The Graphic Design Senior Show is an annual showcase featuring the work of SUNY Cobleskill students who have completed the Graphic Design Technology Program’s Senior Seminar. Given the attention to detail these students pay to every aspect of every design, it is metaphoric that every square inch of Grosvenor Art Gallery is occupied at the 2019 Senior Show. Inside, 12 presenting students display final projects.
Grosvenor Art Gallery is a standout of the College’s Design Center. The evolution of the gallery, as well as the students exhibiting work in it, parallel the Graphic Design Technology Program’s own evolution. Just as a SUNY Cobleskill Graphic Design and Arts education begins at ground level with fundamental concepts, before ascending to cover the more advanced, the Design Center brings that comprehensive education together in a single, unified facility.
“Each designer has an individual voice,” explains Lecturer Greg Miller. “It starts with type and moves on from there. To have everything in one building promotes collaboration across specific areas required of senior projects.” When each focus comes together, as they do in finished projects, designers display their work in Grosvenor Art Gallery, which opened in 2018.
The development of the Design Center symbolizes what Miller describes as a “complete, start to finish program.” Getting there has been a feat; Assistant Professor Kayla Cady Vaughn says a proposal for a graphic design and arts complex first took shape in 2014. “Our program has been built organically, around conceptual aesthetics,” adds Professor Margrethe Lauber. “It has been a bit of moving from fragmentation to cohesion.”
There are advantages to steady-as-opposed-to-sudden expansion. “We take it the whole way with the education we provide. We talk about applying work from start to finish… literally all the way up,” says Vaughn, referencing Grosvenor Art Gallery’s location on the top floor of the Old Gym building. Notes Assistant Professor Adam Daily, “We are adapting to a point that enables students to adapt to the future.”
The future is a theme of every Graphic Design Senior Show, both for students and member of faculty. Miller says he constantly tracks the evolution of digital design applications, to best-prepare students to adjust to the future. He says the applications senior students learned as freshmen have already given way to those they use today. “We know that design changes,” adds Lauber, “so we are providing skills to adapt.”
Members of the Graphic Design Technology Program’s Class of 2019 have an appreciation for the comprehensive nature of their field, as well as its tendency for change. All SUNY Cobleskill graduates depart ready to design their futures. Given their craft, it is the graphic artists who embrace the message in a most literal sense.
Feature photo: Graphic Design and Arts students celebrate graduation with special Pantone color caps.