The event, co-sponsored by Kwik Kopy Printing and the Advertising & Design Club of Canada, featured keynote speeches and panel discussions.
by Stacy Dunn
The Graphic Design Program at Holland College recently hosted its first professional development day, which was called dotgain.
Holland College Instructor April Condon was a co-organizer. “It’s exciting how the industry has grown in the last 10 years.
“We have 16 seats open each year for first-year students. We can have two or three times that number of applications.”
This school year, 14 students are set to graduate from the two-year program. “We help students prepare for their job search,” April says. “Second-year students do mock interviews with instructors.
“We also host a portfolio review day where we invite people in the industry to come in and provide feedback on their portfolios.”
Graduates may start out as a Junior Designer at a design studio, sign shop or web development company, where they are mentored by Senior Designers.
Government or private sector marketing and communications departments are other career paths.
“Many graduates have become freelance designers because they love the independence it provides.,” April says. “They may have 10 projects on the go at the same time and have clients on PEI, nationally or internationally.
“Once they establish themselves as good designers, they have no issues finding work.”
Conference attendee and Personal Marketing panelist Ashley Paynter Green owns Infinity Creative, a clothing company called Local Legends Apparel, and co-owns Paynter Co. Photography & Design with her sister Allyson Roberts. She graduated from Holland College’s Interactive Multimedia program in 2011.
“While in college, I lived in French River and made the 45-minute commute to Charlottetown every day. It was challenging, but it was a great experience,” she says. “The program covered a variety of skills including flash animation, graphic/web design, web programming, audio/video production, and multimedia presentations.
“April Condon was my instructor then and she’s been a friend and mentor ever since, encouraging me to pursue my career in Graphic Design.”
Self Employ PEI, Career Development Services, and CBDC were community services and programs that she used to help her start Infinity Creative.
One of Ashley’s local clients is Discover Charlottetown, the capital city’s non-profit destination marketing organization, and she has clients located as far away as British Columbia.
For more information on the Holland College Graphic Design Program, call 902-629-4206. Visit www.hollandcollege.com/programs/graphic–design.
For more information on the Advertising & Design Club of Canada, visit www.theadcc.ca
For more information on graphic design industry, visit Graphic Designers of Canada www.gdc.net