On a recent trip to the Heritage Center, the sophomore Graphic Design and Communications class had the unique opportunity to learn from Genia Hesser, Curator of Exhibits with the ND State Historical Society. Hesser gave students an in-depth tour of the most recent exhibit in the Governor’s Gallery, The Horse in North Dakota. The class learned of the many challenges that faced the curators, preparators and designers as they brought the exhibit to life. Hesser stressed the importance of generating content that is descriptive but also very efficient – so that every word written is necessary to tell the story. In turn, the design, or form, of the exhibit must visually reinforce the content. Hesser’s wealth of knowledge will prove useful to the students as they begin the process of creating two new display cases for the program area this semester.
Photos can tell us so much – emotion, time, location and more. Sometimes it’s very hard to convey something specific, even a couple words with a photo. In this case, the goal was to illustrate a specific saying using a few photos and a lot of Photoshop work. The sophomore Graphic Design and Communications students did a great job, can you guess the sayings?
A few hundred students have worked on creating display case designs in the Graphic Design and Communications Department at BSC. The project came around in an interesting way, partially out of frustration.
The display cases outside the classrooms sat empty for awhile – long enough that other faculty in the building started asking if the GDC faculty had a plan for them. We didn’t like them being empty either, but at the same time we recognized filling the cases would be a big undertaking.
The first design was a collaboration between all three instructors – Sean, Tom and Jason. The goal was to display student work and advertise the program. The first design looked good, although it was a little flat. The first design was completed in September 2010.
The display started feeling stagnant in about a year. There were a lot of ideas considered, we wanted students to be involved in the project, but we weren’t sure how. The second version of the display case came in January of 2013.
Each students was given a space in the display. The spaces started with a 24-inch-square piece of foam core and the freedom to design whatever they wanted that would represent them as a student. That was a great start, but it still felt like we wanted the students involved more.
In the fall of 2013 we changed the curriculum to include display case design, creating more elaborate designs each year. The goals today are to teach production skills, collaboration, design on a larger scale, working with dimension and dealing with a budget while designing.
BSC GDC Students Win Share of Awards
The North Dakota chapter of the American Advertising Federation, AAFND or AdFed, recently held its annual awards show – the Addys – in Fargo. BSC Graphic Design and Communications students competed in the juried competition against other students of two and four year institutions represented in the district.
This year, seven BSC sophomore students won nine awards for their outstanding demonstrations in design and photography. MiKayla Pfaff won a Gold Addy for a digital illustration of a gold pocket watch. Josh Schaefbauer won a gold for his studio photography piece entitled ‘Let’s Drink’. Parker Bachmeier won two Silver Addys for his personal stationery design and a poster design for the BSC Theatrical Production of ‘The Foreigner’. Brandon Veen won a Silver Addy for his poster design for the BSC Theatrical Production of ‘How I Learned to Drive’. Aaron Bechtle won a Silver Addy for his studio photograph entitled ‘Coffee Delight’. Jessica Edinger won two silvers for her studio photographs entitled ‘Spice Your Life’ and ‘Drink’. Larree Janssen won a Silver Addy for her photography ‘Dragonfly’.
All Gold Addy Award winners are automatically forwarded for judging at the District 8 Addy Competition that will take place in Green Bay, WI on March 23.
The GDC graduating class of 2017 won a Gold Addy for the sixth edition of PROOF Magazine, an all student designed and produced publication. Since 2012, PROOF magazine has collected three Addy Awards. The seventh edition of PROOF is currently in production.
Several Graphic Design and Communications graduates were also part of award-winning projects this year. Rob Burke, Jamie Vetter, Caleb Hauff, Nathan Long and Jade Neumann were among the alumni honored with Addys as well. Neumann, a 2017 graduate, was awarded two Silver Addys. One for the ‘Shortcuts’ Poster Design and the other for ‘Create’, an illustration. Long, a 2016 graduate now attending Moorhead State University, shared in a Gold Addy for a web site design for ‘The Fargo Project’. This entry also received the only ‘Best of Digital’ Student Award. Burke, 2009 graduate and owner of Yarn Media, received 3 Gold Addys and 1 Silver for his cinematography and editing work. Vetter, also a 2009 graduate, netted four Addys – a Silver with co-creator of the Shortcuts Poster, Jade Neumann, and three Addys as part of his work with Agency Mabu. Hauff, 2014 graduate and co-founder of Threefold, shared in over ten awards – four Gold Addys, five Silver Addys and the only Best of Show given this year.
Congratulations to all award winners and all of the students that entered. Because the Addy is universally recognized by the creative industry as a signature achievement, receiving one is great validation for the professional and creative work produced by our GDC students.
One of the best parts of being a teacher in the Graphic Design and Communications Department is watching students grow.
The sophomores are only a couple months from graduation and they have really figured out how to apply all of the pieces of their education. The movie posters they created based on real or fictional films are exceptional. The main photo for each piece was shot by the student and they handled the design as well.
The second year students had the opportunity today to listen to Matt Cole, an environmental designer with the EMP Museum in Seattle. The Skype presentation was made possible by Jason Lueder, who made initial contact with Matt while visiting the museum this summer. Cole shared four case studies that focused on exhibit designs that he had worked on, outlining the entire process, from the initial concept to finished installation. This insight will prove helpful to the students who will act as, not only designers, but content curators, builders and installers on the program display cases that will be updated in December of this year.
Students are working with layer masks in Photoshop to conceal areas of an image and create subtle effects – like reflections and trailing shadows.
This project started with collecting this stunning piece of plastic dress-up jewelry from an instructor’s child, then shooting a couple quick photos in the studio with the students.
After downloading the images, the students worked as a group, with the instructor, to remove the background and create the reflection. Most of the work was accomplished with simple layer masks. Plastic jewelry has never looked so good.
It’s like Christmas in the Graphic Design and Communications Department.
Mike Lalonde handled the purchasing and set up of four new Nikon D90 cameras for department use.