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February 14, 2003

ISD students win awards for designs

From: Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, IA - 14 Feb 2003

BRIEN T. BOYCE , Staff Writer 02/14/2003

Their hearing may be impaired, but there's nothing wrong with the eyes of one group of students at Iowa School for the Deaf.

The students won gold and silver awards for some creative pieces submitted to the 2003 Heartland Print Gallery competition at the end of January.

It is the same competition in which The Daily Nonpareil won a gold award for its book of memorabilia, "Greetings from Council Bluffs, Iowa."

Heartland Print Gallery represents three printing organizations, Printing Industries of the Midlands, the Omaha Club of Printing House Craftsmen and International Publishing Management Association.

The students, who mainly spoke through interpreter Donna Stephens, said it felt good to be recognized for such a major accomplishment.

"I feel excited that I actually won something!" said student Katie Romey.

The teacher said part of the reason for the students' success is because advertising and graphic design is a visually-driven industry.

Student Amanda Moon said she and some of the other students based the designs of their flyers and leaflets on their personalities.

Each design was different. Some involved abstract designs, others used bright colors; but all were designed to capture a person's attention.

ISD's graphic arts teacher, Dee Van Nordstrand, said her students have a unique advantage over hearing students.

"They rely more on their vision versus their hearing, so they made their designs louder and more visually stimulating."

The graphic arts department at the school is still relatively new and scrapped traditional presses and darkrooms for digital equipment only five years ago.

Whether it is design, typography, photography or collating, students are involved in every aspect of the Macintosh-based system.

Unlike most schools, which are not responsible for drafting and printing, the graphic design students at ISD design and print everything for the school, including calendars, flyers and the yearbook.

Surprisingly, not all of the students are interested in going into advertising or graphic design. Some said they just "do it for fun."

The graphics art program at the school may be one of the best in southwest Iowa and is so technologically advanced that students from Lewis Central are enrolled in the class.

As one ISD administrator said, "I'm betting no place in southwest Iowa can rival what we have for careers classes."

©Daily Nonpareil 2003