Graphic Design News

Contest Teaches Graphic Design Students about Self-Promotion

A contest sponsored by the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) is out to teach students in graphic design classes how to sell themselves to potential employers in the future.

The “Why Hire Me?” contest is open for submission from graphic design instructors on behalf of students until June 15th, with prizes including up to $2,000 and a trip to the GRAPH EXPO 2012 in Chicago.

This is the fourth annual contest hosted by GAERF for student works. The contest is open to secondary and post secondary graphic design schools. Secondary graphic design instructors may submit up to 5 student campaigns, but post-secondary school teachers may submit an unlimited number of student designs for consideration in the contest.

The challenge of the Why Hire Me contest is to create a self-promoting marketing campaign that the student believes will put them a step-ahead of other professional competitors in the job market. To accomplish this task, however, student must consider which type of graphic design discipline they most desire to pursue.

Graphic designs students can choose from a wide array of career paths upon graduation in disciplines including art and design, science, and technology, communications, and business. Within each discipline, the student must further differentiate his or herself by choosing a specific job title, with options like web page designs, multimedia designer, cartoonists, package designers, pre-media specialist, production manager, editor, and many more.

One first place contest winner will be chosen from a post-secondary graphic design school and one from a secondary school before the GRAPH EXPO in October, along with a second and third place per type of school. First place prize for contestants, in addition to the all-expenses paid trip to the expo, is $2,000. Second place will be awarded $1,500 and third place will win $1,000.

Graphic Design News

Graphic Design Class Designs Drunk Driving Billboard

A graphic design class was recently awarded a project thanks to a grant by the Illinois Department of Transportation to help the class create billboards that would help drivers remember to slow down, buckle up, and never drink and drive.

The Ottawa Township High School graphic design class was awarded the project, which was spearheaded by the school’s group “OTHS Pirates Displaying Awareness Team”.

OTHS graphic design students designed the billboards with emotions in mind, playing on the natural anxiety that occurs when a patrol car pulls up behind a car and turns on the lights and sirens. The graphic design class listened to the presentation normally given by the OTHS Pirates Displaying Awareness Team to gain inspiration for their project.

The Illinois Department of Transportation awarded the grant to the Pirates Displaying Awareness Team for their efforts to inform and educate teens and other motorists about the dangers of intoxicated and distracted driving. The team also uses a smashed car that was wrecked by one of the school’s former students to make their point about drunk driving.

The team recently won an award for their efforts in the Illinois Operation Teen Safe Driving program, as well. The group won $2,500 through the competition.

The graphic design class at OTHS designed four billboards for the project, but only one was selected. It features the OTHS Pirates logo and the message “Slow Down O-Town”. The billboard depicts a dark night with bright red, yellow, and blue lights (presumably flashing) on the roof of a patrol car.

The design was said to be inspired by the feeling a person gets from being pulled over – an emotional reminder of just one of the many reasons that driving impaired is a bad idea. The billboard was designed by Mackenzie Alderman, senior and student of graphic design classes at the school.

Graphic Design News

Graphic Design Schools Celebrate National Contest Winners

A commemorative poster competition drew attention to a few of the best graphic design schools in the nation recently.

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) is celebrating its 100th year this year and opened up a competition to graphic design schools for a Centennial poster design to honor the landmark birthday.

The top three students placing in the contest were Clayton Stewart of the graphic design school at Westwood College, Michael Fitzgerald of the graphic design program at Anthem Institute, and Raul Pastor Lopez of the graphic design school at John Dewey College. All three students created outstanding posters using their graphic design training, which can be viewed on ACICS’ website with a bio of each designer.

The winning design by graphic designer Clayton Stewart features a blue and black theme and bears the phrase “100 Years Making the Transition Between Education and the Workforce” and shows a student walking into the phrase on the left and a businessman walking out on the right.

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools works with independent graphic design schools and any independent teach facility seeking accreditation from the agency.  It is responsible for accrediting over 900 schools in the United States alone and is a non-profit agency based out of Virginia.

The graphic design school where Stewart attends classes at Westwood College is located in Houston Texas. The graphic design program is one of many offered at the college, which is currently closed to new enrollments because the classes are full. Westwood is the recipient of multiple industry awards and was named as having the most-satisfied student body in a 2010 survey by Noel-Levitz.

The second and third place winners of the competition were from graphic design school programs in Puerto Rico (John Dewey College) and Springhill, PA (Anthem Institute).

Graphic Design News

Graphic Design Schools Challenge: Illustrations that Draw Emotion

Graphic design schools prepare students for a future career in “the arts”, but many who are still trying to decide on a major may not understand what that means.

At a period in the economy when it is more important than ever to choose the right career path, graphic design schools may offer more than one might expect in the way of flexible career choices.

Graphic designers go on to work in a seemingly limitless pool of job categories. Everything we see on television, billboards, magazine ads, and even on the walls of our favorite eateries and the subway stations in from which we travel were created by someone in “the arts”. Most of the time, those creators are graphic design graduates who made a career choice to be flexible and marketable to a variety of companies.

