Case Study: Design Project – Image

November 10, 2020

Project Description

The overall goal of this project was to create a 16-page zine in a group that would showcase the history of a specifically selected brand “mascot”.  To bring the project more context, we were to only use duotone to showcase the selected brand.  The brand that our group was selected was Aunt Jemima.  Through research and collaboration, our group focused on the controversy surrounding the brand and how those issues affected the brand as a whole.

Who Was Included

For this project, I worked collaboratively with my group members, Hailey, Lela, and Elijah. We each spent time generate ideas and concepts for 4 different page designs per person.  We spent a lot of time researching Aunt Jemima and identifying ways in which we could approach this topic in a creative and informative manner.


The research conducted for this project came from different academic research from the Miami Library and outside sources.  The majority of our most used articles came from the advanced search in the Miami Libary.  We used our research from the articles to develop different ideas on how to approach this sensitive topic.  Our group found several articles in regards to how “Aunt Jemima” was portrayed and the beliefs that she had.  Through our primary and secondary research, we were able to conclude our design approach.

Design Approach

The design approach for this project was based on the academic research and discussion that the group came up with.  We had determined that dark humor was the approach and direction we wanted to incorporate within this project. The idea for this design is to touch on a more sensitive topic in a lighter way.  

Final Deliverable

Figure 1: Front and back cover of the zine portraying a smiling Aunt Jemima
Figure 2: 2-page spread showing Aunt Jemima on puppet strings. This is a visual representation of the control companies had on the image on Aunt Jemima.


For this project, I think that the overall research, development, and creation of the zine was very successful.  We really approached this topic in an appropriate fashion and identified ways in which we could give “Aunt Jemima” a voice through this design approach.  A few things that I would alter, given more time on the project, would be the way the pages we saved and rendered out.  Some of the actual duotone for this project ended up not showing in the final piece.  I hope this project will bring awareness to those who do not know about the history of “Aunt Jemima” and what she stands for.  I do think that the Matrix of Domination was an accurate depiction of the target audience identified.  One suggestion would be that more men should be included in this project to represent an additional insight into the overall Aunt Jemima brand mascot.

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