Graphic design students revive organization

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Isabelle Tavares

Anchor Point provides a space for creative communication among students

It is said that a path of 1,000 miles starts with a single anchor point. In the graphic design world, an anchor point is a jargon term for a function in the widely used Illustrator program that allows a designer to control the function of a shape. Now, it is the name of the fresh graphic design student organization at NMU dedicated to facilitating helpful conversation between students.

Graphic design majors Michael Wilson, junior, and senior Steven Sprague created the new student-lead organization, Anchor Point, out of the ashes of the former American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) chapter at NMU.

“When I first started going to AIGA that’s where I went to get help with projects,” Wilson said. “Other students with experience and wisdom got me where I needed to be, and now I would like to provide that for other students.”

Wilson said they decided to drop the title of AIGA due to the fees and paperwork that came with being affiliated with a national organization. Instead, they kept a heavy focus on graphic design without the overbearing obligation, Wilson said. They are now opening the club to other majors within the Art and Design program. Wilson and Sprague also wanted to provide a place for students to showcase their work, they said. Freshmen can now look up to seniors’ work and be inspired by other students at their school, Sprague said.

“A big thing in graphic design is to literally talk about what you’re doing while using a computer, and ask someone, ‘Does this word look good here?’”Sprague said.

He added there is no harm in getting to know the people that are interested in the same thing.

“We’re using social media accounts to publish members’ work and get it exposed, and maybe freshmen didn’t have that outlet before,” Wilson said.

Anyone that’s interested in graphic design is encouraged and welcomed. Sprague said the most vital factor that enables an organization’s success is the large numbers of students that show.

“Almost 20 percent of people who saw us at orientation festivals were not art and design majors,” Wilson said. “We can use design as a tool to help a certain cause and create something larger than itself.”

Plans to attend the AIGA conference in April are in the works. Held in Pasadena, California, for the 2019 year, attendees will become exposed to some of the top designers in the world, Wilson said.

“The conference is good for networking, as there are tons of small design firms where you can pass out your portfolio.”

The club meets every week at 7 p.m. on Sundays in room 75 in the art building, however Wilson said himself and Sprague will be available as frequently as needed.