Today, starting at 5:30 p.m., Mississippi State University's Department of Art will host its sixth annual Edible Type Awards at Nine-Twentynine Coffee Bar. 

The Edible Type Awards is free and open to the public. There will also be free food and drinks provided by students involved with the event. 

The Edible Type Awards was created in 2014 by Cassie Hester, an assistant professor of art who specialized in graphic design. When elements of "food and fun" were added to the lesson plan during her typography class, the edible type contest began.

"Type is my area of expertise, and I am always trying to come up with new assignments that are fun and interesting," Hester said. "The edible type contest started as just a regular assignment and has grown each year into what it has become today. This assignment is a way for graphic design students to show all of the hard work that they have done."

Students are required to participate in the edible type contest while they are enrolled in Typography I. For the contest, Hester assigns students with a specific font. Next, the students research how it was made or what inspired it and then each student creates a restaurant around its origin. 

Anna Claire Garrard, a junior graphic design major from Greenwood, Mississippi, is a contestant in the event this year. Garrard received the Bungee font. It is a "chunky" sans-serif font, and it has several variations. She gave a little insight into her restaurant and what made her pick her theme.

"Bungee is a diner. More especially, it's a diner that got stuck in the '90s. So, I'm throwing it back to Memphis style with bright colors and funky shapes and patterns throughout my packaging and menu design," Garrad said. "I chose the theme because Bungee gives off retro diner vibes. I love anything that's even slightly 'retro'—even if it's only a few years older than me. So, I knew for sure I wanted it to be some sort of decades themed diner. I settled in on the '90s, specifically after Cassie, my professor, pointed me towards Memphis Style. I started digging through lots of old ads, and TV show intros like 'Saved By the Bell,' and I knew that's the vibe I wanted to go for."

Once the students have picked a theme for their restaurant, they create food that will be served there. The food has to be in the shape of the first letter in their font.

Amber McDonald, a junior graphic design major from Corinth, Mississippi, is a contestant in this year's event as well. McDonald received the Krok font, which she said has a more modern style. This is why her restaurant will be vegan.

"I will be making quinoa patties with roasted sweet potatoes laid on top," McDonald said. "I picked this because sweet potatoes and quinoa are big vegan staples and they offer bright colors and delicious tastes." 

McDonald said no restaurant will be the same.

"The people who visit our reception should expect a wide array of food styles and typestyles ranging from very classic, old styles to more modern like mine," McDonald said, "There will be food made into our typefaces, and there will be drinks and some souvenirs. Expect to walk into 28 different establishments that night."

According to Garrard, this year's Edible Type is bigger and better than ever with food, food and more food.

"We're all making cool signs and full-blown menus," Garrard said. "Some people are going to have little goodies or to-go boxes to take home. It's going to be awesome. "

Garrard is excited to see what her classmates have been working on. 

"I've been so focused on mine, it's going to be a nice change to see what everyone else has been working on," Garrard said, "We've all put so much time and effort into all of this it's going to be nice to see it all come to life. It'll be great to take a breather at the end."

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