Hewitt's design wins 2020 census cover

When Emily Hewitt, of Stanhope, decided to get a second Associates Degree at SCCC, she never dreamed her work as a graphic design student would be selected to be on the cover of 2020 Census materials in Sussex County.

04 Nov 2019 | 02:01

A design by Sussex County Community College (SCCC) student Emily Hewitt, of Stanhope, has been selected for the cover of the 2020 census.

Hewitt is in her third year at SCCC, having graduated with her associate degree in Liberal Arts in the fall of 2018.

“I then decided to come back to SCCC in the Spring of 2019 to pursue a degree in Graphic Design,” she said. “Since I am pursuing a second degree, I believe I am considered a first-year student once again (a first-year student in Graphic Arts/Design).”

Hewitt attended Lenape Valley Regional High School. In the fall of 2018, she was finishing her final semester at SCCC and had two liberal arts electives to take.

“I saw that Intro to Design was an option and was immediately interested in taking the intro class,” she said. “Ever since I was little I loved the arts and would always somehow involve myself in some kind of arts activity, whether it was an art class or an after school musical or just messing around with different crafting activities.”

Calling on her creative and artistic side, the class turned out to be a great fit and she was hooked from day one.

“The intro class covered all different types of design but I really fell in love with graphic design my next semester when I came back as a Graphic Design major and took my vectoring class.,” Hewitt said. “The first assignment was to come up with a personal logo, and I absolutely loved bringing my sketches to life on the computer. That was when I decided I definitely was in the right major and that graphic design was something for me.”

Two of Hewitt's classes, Color for Designers and Typography & Layout, were selected to come up with designs for a poster for the Sussex County 2020 Census.

“I knew I wanted to show that 'your voice matters' and that the census was a way for 'your voice to be heard and counted,'" she said. "I was trying to think of how to symbolize that the best and I first started with ideas of showing a person speaking but then I also thought about how the raising of hands signifies, 'I am here, I have something to say, I count.'”

Hewitt also wanted to incorporate raised hands without being cliché or boring.

“It was around this time where I decided to focus on the year 2020,” she said. “The repetitive 20s being something I knew I could work with and use to my benefit in a design. I then thought back to New Year’s Eve in the early 2000s. I remembered how the glasses for New Year’s Eve during this time would use the zeros as the lens for the glasses. It then hit me that I could incorporate people raising their hands into the 2020 by using the zeros as the heads of the people raising their hands. I felt that this then unified the concept with the type/text nicely.”

Hewitt used Adobe Illustrator to create the people raising their hands and to create vectors for her social media icons, she then utilized Adobe InDesign. The design was created in her Typographyy & Layout class taught by Professor Christina Davies.

“Emily Hewitt is a talented and hardworking graphic design student who exhibits a thirst for learning in every project,” Davies said. “While many students presented impressive designs, Emily’s concept was a forerunner. Emily’s playful human illustrations forming the “0s in 2020, along with a powerful message, gave us an exciting direction to develop. We worked on alignment, created strong typography, explored color combinations, and established hierarchy and balance."

The students had two weeks to create a design.

“We found that not may people were aware of how important the Census is, and its ability to better our community," said Professor Kristen Elias, Graphic Design Coordinator. "Because of this the students were encouraged to create a modern and compelling design that would help spread awareness and encourage people to participate in the 2020 Census.”

It was Elias who gave Hewitt the news that she had won.

“I was initially informed that my design was going to probably just appear around SCCC's campus,” Hewitt said. “However, I was recently told in an email by Marvin Joss, Partnership Specialist from the New York Regional Census Center, that my design is going to be widely distributed not just in Sussex County, but elsewhere as well.”

Hewitt plans to pursue a career in graphic design, specializing in photo editing.