Exhibit tips from one of last year’s judges

Have you seen this year’s National Capital History Day poster around your school yet? If not, you can download and print one right here. We think it’s pretty snazzy, but we’re also biased — we worked hard to make it not only visually appealing, but also significant in terms of this year’s theme, Leadership & Legacy in History.

This year's poster focuses on our theme for 2015: Leadership & Legacy in History.

This year’s poster focuses on our theme for 2015: Leadership & Legacy in History.

The NCHD steering committee spent many days discussing not only the colours of the poster, but also the figures it features (can you identify them all?) and the words to highlight. Then, we took our ideas to NCHD designer Tegan McGregor to bring it all together.

“History is all about the men and women who made it. This year’s poster highlights some key players in both Canadian and world-wide history,” explains McGregor. “It evokes exhibits at a museum, with each character being in the spotlight. Who will the students spotlight in their projects? That’s entirely up to them, and there are endless possibilities!”

McGregor says she likes that this year’s poster has “a clear-cut modern design with a retro vibe,” too.

Tegan McGregor is the official designer for National Capital History Day.

Tegan McGregor is the official designer for National Capital History Day.

“Add in the bright colours and it is very eye-catching.”

McGregor was one of nearly 80 judges at last year’s event, adding her expertise as a designer to the opinions of judges who were historians and educators. As a judge in the Exhibit category, she was brought on board to help determine the “clarity of presentation” portion of the projects she evaluated — and she has some tips for students who would like to enter that category this year.

“A very important factor is establishing visual hierarchy,” she explains. “What’s your most important information? This should be the first thing the viewer sees. Choose a major focal point (title, or photo, or illustration) to highlight. Afterwards, layout your secondary information so that it complimentary, not distracting.”

And what was her favourite part of last year’s event?

“A special moment was the first reaction on student’s faces when their name was announced from the platform,” she recalls. “Seeing how they lit up in surprise, joy and pride was absolutely beautiful!”

Watch for McGregor’s work on this year’s souvenir program, which is in the works now, and watch this site for more tips from last year’s judges.

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