LANCASTER, PA (February 2009) – Nineteen graphic design students at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, members of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, PCA&D chapter (aiga.org), participated in a 24-Hour Designathon, the first such event at a college or university in central Pennsylvania.
The Designathon began at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 27, and wrapped up at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 28.
Yes, that means that during the wee hours of Friday night/Saturday morning at 2, 3 and 4 a.m., PCA&D students were solving communications challenges for these area non-profits:
1. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lancaster – website
2. Junior Achievement of Central PA – annual report
3. City of Lancaster, Neighborhood Issues – brochure
4. Janus School – brochure for the FLITE program
5. Big 33 Scholarship Foundation in Harrisburg – four-page brochure to raise awareness about the scholarship program
6. Lancaster Spina Bifida Resource – logo and stationary
It doesn’t get more real than this as the students worked for 24 hours straight.
Designathon took place during a 24-hour period that began Friday night at 6 p.m. when the students and their faculty advisors met client organizations. From there, they created concepts for the projects selected, produced, and presented the finished work to the client organizations at 6 p.m. Saturday evening, 24 hours later.
The Designathon provided an opportunity for these non-profit organizations to receive professional quality design services at no charge.
The design and production of the projects were completed by PCA&D students who are AIGA members. Creative direction came from PCA&D faculty members in the communications arts department, including Robert Hochgertel, Pamela Barby, Mathew Samuel, Charles Beyl, Tom Begrowitz, and Maria Cummings-Miller.
Students who participated in the Designathon gained real-world experience in creating projects for clients, and learned the parameters imposed by budgets and deadlines. The students also learned that non-profits have very real marketing needs in order to be successful, and strong graphic design is a vital component in any comprehensive communications and marketing plan in the private and non-profit sectors.
The non-profit organizations gained professional level designs that they otherwise could not afford. And the students forged new relationships with each organization, thus ensuring a spirit of community mindedness.