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Your Path to Becoming a Graphic Designer: Summer Honors Institute Begins Fifth Year at Ohio Northern

Design CampLooking for a career in the challenging and interesting graphic design industry? Here is your opportunity to take the first step and join a one-week intensive design camp at Ohio Northern University. The camp is being offered through the Summer Honors Institute program for gifted high school students who are entering their sophomore or junior years in the 2009–2010 academic year.

Design Camp will embark on an exciting journey to explore the fundamentals of visual communication. Working in teams, students will redesign a brand identity, including the logo, for a local non-profit organization through a combination of activities.

“We will be analyzing our client’s needs, conducting research, developing communication strategies, and planning, designing, and creating visual messages,” said Professor Brit Rowe, the instructor for the camp. “Through our research, I want students to determine the appropriate messages and the types of media for communicating those messages. Students will learn how a variety of visual elements and methods convey an identity, such as color, typeface, illustration and photography.”

Students will extend beyond discipline-specific boundaries to engage in a holistic design process that will broaden their perspective. Students will work together to understand the organization’s market, gather research on the identity, develop design critieria based on that research, develop alternative versions of a new identity, refine one version as the final design solution, and present a formal presentation of their design solution.

Rowe explains, “Morning sessions will be devoted to a series of short presentations and exercises intended to foster a sense of community and common purpose among students. And generally the afternoon sessions will be spent working in teams on the project that examines design and the value of design.”

Also, architecture, environmental design, landscape architecture, interior design and industrial design will be addressed during morning sessions to introduce students to the education, career paths and professional practices of other major design fields. “Design Camp will inform students about college study in design and will raise awareness of the impact of art and design through a series of weeklong activities,” said Rowe.

During last year’s Design SHI Camp, Rowe taught an interdisciplinary design course which focused on the design of the visual and physical presence of a section of the local village through initiating a strategy for urban renewal projects. “Every year we undertake a new challenge,” said Rowe. “So students can participate in multiple years.”

“Every year our camp participants say that one of the best aspects of Design Camp is our wonderful and energetic staff,” continued Rowe. “Our camp counselors are all undergraduate students at the Department of Art & Design. They are the best possible ambassadors for their design discipline and are eager to share their knowledge about design with camp participants.”

To be eligible to attend Ohio Northern University’s Summer Honors Institute and the Design Camp, a student must:
• Reside in Ohio;
• Be entering the 10th or 11th grade during the 2009-2010 school year;
• Be identified as gifted by an Ohio school district or be able to document that he or she meets Ohio gifted identification criteria described in Ohio Administrative Code 3301-51-15.

The Ohio Summer Honors Institutes are academic summer programs funded by the Ohio Department of Education. Through an ODE grant, Ohio Northern is able to offer many other camps, including the Design Camp.

The cost of ONU’s residential camp is $300 per week. A few scholarships are available for financial assistance to cover the camp fee. Space in the Summer Honors Institute is limited. Registration deadline is April 24.