Each year the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (www.pgsf.org) conducts poster and T-shirt design contests, accepting submissions from students around the country that are pursuing a career in graphic communications or a related field at a U.S. technical school or college. The winner of the poster contest is awarded a prize of $500, given an award certificate and honored in a national news release. The winner of the T-shirt design contest will receive a trip to PRINTING United, an award certificate, recognition in a national press release, and thanks to the generosity of sponsors Ryonet, a manufacturer of a T-shirt press.
In 2020, one student won in both categories amidst 70+ entries independently judged by 15 judges. Abigail Carter, a high school junior at Mattoon High School in Mattoon, Ill., was the student that achieved this unique honor.
Her T-shirt design will be placed in production at PRINTING United and used to promote the careers possible in graphics, the availability of scholarships through PGSF, and/or how graphic communications fit into today’s world. Shirts are also sold, with proceeds going to the Foundation. In addition, her poster will be displayed in schools across the United States in the 2020–2021 school year.
“My Graphic Arts teacher, Mrs. [Laura] Roberts, received a packet of information from PGSF and told the class that we could spend class time on entries once we finished assigned school work,” Carter explained. “I wasn’t really expecting to win, and was shocked when they picked me twice!”
Abigail Carter’s winning poster design.
Carter explains that she used CMY process colors as her inspiration and wanted to show off all the things that are possible in a graphics career. “I decided for the T-shirt to use a brain kind of thing, showing all the ways you can be involved in this industry,” she says. “My teacher suggested using a Wordle [word cloud] inside the figure. I had to look that up, and once I did, I thought it would be a cool way to show careers and printing methods without making it feel too clustered and condensed. I also wanted both the T-shirt and poster to match a little, but not be exactly the same. Kind of like, cool, look at these scholarships; they will blow your mind. And all the available opportunities will make your head explode.”
Carter’s winning T-shirt design.
Carter reports that she knew as a freshman in high school that she wanted to go into the graphic arts program, but couldn’t do so till she was a junior. “I have always liked art,” she says. “I’m not particularly tech-y, but I do art on the computer as well. I thought it might be a fun class, and when I finally got to take it, I fell in love with it.”
Roberts added, “Abigail is a very strong student, and we are thrilled that she received this recognition, for her and for our program. We will be looking for great things from her in the future!” The program uses Adobe CC design software, including Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Premier; has two screen printing devices (six-color), a Xerox ColorQube and V-180 printer, a guillotine cutter, and a shrink wrap machine among other resources.
The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) is a not-for-profit, private, graphics industry-directed organization that dispenses undergraduate college and technical school scholarships and graduate fellowship assistance to talented men and women interested in graphic communications careers. Recipients include full time students as well as those working who seek additional education in the industry. The purpose of the organization is to connect interested students, those currently working who seek additional training, present and past recipients, donors, educators, and industry professionals with PGSF, as well as discuss issues and ideas for the greater Print and Graphic Communications industry.