Competitors can’t measure up to GV at Yardsticks

GVL Archive
Yardsticks gives students an opportunity to presetn their business ideas and recieve critical feedback from a variety of professionals

GVL Archives

GVL Archive Yardsticks gives students an opportunity to presetn their business ideas and recieve critical feedback from a variety of professionals

Briana Doolan

Grand Valley State University’s advertising and graphic design students took over the Yardsticks competition on Oct. 27.

Yardsticks allows students to compete in advertising and graphic design fields while learning and networking with professionals. During this year’s competition, GVSU’s Jessica Nowicki and Karen Verbrugge won the advertising category, Meagan Norman-Meadows and Jenn Lumetta won the graphic design category and Lane Zabawa, Caitlin Thrasher and Jason Stratton won the Mock Up category.

GVSU student Erica Bush was recommended by professor John Stipe to be the competition coordinator for the second year in a row.

“It’s one of the only chances you get to showcase your work as a college student before you’re off to the real world,” Bush said. “The energy is so live at the Yardsticks, you can’t even describe it. Students definitely need to get involved with this competition — advertising, public relations, journalism, writing and graphic design majors alike.”

GVSU senior Adam Flokstra also returned to the event this year, this time as a captain. Flokstra, who worked under Blossom as an intern last year doing marketing for competition, said the value of the competition is to see real advertisements and measure yourself up against what others are doing.

“In the classroom you work on campaigns and the fundamentals,” he said. “At the Yardsticks, you get to see actually advertisements students have worked on in their own time.”

Nowicki, a GVSU senior, made an advertisement for Nike Free Run shoes that was rated in the top two.

“I wanted my advertisement to be set apart from the others and portray an important message,” Nowicki said. “… I created an advertisement called ‘Run Against Traffic’ and brought attention to both Nike and The Traffic Jam Organization that fights against human trafficking.”

Kendra Lokker, Yardsticks coordinator, said the majority of the 60 students entered were from GVSU. Other students involved attend Baker College, Calvin College, Ferris State University and Central Michigan University.

“Pieces that are out-of-the-box, controversial, have a solid message with an appeal to a specific audience, obvious stand-outs, are usually chosen as winners,” Bush said. “Pieces that start a conversation and/or tell a story are the most powerful advertisements.”

Judges this year consisted of Cheryl Bell and Tim Hackney of Fairly Painless, Bill McKendry from Hanon McKendry, Greg Palazzolo from Palazzolo Design, Zac Boswell from Auxiliary and Clayton Boothe from Boothe Design.

“Students should get involved because it gets them out of the classroom and networking with professionals,” Nowicki said. “As students, we all receive homework grades on our creative ideas and work, but it is rewarding to have professional comments and advice, just like what the Yardsticks offers.”

Bush said this year’s competition was a success.

“It’s a night where you can take all of the creative energy in, brainstorm, analyze, and enjoy it,” Bush said. “A lot of people showed up, I’m not sure the exact number, but it was our biggest attendance for sure to date. On behalf of the entire ‘Y-Team,’ we believe it was our most successful event in the history of the Yardsticks.”

Students interested in entering next year’s competition should visit

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