STAPLES -- Communication Art and Design reflects the technological changes that are rapidly altering the information landscape.
Central Lakes College students in the Staples campus program are building portfolios rich with variety -- from traditional pen and ink and photography to video production and Web page design. Some have earned awards for their creativity, including several in a CLC Gallery exhibit on the Brainerd campus through Friday.
Students also have competed with one another for real-life jobs as area businesses tap a viable, inexpensive resource for logos, letterheads and Internet attraction of a customer base. Instructor Leon Dahlvang said demand may someday exceed the time available for such relationships, but he has accommodated nearly all requests for involvement. And students appreciate the opportunity.
"We let the business come look at the choices and decide which design works best for each of them," said Dahlvang, who reminds the firms that come to him for student help that any financial remuneration is directly between the enterprise and the student. Donations for scholarships are also welcomed as a means to recognize the student work and encourage more of it.
Examples of recent work for area businesses and organizations:
* Larry Norwood, Breezy Point, designed a logo for UpNorth Fishing Guide Service of Cushing and designed the selected advertisement for CLC that appears in the Central Minnesota Boys Choir program.
* Silvia Luton, Cushing, designed the logo and brochure for UpNorth Custom Metal Art, a second business owned by Kelly and Kim Hamson of Cushing.
* Christy Brown, Nisswa, who operates under the name of "Freewriting," designed marketing efforts for the Staples campus cafeteria's new pizza buffet.
Larry Norwood of Breezy Point designed the winning logo in a contest among Central Lakes College students for an area guide service.
* Merissa Benson, Verndale, designed the logo for Henniger Electric of Wadena.
* Jennifer Alt, Pillager, designed the poster and postcard announcing the Staples campus open house held last month.
* Brad Raymond, Rochester, designed the program for the Central Minnesota Boys Choir.
* Don Beaton, Detroit Lakes, and Jodi Braford, Brainerd, added color and letterhead/business card expertise to assist the UpNorth Fishing Guide Service logo development.
* Teasha Scheeler and Jeanie Behsman, both of Brainerd, and Benson provided videotaping services to the Minnesota Public Defenders office at its conference at Cragun's Resort.
Mary Anenson, Thief River Falls, takes longevity honors for her archival video that featured the lives of the wedding couple, Amy Jo Walthall and Micah Benson. She spent a month, including days off during MEA, to wrap photographs and video footage provided by the bride's mother into 32 minutes of sight and sound.
The video produced is something to behold. It features images from infancy through the formulative years, following the couple and their families as they relocated. The show includes a soundtrack requested by the mother of the bride, Toni Walthall.
"I think there were about 500 photos to comb through," said Anenson, who was able to do some of the tasks during time as a student worker for instructor Dahlvang. "Synchronizing everything was sometimes tricky, but it was a great learning experience."
On Oct. 24 in a reception in Eden Prairie, the video delivered just the impact it had been designed to produce -- not a dry eye in the house, and plenty of laughter amid the tears of joy.
"I would say this type of project could have cost up to $5,000, if it had been done by a professional vendor," said Dahlvang.
"Our students are working for their future, and having the latest technological tools certainly helps," he said. "We anticipate keeping pace to send our graduates to the workplace prepared to meet the expectations of more real-life clients."
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