Design Students Get Real-World Experience

Designing the cover of the Delaware Business Times 2018 Book of Lists gave three Wilmington University Media Design students an intimate look at the world of publishing, from pitching ideas to a client to final publication.

The project began in February, when DBT contacted WilmU Public Relations Director Laurie Bick-Jensen, who then connected with Susan L. Gregg, associate professor and Design Programs chair. Editor Christi Milligan explained that DBT would like to work with WilmU students to come up with a design for this year’s edition of the list, which is a compilation of businesses, companies, organizations and industry leaders with more than 50 categories.

Soon afterward, Gregg and three students — Marissa Janicki, Bren Lawler and Anna Steele — met with Milligan and staffers from Today Media, publishers of DBT. Milligan and her team provided general guidelines about the cover concept and requirements, and at a second meeting, each student pitched her cover design to the Today Media team.

“I think the presentation day was a little nerve-racking for the students since nine of us gathered around a large table in a conference room lined with framed magazine covers,” Gregg says. “But the students were prepared. The use of photographs, illustrations and layout was of a professional level. And it was great for students from the Media Design program to engage in a real-world opportunity by presenting their work in a competitive design campaign to pros for consideration.”

Says Milligan: “It was amazing to see how they took what we suggested and came back with their own unique offerings. All were fantastic, all very different.”

Ultimately, Today Media selected Lawler’s design. “Hers really kind of captured what we were looking for,” says Milligan. “It’s fresh, something different from anything we had done in the past, and it captured that Delaware feel.”

Milligan says the project, which involved multiple submissions and tweaking designs, “was very representative of the publishing process.”

Adds Gregg: “All three of the students’ final designs are worthy of being the cover of the 2018 Book of Lists.” WU