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

February—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 Academic and Honors Institute program for high school students who are entering their freshman, sophomore, junior or senior years in the 2015–2016 academic year.

This year’s summer camp will take place Sunday, June 14—Friday, June 19. All academic programming will take place at the Wilson Art Center.

The camp will embark on an exciting journey to explore the fundamentals of visual communication. Working in teams and individually, students will redesign a business’s visual identity, including the logo, through a combination of research activities. Students will learn how a variety of visual elements and methods convey an identity, such as color, typeface, illustration and photography. Students also will work together to understand the organization’s market, gather research on the identity, develop design criteria 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.

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 SAHI Camp, Rowe taught a design course that focused on identity design for a nonprofit organization, The Audubon Society. “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 Academic and Honors Institute and the Design Camp, a student must:

• Be entering the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade during the 2015–2016 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 Academic and 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 $475 per week. A few scholarships are available for financial assistance to cover the camp fee. Space in the Summer Academic and Honors Institute is limited. Registration deadline is May 6. To register and for other detailed information, visit the Ohio Northern’s Summer Academic and Honors Institute website:

The mission of the Ohio Northern graphic design program is to prepare undergraduate students to become socially and environmentally aware leaders in the field of visual communication. Focusing on development and mastery of conceptual and technical skills in graphic design, illustration, and advertising as well as studio electives, cross disciplinary courses and collaborative experiences prepare students for the convergence of the design fields and for positions as creative directors across a broad spectrum of increasingly media-based careers. Graduates from the program have gone on to work at companies such as Wunderman Design, Foothold Design, Smithsonian Institution, Milan Historical Museum, NiSource, Bubbles Academy, and Recess Creative.

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.

image: During last year’s camp, students presented their final design campaign and projects in the Elzay Gallery.