Behind the zeros and ones of computer screens, 15 graphic design majors at Baldwin Wallace created works of art unlike any other.
During their senior year, senior graphic design students are welcomed to participate in a voluntary art show to display the works that they have created throughout their graphic design career at BW, said Erica Lull, Digital Media Design (DMD) Program Coordinator and graphic design professor.
This year’s show, “Identity,” features artwork that is both visually and creatively stimulating through print and website design.
“The ‘Identity’ exhibition highlights our artistic expressions in creating graphic design portfolios that reflect our unique creative abilities,” said Sarah King, a graphic design senior.
According to Lull, each year the seniors are given the freedom to make the show unique to themselves. This branding process includes a student made poster contest, which, once selected, becomes the base for the entire show.
“The look and feel of the winning poster is utilized by every student in the show to create all the marketing, such as individual postcards, emails, advertising posters, graphics on the BW website, banners, stickers, and pins,” said Lull. “They have all been created by the students to have a cohesive look.”
Before graphic design seniors decide which pieces they would like to display, they have to become their own critic.
“Our students take a portfolio class that makes them look and evaluate all the work they have done up to that point, gather it and rework it. Some of the stuff they created in their first year of graphic design might have great ideas,” said Lull, “but, of course, they have now improved their skills. They can now take those works and make it better by pushing the concept and design more.”
After critiquing their own work, seniors created portfolios of their best pieces, and are now presenting works within their portfolios at the show.
According to Lull, students are displaying their books, which contain hard copies of their printed work, as well as brochures, packaging, and websites. Some students are also displaying freelance work, along with pieces that they may have created during internships.
Even though the artwork is created with technology, the flow of individualistic creativity is prominent within each work that is produced.
“Everything ultimately ends up on the computer and is produced from the computer, but a lot of the students draw their own work on paper or paint it and then scan it onto the computer,” said Lull. “Students may also take their own pictures or make their own illustrations in the computer, versus using stock photos.”
The seniors are also excited to be able to present their four years of hard work, said graphic design senior Adriana Pendolino. This art show is not only an opportunity for students to show off their work to their family and friends but also a chance to begin to market themselves for potential career opportunities.
“I invite professionals and employees to the show as well as local businesses and people that would hire creatives or graphic designers,” said Lull. “The show is a great opportunity to present, share and show off their work to perspective employers.”
This exhibition also provides students with communication skills that they will need when entering the job force.
“This show gives students the opportunity to talk about their work to people, and to show and defend their work,” said Lull. “Being able to explain why they chose the colors, the concept, the typeface, and the imagery is important when talking at an interview, and this show gives the students the experience of doing so.”
The exhibition has also given the seniors opportunities to practice teamwork, which is an essential characteristic to becoming a professionally prepared graphic design artist, according to Lull.
“It’s been an amazingly wonderful experience working so closely with so many talented people over these past few months, and to see the fruits of our labor come together so perfectly is a truly magical feeling,” said Connor Stanton, a DMD senior. “The amounts of work my classmates and I put into this event have been beyond what I thought possible in such a short time period.”
Each of the graphic design seniors are viewed by Lull as having talents specifically unique from one another, and having the opportunity to be able to view their work all together is truly something special.
“For all 15, I could point to one specific piece in their portfolio and say ‘this is the most successful piece you have,’” said Lull. “They all excel in their own way in different areas, some are wonderful at illustration, and others have a very strong photography or typography backgrounds.”
Jan. 26 marked the opening of this free, one-of-a-kind graphic design art exhibition, and the show will run until Feb. 7. “Identity” is open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Fawick Art Gallery.