Graphic Design Seniors

Maggie Atkinson, class of 2017

August 14, 2017


the project

Prep is a print publication, mobile app, and website exploring how design can impact personal food practices. Prep aims to equip eaters with the knowledge to make more informed choices and the tools to conquer the kitchen.|

My project was born out of the question, “Why do we rarely know where our food comes from and the process it’s gone through to get to our plate?” I began to do more research on the topic and became fascinated at how the American food landscape has become so confusing, political, and tainted by corporate interest. I found it incredibly difficult to find information about where most grocery store food comes from and even more difficult to understand what’s actually healthy. This inspired the Prep publication, which offers articles on the intersection between food and sustainability, culture, technology, science, and health, as well as recipes and interviews. The goal of this publication is to provide transparent and unbiased information about food to conscious consumers.


As a second element of my project, I decided to design an app and website to further develop my digital design skills. One way to have a greater understanding of food is to cook using pure ingredients, from scratch. However, a common perception about cooking is that it takes too much time. The Prep mobile app and website help streamline the process of cooking directly from recipes. The goal of this digital tool is to help home cooking become more convenient for those with busy schedules.



maggie's advice

1. Welcome new directions. My project seemed to change on a weekly basis for a good part of the semester, but I eventually settled on what felt right. If it’s not working, find what feels off and change course.

2. Integrate your thesis topic with other courses. Take advantage of other classes during your last semester. I was able to create my app within my Design for User Experience class which greatly expanded my thesis. I was also able to tailor a research paper in an academic class towards my topic as well. That being said, always clear with the teacher first and read up on MICA’s plagiarism policy.

3. Seek advice, but stick to your guns. You will receive a lot of feedback, critique, and suggestions over the course of the semester. It’s best to seek this out early on, so you have enoughopportunity to shift gears if you want. Ultimately, it’s your project, so focus on feedback that strengthens your vision.

4. Make a to scale digital mock-up of your exhibit space. This took a little extra time up front, but saved me from so much stress during installation.

5. Document your process (or maybe make a process blog). This is something I wish I did more of over the course of the semester. Take screenshots, photographs, or whatever works best for your process and project.