Graphic Design graduates get hands on at the printing press

North Metropolitan TAFE’s graduating graphic design students dropped everything they were working on last week and became production workers for the day – hand assembling more than a thousand sketchbooks as the official invitations to the CLEAN SLATE Graphic Design Graduate Exhibition at Gallery Central (12 Aberdeen St, Northbridge) from 16-19 November 2016.

The whole CLEAN SLATE crew met downstairs in the print machining workshop at the Northbridge campus to manufacture the sketchbooks. There are twelve different versions of the books, with each book featuring a couple of great sketches from the projects they have been working on throughout the year.

Thanks to Print Technician Brad Burrows, the covers had already been printed double-sided on the Heidelberg GTO 52 Offset Printing Press and creased along the spines on the Heidelberg T Platen Letterpress. So it was up to the students to hand-collate the covers and text pages, saddle stitch, fold and book press, round corners and wrap each book in a very colourful, perforated bellyband.

Everyone quickly assumed a role in the production line and enjoyed the fast-paced work and the feeling of being a part of an efficient team. They all gained an appreciation for the work involved in print finishing, especially for the amount of labour and time involved in hand assembling.

The idea is that a new sketchbook – a clean slate – is an exciting thing to have; it represents a wealth of possibilities much like the 2016 design graduates.

“A huge thank you to the terrific Kellie Cooke and BJ Ball’s designline team for supplying us with the stock for the covers and the text blocks,” said North Metropolitan TAFE’s Brendan Hibbert.

“We used Botany 100% Recycled 230gsm for the covers, for a raw and practical look and Quartz White Onyx 100% Recycled Vellum 100gsm for body pages that are just great to draw on.”

If you haven’t received your invite in the mail, you are welcome to order your free sketchbook HERE.

And in the meantime, meet the graduates and check out their work on the CLEAN SLATE website HERE.

Graduates reflect on learning pathway

A journey begins with a single step, while the adage may be old; the truth of the statement has never been greater.

Three former Central students recently received their Bachelor of Arts in Creative Advertising and Graphic Design from Curtin University.

Back in 2011, Reeanne Anderson, Hannah Fredriksson and Linda Tran began their Cert III in Graphic Design Production and perhaps unbeknown to them, a five-year study journey.

Reeanne first discovered her passion for Graphic Design in Year 10 after making a poster with Photoshop.

“I had no idea how any of it worked but I persevered to teach myself as much as I could. I continued to use what I knew for my remaining high school years and because I enjoyed it so much, I decided to study Graphic Design at Central”, she said.

For Hannah, Graphic Design was something she had been working toward, without knowing it, for a long time.

“When I was a kid my dad bought a PC magazine that came with a disc of demo computer programs, including one called Paint Shop Pro. I spent a lot of time investigating it, drawing in it and learning about layers and filters”.

It was only when Hannah began volunteer work at a not-for-profit agency did she realise how much she enjoyed it.

“The senior Graphic Designer taught me about the basics of the Adobe suite (particularly InDesign) and gave me some simple tasks to do. I enjoyed this work a lot, and I knew it would be worthwhile investing my time in refining these skills, and potentially making a career out of them one day”.

After coming to Central and completing their Cert III, the trio was inspired to continue and completed their Cert IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma, before going to Curtin to complete their undergraduate degrees.

The three students credit their Central lecturers with not only inspiring them, but also providing a great space to come and learn.

“If it weren’t for our lecturers in Cert III, Christof, Fitz, Darren, Lawrence, John, Deb, Chris P, and Bernie, we wouldn’t have made it to where we are today. Their passion and commitment to such young students proves to be a thriving environment to future graphic designers, ones they, and industry can be proud of!” Reeanne said.

The structure of the courses at Central gave the trio, especially Hannah, the freedom to see if Graphic Design was what they wanted to do, without having to commit to a course that would take years to complete.

“Unlike uni, you receive a Certificate or Diploma at the end of each year of study, meaning you still get a valid qualification if you decide it’s not for you after a year or two. Or you might end up like me, having the time of your life at Central and never wanting the journey to end”, Hannah said.

The most valuable asset Reeanne feels the three of them gained from their time at Central was the high level of skills, which subsequently set them apart from many university classmates.

“Studying at Central was the perfect building block to continue my studies at Curtin. Knowing how to use the Adobe Suite took a lot of pressure off. I could focus on the design and feel confident enough in my skills to execute it. I feel as though that prior knowledge helped me save a lot of time!”

Congratulations to Reeanne, Hannah and Linda on completing your study journey and good luck with the next step of your career.

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The graduating trio: Linda Tran (left), Reeanne Anderson (middle) and Hannah Fredriksson (right)

(The graduating trio: Linda Tran (left), Reeanne Anderson (middle) and Hannah Fredriksson (right))

Graphic Design Gold

WorldSkills is like the Olympics for skills training and Central Graphic Design Production student Chris Williamson is one step closer to representing Australia following his win at the regional competition.

