SEED Partners with Huron County
The Huron County region, located in the “thumb” of lower Michigan, is using an NMU student-designed brochure to stimulate economic growth by directing tourists to purchase local farm products during the summer growing season.
“The brochure helps visitors to the region find anything from organically grown produce and u-pick fruit operations to meat processing, small roadside stands and greenhouses,” said Jane Milkie (Art and Design, pictured).
All 24 students in Milkie’s 200-level graphic course last semester submitted proposed brochures, which included a map of farms in the Huron County region. Four advanced to the second round of refinement and one was selected in late May for use. The final version, created by student
Breanna Bader, will later expand to a Web resource.
This is the first project to stem from a recently established partnership between the Studio for Experimental and Eco-Design (SEED) at NMU and the Huron Counties Economic Development Center (HCEDC).
“It was a challenge for students because it required the management of large amounts of text, as well as structuring imaging that would be clear to read and systematically orchestrated,” Milkie said. “The HCEDC provided information and feedback and was very receptive to working within the semester schedule. This project fulfills the mission of SEED and hopes to positively impact the economy in the Huron County region.”
Consumers Energy Foundation recently awarded the Huron County Economic Development Corporation a $5,000 grant to initiate a prototype effort, Manufacturing/Art, which seeks to link art and design colleges with Michigan’s small manufacturing companies.
“The project is currently working with Northern Michigan University's SEED to establish the protocols that will allow art and design students to work directly with the manufacturers and regional businesses,” said Carl Osentoski, executive director of the HCEDC. "We are pushing the boundaries with this effort and we are adapting as we move forward. The students will learn how to manufacture their designs with all of the complexities and the companies will be exposed to new markets and new product lines that they may not have even thought about."