by Sarah Bartlett Borich ’02—Cedarville, Ohio
Graphic design is quickly becoming one of Cedarville University’s most exciting and innovative fields of study. This degree prepares students for a variety of career paths—advertising, marketing, publishing, design and more. The program is intensive and hands-on, overseen by a highly skilled team of graphic designers and artists. Many graduates of the program are moving on to fulfilling careers with prestigious firms and design groups.
Andrew Althouse ’07 has been interested in graphic design since high school, when he became the “layout man” for a sports magazine he started with some friends at church. “I began to wonder how I could do this for a living,” the Ann Arbor, Mich., native says.
Currently, Althouse is a print designer with Real Art Design Group, Inc., in Dayton, Ohio. He credits his Cedarville education with helping him to get an edge in the field. “Really, it was all about stretching me,” he continues. “I learned to operate the programs, but also how to think like a designer. ..how to take an idea and turn it into a finished product. It’s really all about problem solving.”
Althouse also stresses the importance of the internship experience. “That’s where…you can finally see where all your classroom work comes into play in the real world,” he says.
Now that he’s out in that real world, Althouse views his career choice as another way to reflect Christ, by being a witness in the workplace as well as by producing quality work. He’s looking forward to a long career in the graphic design field and possibly even starting his own firm someday. “Designing is my true passion,” he says. “I don’t see myself ever outgrowing being a designer.”
Another successful graduate of the University’s graphic design program is Kara Merrick ’07. She was always interested in art, and her love for graphic design began to blossom during a multimedia class in high school.
“Cedarville prepared me with a solid program in design programs and principles,” she says. “Plenty of lab time and real-world projects helped me know what to expect in a design career, whether it be communicating with clients, balancing multiple projects or just spending hours in front of the computer. We learned how to handle projects all the way from the sketchbook to the printer to the web.”
Merrick currently works as a production designer at Rule29, a strategic design firm in Geneva, Ill., that creates logos, branding, web sites, brochures, promotions, advertisements and more. In her position, she is involved in all aspects of projects, from research to design to production. “It’s a great, flexible role where I’m not only supporting other designers through research and production, but I also design and head up my own projects, learning a lot along the way.”
Reflecting Christ in her work is also important to Merrick. “I want to honor God by creating positive messages that will impact our culture,” she says. “I plan to stay at Rule29 until God calls me elsewhere.”
Althouse and Merrick are just two examples of Cedarville University’s high-caliber, well-qualified graphic design graduates now working in exciting and fast-paced careers.