By Joshua Herring
Artist and recent Kutztown graduate, Lindsey Zellner, has launched herself into a valuable design experience. The communication design program at KU provided her with not only the skills and knowledge, but also the opportunities for instrumental experience.
The department allows freshmen design majors to experience the foundations of design and visual thinking. Juniors then choose to focus on one of four concentrations: graphic design, advertising design, interactive design, and illustration. “Each one has its own unique qualities, but you end up using knowledge from all four concentrations,” says Zellner. “I believe that as much as you can pack into four years of school, the communication design program does just that.”
She says that the curriculum shows students the entire process. “Rather than just learning how to use Adobe software and come up with creative ideas, we are taught how to expand on ideas, become our own copywriters and creative directors and take on new challenges you’d never expect,” said Zellner.
Yet, she says the program is definitely “not for the faint-of-heart.” By her junior year, she realized that “each class would present its own challenges, but mold me into an overall better designer and professional.” She said, “Ultimately, I think we have one of the best design programs in the state.”
At the end of it all, she says she misses the sleepless nights and time spent in the computer lab. “KU’s communication design program is like a giant family,” said Zellner.
During her senior year, Zellner participated in the internship program offered through the department. She worked as a creative intern for Crayola. In sum, she says the experience gave her “a huge understanding of what to expect in the real world with hard deadlines, communicating effectively with a team and expanding design knowledge.”
Today, the Crayola design team is a part of Zellner’s networked list of companies, which also includes Disney. She fell in love with the company during her experience with the Disney college program in 2010, now she loves being a part-time designer for some of their creative projects.
With Kutztown design knowledge and some practical and on-going experience, Zellner hopes to develop more real-world comprehension of all fields in communication design. In the future she hopes to advance to a creative director position that allows her to focus on her true passion: packaging, branding and advertising.
In advertising design, artists develop visual concepts for print or digital ads. “To me design is more than just type or color,” said Zellner. “It’s about the feelings that are a result for a client and society overall.”
She defines her type of work in communication design as “creating change through creative talents,” and “reaching out in advertising, to create functional products and design brands that are recognizable either worldwide or on a smaller scale.”
To learn more about Zellner and see some of her advertising designs, go to lrzellner.com. More information on the Kutztown Communication Design program and examples of student work can be found at kucd.kutztown.edu.