Every major at Mercyhurst has a capstone class for seniors to take that combines all of the knowledge they learned in their four years. For one hardworking student, her final project can now be found in Target stores nationwide.
Kaitlin Badger graduated in 2012 from the Graphic Design program and she created a snowboard design for a project in her Portfolio Development class.
When looking for jobs, graphic design majors are required to present a portfolio of their complied work to present to their potential employers. This class focuses on how to create said portfolio in a professional manner.
Jodi Staniunas-Hopper teaches the class and explained that students are learning how the system of “getting something produced” works.
In order for that to happen, Staniunas-Hopper partnered the class with a local design studio Core Creative.
Core Creative has a local manufacturer as a client, and Target is a client of that manufacturer.
There are many phases the work has to go through including countless revisions, tweaks, channels, and focus groups before it manages to land itself on the desk of the Target marketing department.
Target was shown about 30 different designs and Badger’s design was the chosen one.
The manufacturer created an additional three designs available for sale at other locations.
“It was a cool moment, walking into Target and seeing the snowboard and thinking, I did that, but if it wasn’t for Jodi [Staniunas-Hopper] it never would have happened,” Badger said.
Staniunas-Hopper is also proud.
“I am thrilled that after all the work put in that Kaitlin’s design was selected. We can only hope to strike magic again. We are currently meeting with the design firm to get our marching orders (trend reports) to create board designs for 2013-14 winter,” she said.
Badger explained her design process as one that was very difficult for her, because she was completely out of her comfort zone.
“As students, you learn the basics of graphic design and certain ways to portray things, but this project was very complex, and I had to make a design that I would not usually make,” Badger said.
She explained her design was targeted to a younger demographic and thought that geometric shapes and bright colors would be best to appeal to that audience.
Badger is currently working for Noresco in Pittsburgh and she is continuing her passion for graphic design.
She is using her graphic and web design skills to convince companies to reduce their emissions. She is making posters and websites to ultimately attract people to use energy saving behaviors daily.
“I am extremely happy to represent Mercyhurst,” said Badger. “But I especially want to thank Jodi [Staniunas-Hopper] because she does so much for her students, to enable us to make connections and get hands-on experience with real clients.”