What is usually an exciting time for graduating seniors became even more special for advertising alumni Sarah Margrit, KLN ’23, and Grace White, KLN ’23. Just a week after receiving their degrees, Margrit, White and Advertising and Public Relations Department Chair and Associate Professor Kathy Mueller, TYL ‘14, attended the Young Ones Awards Show at Sony Music Hall in New York to accept Klein College of Media and Communication’s first silver pencil award from The One Club for Creativity.
Each year, The One Club for Creativity hosts The Young Ones competition, an opportunity for students to submit work based on advertising briefs for various brands.
In ADV 4064: Advertising Portfolio, Mueller presented her students with four creative briefs to choose from. After Margrit and White both expressed interest in the challenge from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to end speciesism, Mueller paired the two together to get to work.
Margrit served as the art director while White took on the task of copywriting for the project. The first thing they had to think about was how to help people understand speciesism because, as humans, we usually see ourselves as superior to other species.
“I knew we needed to do something that we could inform people about and make it digestible,” Margrit said.
During their brainstorming process, Margrit had the idea to do an ABC-style book that used 26 simple words that a child could understand to showcase key concepts and vocabulary behind speciesism.
However, the finished project is not a children’s book.
Margrit and White knew that they needed to inform the reader about the horrors associated with speciesism without minimizing anything. To ease the reader in, White had the idea to make each word more intense and grotesque as they continued the pages. It’s almost as if the reader is a lobster in a pot, boiling before they know it, White said.
Though the copy seems short and simple, researching the words and trying to explain them in concise ways was a welcome challenge for White.
On the art side, the illustrations also get more intense. As the pages go by, more color is applied, more disturbing themes are introduced and the imagery looks more destructive and twisted.
“They worked tremendously together,” Mueller said.
Even after Margrit and White submitted select book spreads for their assignment and the competition, they continued to work to finish the rest of the alphabet.
“This was the first time I made something and didn’t want to put it away immediately,” Margrit said.
Margrit and White finished the pages on April 14, 2023, and sent them out to be bound into a physical book, The ABCs of Speciesism.
That same week, the team found out they were awarded a Pencil from The One Club and that they were invited to the awards ceremony in New York on May 15, 2023.
The event was an incredible experience for Margrit, White and Mueller. They spent time mingling with other advertising students and recent alumni from across the country and had an opportunity to review their portfolios with professionals the following day.
White left the experience feeling confident and incredibly prepared to get a job. She is glad that people like Mueller and The One Club take time to help young professionals like her at the beginning of their careers.
Mueller had an amazing experience spending time with Margrit and White in New York and is so proud of the work they did.
“I’m so pleased with how it came out and I feel lucky to have played a part in advising such extraordinary work and extraordinary students,” Mueller said.