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Cal Poly Students Win BookBinders West competitions

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly Graphic Communication students scored wins in design and production competitions on the East and West coast in The Phoenix Challenge and the BookBinders West competitions.
A five-member Cal Poly team accepted the grand prize in Orlando, Fla, for the 2009 Phoenix Challenge Winners for Overall Excellence. The competition challenged university students to research, design and manufacture branded packaging for campus food products using flexographic technology.
On the West Coast, three Cal Poly Graphic Communication students were recognized for their book design projects in the BookBuilders West Scholarship Competition awards held in San Francisco. They walked away with scholarships of $500 each.
The Phoenix Challenge tasked students with developing branded packaging from concept to execution to enhance sales for on-campus coffee house products.
The Cal Poly student team conducted market research to identify student buying habits. Their research revealed a preference for local, sustainable, premium products. Based on their findings, the team developed the graphic identity with a coffee cup and a “frappuccino” style refrigerated beverage using clean, sophisticated two- and four-color graphics. Factors in the final production included intensive file preparation, advanced wrapping techniques, press limitations, printing with metallics, dies, tight trapping tolerances, reverse printing and reverse trapping the white, printing in reverse sequence and layering.
Led by Cal Poly professor Malcolm Keif, the Cal Poly team included Graphic Communication students Brenae Costa, Andrea Ho, Amy Laun, Deirdre Miller and Nisse Noble.
“The students really came up with complex but effective results. They produced a two-color coffee cup. They worked with Dopaco to convert the cup into a live product. They also produced a reverse print beverage wrap using metallic inks. The results were fantastic. We are so proud of their accomplishments,” said Keif.
The competing colleges and universities were Cal Poly, Central Piedmont Community College, Clemson University, Dunwoody College of Technology, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Ryerson University, University of Wisconsin Stout, and Western Michigan University.
In the BookBuilders West competition, student competitors were tasked with the design, typography, production and manufacture of a limited edition book.
The Cal Poly winners were Jennifer Merriam, Danielle Steussy, and Cindy Clause. The books submitted were designed as a requirement for their Book Design Technology course, taught by Lorraine Donegan.
Merriam designed and produced “The Charters of Freedom,” which include the founding documents of the United States: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Steussy adapted materials for the classic book, “A Separate Peace.” She created detailed typography for the book’s interior and painstakingly cut and applied the image of a tree as the spine wrap for the leather-bound book. Both book-binders demonstrated that creative design and good typography can help convey an author’s intent.
Clause wrote her own book, “The Story of Us,” which began as a journal of her friendship and subsequent engagement to her fiancé. She used letterpress vellum sheets to separate each chapter and other letterpress elements for the cover of her book.
Donegan said, “The limited edition books are a labor of love for the students and a project they will keep for years to come. After taking this course, students have a new appreciation for the typography, layout and design of every element on the page. They also understand the importance of the manufacturing process as it relates to book design and production.”
Submissions included detailed information that the process in which the limited edition book was designed and produced, including specifications on the layout, typography, printing and binding, was included with each submission. A committee of BookBuilders West members judged the submissions on creativity, meeting design objectives and presentation.
“These successes are common among our students and result from two things,” said Harvey Levenson, head of Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department. “One is the university’s unrelenting focus on experiential hands-on learning, where students become involved in real-world case studies and scenarios in practical laboratories. The other is a faculty including the likes of Donegan and Keif who are up-to-date on teaching strategies and industry issues. When combined, this leads to student success while at the university and then when joining industry after graduation.”




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