BBCX365 Follow-Up

I've decided to periodically check back in with some folks who have completed their 365 projects...

Johnny Selman recently completed his BBCX365 poster design project in which he created an image each day based on a headline on the BBC news website...

When did your project start/end? I started the project on my 30th birthday, September 8, 2010. It is my graduate thesis project at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I am a working on my MFA in the school of graphic design and I present my thesis this December. The daily posters wrapped up on September 7, 2011.

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project? Doing an x-a-day project teaches you time management, commitment and endurance. It is the constant in your life. Surrounding it are the other elements that create a year of your life - success, defeat, tragedy, joy, sickness, injury, enlightenment, love and loss. All of this is in flux while that poster or that skull or that drop cap becomes something as familiar as a morning cup of coffee or cigarette or whatever your AM rituals may be.

For this project in particular - I learned how to take complex material and reduce it to digestible and powerful visual bites. For the last 2/3rds of the project I worked with American designer and artist Paula Scher on the thesis. She challenged me to report on news stories that were most important for the cultural awareness of my audience. Then to make those posters as powerful as possible. She was a bold, articulate and an inspiring mentor.

In what ways did the project change your life? What I was doing seemed to resonate with people. I started the project because I wanted to increase my own awareness of global current events, while helping other Americans do the same. After a year of world news and a year of posters exploring those events - I am significantly more cognizant of the world we live in and I'm confidant that I'm not the only one.

Now what? The project has won an award at the AIGA Cause/Affect competition, the biennial, international design competition that celebrates the work of designers and organizations who set out to positively impact our society. The award ceremony is on November 3rd and is open to the public. The full year of posters will be on display along with the other award winning designs.

I still read BBC every morning and still sketch out ideas for posters. I've been working on the possibility of a weekly online publication that opens the project up to the public and will represent a week of news translated into posters by a base of assorted designers. I think the idea has legs and look forward to exploring it further once I graduate.

See all of Johnny's posters HERE.

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