Graphic design seniors prepare for the real world

After long years full of never-ending work and late nights, the College’s senior graphic design majors are ready to share their work with the campus community one last time. Consisting of 32 members, the largest class the College has ever seen in this major, the graphic design senior seminar will be hosting its final portfolio review on Friday, April 29 in the Brower Student Center (BSC) atrium.

According to Jen King, senior graphic design major, the final portfolio review is the culmination of all the students’ hard years of work.

“(This is) the equivalent of a senior recital (for music majors),” she said, before explaining that the showcase will feature books, pamphlets, posters, corporate identities, logos and stationery. “(It will include) a real diverse variety of media.”

The work the students display is a combination of new projects created especially for the event and projects they have created for past classes. Most of the work displayed is a part of each student’s professional portfolio.

“The portfolio is most important for getting a job,” King said. “(It) showcases (our) best work, eight to 10 pieces.”

In order to make connections for the business world, six or seven of the top art directors in our area will be attending the portfolio review. Students will be able to show off their work and network with the directors.

The purpose of the senior graphic design seminar, which is taught by Elizabeth Mackie, graphic design coordinator and professor of art, and Chung (Fanky) Chak, assistant professor of art, is to prepare students for finding a job and setting up the final portfolio review. According to King, students have also been having weekly meetings to plan the event.

“Everyone has to complete a job in the review in order to graduate,” she said.

Students are responsible for setting up the show, inviting people and also publicizing for the event. For this purpose, students created posters and invites, as well as personal postcards with their designs. In addition to this, students also had to have their own letterhead and business cards printed in order to market themselves and their work.

One of the major achievements of the seminar class this year was the design of a Web site that included the students’ biographies and work sample. The advanced Web design class created the Web site.

“They wrote the code so each designer can just sign in, put in info and upload files,” King said. This allowed individuals to work on their pages instead of having the designers put in all the information. This template will be available for use in the years to come.

According to King, the members of the graduating senior design class have grown close after many years of long days in Holman Hall.

“We’re all very close because Holman is our second home, first for some,” she said.

The all-nighters and close quarters have created a bond that allows the class members to be honest with each other when it comes to feedback. They know each others’ style and what works for them.

“(We’re) stressed out, but having friends around helps out,” King said.

Rachel Walling, another senior graphic design major, is also getting anxious as the day of the final review gets closer.

“I’m feeling a bit stressed, but it’s going to be very exciting to see everyone’s final product done after four years of work,” she said. Walling’s displayed work will include type-based books and a series of T-shirt designs.

As much as many of his classmates are worrying, Matt Gabe, senior graphic design major, is waiting patiently for the final review.

“I have not stressed at all, even though I probably should,” Gabe said. He will be displaying a range of his work, including logos and a corporate identity for a fake snowboarding company at the review.

According to Gabe and Walling, their professors have been instrumental during the preparation for the portfolio review.

“Fanky Chak is extremely helpful,” Gabe said.

“His guidance is one of the things I’ll miss the most from the program,” Walling added.

In the past, final portfolio reviews have been very well-attended. This is the first year the review will be held in the atrium of BSC. Among the attendants are family members, alumni, people the students have had internships with as well as former employers.

“Families and friends (come) to finally see what we’ve been doing, since we’re always hiding it,” King said. “They usually don’t get to see anything.”

The graphic design review will be this Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.