John Brown trades his bible and rifle for headphones and a mic on the 2019 KPR membership coffee mug, designed by KU graphic design major Elia Hernandez.
At its ice cream social every summer, Kansas Public Radio hands out free mugs to members. This year, for the first time, designs were submitted in a contest and listeners voted. Hernandez’s colorful depiction of iconic Kansas images—including KU’s Campanile and Fraser Hall—was chosen from 27 entries.
“My design was inspired by landmarks and things that are recognizable to Kansas,” says Hernandez, an Olathe senior who works as marketing program manager and designer at the David A. Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center. She referenced John Steuart Curry’s John Brown mural, Lawrence’s skyline, Topeka’s statehouse and Wichita’s Keeper of the Plains sculpture. “I wanted the design to be fun,” Hernandez says, “and layered with things that make Kansas, well, Kansas.”