Our professors were always challenging us to see the big picture and concepts of our projects, asking why for each decision we made. So now I direct my question toward those planning to eliminate the COFAC at UWSP, “but why!?”
Due to recent budget cuts, the most influential place of my career could be in danger. I was moved to write my own testimonial/letter, and thought, “Why not make this a PDA toward my love and appreciation of my 4.5 years of college in the Fine Arts program?”
Before I begin, here are more details about what UW-Stevens Point (UWSP) and the Colleges of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) are facing, as told by Adam Hintz:
“Most of you may have probably heard about the proposed budget cuts to the UW system, which as it stands, will be eliminating almost 25% of UWSP’s total budget. Being the hardest hit, this proposal has already crippled student research grants, faculty and student travel, organizational funding, and the list goes on. The effect it has had on this year, however, is not even the most concerning issue.
This past week the University announced a plan, in concession to the budget cuts, to fold the College of Fine Arts and Communication (your Alma-mater) into the Colleges of Letters and Science and Professional Studies. This would eliminate faculty, enrollment, reputation, and greatly degrade our Fine Arts program, which is currently ranked #2 in the UW system (bested only by Madison).”
The news brought on a storm of students and alumni who are outraged by the situation and striving to speak out against this proposal in any way possible. Adam is collecting words from anyone who has benefited personally from their time at UWSP in the Fine Arts and Communication program. He’s gathering our thoughts and making sure they fall into the hands of the people who need to hear what we have to say. To quote Adam again, “The issue does stem from the budget cut legislation, however, in the interest of continued success and cultivation of creatives like ourselves, this is a plea for the administration of UWSP to understand the importance of this program and to reconsider their proposal. This is not a political argument, but an outcry for the protection of a fundamentally and undeniably enriching COFAC.”
I often get the question, “what made you want to go to UWSP?” While for some people this is a difficult thing to answer, but for me, I just knew. I distinctly remember the moment during my UWSP tour when I walked through the Noel Fine Arts Center and entered “the Fishbowl”. The advisors began talking about the incredible COFAC program and the graphic design courses at UWSP. It was at that moment I knew this is where I wanted to pursue my college education. Since that day, I have never doubted my decision. (Okay… maybe I did when Jillian Noble assigned us hundreds of thumbnail sketches, or when Jeff Morin required us to build EVERY element of package design by hand, just to note a couple… Those were brutal days, BUT looking back it was incredibly imperative to our education and wouldn’t change a thing.)
The COFAC gave me more lessons than I can even put into words. It taught me the importance of using our creativity to drive all things. Our professors knew how to push us and answer our questions with questions in return.
More importantly, my time spent with my professors and in the design program taught me to have dreams and gave me the motivation to pursue them. Starting my own business hasn’t been easy at times, but I love what I do. In college I remember talking to my professors saying I’d love to have my own business, and they’d reply, “Then do it.” They made it seem so simple – as if following your dreams was the only option, and there was no other way. It truly was their encouragement that led me to begin Sprout Studio.
It is heartbreaking to hear that future students could be missing out on this incredible COFAC program because of budget cuts. I pray that our words speak to them and they change their plans. I have had the honor of speaking at 2 of our design conference at UWSP. I was first asked to be a guest alumni speaker at Real. World. Design. in 2013, and was thrilled to be brought back in 2015 for the NOWHERE Design Conference. Both of which I had a chance to sit down with current students and review their portfolios, and let me tell you… There is OUTSTANDING work coming out of our program. Stevens Point is ranked #2 in the top art schools in Wisconsin, and as a graphic designer, I take up only a fraction of that group. This post doesn’t even tap into our incredible fine arts, drama, dance, and music programs.
I could babble on for hours about how my time at UWSP has influenced me. The things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met are irreplaceable. To this day, many (and by many I mean almost all) of my best friends came from my countless days, hours, and projects, in the NFAC.
Sam Feld had a great idea to begin archiving via Instagram what students have learned during their time spent in the NFAC. I must say it’s very wonderful to think back to all these “lessons” and remember just how important every. little. thing. we learned shaped us as designers.
While I may not be the best persuasive writer or debater, I hope this post hits home for some people and has the power to change the minds of others!
If you are also a proud Pointer and you have the chance, contact Adam Hintze via email at [email protected] He will be compiling everyone’s comments and directing them to the administration. He also said you’re welcome to call the chancellor’s office 715-346-2123 with your concerns. Please check out the COFAC online for more information on the programs.
Also — Click here for this awesome video from the class of 2011!
It’s so fun to have the opportunity to speak at our alma mater. We’re so proud to be a Pointer… and even more proud to come from this outstanding program!
