Nova Scotia

NSCAD University students designing greeting cards for inmates

Students at NSCAD University in Halifax have made dozens of greeting cards designed specifically for people in prison as part of a class project.

'Designers can do things that can help bring about change in society,' says NSCAD professor May Chung

This is one of the cards that was created as part of the class project. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Students at NSCAD University in Halifax have made dozens of greeting cards designed specifically for people in prison as part of a class project.

"It's something very different from what they normally do," said professor May Chung. "This is a project about a need in society and designers can do things that can help bring about change in society."

Chung and El Jones, Halifax's former poet laureate, have led the project.

While Chung worked mostly on the design side, Jones was responsible for getting quotes from family members of people who are incarcerated for the text on the cards.

Now that the cards have been designed, the hope is to get orders from companies that may be interested in purchasing large quantities of them. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

"Those quotes all came from people who were impacted by incarceration and the design students made something beautiful and meaningful out of them," said Jones.

Some of the students involved in the project said it was a real eye-opener for them.

"The cool part about this project is that we had to consider things that we wouldn't otherwise consider," said third-year student Ryan Abrams. "These are real-life realities that are happening in our society that we can address and help."

Sam Lynn, another third-year student, said the messages received from prisoners, past and present, inspired her.

El Jones, Halifax's former poet laureate, said the cards have received positive feedback from people who work with inmates. (CBC)

"It's been really nice to see that we can actually have some sort of implication on the real world," said Lynn. "The love and hope that these people feel has really been inspiring and it really helped us to put a lot of effort into the project."

Now that the cards have been designed, the hope is to get orders from companies that may be interested in purchasing large quantities of them. Jones said some orders have already been placed.

The feedback from people who work with inmates has been positive.

"They understand the meaning this kind of communication has on people on the inside," said Jones.

She said if the cards are produced, all proceeds from the sales would go to programs for people in prison.

The text on the cards came from family members of people who are incarcerated. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

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