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Art Students Set Their Sights on Denmark

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Once classes wrap up in May, a group of students from the College of the Arts will pack their bags and head far away from home to hone their graphic design skills on real-world projects.

They’re part of the Design Innovation Project, a partnership with Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona and industry leaders to create “mobile think tanks” that specialize in solutions for visual communication problems, explains John Drew, professor of art.

“From strategic thinking in the user experience (UX) to branding strategies, and from print to e-commerce design, this program has the unique ability to create mass human synergy to solve complex design problems,” says Drew.

The project seeks to train communication design students for the workforce and inspire innovative, design-centric thinking regardless of a project’s size or complexity.

With scholarship assistance from self-storage owner cooperative StoreLocal, 15 students will travel with Drew to Aalborg, Denmark, as part of an ART 495 internship taught by Drew and faculty from University College Nordjylland — a “lifetime opportunity,” says arts-graphic design senior Ira Bigelow. Students will work with Danish ad agency Weltklasse to develop graphic and illustration concepts for a nature-focused event taking place in the Scandinavian country in 2017.

“I am hoping that the outcome will be that they now know to ask, to seek out team members who fully understand the target audience, and that they begin to cultivate professional relationships that bring value to their working environment,” says Drew.