Cristina Vanko


  • Sans Cursive


Throughout our nation’s classrooms, cursive hand­writing instruction is no longer manda­tory. Forty-five states, including Illinois, have adopted the Common Core State Standard Initiative, a standard that prepares students for their futures. The initiative leaves cursive handwriting out of school curriculum, and, in turn, numerous school districts have been replacing cursive with key­boarding. The key cannot simply replicate many of cursive’s benefits. As cursive becomes a vanishing art, Sans Cursive strives to illustrate the significance of cursive as a necessary skill, highlighting its historical importance and its role in self-expression, brain stimulation, and fine motor skill development.

As a graphic designer, I am exploring how design has power to influence thoughts and actions. Through various mechanisms, design may hold the ability to teach, persuade, impact, or otherwise guide in decision-making, and, ultimately, through these processes, help foster change. Through this campaign, I want individuals to engage themselves with the issue and real­ize the big picture: we cannot simply replace our basic skills with tech­nology. Hopefully, this project will spark interest in keeping cursive alive, even if it cannot be taught by the state.


Throughout her studies at Indiana University, Cristina Vanko discovered that Graphic Design was not simply an occupation; it was a tool for innovation. Being a socially and environmentally conscious designer, she seeks to bring positive change through innovative design, whether it be through “smart vandalism” via her nationally recognized I am Coal environmental sticker cam­paign, or through carefully constructed, hand-lettered type on chalkboards in her Sans Cursive BFA Design Thesis, literally educating the masses on the benefits of cursive. By using visual cues to fuel unique, out-of-the box ideas, design inspires new ways of doing and thinking, and plays a role in enacting change; this infinite feeling of optimistic influence is the most fascinating aspect of design for Cristina.


Chalk, pastel, chalk marker