Hi there friends! I’m so happy to have you here and I’m guessing you’re interested in our Design Contest. I wanted to host a fun challenge, to explore creativity and have a little fun. Please view all the details below and I can’t wait to see your entries.
There are 2 elements to this contest: An iPhone Wallpaper and an iPad Wallpaper.
Artwork must be sized to the proper dimensions. iPad: 2048 x 2048px. iPhone: 640 x 1136. You must include iPad and iPhone wallpaper, both are required to make your submission count. ALL artwork submitted MUST be original, no stock photos or stock illustrations allowed. Any fonts used must be commercial free.
To submit, post on our Sprout facebook page including both images. We will add your design to our Facebook album, where voting will take place. You may submit up to 3 entries.
Yes… That is plural. We will be having 2 winners for this contest.
1. Sprout will be picking a winner based on the overall concept and design.
2. The other will be a “People’s Choice” based on Facebook *likes*. The design with the most *likes* will win the People’s Choice (share with friends to boost your chances).
Both winners will be featured in a blog post where anyone and everyone can download your designs to use on their Phones and iPads!
June 1st June 11th: All Entries are due.
June 16th: Facebook voting ends.
June 17th: Winners are announced.
1. When creating your artwork, please keep in mind that iPads can be used in both horizontal and vertical formats — this is why the iPad dimensions are square — design accordingly.
2. The new iOS features a new opaque dock menu, when designing be aware of this element. Make sure when using your wallpaper, it doesn’t create an unappealing color.
3. Think about designing for a broad audience, our Facebook viewers are also voting. The more *likes* you get, the better your chances are to win!
4. Your designs must work as a set, but this doesn’t mean they have to be identical… Get creative! That’s part of the fun!
AIGA has brought some amazing opportunities to my design. Last week, I attended a Social Media Workshop with social media experts Brad Cebulski (one of many experts from BConnected LLC) and Tara Rushmer (AIGA Wisconsin’s Social Media Chair). We covered some great topics like why social media is important, the right and wrong strategies, and how graphic designs play in social media. In our generation, we think we know Facebook and Twitter, but there’s so much more that goes into Facebook marketing than I knew before.
6 things to tackle in Social Media
What is needed to start the conversation?
1. Communications || How to say it… When to say it… Do it RIGHT
2. Photography || Visually represent what you’re trying to say. Go OUT and get it with a photo.
3. Graphic Design || Everything should be branded and cohesive. Resemble your brand in every way. Visual Content is an important element in communication
4. Video || Take your social presence to a whole new level. Multiply your clickable rate.
5. Promotions || Easiest way to get people drawn in. You set it up but running promotions will get people talking! Everyone else is doing your work for you.
6. Marketing Knowledge || Working your social presence into the rest of marketing is huge. How are you getting the word out?
Social Media on Facebook is tricky. Creating content is important, but sharing it correctly is a key factor. Here’s a few tips on balancing marketing, communication, and the social aspect.
What is EdgeRank and why’s it important? This is the back end of what people on facebook see, more specificallys the algorithms that determine who sees what:
Affinity vs Weight vs Time Decay
What is Affinity? || The connection you have with a page or a person… The more you connect with them, the higher your affinity will be. The more you interact the more often they will see you, and vice versa. What shows up on your News Feed is what you like. I clearly like a lot of links because my News Feed is FULL of links… BuzzFeed Articles in particular 😉
What’s your Weight? || How you are sharing your information matters, and certain things weight more than others. Here is a basic breakdown of post weights from high to low:
Photos with descriptions > Photo > Video > Status Updates > Links. However, your weight will increase with your post’s “likes” and “comments”.
How long will it live? || 3-5 hours before your posts it falls off the feed. (UNLESS you have a high Affinity or Weight)
Where do people fall short?
Lack of visuals.
Using links as crutch for content.
Overly Promotional. It should be 80 engaging / 20 stuff about you
They’re Not Original. “Be inspired, but be Original”
Who’s doing it right?
Starbucks is a great example of using Social Media well. Their Valentines post of “Buy one and Share one on us.” was a huge success reaching an astonishing 262,908 likes and 44,638 shares. Charmin and Dove are more awesome examples, they make people interested in things like toilet paper and deodorant!
10 principals of good content
2. Emotional – Feelings build Loyalty (Dove – the beauty of you)
3. Transparent – Be Honest, Don’t fake it.
4. Be Useful
5. Amusing – Make people laugh. Be Clever. (Taco Bell, Charmin)
6. Transactional – Don’t promote too much.
8. Relevant – (Super Bowl – Black out Oreo – You can still dunk in the dark)
9. Be Agile – Do what people are liking, Be free to bop around (Arbys & Pharell – “Y’all tryna start a roast beef?”)
10. Brand Driven
That’s all the notes we have for now! I hope you learned something new. This workshop has shown me how much more there is to learn about social media and all the social platforms. This is only the beginning, stay tuned for more on social media!
