Slice of Life

#44Social and Spiders create campus-wide Snapchat filters

Dani Pendergast | Art Director

From the top of Lawrinson Hall to the edges of South Campus, students can declare their location to their friends with the swipe of a finger.

Last December, Snapchat introduced its new geofilter option, which lets users tag where they are with a unique graphic. This semester, Syracuse University has taken advantage of the trend with the addition of dozens of new geofilters on and around campus.

#44Social, Syracuse University’s social media team, and the Spiders, a student group focused on web design and development, design most of the Snapchat geofilters that are available at SU.

Geofilters are easy to use: snap a picture on select campus locations, swipe left or right and discover fun graphics designed exclusively for SU. #44Social and the Spiders try to create geofilters that resonate with students, said Maren Guse, SU’s digital and social media assistant director, in an email.


Delaney Van Wey | Asst. Web Editor


The filters they’ve made so far include one featuring Hall of Languages and Crouse College, and one with orange slices, Guse said. Other filters include a South Campus filter that features a Centro bus, and a recently released filter for the Quad.

However, not every design makes the cut. Finished designs are submitted to Snapchat itself, along with the artist’s reasoning behind his or her creation. Snapchat workers then sift through submitted designs and determine if a geofilter will be made available to users. Anyone is free to submit designs as long as they follow the rules of submission.

When creating a geofilter, artists have to make sure they’re not violating any trademarks. The designs have to be a specific size, 1080 by 1920 pixels, and there needs to be an empty buffer zone at the top and bottom. Designers are restricted from using borders that go all the way around the picture.

Other than these few rules, Snapchat encourages artists to be creative and make geofilters that represent their locations.

“There are a lot of truly amazing [geofilters] we see,” a Snapchat spokeswoman said. “A lot of the ones we see demonstrate the pride people have behind a particular location, whether that’s their hometown or their park or their high school.”


Delaney Van Wey | Asst. Photo Editor


Students can look forward to Marshall Street and College Place bus stop geofilters that the Spiders are working on right now. And following in the SU social media team’s tradition, they’ll likely wish students good luck during finals week with a filter, Guse said.

While some geofilters are available throughout campus, many can only be accessed in certain areas or buildings, like the South Campus and Quad filters designed by junior illustration major Monica Rexach Ortiz. She also created filters for special events like Orange Central and Family Weekend.

When envisioning a new design, Rexach Ortiz tries to see the space or event from the perspective of those who will use it. For example, the “Club Bird” geofilter is from the perspective of someone who is studying there, Rexach Ortiz said in an email.


Delaney Van Wey | Asst. Web Editor


For Rexach Ortiz, it’s also important to infuse every geofilter with SU spirit and make sure it’s inclusive of every possible user. For instance, in her Family Weekend filter, she designed oranges dressed as a family without tying specific genders to any of them.

“One of the things I appreciate about SU is the diversity of people who work and study here, and I don’t want anyone to feel left out,” Rexach Ortiz said.

This way, anyone and everyone can enjoy her geofilters. There’s nothing more satisfying for her than seeing someone use one, she said.


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