Shepherd Graphic Design Students Sweep Regional Competition

Three graphic design teams from Shepherd University came away the winners October 24 during the fourth annual Mock Up: Student Design Challenge sponsored by AIGA Blue Ridge, the professional association for design, and hosted by Shepherd University.

The students spent the entire day working on a brand identity that included a logo, letterhead, business cards, rack cards, a brochure, and a web site for the Prosperity Center, a nonprofit community center in Frederick, Maryland. Each team of design students had three to five members. They were given information about their “client” on October 16 and had five hours on the day of the competition to create all the materials. At the end of the day they made a presentation showing what they designed to a panel of four judges.

Three teams were from Frostburg State University, one was from Hagerstown Community College, two came from Frederick Community College, and four teams from Shepherd competed. The Prosperity Center will adopt the winning design for future promotional materials.

“It’s great because it gets their work out there,” Kristin Kainig, associate professor of graphic design, said. “And this really gets them working within a short time frame and collaborating with their peers. They don’t always get to do that in the classroom.”

But Kainig said the competition gives students more than just real-world experience.

“I really like the fact that they’re creating something for a nonprofit in the region and that they can give back to the community because design is not just about the for-profit clients,” she said. “It’s also about being able to give back what you can.”

Lisa Sheirer, program manager for computer graphics and photography at Frederick Community Collge and AIGA Blue Ridge Education director, said all the students who enter the competition come out winners.

“They have a real client, they have to research the client, they have to research how the client wants the world to see them, what they want to get out of the design, and they get great experience presenting to the judges,” Sheirer said. “It’s one thing to sit behind a computer and sort everything out, and it’s another thing to stand up in front of a group of people and really sell the design to the client.”

The judges chose a design created by Shepherd students Evan Carr of Martinsburg, Haley Shapiro of Hedgesville, Samantha Jones of Martinsburg, and Chase Bachtell of Hagerstown, Maryland.

Bachtell said he and his teammates found the whole experience beneficial. He thinks they won because they did a lot of research about the Prosperity Center and came to believe in its mission.

“The passion that we had toward the center made it easier to put in the effort and work the long hours needed to make something that we felt was the best that we could provide for them,” Bachtell said.

“It’s really good to see all of that hard work put into good use,” Jones said. “It’s great to have our work showcased in the real world, and especially for something we really care about. Nonprofit organizations are very important so it’s really nice to help someone.”