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2017 Annual Portfolio Show a Success

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Each year, the Advertising and Graphic Design program at Isothermal holds it's annual Portfolio Show. The show itself is a required component of the graduating classes' capstone course designed to prepare students for employment. Unlike other curriculum, a transcript of graded coursework is not enough to impress an employer, rather, a demonstration of a particular skill set is necessary for employers to identify qualified candidates for positions in a creative field.

The American Institute for Graphic Arts defines Graphic Design as "the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content. The form of the communication can be physical or virtual, and may include images, words, or graphic forms. The experience can take place in an instant or over a long period of time. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national signage system, or from a company's digital avatar to the sprawling and interlinked digital and physical content of an international newspaper. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political." In other words, and simply put, pretty much everything you see online and in print has been carefully arranged by a specialist whose intention is to inform you about or convince you to take some form of action. You may choose a restaurant, t-shirt or an automobile simply because some designer successfully portrayed it in such an appealing way.

The A & GD program at Isothermal has been training students to be effective designers for over 35 years. They learn about the elements and principles of design, typography, photography, web page development, and illustration as part of their program of study, all of which are combined to create effective visual designs. It's not as easy as it looks! It is the result of hours of painstaking and carefully considered decisions about color and imagery, shapes and contrast, and a keen understanding of the desired outcome of the product.

In this profession, it's the student's portfolio, the collection of their student work, that confirms their ability to perform the tasks necessary to be successful in their field. Lead Instructor, Zack Freeman, tells us, "The show is an amazing opportunity for our graduating students to show off all the hard work they have done while at Isothermal. We see it all, one piece at a time, but to have it all come together at the show is really eye opening on how much these guys do. We invite a lot of local businesses to the show and we had several graduating students get job offers or interviews that day. " Freeman, who teaches graphic design and web page development, along with adjunct faculty Jennifer East and Carole Brooks, are each providing a unique type of training for the students. East, whose background is in fine arts, teaches the portfolio preparation class said "The annual Portfolio Show has become an eagerly anticipated local event which is both the highlight of our A&GD program capstone course and the big send-off into their professional future for our graduating students." The photography courses are taught by Carole Brooks. "The show is a wonderful opportunity for our students to showcase the hard work they have done while taking their three required classes. Most of the students have also taken two extra elective classes. The show is a time for meeting area business people and others who may help to advance their career. The students have worked hard and the show is a testament to their abilities and dedication".

Still unsure about what all is involved in advertising and graphic design? You're looking at it right now. This publication, The Rutherford Weekly, has been designed and laid out for production by former ICC graduate, Jan Sailors, who's just celebrated her 25th year at the paper. Jan uses specialized software to combine all the content in a logical and cohesive way so the reader is able to easily comprehend the contents.

If you are interested in contacting a recent graduate for a custom logo, a unique piece of artwork, or a photographer for an upcoming event, contact Zack Freeman at zfreeman@isothermal.edu or by calling 828-395-1534.

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