100 Ecotheory in Graphic Design

Willow Moulton

Every year the Graphic Design and Studio Art departments at Plymouth State University present the Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition. The annual capstone exhibit consists of the seniors from the Graphic Design departments invented companies and brands and the studio Art departments works consist of their chosen area of interest. The seniors work all year on their works to prepare for the exhibition that goes from April ninth to May sixth. This year I attended the exhibition on it’s opening day April tenth in the Silver Center for the Arts. As people started filing in to Silver the band, “Kachow” started playing and the students began presenting their companies. This year there was a lot to see. There was a whiskey and bourbon company, an instrument company, a skateboarding line with posters, shirts, sweatshirts, boards, and cards. There was a one hundred percent organic cosmetic line, an adoption company for dogs, a vintage and retro clothes line, and an outdoors adventure company.


What caught my eye the most was the outdoors adventure company called “Moab Mud” based in Moab, Utah. The senior did a great job with marketing and catching my eye with the beautiful landscape pictures of nature. Ahh, our beautiful planet where we can hike, climb, and off-road. She highlighted her project with her slogans. The poster showed a girl jumping across rocks with the slogan “Take a Hike. Let Utah’s extraordinary red rock take you to another world.” This company, with its slogans, represented Ecotheory so well.


Timothy Morton. in his essay The Ecological Thought, writes, “…nature [i]s a reified thing in the distance, under the sidewalk, on the other side where the grass is always greener, preferably in the mountains, in the wild” (Morton). This company relates to this quote because, by putting this company out there with all these slogans, it is saying that nature is over there, in Moab, Utah. That’s where you have to go to get to it. It says that the red rocks are over there and that’s where you need to go to hike, climb, and off-road. But what about the nature we have right where we are? This company kind of throws out that idea that we are always within nature, that we don’t have to travel somewhere to get to it.

Also, what came to mind when looking at these posters was the idea of ownership of nature. These posters make it seem like nature is there for us to use—to go hike. Morton writes, “..our concepts of ‘faceless generous mother nature’ are based on ‘sedentary’ agricultural societies with their idea of ‘possession’” (Morton). In today’s society we have so many things telling us that nature is there for us to use like the flyers that invite you to hike these mountains, climb the rocks because that’s what they are there for. What Morton argues is that we don’t allow nature to be it’s own. It’s ours because, as humans, everything is there for us, for our own self-fulfillment.


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The Student Theorist: An Open Handbook of Collective College Theory Copyright © 2018 by Willow Moulton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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