Lander graphic design students obtain real world experiences as part of their learning process

April 24, 2012
Students in Jim Slagle's upper-level graphic design classes at Lander University get to put their classroom training into practice by working on projects for clients beyond the campus. Slagle is an assistant professor of art at Lander.

Just recently, two groups of students in his environmental graphic design class made presentations to Rosemary Bell, director of Self Regional Healthcare's Wellness Works, who was soliciting recommendations for murals for the outside of the Wellness Works building.

As it turned out, she accepted the designs submitted by each group, one for the exterior of the building and a second one for the facility's yoga room.

Slagle said his students have done many projects for outside clients such as the United Way of Greenwood and Abbeville, the Abbeville Opera House, Greenwood Lander Performing Arts and others. Students are now working on design projects for four locations on campus.

He described the exercises as good learning experiences because the students must work together much the same as they would in an advertising agency, choosing design concepts, researching various aspects of production such as materials and printing, pricing and making professional presentations to clients.

Slagle said, "My role in the process is as an art director but the students take responsibility for creating the designs and then presenting them to the client." Another benefit for the students is that they can add the designs and other products of what they have learned in Slagle's classes into their personal portfolios for use when they enter the job market.