Student Work: Graphic Design

Western Kentucky University

ART 243: Digital Media

This is an introductory class to digital media development utilizing current software programs and tools for print design, digital design, animation, and interactive media. This course emphasizes technical skills and contextual creativity. It’s a breadth-over-depth course, designed to introduce students to the tools of the trade (Adobe).

Composite Image (Photoshop)

Students were tasked with creating a composite image—an image composed of elements from different images and photographs. The challenge is editing the elements in such a way as to present a new, cohesive, visual story.

Composite images aren’t just a way for students to hone Photoshop skills. It’s a way to get everyone reflecting and discussing the ethical implications of edited photos.

Brochure (InDesign)
Fall 2023

To transition students into working in the fast-paced design world, and to keep up with the breadth of all the class covers, students are given limited time to work on projects.

In this particular mini-project, students only had a few days to put together a brochure. Below is Mitchell Brunski’s brochure for a fictional organization, Southern Kentucky (SoKY) Parks.

University of Georgia

Festiva Studios (Style Guide)
NMIX 4011/6011: New Media Design University of Georgia
Spring 2022

In New Media Design, students are tasked with creating comprehensive style guides complete with fully vectorized logos, accessible color palettes, typography, target personas, and more.

Elisa Fontanillas, Heaven Robinson, Connor Santoianni, and Mary Brock Smith created a brand for Elisa’s photography business, Festiva Studios.

Evolve Spa & Wellness Studio (Style Guide)
NMIX 6011E: New Media Design University of Georgia
Summer 2022

It’s one thing for designers to leverage an existing brand. It’s another for designers to conceptualize and create an entire brand from scratch.

Graduate students Lillian Ballance, Abbie Hunt, Yazmeen Renova, Molly Shapiro, and Christal Toso collaborated to create a fictional brand, Evolve Spa & Wellness Studio. While the brand might be fictional, the style guide is larger than life.

Project Yellow Light (Billboard Design)
Project Yellow Light billboard, a billboard designed to stop distracted driving. Billboard features the text, "Don'e be a bad influencer," with a young man taking a selfie in a convertible.
SPRING 2021: New Media Design

Project Yellow Light

As an instructor, I believe in the power of connecting students to industry and real-world learning opportunities. I strive to embed opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and skills beyond the classroom by encouraging them to submit their work in a series of industry and academic competitions. These competitions allow students to receive external feedback, build portfolio pieces, amp up their resumes, and hopefully, win some cool awards along the way.

New Media Certificate students Nick Milavec and Elisa Fontanillas photographed and designed the billboard above. It’s one of many student designs submitted to Project Yellow Light, an annual $2,000 scholarship contest.

In total, students submitted more than 20 billboards encouraging young adults to be attentive drivers. Instead of using preachy, scary messages, these up-and-coming designers were tasked with turning the call to action into something upbeat, positive, and relatable, all while taking everything they’ve learned about photography, typography, and copywriting into account.

Vintage Postcard Designs (Photoshop & Photography)
Spring 2021 & Ongoing: New Media Design

In this tutorial, students design a postcard that showcases their immediate environment to convey a mood or message. This assessment is adapted from an exercise in the Adobe Education Exchange.

This assignment gives students the flex their Photoshop skills while effectively demonstrating graphic design principles such as emphasis, contrast, balance, alignment, color, proportion, and consistency. This assignment also builds on a lesson in smartphone photography.