Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Nicole Meerwarth Illustration

Postcards From Suburbia

Editorial Design
Education Design
Publication Design
Social Change

Having lived life in a town that is a suburb of New York I have a keen understanding of both the merits and the evils of the classic American suburb. “Postcards From Suburbia” is a project which explores how the themes of the American Dream relate to the suburbs. The suburbs at one time were the new frontier for white Americans in the post-war era. While the American Dream as a concept includes the freedom to become anything and be anyone, the suburbs when they began, (i.e. Levittown) were a place of uniformity and pattern. This contradiction is only one of many contradictions present in suburbia. The project explores themes of suburban development, encroachment on nature, relationship to the city, media’s images of perfection, and the white picket fence family, all through a series of illustrated postcards. The suburbs are not places you send postcards from; not destinations for tourism or visitation, making the format the perfect vehicle for critique and sarcasm. What kind of imagery would there be from places that lack monuments and destinations? The imagery is inspired by the short stories of John Cheever and the imagery of mid-century lifestyle illustrations and advertisements.