Impressive things are occurring in the visual design classrooms at Kennesaw State University in Georgia (USA).  The winning illustrations for the May 2017 issue of Technical Communication are the creations of KSU students.  Here are two promising artists:

Makenzie Maddox (Cover Illustration)

Makenzie Maddox has big aspirations. She is currently seeking positions in the visual design field. Her journey into art as a career began at Southern Polytechnic State University, before the consolidation with Kennesaw State University. Here she met friends enrolled in technical degrees who inspired her and helped her bridge the gap between technology and visual design. Makenzie will graduate this year with a Bachelor of Arts degree in New Media Arts and hopes to find a graphic design internship for the summer and fall based in Atlanta, Georgia.

For the May 2017 cover illustration, Makenzie used her skill with Adobe Creative Cloud, especially Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.  The challenge, of course, was interpreting the desired theme and matching it with her ideas.

As Makenzie explains,

“When creating my piece, I focused on the phrase Globalizing User Experience and created two heads to represent the people on earth. The two heads can be female or male and could be any race. I leave it up to the audience for interpretation. In the head on the left, I created a keyboard because it ties in with technology and through technology people around the world communicate. In most cases they use some sort of keyboard. In the head on the right, I created part of the map of the world to represent “globalizing” and within the map I created a circuit board because everyone in the world is connected in that we all make up the earth’s population.”

Makenzie considers winning the May 2017 cover competition to be her greatest achievement to date and is grateful to her professor, Leslie Hankey, for the inspiration and circumstances that made this opportunity possible. Makenzie is available at

Mansoor Makba (Honorable Mention)

Mansoor Makba comes from the city of Karachi in Pakistan, and studied at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Mansoor describes himself as “the kind of person who would rather draw than write and play” and this interest inspired his pursuit of a career in communication design.  Mansoor came to the US and Kennesaw State University through an exchange program and, as he notes, was fortunate enough to meet Professor Leslie Hankey, who encouraged all her students to submit illustrations to Technical Communication’s cover competition.

Mansoor offers this explanation of his illustration:

“The illustration I created represents how UX designers must keep in mind the cultural constraints of different regions of the world and somehow figure out an aspect of commonality in the product for it to be used across a wide array of cultures. The Earth in my illustration is going through a chemical process where its essence is being extracted through a funnel. The essence then goes through various tubes and funnels and ends up in a glass which is kept in a machine that reads “Global UX Index Meter”. The essence signifies all the key aspects a designer needs to keep in mind while creating something for a vast audience that could be easily understood. The design execution was done in a day for this work, while the brainstorming process took around two weeks. I used Adobe Illustrator to create flat vector graphics.”

Mansoor is available at

To view the May 2017 illustrations, please visit .

And, as a reminder, the deadline for upcoming submissions is 1 June.

For the August 2017 issue, we invite cover illustrations on the blurring of technical communication, marketing communication, and content strategy.

For the November 2017 issue, we invite cover illustrations on the subject of new media and the changing nature of technical communication.

Cover illustrations could be diagrams, drawings, photographs, collages, infographics, cartoons, comic strips, or brief graphic narratives.

For either issue, please submit your cover illustration (approximately 20×20 cm or 8×8 inches) as a high-resolution (300 dpi or better) jpg file by 1 June 2017 to with a brief explanation (100-200 words) of how your illustration addresses the cover subject.  A five-member international jury of specialists will organize anonymous review of the submissions and choose each issue’s cover illustration.  Honorable mentions will be published inside the journal.


Consider reading these posts.

May 2018 Technical Communication cover image
Meet the May 2018 Technical Communication Cover Artist
Announcing the Winners of the Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
Share Your CPTC Success With Digital Badges

Leave a Reply