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High School Summer Design Camp at Ohio Northern University: Your Path to Becoming a Graphic Designer

ImageFebruary— 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 high school students who are entering their freshman, sophomore, junior or senior years in the 2013–2014 academic year.

This year’s summer camp will investigate how graphic designers can use their skills and knowledge to draw attention to the environment. Students will make powerful visual statements using the tree as a symbol and metaphor. Called the “Urban Forest,” students will use banners and other visual communication media to engage and educate the local community. The design camp also will inform students about careers in design and raise awareness of the impact of design through a series of weeklong projects. The assignments will challenge students to explore their creativity and critical-thinking skills while pushing them to try a range of techniques. The exploration of the design process also will teach students to question, make choices, generate possible solutions, work collaboratively and, ultimately, broaden their understanding of the world around them.

The design camp also will inform students about careers in design and raise awareness of the impact of art and design through a series of week-long projects. The assignments will challenge students to explore their creativity and critical thinking skills while pushing them to try a range of techniques. The exploration of the design process also will teach students to question, make choices, generate possible solutions, work collaboratively and ultimately broaden their understanding of the world around them.

Expressing the importance of the design process, Prof. Brit 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 that focused on how graphic designers can use their skills and knowledge to draw attention to—and invoke a solution to—the problem of urban decay. “Every year we undertake a new challenge,” said Rowe. “So students can participate in multiple years.”

To be eligible to attend Ohio Northern University’s Summer Honors Institute and the Design Camp, a student must:

• Be entering the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade during the 2013-2014 school year.

• Be identified as “gifted” by an Ohio or out of state school district. Or, receive a letter of recommendation from the high school counselor or be able to obtain a document stating that you meet Ohio gifted identification criteria as 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 the grant, Ohio Northern is able to offer many other camps, including the Design Camp.

The cost of ONU’s residential camp is about $430 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 1. To register and for other detailed information, visit the Ohio Northern’s Summer Academic and Honors Institute website.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, 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 with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. 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, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions 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 2012–13 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.