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Extra Credit Projects represents Midwest in Print magazine's annual design publication

January 29, 2013
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Extra Credit Projects represents Midwest in Print magazine's annual design publication
The silhouette of Betty Ford’s bouffant in the “Betty Ford Forever” poster by Grand Rapids-based Extra Credit Projects. Courtesy Extra Credit Projects

Creative firm Extra Credit Projects has been selected to represent the Midwest in Print magazine's Regional Design Annual publication.

Print magazine selects printed communications by design professionals from across the country that have appeared or were published during the past year for its annual publication.

The Regional Design Annual features selections by region and includes pieces from a variety of design categories. The 2012 issue came out in December.

Extra Credit Projects, 560 Fifth St. in Grand Rapids, and its art director, Joshua Best, were one of only two firms from Michigan selected in the Midwest region. The firm was selected for a Betty Ford poster it created.

“It’s a poster we did when Betty Ford passed away,” said Rob Jackson, principal and creative director at the firm. “It was just a graphic silhouette of her classic bouffant hairdo and it said ‘BFF,’ and then there was copy at the bottom that said ‘Betty Ford Forever.’ We entered a handful of things, and thought it was interesting that that’s representing the region — pretty cool.

“We were happy, because of the way it spoke to the region," Jackson said. "It was a public service piece, and it was a simple piece. In that regard, we weren’t surprised, because simplicity always kind of breaks through. When there is a room full of work and someone’s judging it, it speaks even louder there, which is a pretty good metaphor for the marketplace.”

Extra Credit Projects was founded seven years ago by Jackson and employs 10 creative professionals.

In addition to the Betty Ford poster, the firm has also worked on the current United Way Lend a Hand project, collaborates regularly with the Michigan State College of Human Medicine and Zondervan Corp. and designed billboards in support of the Detroit Tigers’ World Series run last season.

Extra Credit Projects — as well as other West Michigan firms such as Fairly Painless Advertising, Kantorwassink, People Design and Square One Design — have had work included in previous issues of Print magazine's Regional Design Annual. Seven Michigan firms were selected by the publication for inclusion in its 2011 issue.

“I just think it’s great for the GR design community for any of the local firms to get in it, and it’s a little bit of a crapshoot to get in,” Jackson said. “This year, just happened to be our year. Last year, we didn’t make it, but we’ve made it a few times. As many Grand Rapids firms that can be in, those are good for all of us.”

Jackson said that having West Michigan firms included in the Print magazine's Regional Design Annual and other similar publications really speaks to the quality of the design talent in the region.

“I think it’s a growing center for design,” Jakson said. “It’s kind of always been, but it's bubbling up now with all the new technology, and there are even groups that are kind of designing West Michigan as a design-centric region.

"AIGA has just started and blossomed here in the last three or four years," he said. "It’s a big creative class here, and that’s’ pretty cool — and you can afford a house.”

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