Graphic design students to showcase work in senior exhibition

GVL / Courtesy -

GVL / Courtesy –

Arie Nienhuis

As the semester comes to a close, seniors at Grand Valley State University are concluding their studies and wrapping up their final academic projects. For graphic design students, this means the completion of their senior projects. This week, a group of these students will be showcasing their work in the “Lorem Ipsum” senior exhibition.

“Lorem Ipsum” will be available in the Stuart B. and Barbara H. Padnos Student Art and Design Gallery from Monday, April 16, to Thursday, April 19. A reception will take place Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Lorem Ipsum,” along with last week’s exhibit “x-height,” is a showcase of the final projects from GVSU graphic design students. The events were coordinated with help from Vinicius Lima, assistant professor of graphic design at GVSU. 

“The work in the show is all design-based, and design is a field that is present in everyone’s culture,” Lima said. “Everyone interacts with design every day, so I think (the exhibition) is a great way to see how the future generations are shaping design and culture.”

The works presented in “Lorem Ipsum” are some of the first fully independent works developed by these students. Lima sees the presentation of these works as a great celebration of their achievement.

“It’s the first project that’s completely self-initiated; they have to choose what the project is, they have to manage their time and their budgets, and they need to coordinate their production,” Lima said. “It flips the role between the instructor and the student. That’s what makes this project very special.”

Annie Schoonmaker is one of the students who will be featured in the exhibition. Her previous work includes projects such as social issues posters and magazine design. She considers the work presented in “Lorem Ipsum” to be the culmination of her studies, and she said it feels surreal to finally be done with her program.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “It feels like I was accepted to the program just the other day, so it feels crazy that I’m already done. I am very proud of what I have done.”

Schoonmaker has been interested in art for as long as she can remember and found that an interest in the commercial side of art led her to graphic design in particular.

“I’d say that graphic design is visual communication at its finest,” she said. “Every font and every color is meticulously chosen to get a story across. It is entirely your creativity at work. You can know the text and the colors, but you won’t make good graphic design if you aren’t creative.”

Schoonmaker is particularly interested in public relations and intends to pursue a career in that field after college. She shared a few words of advice for students hoping to delve into graphic design. 

“It takes a while for it to click,” she said. “You may not feel like you are producing good work, but stick with it and keep trying. It takes a while, but it molds itself out.”