During my last semester at JCU, I took a graphic design course with Professor Sabrina Schmidt, and honestly, I wish I would have taken this class earlier! Professor Schmidt is an incredibly professional and talented graphic designer who taught us more than just what graphic designers do and how. She showed us how to approach the profession altogether by having us work on a real-life project.
I had always been interested in studying graphic design, especially because all of my friends at JCU always spoke highly of the graphic design classes. Professor Schmidt’s course was actually more similar to an internship than to a regular academic course, as many of the assignments involved creating products for real clients and businesses. In fact, Professor Schmidt finds clients for her students’ projects every semester!
For my class, our client was John Cabot’s Institute for Entrepreneurship (IFE). They requested that we make a logo for their ‘JCU Friendly Sticker’ initiative. This intitiative involved students negotiating with local businesses to have them offer special discounts to the JCU community. In return, these businesses would place a JCU Friendly Sticker on their storefronts. However, the Institute needed someone to design the sticker! Within the framework of IFE’s Learn-Do-Share program, which brings real companies and real problems into the classroom and allows students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world situations, they asked Professor Schmidt’s class to propose designs for the logo.
Everyone in my class was excited by the idea that, if his/her design was chosen, it would be used to represent our school and would be displayed on the windows of numerous stores and restaurants throughout the city. While I was working on my sticker design, I wanted it to be welcoming and friendly while giving a sense of professionalism and trustworthiness. By emphasizing the welcoming feeling and using a handwritten font to write “Friendly”, my goal was to underline the aim of the JCU Friendly Sticker initiative: to establish strong connections between Roman businesses and the JCU community.
When my design was chosen as the winner, the thing I felt most proud about was seeing my own creation being used outside of the classroom. Now, if you take a walk in the Trastevere neighborhood, you will likely see my JCU Friendly Sticker design on the majority of storefronts. This is a big deal for a novice graphic designer like myself.
Professor Schmidt’s course was an incredible opportunity for me because it allowed me to put my creativity into practical use. As someone who is currently pursuing a career in the creative field, I find myself applying what I learned during this course in my everyday work. Now, I’m able to draw an image that is visually balanced, and I’m more conscious about its composition. Not only do I know how to design logos, posters, and flyers, but I’m also able to control every phase of the creative process.
If you’re looking for a chance to step out of your comfort zone and discover skills you didn’t know you had, take a graphic design course during your time at JCU – and don’t wait until your last semester like I did!
Class of 2018
Major in Communications, Minor in Psychology
Hometown: Latina, Italy