By Anne Russell.
Look around you.
Design is as ubiquitous as air.
Almost everything you see, touch, and experience is designed by someone.
And for the first time newly re-launched Graphic and Digital Design program at the University of the Fraser Valley will present a graduating class of designers.
The class members refer to themselves collectively as Green, which evokes the youth and fresh approach of the graduates, but also the sustainable approach to design that permeates the program.
“Green is new and fresh. It’s where we’re from, and where we’re headed. We are Green, the first class of graphic designers in the Fraser Valley,” says a statement on the class web page.
The program will host A First for Design in the Valley, its first portfolio shows of graduates’ work, at two venues this month.
The first is Thurs, April 16 in Mission at the UFV campus at Heritage Park Centre, 33700 Prentis Ave, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. where you can meet the designers and see their portfolios while enjoying complimentary drinks and appetizers.
Then from 7 to 9 p.m. guest speakers will provide an engaging look at designing for the future in a presentation called A First Glance.
The second is Wed, April 24 in Abbotsford at The Reach Gallery Museum, 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford, with the exact times as the Mission event above. The presentation from 7 to 9 p.m. is called Creative Balance and features a Pechakucha events, in which speakers will present 20 images each, with the images advancing automatically every 20 seconds.
The two-year diploma program (known affectionately as GDD), based at the UFV Mission campus, has produced a fresh crop of graduates who will head off into the world of creativity with a portfolio of finished sample products that include everything from beer-bottle labels to milk cartons.
“I love print design,” says Ashleigh Long, one of several grads. “After I graduate I am going to get a job in a small agency and build enough knowledge and experience to one day open my own design studio.”
Like all of these talented graduates, Long cannot say enough about the program and its band of supportive instructors. “This program has given all of us a taste of everything from print to interactive design. This has really helped prepare us for what to expect in the real world,” she says.
Karin Jager, the Graphic and Digital Design program head, is excited about launching her first cohort of graduates.
“I feel honoured and privileged to present our first graduates. This group of new talent will pave the way for the future of our creative industry in the Fraser Valley,” she said. “I feel particularly proud of the spirit, determination and commitment from these grads. They call their home the Fraser Valley and are proud of their roots. They came together in 2012 to learn about design and pursue their passion here in Mission, excited to be part of a new design program. They have discovered their strengths (and their weaknesses) and have gained new perspectives on design and its impact on society. They have learned to discover, empathize, think and create — both in the classroom and beyond.”
With an emphasis on the student experience, real world projects, issues and contexts were brought into the classroom during the program. The diploma introduced five different disciplines in the field of graphic design including communication design, visual identity, information design, dynamic media, and interactive design.
For more information on the show and its graduating class (including a sneak peek at each grad’s portfolio) and the upcoming shows go to www.designmission.ca. To find out more about enrolling in the next class of the GDD program, go to http://www.ufv.ca/graphics/.