New Design Studio I Course Engages Students with Real World Experiences

Rachel Wyatt, an adjunct Graphic Media Production instructor, taught our first launch of Design Studio I, an introduction to working with clients for our Graphic Design, Graphic Media Production, and Visual Design students.

Students worked with the Elisabet Ney Museum and Elizabeth Christian Public Relations to design and produce event assets for the museum’s 2020 Polkapocalypse Virtual Event. Students created the event banner, social media ads for Facebook and Instagram, presentation slides, and merchandise graphics.

Visual Design student, Zoe Axelrod said, “In Design Studio, you get assigned different roles in each project. This round, I was project manager, and I’d never done anything like that before. It was not only a learning experience, but a genuinely fun and rewarding one, too. I definitely made mistakes, but it was nice to have a safe space where I could mess up and grow from it.”

This safe learning environment led by Wyatt, an experienced Creative Director, proved to be an exceptional experience for both students and the client. “Working with Rachel and her design class for the Polkapocalypse virtual event project was a joy. As the Elisabet Ney Museum staff worked to pivot the live event to a virtual one…each team helped push the aesthetic in a really positive and productive way.” said David Wyatt, Senior Vice President of Elizabeth Christian Public Relations.

Students learned the ins and outs of what collaborating on a project actually looks and feels like for a designer. “It was also very rewarding to take ideas from the beginning stage and create something that both my team and the client were happy with. I think all of these different learning experiences and opportunities is what really makes Design Studio unique and very useful to apply towards future work in design.” said Graphic Design student, Colton Diab.

Polkapocalypse was produced by the Elisabet Ney Museum and Texas Folklife in October 2020, with support from Texas Commission on the Arts. Texas Folklife receives support from the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin, and the Elisabet Ney Museum is a part of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.

Graphic Design Student Awarded AIGA Scholarship

Congratulations to Hanna Holt, a graphic design student at Austin Community College, who was chosen as the 2020 Maura Rose Kampa scholarship recipient. This annual award from the Austin chapter of AIGA, a national professional organization for designers, grants one student a $2,000 academic scholarship and mentorship with Ben Harman, the award-winning associate design director for GSD&M. The Maura Rose Kampa Scholarship seeks to provide mentorship and financial assistance to talented undergraduate students of design, advertising, illustration, and photography in Austin, TX.

Holt started her mentorship a few weeks ago via Zoom, and she said she feels incredibly grateful for this opportunity with Ben Harman. She noted she’s already learned a lot under his guidance and he’s given her advice on design process, projects, and deadlines.

As a part-time student, Holt is in her final semester and will be graduating this December. Holt spoke highly of her time at ACC, saying: “I would recommend the graphic design program at ACC to anyone and everyone, and I am known to do so at social gatherings (pre-pandemic, of course). Anyone with an ear and an interest in making things is pretty much subject to my ravings about the program. I love the learning pace that ACC has to offer as a community college.” She noted that she appreciates the practicality of the program—especially considering how it’s designed for the fast pace of the design industry.

“I have gained so much knowledge, from the conceptual aspects of design to the tiniest technical print specifications. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned. I’ve also continued to see how beloved the design program is amongst working designers in Austin, which gives me a lot of pride and excitement in terms of future design opportunities,” said Holt.

Congratulations again to Hanna Holt and best of luck to her in the future! Students can learn more about the AIGA Maura Rose Kampa scholarship here. We encourage all interested students to apply; the annual application process opens in the spring.