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Photoshop students It has become an annual tradition at Beacon College for the students in Sandy Novak’s Photoshop class to develop potential designs for the cover of the upcoming year’s Academic Catalog. Steps in the design process include a visit from Dave Brown, Registrar, and Dr. Shelly Chandler, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, a field trip to Ford Press to experience the printing process firsthand, and a feedback session for students to comment on one another’s designs. This project permits wide latitude, and students are encouraged to use their creativity. The field has been winnowed to three final designs, and members of the Beacon College Community are now invited to cast their vote for their favorite.

Each year, the project begins with a “client visit,” where the students are presented with the goals and guidelines for the product and are given an opportunity to ask any clarification questions necessary to best meet the vision of the clients. While students were restricted in terms of the size of the cover and the text of it, the design elements permitted complete freedom. Students were able to use their own original artwork or photographs, or they had the option to use royalty-free images from PhotoSpin, which they could then enhance and adapt to make them their own.

In developing their designs, students must consider what images best depict Beacon College, including both Photoshop students the external and internal resources it offers. This year, several students opted to use their own photography for their designs, allowing them to not only show off their artistic skills but also to illustrate the campus and surrounding Leesburg community. Dave Brown notes, “We have a lot of talented and creative students in the Web & Digital Media program, so it’s nice that this publication can be used to show off their work. We deliberately permit creative freedom because we know the lack of restrictions will result in a unique piece.”

As part of the design process, students presented their two finished designs for class feedback. During this Photoshop students session, words of encouragement and delight were interspersed with tips and suggestions for revisions. Comments like a design deemed “attention grabbing” were mingled with ideas for changing the font or moving design elements to different locations. This class session also offered a chance for students to discuss issues and challenges with the project, including the importance of finding the right images at the appropriate size. The topic of copyright was discussed at length, with the students all having gained a new appreciation for locating and crediting desired images.

Members of Senior Staff were presented with the polished designs, and they were tasked with limiting the field to the final three designs. Now that this difficult decision has been made, the entire Beacon College Community is welcome to place a vote for the final selection. Check out the options and vote now!

Voting is open on Facebook until 5pm on Monday, June 1st, or you may email socialmedia@beaconcollege.edu with your choice.

~Gretchen Dreimiller
Photos by Heather Reed

Thank you for voting! Congratulations to Suzy Finlon, whose design was selected for the cover of the 2015-2016 Academic Catalog. This publication will be available later this summer.
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