University introduces new graphic design program

Written By Matt Petras

photo courtesy of Alexa Miller, Dormitory 2014 Spring Edition, Magazine Spread
Magazine spread created by Alexa Miller was selected by a panel of international judges for awards in the Creativity International Design Competition. 


Point Park University is offering a new graphic design program that allows Multimedia majors to concentrate in graphic design. 

The program has aquired new classes and better preparation for real world work.

“[Point Park] has seen a need and a want,” said Robert Meyers, professor of the new graphic design initiative, “…students want it.”

Students interested in graphic design before the new program was introduced could already take graphic design courses within the multimedia major, but a graphic design major is much broader.

Some of the facets of the multimedia major at Point Park are video production and editing, social media, typography and digital photography, according to the University’s website. Now, multimedia majors have the option of concentrating in graphic design for a more specialized course load.

The two required courses for the graphic design concentration are graphic design illustration and typography, according to Point Park literature provided by Meyers. 

Additionally, students are required to take three more courses out of a selection of six, including motion graphics, branding and corporate identity and information graphics.

Arianna Khalil, sophomore multimedia major, completed a year of the program as a freshman and found plenty of resources and opportunities to enjoy pursuing graphic design. She did graphic design work for Point Park’s Campus Activities Board (CAB), a general interest activity planner for students, along with around six other students. Khalil said the club provided a thoughtful, friendly learning experience.

“It didn’t seem like work to me,” Khalil said. “It was just fun.”

Khalil is now the Graphic Design Coordinator for CAB and has taken on the graphic design concentration.

“Once you have a concentration, you can really aim your portfolio,” Khalil said.

Khalil loves the leadership position she is in, and says she loves seeing her work displayed around campus.

April Pencosky, senior multimedia major is further along in her schooling, now close to graduating and building a career for herself. At first, she was disappointed whenever the graphic design program was being introduced, because she thought her schooling would have benefitted with the concentration in the first place, she explained. 

Pencosky realized that since she saved a lot of elective courses for her senior year, she was able to take up the concentration.

“I’m sure there are people in the opposite position,” Pencosky said. “I guess I’m lucky.”

Pencosky is particularly interested in logo design and other advertising along with social media, hoping to work for a company doing those things, she explained.

She’s already putting those skills to use outside of class. After learning of her passion while being hired as a cashier at Katie’s Kandy, a local candy shop located at 422 Wood Street, her employers put her to work on designing business cards, running the social media pages and more.

She is also happy to see that Meyers is at the head of the program.

“I’ve been taking his courses since my first semester and he has been really helpful,” Pencosky said, who appreciates his harsh but informative and helpful critique.

The appreciation is mutual. Meyers said he enjoys working with his students and thinks that they do great work.

“Some of my students have already won international design awards,” Meyers said.

The admiration he has for the business is palpable, a business that will find students working for agencies, business, the government and more, he explained.

“Anybody can do graphic design, few do it well,” Meyers said.

More professors are aiding students than just Meyers. Adjunct professor Roenker said he likes to work from physical media up to the computer, a process his students are understanding.

“They’re excited about that process,” Roenker said.

Much of modern day, internet-fueled graphic design is filled with a sloppy lack of original work, according to Roenker. This is one of the main reasons he likes to establish some distance from technology, while still emphasizing the importance of that technology.

“We’re not saying computers are bad,” Roenker said.

The professors are pleased with their teaching because they see it working. Similarly, the students are pleased with their work because it’s getting them places. They are creating practical work that they are confident will help them nail a job.

“I’m really excited,” Roenker said. “I think Point Park is gonna be a great place to come and have an edge.”