At the end of each summer semester, the Otis MFA Program in Graphic Design awards its third year MFA students a certificate to mark the completion of their coursework. Because this is an internal certificate that is funded by the department, there are specific parameters imposed upon its production: it must be bespoke and formal yet be cost effective to produce annually in small quantities.
In 2011, we offset printed a set of 500 double-sided master certificates. Each year, a small quantity of master certificates is imprinted with silkscreen and each student’s name and the year is calligraphed. The original concept was for the master certificate to be cut down into an envelope-style certificate whose large flaps would be perforated and removable, leaving only the central certificate. Upon receipt of the first batch of silkscreen imprinted certificates in 2013, it was decided that that they should not be cut down, but rather remain poster-format certificates.
Each year from 2011 until the present, a unique silkscreen imprint has been designed for the third year MFAs.