Graphic designers are a strange bunch. We’re creative because we make stuff, like fine artists do. We’re smart because we have to solve our clients’ problems. We’re passionate because it’s competitive out there and one cannot survive without passion. And we like to show off because we’re proud of our work.
So we get very excited every spring when it’s time for the Graphic Design Juried Student Exhibition in the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. Starting May 11, Parkland’s graphic design students take over our art gallery to showcase their work for the world to see. This year, there will be 194 print entries, 22 web entries and 12 motion graphics entries in the show.
While this is not the largest show we’ve ever had in the gallery, we’ve set new records this year for the largest number of print and web entries to be showcased. This is a juried show, so only the best work is accepted. This year, the quality of the entries was rather high and we had a hard time editing the show down to the final 228 entries.
Because graphic design is often used for marketing communication, it must sell, inform, as well as entertain. The best graphic design work balances form with function, aesthetics with style, logic with intuition. In the jurying process, we look for examples that are imaginative, surprising, inspiring, distinctive, innovative, unusual, smart and memorable. Evidence of creative problem-solving and a high level of craftsmanship are often rewarded.
Last Friday, after the graphic design faculty finished jurying the show, two industry professionals came in and awarded over $1400 in cash prizes to the best work in the show. This year’s judges were Matt Cho, Owner and Founder of [co][lab], an experimental collaboration/coworking space in downtown Urbana and Kurt Bielema, Creative Director of Single Stereo, a local design studio.
“I was particularly impressed by the quality and range of projects, which made choosing projects to award very challenging,” Cho said. “All the students should be proud of their hard work, and I encourage everyone to keep stretching creatively.”
Kurt Bielema added, “I was blown away by the creativity and great concepts I saw. There are definitely some amazing talents graduating this year from Parkland.”
The winners of these awards will be announced at the upcoming opening reception on Wednesday, May 13 at 7pm. Here are the full details:
- EXHIBITION DATES
May 11–June 4
- SUMMER GALLERY HOURS
Mon–Thurs from 10am–7pm
Closed May 25 in observance of Memorial Day
Wednesday May 13 from 6–8pm (RSVP on Facebook)
Musical performance by Ms. M & the Jokers
Awards Ceremony at 7pm
Reception co-sponsored by
CUDO (Champaign-Urbana Design Org.)
- GIERTZ GALLERY AT PARKLAND COLLEGE
2400 West Bradley Avenue
Champaign, Illinois 61821-1899
Gallery office 217/351-2485
Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.