Be Sure to Like us on FACEBOOK!
Thank you to AIGA Wisconsin for our photos.
I’m so excited to introduce our next guest blogger! I went to school with Tessa at UWSP, she graduated a couple years behind me. Since then, I’ve always been drawn (no pun intended, hehe) to Tessa’s weekly posts and inspired by her #typetuesday tradition. I also share the same type passion so I hope you love her guest post as much as I do.
I’m Tessa Michelle, a graphic designer based in Madison, Wisconsin. My passion is in branding and typography. Last year I graduated from college and as a new professional, I had little equipment for design. This was a great chance to close the broken-screen laptop and get back to the basics. I’ve always had an appreciation for hand-drawn typography and even dabbled in it during college. It wasn’t until last summer that my passion for it grew immensely.
I believe it’s important to get your work out there so I decided to utilize Twitter and Instagram to do so. My weekly tradition is called #typetuesday. I take photos of my type creations and post them online. It’s a great way to share my passion for lettering and type design. I also frequently search #typetuesday because there are so many talented artists who are doing the same thing.
Of course I have off weeks and have nothing to share. If that happens, I post type that I find like a beautiful neon sign. Another challenge is bringing those drawings into the digital world. I’m now learning how to translate my drawings into vector art without losing the hand-drawn touch. It’s tricky, but not impossible.
I know this is the start of something beautiful, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. -Tessa Michelle
With the new iOS7, backgrounds are a bit difficult with the new menus being opaque. I was searching around for one I liked and then when I set it to my home or lock screen it just doesn’t work. So, seeing as it’s now February, I thought it’d be fun to create my own “valentine” themed wallpaper set for my phone. Of course — I wanted to share with everyone! Featuring a popular color this year and a fun whimsical pattern, I designed a wallpaper for your Home and Lock screen. I love that they work together as a set but aren’t exactly the same, which is something I usually tend to do when I decide to switch up my backgrounds. Tweet a picture using your new Sprout wallpaper to @Sprout_Studio and receive some free swag!
Click the link below to download them now. Save the image to your phone and then set as wallpaper from there — ENJOY!
iPhone 5 Lock Screen | iPhone 4 Lock Screen | iPhone 4/5 Home Screen
Cassie Dee Johnson is a Graphic Designer who spends most of her days coordinating lovely printed goodness at a printing + packaging company in Northeastern Wisconsin. In her spare time, she can be found perusing wine shelves for the perfect hand drawn label or perfecting the art of nerdy-dancing.
1. amerrymishap // product images: pale blue, white + copper necklace
shop description: I’ve been following this Etsy shop for quite some time, and it’s really hard to stop myself from buying everything! The use of golds, blues and beiges are simply intoxicating and design is simple and raw. I especially love this pale blue, white and copper necklace. So lovely!
2. leahduncan // product images: sprouting print (in honor of ‘Sprout’), meadow tea towel or succulent poster.
shop description: Leah Duncan’s work is simply wonderful. Her folky, charming, and whimsical-yet-modern aesthetic shines brightly on any medium. Whether it be jewelry, tea towels, pillowcases, or print design – her work is sure to bring a little smile to your face. This succulent poster would be the perfect addition to my living room!
3. juliakostreva // product images: pink colorblock iPhone case or triangles in nude iPhone case
shop description: Looking for a gorgeous new phone case? Absolutely be sure to check out Julia Kostreva’s Etsy shop. Her work is very elegant with a touch of bold flavor. The color palettes are flawless, and the geometric aspect of her designs bring a little edge to her aesthetic. I’m really drawn to the triangles in nude iPhone case, my phone is in desperate need of some updated style!
4. shoprarebird // product images: brass minamalist chevron earrings
shop description: If you’re looking for beautiful, minimalist, down-to-earth jewelry, then shoprarebird is absolutely for you! Their jewelry is lovingly crafted and would enhance anyone’s collection. Personally, i’m eyeing up these brass chevron earrings. They’re a little slice of geometric happiness
Taking us back to sunsets, dresses, and green grass… The weather was gorgeous and a perfect time to shoot photographs for a sprouting new business.
Through the development of Sprout, I knew I wanted to get some great professional photos to use for my site and various promotions. It didn’t take long to decide who I wanted to work with – miss Kyah Jo was at the top of my list. I met Kyah in college and had the opportunity to work together for some UWSP Basement Brewhaus promotions. She’s such a fun person who recently started a business of her own as a photographer. I saw her photography work and thought it would be so great to get back together with her and have a little fun! What could be better than working with another startup business?
