Skip To Main Content

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

Graphic design is the art of visualizing ideas. It is everywhere, touching everything we do, everything we see and everything we buy. For high school students wanting to know what goes on in design school, here is your opportunity to learn about the challenging field of graphic design.

Design: Think. Know. Do. is 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, junior or senior years in the 2010–2011 academic year.

Design Camp will embark on an exciting journey to explore the fundamentals of visual communication. Working in teams, students will investigate how ideas of sustainability can be applied to a community’s interactions, its economics and its physical environment. Student teams will use a variety of design methodologies and skills to find answers to how design can improve the experience of a recycling plan on campus..

“We will be analyzing our client’s needs, conducting research, developing strategies, and planning, designing, and creating visual messages,” said Professor Brit Rowe, the instructor for the camp. “Through our research, students will determine the appropriate messages and the types of media for communicating those messages. Students will also 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 why does or why doesn’t the community recycle, to implement a design process, to develop design critieria based on that research, to develop alternative versions of a new solution, to refine one version as the final design solution, and to present a formal presentation..

Expressing the importance of process, Prof. Rowe explained, “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.”

In addition to graphic design, 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 a corporate identity program for a local non-profit art gallery.. “Every year we undertake a new challenge,” said Rowe. “So students can participate in multiple years.”

To see students from last year’s camp, visit the 2009 photo album.

“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, 11th or 12th grade during the 2010-2011 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 Northern Summer Honors Institute is an academic summer program funded by the Jennings Foundation. Through an grant, Ohio Northern is able to offer many other camps, including the Design Camp.

The cost of ONU’s residential camp is $390 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 May 10. To register and for other detailed information regarding Ohio Northern’s Summer Honors Institute, visit the institute’s Web site.

Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2009-10 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.