Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cass Tech Graphic Arts Club

(click image to enlarge)

Upon a recent photographic exploration road trip to Detroit, I discovered the Graphic Arts wing of the former Cass Tech High School building. While Cass Tech was built a new, modern home across the street, it's the old school materials in its former building that excited me. I could have spent all day in the design, photography and graphics wing, of course – but could not. Lead type, wood type, California Job boxes, graphic arts literature from the 50s to the 90s, etc. – it was all here. In other words, a time capsule of the process of graphic design in the latter half of the 20th century.

"Until 1977, Cass was Detroit's only magnet school and the only non-neighborhood enrollment school in Detroit. Today, Cass is one of four magnet schools in Detroit. Entrance to Cass is based on test scores and middle school grades. Students are required to choose a curriculum path—roughly equivalent to a college "major"—in the ninth grade. Areas of study include, but are not limited to, architecture, music, graphic arts, business, human services, and chemical/biological sciences." [Wikipedia]

Famous alumni include Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn, musician Donald Byrd, automotive legend John Delorean, actor David Alan Grier, singer Diana Ross, comedian Lily Tomlin, musician Jack White and more.