Earlier this year, Central hosted the 2015 WorldSkills WA Regional Graphic Design Technology competition for Cert III for Printing and Graphic Arts (Graphic Design Production) students.

The results are in and Central has come away with outstanding results proving our students are at the forefront of Graphic Design in WA.

Central students came first, second, third and fourth for at the regional competition.

The results are:

1st Place: Chris Williamson

2nd Place: Cody James Ballantyne

3rd Place: Claudia Donovan – Hicks

4th Place: Thitikorn Phuengkam

Chris Williamson will be presented his gold medal The Grand Ballroom at Crown Perth on the 1 December along with the other successful competitors.

Following his win, Chris will have the opportunity to represent WA and Central when he competes at the national WorldSkills competition next year for a chance to represent Australia internationally.

The high calibre of all Central Graphic Design Production students will be on display at the graduate show located at Building 4, 133 Newcastle Street, Northbridge on 30 November from 6-8pm.

Not only will the work of our graduates be on display, but also pizza from Stuzzico and a letterpress so you can print your own Christmas cards.

If you’re interested in attending the graduate exhibition, please RSVP to the GDP Exhibition Facebook page by the 25 November.

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Kyle’s taking design skills to Dallas

Certificate III in Printing and Graphic Arts (Graphic Design Production) student Kyle Falzon blew away judges at the national level of the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) World Championship, and is now off to Dallas, Texas to represent Australia and compete in the global competition. Kyle (pictured above right) was presented his award by the national competition organiser, XCERIO’s CEO, JB Tinker (above left).

“The Adobe competition was a great opportunity for a young designer like myself. It was a new experience working under such a strict deadline. I was initially shocked by the amount of work we had to do, but as the day progressed I found the competition easier,” Kyle said.

The calibre and number of Central printing and graphic arts students who entered the national competition made judges sit up and take notice. In fact the judges made a decision to relocate the competition to Perth this year, with Central acting as the host venue. This year’s judges were impressed by the high exam scores, application of Adobe products to industry standards, quality execution and the creative solutions shown.

Judging table at Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) World Championship,
Judging table at Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) World Championship.

Ten Central students were selected to compete in the National Championship, which consisted of a real-world design brief challenge, set by 2015 Charity Partner, The Big Issue. The brief consisted of two poster designs and a vendor postcard design. You can see the final designs on XCERIO’s website.

First, second and third prize winners were all Central students, with Claudia Donovan-Hicks winning second prize and Irra Mamangun winning third place. Claudia and Irra won cash prizes and all the finalists won a new WACOM tablet.

“I am very excited to attend the World Championships in August. It is going to be an amazing experience representing Australia and it will look fantastic on my resume regardless!” Kyle said.

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Fringe benefits

Working full time in a job he hated but lacking confidence to try something new, it took a hugh leap of faith for Ryan Meotti to enrol in a Certificate III in Printing and Graphic Arts (Graphic Design Production) at Central. Now with a competition win under his belt, Ryan knows he made the right decision.

Ryan designed the winning entry to create a logo for Noodle Palace at Central, a Perth Fringe World Festival venue, a partnership between JumpClimb events management group and Central Institute of Technology, utilising Central lecture theatres and rooftop garden. JumpClimb worked with Central Graphic Design Production lecturers to run the competition, giving students an opportunity to work on a live project directly with industry and a real client.

“Winning the logo competition has meant more than you’d imagine,” Ryan explains.

“Combined with the amazing support, inspiration and encouragement from my lecturers, winning this competition has given me belief in myself. To have only been studying for six months and to have taken the win so early in my studies was the clarification I needed that I’m on the right path and that any doubts I had in my creativity were void.”

Following the success of the logo competition, Ryan was also asked to paint a mural on the DJ Booth in the Noodle Palace gardens, a task he admits was daunting.

“I wasn’t extremely confident but I didn’t want to lose face so in the heat of the moment agreed to it.”

Graphic design student working on Noodle Palace at Central DJ Booth mural
Graphic design student Ryan Moetti working on DJ Booth mural for Noodle Palace at Central

“The structure loosely resembled a boat so I wanted to base my design on that somehow. If I’m honest, I felt like my design was ambitious and well above my painting ability but it ended up being fine and I was happy with the final result. I walked away from that with a fair bit of confidence, which was a welcome change.”

“I couldn’t be more thankful to the JumbClimb crew and I owe praise to my lecturers for they equipped me with the skills required to address a brief of that calibre up to industry standards. Even after I had won the competition the support continued and I was involved in face to face meetings with my lecturers about copy writing, the development of my typeface and basically how to handle myself within the forth coming interactions I would have with JumpClimb.”

JumpClimb Director Aaron Rutter was “simply blown away by the high standard the students achieved within such a short time”.

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