

Volk, a lecturer in the School of Education’s Art Department, asks his students to design a cover for the local newspaper, an idea that came to him after he illustrated the April print issue last year.

“I thought it would be a good combination of trying to make an image that is striking — something you can see from a newsstand — and also have it be about something local to the Madison area and potentially talk about issues going on currently or things to be celebrated,” he says in an Isthmus article about the project.

Volk notes another motive: “I’m secretly trying to get them to care about their community, which I think is really important. That’s also when graphic design gets powerful — when it starts to combine effective communication with the things you care about and the people around you.”

He adds that an additional benefit is instilling in students a love for print: “I think they all appreciated printed things a little bit more after the project,” he says.