UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS at WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY in ST. LOUIS

Fox in the Field: Inauguration

Fox in the Field is a student led journalism group that was brought together for the Inauguration of the new Chancellor, Andrew Martin. Fox in the Field is composed of art directors, illustrators, photographers, copywriters, designers, and editors. Our purpose was to illuminate the inaugural events from the art and design perspective. Our strategy  was to share the event through social media as well as document key moments. The tactical plan was to publish Instagram stories and slideshows by creating illustrations and pairing them with typography. I had the privilege of being the senior editor and “lettering” (calligraphy) the event. For me, being a fox in the field provided a different and deeper connection with the events of the inauguration.

The first activity of the morning was lettering some key moments of the introductory speeches at the symposium. I pulled some quotes from the opening address by the Chancellor. Afterwards I headed back to Weil Hall to edit the content along with the rest of the directing team. As the event got underway, illustrations, photos, and words poured in to the makeshift “situation room”. Sketchbooks flew into scanners and back out into the field on rotation. Illustrators scurried from place to place drawing quickly in the essence of their style pulling together visuals.

The background music consisted of lyrical chatter on combinations of quotes and images, the soft buzz of scanners, the tap tap of touch-pads as they were uploaded, edited and processed. Arrhythmic clicking of the keys as quotes were typeset, like the constant crackling of a wood fire as it gnaws at the fuel.

Deadlines came fast, bringing together elements of the symposium and the inauguration. These elements manifested in slides that played during the following events and were storied on the Sam Fox Instagram. For me, the pace of real-time live editing experience was exciting. I worked diligently and quickly as the quotes and copy appeared on my screen. Filter, finalize, and send on to the next step on social media. The assistant editor was stationed on-site at the event typing into a shared Google Doc, I scanned the notes culling meaningful quotes and then either sent them to the designers to be typeset or pulled them out to letter in pen with a little more flourish.

The day moved quickly. When the last deadline rolled around at 5pm, if someone told me it was still 10am, I would have believed them. Our Fox in the Field work was complete and the day outside was still sunny and rewarding. The final part of the Instagram story on the inauguration would go out the following day, along with the credits. Drawings, photos, quotes, and copy of this important event had been assembled. The only thing left to do was enjoy some kettle corn and Jimmy Johns and unwind at all student celebration that followed. Fox has left the field.