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Posts tagged ‘graphic designers’

designers of the future…

October 23, 2012

lisa hammershaimb

Meredith Davis is my new design education hero. She’s smart, and thoughtful and she cares about the future of the profession in a forward-thinking, inspirational way. She is a total visionary. And it seems like she has published, presented, and drawn up the framework for pretty much every major design education initiative that has happened in the past several decades. Designers of 2020 and beyond….thank Meredith Davis first off that your programs were so amazing and enabled you to be the leaders making policy and designing a new cultural lifestyle that we, as mere early twenty-first century dwellers, can’t even imagine .

I first became familiar with Meredith Davis while I listening to a recorded presentation Davis and Ric Grefe (the current executive director of AIGA National) hosted on Undergraduate Educational Outcomes and Competencies in Communication Design. The presentation was basically a discussion on where the profession is headed and how we as educators can empower our next cohorts of students to be better prepared to enter and be a positive influence in the communities they are a part of once they graduate. Design has experienced some pretty fundamental shifts in its short life and we’re in the midst of yet another shift as we move from designers who are primarily concerned with the creation of artifacts to designers who are primarily concerned with the creation of systems.

While I completely resonated with everything that was discussed (and finished the session with warm fuzzy feelings that I am indeed in the best field every because the potential for design to leverage positive change is pretty much unlimited) I couldn’t help also leave the session with a bit of a sinking feeling about my band of distance ed students. Many of my students (and indeed students in distance education settings worldwide) come to school because they want to learn the trade of making practical artifacts because having that skill will allow them to move out of a somewhat grim living situation. Is this new shift in educational practice going to further alienate my distance ed students from their on-ground peers? How can distance ed implement these new theories if the majority of distance ed students are more just looking to learn a trade? Will the future of design contain some sort of split in those who design artifacts and those who design and implement the artifacts into a larger system/campaign?

It’s an interesting time for sure because it does feel like there’s a lot brewing and change occurs so rapidly. But I suppose that if indeed design education is at the early stages of a pretty significant shift in theory, who better better than design educators to wrestle with how the shift will impact not just ground schools but also distance education learning?

You can view the recording in its entirety here.

…and now for something a little different

October 12, 2012

lisa hammershaimb

Below is a short article I just wrote for the Steamboat Magazine. This summer me and my fellow Yampa Valley Design Guild members put on a 5-day graphic design for good summer camp. Not sure when it’s going to come out in print or how the printing and editing process might change things up, but read all about it! See some sweet photos thanks to camper, Tarbia Minto after the words and follow this link to see the redesigned identity in action and check out the Design Camp Facebook page.

Steamboat Design Camp 2012
This past August, nine graphic designers from the east coast, midwest, and even Alaska gathered together in Steamboat for the first annual Steamboat Design Camp. Organized by the Yampa Valley Design Guild (Steamboat’s very own graphic design professional organization) Steamboat Design Camp was an intense collaborative design experience for graphic designers who believed that good design makes life better and who wanted to use their creativity to benefit a local Steamboat non-profit organization.

“I loved working with people from all across the US. I would definitely try to keep this up in the years to come. It worked out so well that none of us knew each other. It allowed us to bond so much more! And now we all have so many more touch points across the country!”
–Lisa Hoeynck, Colorado

The campers were fairly split in terms of experience. About half were recent college grads (or entering their final year of college) and half were working professionals with several years of experience in graphic design. The process of jumping right into a project and working for a common good bonded the campers immediately. Everyone embraced the ideas of collaboration so that the non-profit could get the best work possible and the week was refreshingly free from ego or creative self promotion.

The lucky non-profit the campers served was Yampa Valley Data Partners (YVDP). YVDP is an organization committed to gathering and distributing data for decision making and community collaboration in the Yampa Valley, Western Colorado and even on the state level. Working with Kate Nowak, YVDP’s Executive Director, the campers produced an assortment of print materials, did a complete redesign to the YVDP logo and provided YVDP with a fresh new look to their most well-known pieces, the Community Indicators Project and the Economic Forecast Newsletter. In the end, campers provided over $30,000 of design work to YVDP for free.

“The work we were doing was just for a client, but for a town and its community and businesses. Being nestled within the micro-culture of which we were designing for felt unique and energizing, yet completely normal and foundational to what we do as designers.”
–Jacob DeGeal, Illinois

“We won the lottery. The campers were a complete joy to work with on this project. If it were not for the Steamboat Design Camp we would not have had this wonderful opportunity.”
–Kate Nowak, YVDP Executive Director

But, lest the name “design camp” mislead you…it wasn’t all work and no play (and no one had to sleep in a tent.) One of the main attractions to Steamboat Design Camp was the small town, big mountain location. Housed on the ski mountain with hiking trails outside the front door and the Gondola a short distance away, the campers had many opportunities for outdoor recreation including a couple hikes, a trip to the rodeo, and even a ride up to the top of the Gondola for Brunch. And creativity wasn’t limited only to time spent behind the computer. Campers also enjoyed an afternoon of drawing and fine art exploration with local artist Gregory Block, cooking in the gourmet kitchen with fresh local produce found at the Farmer’s Market, and exploring many of the great dining and entertainment hotspots in downtown Steamboat.

At camp’s end, not only did YVDP have a new look, but 9 campers as well as several Design Guild members had a renewed understanding of how good design really can add value to daily life and made many great new friends with which to collaborate in the future!

“After camp, I feel that I could go into other collaborative efforts with more confidence.” — Adele Wiejaczka, Alaska

Steamboat Design Camp will be happening again next summer. If you or anyone you know would be interested in applying, check out the Yampa Valley Design Guild website for more information.

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