First place finish

UW-Eau Claire student wins regional graphic design award



Story by Meghan Hosely, Staff Writer

Every year, the University Activities Commission sends delegates to the regional National Association for Campus Activities with other states from the Midwest and Canada.

The purpose of the conference is to see which activities other campuses have for their students, and for delegates to network. There’s also a graphic design contest, which consists of seven categories, and up to two submissions per university.

Senior graphic design major Serena Wagner won first place for the One-Color Poster category. The winning poster featured singer Kenzie Joy, who performed at The Cabin earlier this year, and at Open Stage Night the same weekend.

The One-Color Poster category is exactly what it sounds like: there’s only one color on the poster. This particular poster Wagner designed had a white background, the natural color of the poster, and red lettering.

“I was stunned,” Wagner said. “Because you know, you’re up against kids from Southern Canada and Minnesota … it’s a huge mix of people who are putting in work.”

Wagner also said last year she was awarded Honorable Mention for a design for the same category.

When she was younger, Wagner said she always paid attention to typography, overanalyzing it at times. In high school, she took graphic design classes, which she said springboarded her career here at UW-Eau Claire.

At Eau Claire, Wagner said she was first involved in the Cabin Committee. The artists attracted her to the position, and eventually a co-chair of the committee persuaded Wagner to apply for her current position.

When she was a junior in college, Wagner did more black and white designs for the university. Throughout her time at the UAC, she said she has gained more of a creative control on her designs, which benefitted her greatly.

Although it’s not a requirement to submit any designs in the contest, Wagner said it does well for the university.

“I mean why not (submit posters)?” Wagner said. “Usually for design competitions … there’s an entry fee, and NACA’s free for us, it’s kind of like why wouldn’t you?”

Coordinator of Student Activities Nicole Rindone said Wagner designs every poster for The Cabin each week, along with some film event posters.

“This is her second year submitting something,” Rindone said. “Serena’s been our designer for two years now, and she’ll be graduating this year, so this is her last hurrah, if you will.”

Rindone said the UAC has two graphic design interns, both graduating this spring. Currently, she’s focusing on training the new interns for the upcoming year with the help of the two current designers.

Bryce Kunkel is one of the two new graphic designers for next fall. He works with Wagner in NOTA, and says he has some big shoes to fill next year.

“Her style, the way she does things, has definitely inspired me to do things and to make my profit a lot similar to hers,” Kunkel said. “She’s so thorough in everything she does, consistently just phenomenal work.”

Although Wagner’s a seasoned designer for the UAC, she said it’s always surreal to see her work up and around campus.

“I think I almost get blinded to the fact that there’s 13,000 people on campus,” Wagner said. “So when you design for that wide of an audience, it’s like holy buckets.”