I was so nervous preparing, I’m not one of those people who enjoy the spotlight or being the center of attention. Not to mention the last time I had photos taken like this was probably years ago for my high school senior photos. I anxiously awaited the day and frantically tried deciding what I could wear. For those who know me… I love clothes… and I’m also extremely indecisive, not the best combo (:
So the day had come, Kyah and I met for a little coffee and caught up, then continued around town to some cool spots to take photos. It was awesome that Kyah already had some in mind, because I wasn’t from the area. She did a GREAT job picking locations (and even helped narrow down my wardrobe options — she rocks!)
We had a blast on our photoshoot!! It was way more fun than I had anticipated! We were enjoying ourselves — laughing, smiling, and photographing. She was wonderful at “setting up” and capturing the perfect photo as you can see. I’m so happy with the results! We are hoping to get together again and shoot some more photos to share!
I encourage you to check out all her work! She shoots engagement photos, weddings, portraits & more, and does a wonderful job at all of it!
Photo credit to Photography by Kyah Jo
Our first featured guest blogger is miss Kayla Bill! She has had a huge influence on the designer I am today, and without her… Who knows where I’d be? We met through the UWSP Design program, and worked together recently at NUK. So, it was only appropriate for her to be my first guest! Without further ado, I give you Kayla and her favorite design element, patterns:
I love sketching new pattern ideas and creating them can be a fun and exhilarating challenge. You would be surprised how many patterns you see everyday. They are literally everywhere; clothing, furniture, dishes, books, purses, nail art, tattoos, baby products and so much more. I was first introduced to pattern design when creating designs for NUK pacifiers and baby bottles. Instantly I fell head over heals in L-O-V-E, love. Most of the time I find myself incorporating patterns inside larger shapes or even cute little animals. It took a lot of practice, but now I’ve got it down to a strategic science. Everyone has their own tricks and I wouldn’t have any up my sleeve without my illustrator pathfinder and align tools. I prefer to construct patterns piece by piece on my own in illustrator, rather than creating pattern swatches that tile a pattern for you. Yes, creating pattern swatches would probably save me time, but sometimes I prefer my patterns to be more random and not so perfectly tessellated together. Besides, who says patterns have to continue on into oblivion repeating in the same manner anyways? Not this girl. There are no rules when it comes to patterns, so as long as it’s a pattern to you that’s all that matters. So open up illustrator or your sketchbook; find a rock to draw on or get out your nail polish; and try your hand at creating a pattern, because “pattern makes perfect”.
Geometric Quilt | Nail Art | NUK Bold Dots Bottle | Norquary Handpainted Paddles | Diamond Circle Pattern| Wit and Whistle Books | Owls | Untitled Tattoo
This past weekend I had a great opportunity to be a featured designer at the Real World Design Conference at my alma mater, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. It’s an annual event put on by the dedicated and wonderful AIGA – UWSP chapter. It was so much fun and they wore us out! I was honored to be one of the five featured designers, along with Courtney Lancour, Tom Wilz, Michael Johnson, and Amanda Chavez.
As part of the conference, we got to review student portfolios (so much fun!) and give a presentation on what we’ve been up to post grade.
Portfolio Reviews: The portfolio reviews went great! There is some awesome talent coming out of UWSP this year and I look forward to seeing the student’s develop in the upcoming months, and for the younger students, years. I hope I was a great mentor for all the students and I hope to continue to be a resource for them! Being a portfolio reviewers was such an enlightening experience, I felt it was important to share their projects’ strengths as well as constructive things to think about. The time went by so fast with each student, and many of them had such great work we could talk all day. Great job to all the students I got to talk with (Lanea Zagrzebski, Adam Hintze, Emily Sikora, Alex Weinfurter, Dana Vanden Boogart, Sarah Rieder + the rest of the AIGA board)! They showed some great conceptual work in packaging, brochures, digital media, and even some brave sophomores with letterform projects. Please stay in touch and feel free to contact me with any questions at all! (:
The Presentations: It was so much fun getting to listen to the other Alumni speak. All of us shared our own perspective and life experiences since graduation, as well as tips for students and a creative body of work. I hope the students learned a lot, I know I did! I haven’t been out of school that long, but how do you crunch so much into 20 minutes?! Well, I failed at that, haha. I guess I had a lot to say, and that’s even after trimming my slides down. There was so much I wanted to cover and advice to give the students… And I forgot/ran out of time to mention half of them. I know that all the students are in great places to enter the design world, whether they believe it or not. The most important thing is knowing who you are and believing in yourself. Everything falls into place as it should and best wishes for the fun journey ahead!
PHOTO CREDIT: UWSP AIGA Board