Everything has a label, an advertisement, and an associated image or logo these days. Graphic design school is where students learn to use the software needed to produce these forms of art and where they learn about the concepts of visual arts. It’s more than creating an image; graphic design students must learn about conveying emotions such as urgency, comfort, dismay, happiness, and an array of feeling.

From the ASPCA’s donation posters to major fashion label advertisements, a skilled graphic designer, if not several are involved in the process. Graphic design schools have to teach the tough lesson of guided imagery and emotional illustration. Most art students can illustrate their own emotions, but graphic design students have to guide the emotions of others and that is a harder task. In a recent article by Joanna Wilson at the University of Idaho in Moscow, University of Idaho professor in the college of art and architecture Greg Turner-Rahman explains it well: ““They have to think about everything that’s happening there. How does this feel? Does it express what I’m trying to say? Is it clear?”

Graphic Design News

National Competition for Graphic Design Students Almost Over

The National Archives is almost finished with a recent competition for graphic design school and other art students to produce works of art for their latest challenge on

The grand prize for the winning design is $500 and will be the best from all categories. Winners will be announced on February 6th.

The purpose of competition was to find multimedia projects about the environment created by students in the categories of graphic art, video, and poetry. Students were asked to express their own point of view about their immediate surrounding environments and how they view the current state of their environments.

According to the contest website, the challenge was born of a 1970’s EPA decision to hire photographers to document environmental problems facing the U.S. Now, The National Archives wants to update the journalistic library to include new, fresh perspectives of the environment through the resources found in graphic design schools and art institutions from around the country.

The original project “Documerica” encompasses the environmental perspective of thirty-years ago through more than 15,000 photos. Recently, the EPA and National Archives created a similar project called “State of the Environment”. Graphic design and arts students were encouraged to use these photos as the basis of their presentations for the competition and their project submission had to include a notation showing which image had inspired their competition submission.

Judging ended on January 27th for the graphic arts submission hat could include scans, cartoons, and photos. All video graphic designs were uploaded to YouTube prior to judging and can be found under search term “Documerica” for interested parties. Each of the categories will also award three finalists. Each will receive $70.00 and a framed print from the National Archives. The grand prize award is courtesy of the Foundation for the National Archives.

Graphic Design News

Graphic Design College Students Create Learning Designs

A group of graphic design students from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio recently learned through firsthand experience how fulfilling the job of a graphic designer can be.

The graphic design students coordinated with local teachers in order to create learning aids that were meant to keep lessons fun and educational for middle school students.

In what turned out to be a trip back in time, students from the graphic design college had to reach in to grab their own memories of early education to create the learning materials. Marietta College’s news publication said that senior Sean Kenny was completely satisfied watching nearly twenty eighth graders use a history game he had designed for them. But Kenny said it was a challenge.

“I have learned a lot from this experience. In a way, I was sort of going back to school myself in order to familiarize with the terms that I used for the game,” Kenny said in the school’s news article.

It is a novel idea, to team graphic design colleges with community-based education facilities to enrich the education of the next generation. It’s an idea that this graphic design college took to heart and it seems that it worked out well for both schools.

A Marietta Middle School teacher that worked with the graphic design college, Pamela Hart said, “I think the project should definitely continue. I think so many teachers would appreciate working with students who have these skills. Teachers frequently end up creating things for their schools or classrooms but don’t necessarily have those graphic design skills like the Marietta College students have.”

The credit for coordinating the event goes to Sara Always-Rosenstock, who says that Hart explained why the program is important and that they will continue with this effort in the future.

Graphic Design News

Persistence Pays for Unlucky UK Graphic Design School Student

A student at a graphic design school in the United Kingdom overcame the odds as she persevered through a traumatic event near the closing of her studies.

Tarneem Mousawi was attending online graphic design classes and only days away from completing her degree when the fire occurred in this December.

Mousawi took her course online in her home and was a resident on the top floor, where escape was impossible before her room filled with smoke from a fire on the lower floors of the building. She was rushed to a nearby hospital following the blaze and released the same day.

Unfortunately, she was unable to save her school work from the fire before being rescued. As a second year student nearing the completion of her graphic design school studies, Mousawi had decided to include a marketing class in her final curriculum and was very close to a submission deadline for her class work.

In order to complete her studies and graduate from the graphic design school, she had to use old files saved on a laptop she managed to scavenge from the smoky room. The staff from the graphic design school at the Interactive Design Studio, a Scottish institution, was very compliant to her situation. She was able to obtain an extension to complete her course work and qualify for on-time graduation – with honors.

This feat seemed to surprise the humble Mousawi, who told that she was so happy she had managed the degree following all of her challenges, but it didn’t surprise those at the school.

“Tarneem is a talented, hardworking student,” and “Everyone at the Interactive Design Institute was were well aware of her position and took steps to support her. However, she rose to the challenge and achieved an excellent degree against all odds,” said Fiona Crosbie, the Director of Student Admissions at the graphic design school.