Graphic Design Club completely revamps itself
The Graphic Design and Illustration club has historically served as a program for undergraduate students looking to enter the selective University of Arizona College of Fine Arts School of Art. The program requires a full portfolio for admission, and GDI helps students prepare for the application process.
GDI was created to help younger students perfect their portfolio and increase their chances to get into the major by reviewing students’ portfolios before they are submitted. Jessie Marman, a senior studying visual communication with an emphasis in design, serves as its president.
“The main thing the club used to do was look at incoming art students’ portfolios before they turned them in,” Marman said.
As such, the process to get into the club was reserved only for the top students of the School of Art.
“The Graphic Design and Illustration club historically functioned as a program for people who were already in it, since it was pretty competitive to get in,” Marman added.
However, as the new president, Marman is looking to expand the direction and vision of the club.
“The main focus is to build a community among our arts program, because it is split between illustration and design. [The art program] is so small that it doesn’t really get to interact with all the different aspects in it.”
Through the club, Marman wants to get students of all academic programs in the School of Art working together and in communication. Just as advertising requires many aspects of art, including design, illustration and marketing, she believes that building relationships with students in other art programs is imperative for a successful career as an artist or designer.
“Because the industry of marketing involves so many people, we want to set up a social this year so people of all different majors can get together and ask for help and develop those valuable post-grad relationships,” Marman said. She also plans to start a mentorship program to help newly accepted art students get the most out of their program with the aid of more experienced students.
Under the club’s new direction, there will be a heavy focus on community service and community outreach.
“We want to do our own version of community service with our craft,” Marman said.
The club will be reaching out to local volunteer and non-profit organizations, working to create designs and logos free of charge for organizations that cannot afford to hire a design team.
Emily Hastings, a sophomore studying political science and economics, serves as the club advocate for Associated Students of the University of Arizona. Hastings’ central role is to be the liaison between clubs and the university.
“We give clubs money, space and university resources to succeed,” Hastings said. Essentially, every club or potential new club on campus must work closely with the ASUA club advocate to continue receiving UA funding.
Hastings is excited about the change in direction for the art club.
“This is exciting because it is a fantastic new avenue for art students to get involved,” she said, adding that she is very interested in the potential post-graduate impact of clubs like GDI.
“It is so easy to love and support clubs that not only get students involved in their interests and evokes their passion, but also that help students further their career paths,” Hastings said.
Marman agreed, noting the new club not only helps students make connections on campus, but brings them valuable contacts on the national level.
GDI has roots in a national professional organization, the American Institute of Graphic Art, which has been around since 1914. The AIGA is based in New York City and has chapters among many college campuses, connecting art students from all over the nation with professional contacts.
If you are interested in being part of the Graphic Design and Illustration club, contact club president Jessie Marman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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