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Designing for Detroit: Container Project

This past semester, Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo's Visual Identity Design and Branding class got to dig in on an exciting project developing in Detroit.

Instead of having his students hone their graphic design skills through theoretical assignments, Franc matched his students up with Karen Brown and Jurell Harris - two entrepreneurs in Detroit looking for real design solutions for a big project they are launching soon. Karen and Jurell's venture, unofficially called "the container project," aims to merge creative place-making with grassroots entrepreneurship. Their vision is a marketplace for Detroit business start-ups, made from shipping containers turned into tiny shops.

While Karen and Jurell have spent that last six months wrangling the logistics and legalities of the project (acquiring land, sorting out zoning, sourcing containers, and lots and lots of paperwork) Franc's students each spent the semester designing entire branding and identity packages for Karen and Jurell to consider. The students worked with Karen and Jurell through the semester, researching their needs and developing many branding iterations along the way.

On the last day of the semester, Franc's students presented Karen and Jurell with their final design proposals.

Everyone's final designs up on the wall for the end-of-semester critique.