By Kailee Hoffmann
Graphic design professor Jason Alejandro spoke to an eager crowd at Mayo Concert Hall on Friday, Nov. 1, where he discussed his field and how it relates to his Puerto Rican culture.
Alejandro has previously worked at other institutions like Rutgers University, Kean University and Lehigh University, among others. He also maintains an independent design practice, in which he designs covers for books.
He presented covers for different books, such as “Gods and Robots and “The Science of Breaking Bad,” a book about the science behind the popular television show.
Alejandro also presented his cover for the new book “Sunbelt Diaspora” for the University of Texas, in which the audience was the first to see the cover. The cover featured the state of Florida, which was blue with a white star in it.
In the background, there were red and white stripes, which represent the Puerto Rican flag, according to Alejandro. The poster represented the many Puerto Ricans who fled to Florida to escape the floods of Hurricane Maria. He put the poster up as a transition to his talk about Puerto Rico.
The main part of Alejandro’s presentation was his Puerto Rican background, and how he knew nothing of the culture.
“I wanted to figure out what it meant to me,” he said.
He started off by describing his research on Puerto Rico’s history. Puerto Rico is the world’s oldest colony and was claimed by Spain back in 1493. He talked about Puerto Rico’s history and current events, including its fight for independence.
Alejandro exposed the audience to different posters that were created to show support for the movement. He showed various posters, including one with sign language, and the various Puerto Rican flags.
“As students, you guys are going out and doing things, it’s really important that you think about the things that are really going to make you happy,” he said. “I hope that you go out and make things that are meaningful, and improved, that matter and that will make the world ultimately better.”