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Design, Create, and Innovate

Design, Create, and Innovate

Rachel Barlow’s Love Story with Graphic Design 

By Summer Boulais 

Rachel Barlow is a super senior at Walla Walla University from Redlands, California who enjoys being creative. She is a pre-occupational therapy and religion major with a minor in graphic design. “I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into when I started taking graphic design classes, but I can say that I definitely fell in love,” says Barlow. [1] 

Super senior Rachel Barlow is soon graduating from WWU.

One of Barlow’s friends, who got an associate degree in graphic design, introduced her to digital programs and how they work. “I was hooked,” Barlow says, so she began taking graphic design classes at WWU. [2] Digital art later became her favorite medium.  

The hardest part of this new minor for Barlow was the amount of time spent behind a computer screen. These classes changed her perspective and helped her understand what a graphic designer does. Barlow described, “I took every label, every font, and every packaging for granted until I began taking these classes.” [3] 

Barlow received a special opportunity to take a class from a part-time professor, Madie Youngberg, who taught for a year at the University. Youngberg is now Barlow’s boss at SonBridge where she is a design intern. Barlow explained Youngberg’s influence on her journey in graphic design: “She has helped me grow a lot as a designer. Her advice and patience have impacted the way I create.” [4]  

The design shown is Barlow’s personal favorite of her work that she’d like to put on tote bags to sell.

Kevin Coleman is another graphic design professor that WWU is lucky to have. Coleman is an instructor of graphic design who specializes in web development. In 2009 Coleman graduated from WWU with a Bachelors in New Media Imaging. He enjoys using his skills to find new and innovative ways to bring people together and communicate. [6] 

“His obvious love for UX design and Typography seeps into the class and [is] absolutely contagious,” says Barlow. [5] Because of Coleman, Barlow now pays more attention to fonts and notices mistakes in words more often in her day-to-day life.  

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WWU provides a graphic design studio called the Mac Lab which has extended hours for design students. Professional equipment is added to it regularly to ensure students can practice skills that are on par with expectations in the design industry. [7] Graphic design pushes students to keep up with trends and technology while showcasing individuality and creativity.  

Though being a part of the graphic design department was not a part of Barlow’s original plan, she has enjoyed her overall experience getting her minor at the University. Barlow summarizes one of the values of the graphic design department: “The people in this program are all so different and creative, and creative people are catalysts for creative people.” [8] 

References  

  1. Interview with Rachel Barlow, 5/26/2021. 
  1. Ibid.  
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Ibid.  
  1. Walla Walla University, (2021). Design of all kinds, why study graphic design at WWU? https://bit.ly/2SGWu2o. 
  1. Ibid.  
  1. Interview with Rachel Barlow, 5/26/2021.
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