KOKOMO, Ind. —Glasses designed by Indiana University Kokomo students are now on sale at a local business — and three local charities benefitted from their efforts.
Design Center students competed to have their work featured on glasses sold by Tin Man Brewing Kokomo, as part of its local artists series.
While the winning artist typically receives a $100 gift card to the brewing company, Michael Koerner, assistant director of new media, wanted to continue the charitable purpose of the center. In lieu of the gift card, Tin Man Brewing made a $100 donation to a not-for-profit of the winning students’ choice.
“This allows us to continue our mission of benefitting local organizations, while partnering with a business,” said Koerner, who teaches the Design Center class. “Our students benefit from creating designs for a client, and participating in the kind of process they might go through as professional graphic designers. They also get the satisfaction of having their work on a tangible product, and of giving through that work.”
Winners included Erika Teter of Kokomo, May 2018; Alissa Krieg of Frankfort, April 2018; Tianna Koon of Noblesville, December 2017; and Christy Russell of Peru, November 2017.
Each winning design is printed on 140 glasses, which are sold for about a month. In addition to designating a charity for donation, students whose work is selected also received copies of their glass. Teter and Krieg both designated their winnings to benefit the Kokomo Humane Society. Koon and Russell chose the Gilead House and the Christmas Tree Lady & Friends of Miami County to receive their donation.
In late April, Dinges visited the Design Center class, to announce the May winner and present Krieg with her finished glasses.
“It’s really satisfying to see it go from an idea, and to see a final product in the end,” said Krieg, turning the glass in her hand, examining the details of her design, inspired by April showers and fireflies.
“This is one of the most useful classes I’ve taken,” she said. “Its real-world experience, dealing with clients and the kinds of problems that actually come up, and you have to face in this career. Now I know what it’s actually like to work with people, from the beginning to the end of a project.”
Teter was thrilled to win the May design contest, having previously submitted in April.
“I’m over the moon,” she said. “It’s really exciting to have my work be seen in my hometown, by more than just the people in my class,” she said.
Teter, who also won a contest to design graphics for the KEY Pad, in the Kelley Student Center, said the design center class essentially functions as an advertising agency, creating materials for not-for-profit organizations. The experiences has given her a taste of her chosen career as a graphic designer.
“This gives me a perspective on what it’s like to work with clients, and learn to understand what their needs are, and meet them,” she said.
Dinges praised the students’ efforts, noting that it was nearly impossible to pick just one winner each month of the IU Kokomo contest.
“It was amazing and incredibly difficult,” she said. “I appreciate their hard work, and really giving us their time. I really wanted to give the students the opportunity to experience working through something, having a final product, and being able to show that product off and have it out in the world. It gives them a chance for a real-world experience.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.